An open door says, “Come in.”
A shut door says, “Who are you?”
Shadows and ghosts go through shut doors.
If a door is shut and you want it shut, why open it?
If a door is open and you want it open, why shut it?
Doors forget but only doors know what it is doors forget.
Carl Sandburg, Poet
A door is for opening. A door is for closing. A door is for protection. A door is an entry. A door is an invitation. A door is a view. A door is for fresh air.
Doors are important elements in every building. They protect us from the weather yet offer sunshine and fresh air. The more people that need to move through a door the larger the height and width the door need to be. The door’s configuration, style, and appearance also based on its function including civic vs. educational, commercial vs. recreational, and religious vs. secular.
Open the door!!! Let’s explore doors together!
Activity 1 – Doors in Your Home
Let’s start with your own house or apartment. Start by going outside and starting at the front door. Walk through the entire house counting the number of interior and exterior doors. For each door consider how you touch it to move it, open and to close it. Now repeat these steps bringing a sketchpad, pen or pencil, and measuring tape. Use the measuring tape to record its height and width. Also record the position of the doorknob and any windows at the side or on top or in the door. Make a sketch labeling the dimensions and including the door and window frame. For exterior doors include a bit of the exterior wall as well. Exterior doors and interior doors have different characteristics intended for varied purposes. An exterior door could be complexly layered for rain, and wind, sound-proof, or extensively decorated to create a unique impression, or connect with a modern style of the home. Interior doors usually weigh less for ease of handling and show a stylistic harmony with other interior decorations. Visually document all of the exterior and interior doors of your home. Note how their differences contribute to ease of use, privacy, sound insulation, and views into and out of your living space.
Make a poster of your house or apartment doors and label them as Exterior or as Interior doors. Upload your door illustrations to the gallery. You are a door artist!
Activity 2 – Doors in your Neighborhood
Doors are the home’s main entrance to where people live. A front door is the most public door, while the back and side doors are semi-public openings or exclusively for residents’ use for service/delivery of goods in and out. Take a walk around your neighborhood and photograph the many different front door expressions. Look at how the character of the door- its materials, details, frame, and door knobs fit the character of the house. Doors come in different styles. it is not a surprise that doors should have different characters, too. Look at the many expressions of form, shape, material, color, and personality. Notice the doors’ windows, peepholes, side lights (windows), or above the door clerestory window. Enjoy the color and variety of doors right in your own neighborhood.
Make a poster of the many different doors in your neighborhood, label the neighborhood, and upload it to the gallery.
Activity 3 – Downtown Doors
Downtown doors make first impressions of significant urban landmarks. Downtowns often have governmental, cultural, and civic buildings in addition to newer commercial and office buildings. They are often public doors that accommodate larger crowd movements, especially at peak times of the day. Many commercial doors are revolving doors that save cooling or heating energy by minimizing the
interior-exterior temperature differential. If large numbers of people enter and ext, double doors are needed: there is usually a second set of duplicate doors on the other side of a lobby or foyer to serve as a temperature lock.
Walk around your downtown. Draw, or photograph different commercial, cultural, or civic doors. Note their pulls, bars, door knobs, or if they open and close automatically as they sense your approach.
Make a poster of doors in your downtown and upload it to the gallery.
Activity 4 – Doors Throughout History
Throughout human history, people made doors to enter and secure sheltered homes, storage rooms, stores, marketplaces, religious, governmental and other buildings. The first doors made of stone, wood, and bronze that remain are very, very large. Travelling back in time we find examples of temple doors in Egypt, courtyard doors in China, indigenous people doors in teepees and wigwams, castle doors, and so many more. In medieval times, oak was prevalent for its religious associations and symbolism of strength and endurance. Materials for doors continue to be based on availability, local access, durability, strength, aesthetics, cost, symbolism and culture. Modern doors are designed with insulation to enhance durability and efficiency against extreme weather conditions and sound pollution of congested urban living. Today doors are made of plastic, metal, fiberglass, steel, and recycled composite materials.
Research Significant Doors Throughout History and a Brief History of Doors and a Timeline of Doors make a picture time line of materials used by people throughout the centuries.
Share it and Upload it to the gallery!
Activity 6 – Types of Doors
Doors make up an essential component of our buildings. Today, the standard door is 3'0" wide and 7’ 0" tall. For average frame sizes around the opening add an additional 1-2" if in metal, 2-4" inches if wood trim/ Draw the overall door frame app. 3'2"-3'4" x 7'2-7’ 4" or use the specific measurement from doors in your house or in your community. Note that Doors to small spaces like a closet or linen closet may be narrower and or shorter. Look up the type of doors listed below and learn about the many ways doors can open and close.
Illustrate each door type in plan and elevation showing dimensions, swing, or lateral movement, and names. Label the floor, cross section and head of the door as well.
Swinging doors are the most common type of doors used. They are hinged on the side of the wall and swing in one or two directions to allow entrance.
Folding doors consist of interconnected panels that can fold or unfold flexibly to connect or divide spaces. Folding doors often operate from pins in tracks at the top or bottom.
Pivot doors are mounted at the top and bottom to rotate on a vertical axis. They have unique modern aesthetics and require less clearance space, making them perfect for small apartments.
Pocket doors can be pushed into adjacent walls to open and pulled out to close. They are space-saving doors as there is no need for space for the swing of the doors.
Sliding doors open horizontally by sliding and are often positioned parallel to the wall. They work best when there is room to slide a door in front of another.
Roller shutter doors consist of many horizontal metal slats. They are operated by rolling the slats around a barrel directly up or down. They are most commonly seen in the garage.
Make a poster that includes drawings in plan and elevation of all of these door types. Upload it to the gallery!
Activity 7 – Doorknobs, Handles, and Hinges
Walking up to a door gives you the opportunity to locate its key instrument- its door knob or handle, which will be the first thing you engage and touch to enter. Door knobs are not just simple accessories; they control how we interact with doors and entrances. For example, the mechanism, location, weight, and resistance of door knobs may impact the accessibility of spaces, especially in vulnerable communities. Doorknobs determine the way of locking and are essential safety measures. A carefully selected door knob also accents or renovates the space. Observe and draw door knobs, door knob plates, and or door pulls or push mechanisms from your neighborhood, and note their shape, texture, material, or mechanism.
Draw or photograph different door knobs, plates and pulls that allow us to connect with the entries to buildings.
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