Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reading Comprehension 6

1. Art Nouveau was a conscious attempt to reject historic styles. However, it was greatly influenced by fine art, non-western cultures, and not to mention past styles. The building and interiors became works of art, sculptures that captured the essence of movement in design. They strive for unity in design to create complete expressions, or what they call total works of art, (Harwood pg. 485). They created more than just a visual connection but also the emotional connection with the beholder just like the artists in that time period.

Antonio Gaudi’s Casa Batllo is an example of Art Nouveau’s organic sculptural piece. Gaudi was influenced by Moorish ceramic tiles and this shows in the façade of the building its glass pieces embedded in the concrete. Its surrealistic form resembles something that Salvador Dali would have painted. I guess Spain is responsible for giving the world surrealists. Another possible influence is the baroque style, because of its dynamic mass.
Victor Horta’s Stair Hall at Hotel Tassel gives a different artistic view of what was done. The whiplash lines that become the decoration moves your eyes in the direction in which you should try to navigate the space. This interior seems like it has traces back to the rococo style, its tendrils overtaken over the interior.
Both also have the influence and inspiration of nature embraced in the interior as well as the exterior.
"I disgard the flower and the leaf but I keep the stalk."-Victor Horta

Casa Batllo, Antonio Gaudi (Harwood pg.497)

Hotel Tassel, Victor Horta (Harwood pg.500)

2. Simplistic does not come easily, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeannert ‘s Hall in the Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau choose function over aesthetics. This example of the modern movement demonstrates how the home should be like a machine; having a specific function, in this case a place where people live. Space became important; therefore anything that was unnecessary was removed. Volume also became of importance by having high ceilings and different ceiling level changes. Decoration became minimal, there were no ornamentations on the walls only white walls with maybe an adjacent color of either warm or cool hue, therefore letting the light illuminate the interior. In this case the walls are white and the painting hung became this simple decoration on the walls. They clearly designed on the concept of less is more, but is that true for this time period? With the media advertising different nick-knacks and novelties we tend to revert back to the Victorian age where our interiors are filled with useless clutter. We become hoarders that seek, more like desire, more space. It is clear that even with the this example of a modern interior, it is hard to relate to it because it seems to be cold and “too clean” for use to picture this to be inhabitable.
Hall, Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau, Exposition des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels (Harwood pg.629)

lecture hall, Viipuri Library, Alvar Aalto (Massey pg.86)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reflections Summary

All three uniformly discuss this concept of revolution. Nathan talks about the industrial revolution which made many designs in that time possible. Alyssa writes about the revolution of time and how designers revive the past to work out the kinks and improve the designs. Caitlyn questions what starts a revolution, what pushes the envelope that starts this change in design. Overall all three focus on the most important revolution, the design revolution. It is the concept of taking the old ( ornamentation, furniture, exotic influences) and recreating them into something new.
Caitlyn's blog post image

Caitlyn's image is of the rubix cube that symbolizes this notion of mixing and getting different design voices in one "cube".
Nathan's blog post image

Nathan's image is of the Eiffel tower which was not made possible if it were not through the industrial revolution.

Alternatives Summary

All three of my peers took alternate routes in describing this unit, but had somewhat of the same concept, rules were broken during the Baroque period. Jenni  mentions  that most of the explorations were just fads that did not last long, and reverted back to the classical language. Katherine incorporated geometry to tie in both the classical world and the baroque style, both having contrast by the shapes being used in each period. Nicole describes this as time when people broke the rules and made a mark in time. It is interesting to see how each person came to the conclusion that in order to break the rules you must understand them, and that in the end it only lasts for a little while.
Katherine's blog post image

Monday, November 8, 2010

point: Reflection

In the reflections unit we have covered the Victorian time period. During this time many styles have overcrowded its interiors. Machines and new materials are now being introduced to the design world creating new building structures with new purposes.
The crystal palace is constructed from the new materials that were introduced in this time, iron and glass. It is the setting for the exhibition of the world’s fair of 1851 where many designs are shown in this place. It becomes a container for what the design world has to offer. It is containing the past designs in this modern design.  The great exhibition demistrated the world’s influence on design, it was providing the world inside a glass bottle. The exhibition itself represented the eclecticism of the Victorian time period.  Many people were now able to see what the world has to offer through this exhibition, and now wanted to have different things in their home. Now the interiors were now being cluttered with all these artifacts to represent the owner’s understanding of world.
            The crystal palace itself did not correspond to what was inside, like many buildings during its time the interiors did not match what the exteriors had on its façade. Many people had different opinions about what should be the dominate influence in design. Everything in this time period reflected what was being questioned, what style should be used. Mostly because no one knew the right answer, therefore many interiors were crammed with different patterns and textures that made everything look busy and difficult to pinpoint one style. “Everything Goes” became the concept of these hodge podge interiors. During this time as well the trade routes opened up to Japan and China, adding more influences to the design world. It was a time period of testing new things and exhibiting different cultural influences.  Everything that was being created was its own riff of what other cultures and previous stylistic period had done before. They were trying to connect with the past and other worlds, which changed the connotation of the whole things they were trying to revive.  
            In a way homes and the crystal palace became like modern museums of the time, especially the crystal palace.  You can compare the crystal palace to the Guggenheim museum in New York. Both showcasing different styles under one roof that does not seem to be housing these styles. Like the crystal palace the Guggenheim was very modern for its time and open to allow its artifacts to be the main focus. The Crystal Palace like the Guggenheim was a very interesting container that became its own artifact of modernism in its own time period. Leading the way to innovative use of materials, and space. As you walk in a spiral to see the revolution art in the Guggenheim, the Crystal Palace used its exhibitions to showcase the revolution of design and what the world had to offer.  Just like art, people had their own interpretation of what should have been revived, designed and also shown in their interiors at the time.  

Guggenheim Museum
Crystal Palace 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reading Comp. 5

1.) The image above is my rendering of the papier-mache chair found on page 26 of the 19th Century Harwood book, image 1-41. This chair symbolizes the revolution of a new material for a chair. Using papier-mache to add delicate detailing to the face of the chair. In that time period people supported the  idea of new materials being used and this is an example of what people supported. This material was molded on top of a metal frame, in this case the chair, then it was lacquered in black. 

2.) The eastern world has influenced the western world at many scales in which people interact with. 

The Royal Pavilion 
The Royal Pavilion is an example of how the middle eastern world, has influenced the exterior of this building. The exotic appearance can be connected back to Islamic roots.  The center dome being Ogival and having Minaret at its side resembles a mosque. It is interesting to see how before the "mosque" building form was a important gathering place, and the Royal Pavilion became this important gathering space that at first was intended as a retreat.
The artifact above shows the Japanese influence in the western world, in this case Paris, France.  The french word Japonisme, describes the influence of the japanese art had on the artifacts. They took the concepts of combining the art with their storage unit.  Using the same technique known as lacquerwork, a black background with flower motifs in gold, and covering the storage unit.
Long Gallery, Brighton Pavilion
The Long Gallery space in the Royal Pavilion shows signs of Chinese influence, known as chinoiserie. The flower motifs that where once used in porcelain ceramics are now being used to cover the wall. The imitation of these motifs are made differently then those used in china. The ornamentation is more vivid in color and a light palette.

Chinese House (Potsdam)

The Chinese House symbolizes the place in time when all these exotic influences started appearing in the setting.  This one for example is a chinoiserie influenced.  Usually the setting of the building if they where private in china would be surrounded by gardens, this house not entirely private is still surrounded by nature. In this time period many ideas have blossomed on how artifacts, spaces and building are designed and reflect the cultural knowledge of people that own/create them.  They take the concepts and transform them into their own interpretation and language they want it to speak. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


For the word I chose the House of Vetti in Pompeii, Italy. The word "experience" is at a gradation from light to dark, which is what the house of vetti is known for its passage of having a humble entrence to this light which is filled from the atrium.  Descrabing light as nature, and the experience which people have in the house.
   For the paragraph I did the Redwood Library.
For 2-D I went with the Rhode Island State House, just alligned in four parts mimicking the staircase.

 For 3-D I did a simple pop-up of the Haus Am Horn in Germany.