For Machine I did this simple stacking effect of the Fransworth House interior, with a scale figure cut out of chipboard.
Friday, December 10, 2010
The ripples of water is how I see design, everything done is connected to one another. This in design is the basis of how we embrace the design world. How everything influences one another in some way. Throughout the exploration unit and the course of the semester we explored the notion of the design process and how it is constantly changing through the course of time in order to find a voice.
During this unit most of the buildings and spaces were criticized for not being meant for humans to function in. An example of an interior not being suitable for a human is the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe. This glass rectangle does have a certain glamor to it visually and the idea behind it must have been a good one, but once a person walks in one a summer day, its like they are baking in the oven. Another example is the Guggenheim museum by Frank Lloyd Wright, a modern building that breaks the rules by forcing the person to walk in a spiral ramp to view the different exhibits found inside. The idea of it sounds too good to be true and it is, the shape of it being circular is difficult for large scaled paintings to be hung up on the wall. Modernism has lost its roots of designing for the human being that will inhabiting it.
One question that was asked in my first year of IARC was “who are you designing for?” at first I was thinking that it was a rhetorical question because there is only one reason for why we as designers would be designing for and that is the person who would be using it. This question again started haunting me as the end of this semester came to a near. Reviewing everything we have learned in this course and how the design cycle has changed throughout time, I feel that the design at first in earlier times, was to help people live comfortable and was more about substance. Now looking at different Modern buildings, design became about the aesthetics and no longer followed function.
The foundation of it all has changed from being focused on humans to just being focused on the aesthetics. There is no substance in design anymore, there is only surface. It is as if the origins of it all has not been able to be traced back on current design. The classical language of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns are now long gone from our new modern designs. The old buildings with classical language still have a lot of contrast with new ones being built. The modernistic movement is the alternative of this classical foundation. Like the ripples of water, design now a days is hard to pinpoint its origin. Even though we may not see many classical buildings, they were the start of this modern designs. Without this foundation there would not be anything to go against. But one thing that still remains unanswered is “Who are we designing for?”, this question should be the first thing that every designer should ask themselves before they decided to go for surface over substance.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The diagram above is of the Roof Carpenter by John Sloan shows the emphasis of labor in that time. The drawing of it emphasis’ the actual carpenter. The contrast between the line weights is what makes the carpenter stand out from the paper. The drawing of the man working is overall centered on the paper, however the carpenter is off centered on an axis to depict movement. The line weights also provide a balance throughout the whole composition of the work, between the lightweight lines to show the context and detail, the bold lines of the man, and the dark small shadow that is underneath the man. The ever-going lines of the context create this unity between the drawing the paper. The graphite also relates to the type of work that this man was doing.
Focusing on the work and commerce theme in the Greensboro Collects Art gallery exhibition at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, all of the pieces have people in their work setting describing the ambience of what their work consists of. “The dawning century was to be the era of the machine, of greater speed, and of unprecedented mobility, and the architecture of the new epoch would surely proclaim this mechanization.” (Roth pg. 519-520) Roth explains that this is a time were the machine was to take over the work area to create these structures. However, John Sloan’s Roof Carpenter contrasts everything that Roth explains, his art depicts the carpenter being the “machine” for lack of a better word, working his way to construct this roof. Another art piece that portrays man as the machine is Willie Cole’s Knapp Monarch, this sculpture of this “iron man” sitting on top of this wooden base clearly shows that even before the common definition of what machine is, the human body was and is the machine. “The ‘Hi-Tech’ movement celebrated the aesthetic of industrial production,”.(Massey pg.195) Massey also describes this industrial definition of what was current during that time, but Sloan’s artwork seems to still celebrate the old ways before that of industrial production in contrast to the sculpture which celebrates man as the machine, literally. Both art works display different views on consumerism. “Consumerism and the emerging global economy become more important.” (Harwood pg. 805) Sloan shows that in order to survive in this commerce world one must work, the facial expression on the man clearly defines hard labor. Cole gives us this iron man made out of irons that show what is available for people to purchase at their own will and become what they consume, a machine. In all I believe that the overall theme for work and commerce is the human body becoming the machine in order to work and survive this commerce world.