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color swatch


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

What did I make.

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   I made my own colour swatch system. We were asked to make a colour system. And our first assignment was to go over medieval colour systems that made no sense. I’m not a mathematician. I even once wrote an article about how little of a mathematician I am. That’s how little of a mathematician I am. Or am not.

The word system really bugged me. I thought it had to have a religious structure that made sense and was clever at the same time. Then I thought, no, It’s okay, it can be bullshit; because this is Rietveld and you can get away with anything. But then my mind went back to it having to be a system. System. Mechanism. Complex. Arrangement. Order. ORDER. Structure. Network. Institution. Rigorous. Mathematical. Detailed. Exact. Accurate. Meticulous. Diligent. These were some of the words that kept hitting my brain. Some Icelandic ones as well.

Then I thought again, no, this is Rietveld. Everything will be okay.

It can be stupid. It can be anything.

Once I calmed myself down, after a week or so I thought of a painting I’d wanted to make for a long time, but never did it. I wanted to collect every single swatch from a paint colour swatch board in a store like GAMMA or Praxis and exhibit it, well the whole structure that the swatches come in. That I will do later.

color swatch wall installation

But never mind, I took all the colours swatches from the wall at GAMMA, or at least I think I did. It was very confusing and I almost went blind while doing it.

 

I played a game with my friend where she handed me a colour swatch and I had to choose if I liked it, hated it or thought it was “okay”. The ones I loved went to the top, the ones I thought were okay went in the middle and the ones I hated went to the bottom. Then I layed them down next to each other, forming a rectangle.
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It was fun, it was fast, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. It made an interesting picture.

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This idea came from the original idea I had where I was going to screen print colours that I liked and colours that Ididn’t like, from top to bottom. Which I never did. I just made a small drawing.

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Then I went blank again.

Then I got the idea of making my own swatch stick. With different kinds of colour combinations that I liked, hated or whatever. Thanks Matthias for showing me this book by Sanzo Wada (1883-1967) https://www.ideabooks.nl/9784861522475-a-dictionary-of-color-combinations It is basically hundreds of different kinds of colour combinations. Somebody please buy it for me it’s around 40 euros. Thanks.

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So, that’s what I did. I painted on building plastic because it’s smooth like a baby’s bottom and therefore when I had finished my swatches I could pile them up and from there they would form all kinds of different paintings/combinations. My forms are mildly inspired by Hans/Jean Arp’s paintings and sculptures, but sometimes I just did what ever, and sometimes the bigger the colour’s are the more I loved or hated them. Depending on my mood.

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Meanwhile having this assignment in my head I thought A LOT about colour combinations, more than I’m used to. It was nice.

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changing colors of fruits


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Color is very important to me. But my fascination of colors has been more unconscious, even though i haven’t thought consciously about choosing colors, it has been playing a big role in my work.

When i started my research into colors i noticed that what i found very interesting about colors, is usually how almost every color is to be found in nature. I am fascinated by how nature is always changing, and by that also changing colors. I started to research into how food changes over time. I find it interesting how the perception of the color, tells us about the ripeness and by that also the taste. As an example, we never buy brown bananas, we usually always try to find the red or yellow mango, trying to avoid the green. it is a knowledge that we unconsciously choose from. Even though that we all know a Banana should be yellow to be ripe, we still have very different ideas on which color is the most perfect for a certain type of fruit. Personally i think that bananas are perfect when they are still green. What i also find compelling is how, the fruit peel has another color than the inside of the fruit. By that the peel somehow is an expression on how the inside is feeling. I find this as a way of the fruit expression itself in the form of colors.

I find it very interesting how food can change to much during time,  not only in the same tones of one color, but completely different colors. Milk as an example can go from being white to green, when rotting. In this case, the green color would be a very clear sign that the product would be too old. On the other hand, when a mango is green, it would also be a clear sign that it is not ripened yet.

As a first step of creating my own system, I bought different fruit and vegetables, and placed them in the corner of my kitchen. Here i photographed them each day for a week, and studied how they changed color. Unfortunately, the problem was that the lighting on the fruit in every picture were very different, and by that completely changed the colors in the photographs. I therefore had to redo the whole process again, to make sure that the results could be used for a system. I then build a small photo studio, so i would be sure that the light would be the same, and wouldn’t change the color of the fruit. I bought new fruits and photographed the fruit in the studio for 2 weeks, to see how the colors envolved. . I collected 14 pictures of each fruit, but i chose only to use the first weeks pictures.

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I used the photos to make a digitally color scheme, and i wanted to use the exact same colors as the one on the pictures by using photoshop. After deciding that i wanted to make a color system based on how fruits changes colors, i was looking for a medium to present the final system. I chose to use stickers, because i wanted to somehow bring the project back to where it all started. I thought of fruit stickers, and on how they are always used in a way of advertising. By making one colored stickers, i feel that the sticker as a medium is taken away from being commercial to being something different.

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Unfortunately my printer wouldn’t take the sticker sheets, so i had to make the colors by hand. I printed out the digitally made color schemes from the photos, and made color test from them, and painted sticker sheets with gouache paint. Of course by using this method you will not get the exact same colors as digitally, but now i feel that it is a blessing in disguise now, that the printer did not work. Now the colors of the sheets has more debts than when printed digitally, and also i like that none of the colors are exactly the same, and in nature it is not either.

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I still have the feeling that the system is not completely finished. I am still thinking about how i can make the final step. But I think that I have to take both the fruits and the stickers back to the supermarket, where it all started. I really enjoyed the process of following something change. When i took the pictures, i didn’t recognize that the colors was changing, but when comparing the pictures, it was very easy to see the change in color.

Golden Ratio Colour System


Monday, April 2, 2018

As you look at previous colour systems in history, you can see that most of the colour systems are based on a geometrical shape or a figure. The reason behind that is having a geometrical shape as a base helps you to locate colours in a logical way because of their symetrycal shapes and perfectness.

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Many people used spheres,cubes and pyramids for many diffrent colour systems, But nobody used a special shape as golden ratio. What makes golden ratio this special ?

 

 

 

The golden ratio is a mathematical principle that you might also hear referred to as the golden mean, the golden section, the golden spiral, divine proportion, or Phi. Phi, a bit like Pi, is an irrational number. It is valued at approximately 1.618. As a ratio, it would be expressed as 1:1.618. A rectangle that conforms to the golden ratio would have shorter sides equivalent to 1 and longer sides equivalent to 1.618.

The question is, then, why (or indeed why not) do we find the proportion delivered by an obscure mathematical theory aesthetically appealing?

For a start, the golden ratio tends to crop up with surprising frequency within the natural world: from leaf and seed arrangements to aluminium alloy crystal structures. And it would seem that much of the mysticism surrounding the aesthetic properties of the golden ratio are divined from its natural occurrences.

 

Even if you do find the golden ratio attractive, finding an explanation for its appeal, beyond the vague assertion that its prevalence in nature gives it some kind of mystical property, is hard to find. I’m inclined to suggest that its mythic qualities enhance its attraction. If something is supposed to represent aesthetic perfection and no other reason supports the theory other than its repeated appearance in nature, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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However, Prof Adrian Bejan, of Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, has posited a theory pertaining to our preference for the golden ratio that is rooted in his research around the idea of ‘flow,’ and how nature’s designs evolve to enable ever-increasing efficiency of movement. In the case of the golden ratio, it stems from an animal’s need to scan the horizon and quickly apprise it of information. Supposedly the most efficient form for doing this is a rectangle that is approximately one-and-half times as wide as it is tall. This amounts, roughly, to the golden ratio. According to Prof. Bejan: ‘Animal vision should be configured in a way that seeing and scanning should be the fastest and the easiest. And when the proportions allow this to be done, it should be a source of pleasure because of its past evolutionary associations with finding food or a mate.’

The Golden ratio color system is unlimited and can be expanded as required. But in any case, at the beginning of the system  there is White and at the end there is black. Between black and White you can see every colour in rainbow orderly located on top of the meridiansThere is a fiction in the Golden ratio color system. Each color provides a transition between tones that causes effect on the next color.

tuna colour system

 

Responsive color system


Sunday, April 1, 2018

After researching information about different color systems, I realized that all the system try to approach question of color always in relation to something. Color in terms how we describe it in language, color as light, color as pigment, color as sound. As for the color in relation to human body there is chakras system. But it is all fixed, and doesn’t explain movements of the body. I see human body as a constantly changing system, it is changes every second, and I wanted to develop during this project I wanted to create color system which describes movements of the human body into the color, in the real time. I wanted it to be really interactive and visual.

So I split whole process into two steps. First step was to find a sensor which will “read” movements of the body. There were several ideas possible, but after some try outs with heart rate monitors, ultrasonic motion sensors, I ended up using HC-SR501 Passive Infrared Motion Sensor (PIR) sensor. The module features adjustable sensitivity that allows for a motion detection range from 3 meters to 7 meters.  The device will detect motion inside a 110 degree cone with a range of 3 to 7 meters. I was using raspberry pi computer to program reactions of the sensor.

Second step was to find the way to represent the data from the motion sensor. I wanted to work with light. There were some ideas to use projectors. But in the end I was using Philips Hue lamps because they have open API and it is easy to program them.

There were some challenges with Philips hue lamps. They do not work by independently. If you want to communicate with lamps there is a physical device which called a bridge. . The Philips Hue bridge is the heart of the system. When you are programming, your are not communicating with lamps directly, you send commands to the bridge, and the bridge sends messages to lamps so they know, which hue and saturation apply to the lamp. Problem is that this bridge should be connected to wifi network. In school wifi network is secured, so you can not that easily add new device to it. This lamps are meant for use at home, and not really designed for the usage in the public locations.  So basically the solution to this problem was to create my own network. Raspberry pi computer became dhcp server and was assigning IP address to the bridge. It is very important to know IP adress, because than you know where to send your commands in program. So the whole system do not depend on the network connection and know can work on any location.

About the transformation of the movement to color. I built the whole system and tried it on the spot in the school. Originally it was working from the simple lamp. I installed the lamp in school and was observing people behavior how they react on the lamp. First setup was like this whenever someone pass by or approach the lamp it will switch on and start changing colors. This was clear, I noticed that once people realize how it works, they lose their interest in it. Like puzzle is solved. And usually it take 30 seconds for them to realize and they move forward. And also there were not so many people who will notice it in the first place. So I added blinking to get an attention of the passing by people. And once they approach lamp it will start changing colors, but with 5 seconds delay. After this changes there were more people discovering the work. And they spend way more time with it. Puzzled, and trying understand what action trigger lamp.

Next step was to put everything together in one container.So the whole system can work as portable device and can be shown in different locations.

As for the next steps I think it would be interesting to add more sensors. After some tests in library , I realized that people want to touch the object. It would be nice to add one more reaction to touch. And make more tests in different spots: Library, cafe, train station.

iscc-nbs-system


Sunday, March 18, 2018

The ISCC-NBS system of color designation is a system of naming colors based on a set of 13 basic color terms, it was first established in the 1930’s by a joint effort of the Inter Society Color Council and the National Bureau of Standards.

The ISCC-NBS system believed colors should have names. The objective of the system is to assign precise names to the individual blocks of color of the A.H. Munsell color system, using ordinary words. And the systems goal is to designate colors in the Unites States Pharmacopoeia, the National Formulary and in general literature. And the system should be acceptable and usable by science, art and industry, and should be understood, at least in a general way by the whole public.

The backbone of the ISCC–NBS system is a set of 13 basic color categories, made up of 10 hue names and three neutral categories: pink(Pk), red(R), orange(O), brown(Br), yellow(Y), olive(OI), yellow green(YG), green(G), blue(B), purple(P), white(Wh), gray(Gy) and black(Bk).

Then there are 16 intermediate categories, such as: reddish orange (rO) so an adjective and the hue name.
other example: purplish blue (pB).

These categories can be further subdivided into 267 named categories by combining a hue name with modifiers. Like the subdivision for Purple, you have all these works for how the color feels/looks, like: “blackish” (bk.), “dark-ish gray” (d.-ish Gy). So they really wanted to find a way to objectively measure a color. And I feel that this way is pretty objective for a color naming system. I find that this system is fast and easily communicated through the system they made using the brackets.

Moses Harris’s Natural System of Colours Wherein is displayed the regular and beautiful Order and Arrangement, Arising from the Three Primitives, Red, Blue, and Yellow, The manner in which each Colour is formed, and its Composition, The Dependence they have on each other, and by their Harmonious Connections Are produced the Teints, or Colours, of every Object in the Creation, And those Teints, tho’ so numerous as 660, are all comprised in Thirty Three Terms


Friday, March 16, 2018

Moses Harris, who lived from 15 April 1730 until 1788 in England, was a fanatic entomologist (this is someone who studies insects). As the first photograph had yet to be taken, it was common to use engravings to use as imagery to support your research. Moses did not outsource the making of these engravings, he made them himself. As the difference between two insect species is sometimes very subtle, the colours of Moses’s engravings needed to be very precise in order to be able to determine a species correctly. Thus grew his interest in colour.

Moses Harris engraving

In Moses’s quest to record insects as best as he could, he needed a new colour system that could help him when he was making the engravings of the insects. He decided to create his own colour system by using a  source that he as an entomologist was very familiar with, namely nature. He claims that blue, red and yellow are the prime colours, because those are the colours to be found back the most in non-domesticated flowers, thus nature must like them the most. He called them the prismatic colours, because those are the colours that are reflected by the prism. Which is quite remarkable, as his whole research is about colour in pigment and not in light. The colours green, orange and purple he calls the compound colours, as they are made up from the prismatic colours. As Moses thinks that nature divides the prismatic colours and the compound colours, he decided to also seperate them into two different colour wheels that together make his colour system. It is said that Moses is the inventor even of the colour wheel.

He finished his colour system somewhere between 1769 and 1776 with a lot of enthusiasm. A bit too much enthusiasm maybe, as he named his colour system:

“Moses Harris’s Natural System of Colours Wherein is displayed the regular and beautiful Order and Arrangement, Arising from the Three Primitives, Red, Blue, and Yellow, The manner in which each Colour is formed, and its Composition, The Dependence they have on each other, and by their Harmonious Connections Are produced the Teints, or Colours, of every Object in the Creation, And those Teints, tho’ so numerous as 660, are all comprised in Thirty Three Terms”

Now this was a bit too long to go on the book cover of his publication about his newly realized colour system thus they shortened it to: “Moses Harris’s Natural System of Colours”

Moses Harris's prismatic colour wheel Moses Harris's compound colour wheel

William Benson Cuboid Colour System


Thursday, March 15, 2018

 
The English architect William Benson developed a color system for practical application in the decorative arts. He kept well informed on the scientific findings in the color field. With experience in pigment mixture as well as his own experiments with a prism and mixtures, Benson fully understood the difference between light and colorant mixture.
In 1868, Benson published ‘Principles of the Science of Colour’, which describes a cubic color system. Based on this system, he derived rules of color harmony for color-design use. Later editions appeared in 1872, 1876, and 1886. Benson attempted to cover the totality of color sensation in appropriate geometric model named the Natural System of Cours. Benson’s system is a conceptually additive one. He considered spectral colours to best approximate pure color sensations:

In their binary mixtures, the primary colours red, green and blue form the secondaries, taken to complement the primaries, as determined with the help of edge spectra.The cube stands on its black corner, and three edges extend outwards to the basic colours of red, green and blue. 

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From the top, the edges lead to a yellow, a “sea-green” and a pink corner. Benson’s cube contains 13 main axes which he divides into three groups:

‘Primary axes’, connecting the central points of opposing side, meaning that the primary colours changes involving  3 axes.

‘Secondary axes’, connecting the middle points of opposing edges, meaning that two primary colours will change involving 6 axes.

‘Tertiary axes’, joining opposing corners meaning that all the three primary colours will change involving 4 axes.

Benson gave exact colour names to all the many points;

He named all the colours on his cube,mostly in name pairs to accurately describe the intermediacy of the colours, and where they would lay spatially. His model might be one of the first three dimensional color model.

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Robert Ridgway’s Colour Standards and Colour Nomenclature


Sunday, March 4, 2018

 

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Robert Ridgway (Illinois, 1850-1926) was an ornithologist who, next to hundreds of publications on bird species, wrote two books on color-classification. In the first book, A Nomenclature of Colors for Naturalists (1886), was relatively simple, but already gave 186 colors their own names, which was different to how colors were described at that time; usually they were named and described subjectively.

Looking for a way to create a more advanced and expanded work, Ridgway published his second book in 1912: Color Standards and Color Nomenclature, with 1,115 new names for colors. This way it was a lot easier to communicate about specific colors between taxonomists in all kinds of scientific fields. Ridgway’s system is still used a lot in taxonomy to this day.

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The figure above shows how Ridgway visualized his coloursystem. One could imagine a two-dimensional, straight line, which has a lightness-gradient, going from white to black. This line doesn’t contain any colour, but as soon as it’s imagined as a three-dimensional shape, the line is surrounded by all 1,115 colours. The colours Ridgway specified were split up in thirty-six individuals, called the “pure colours”. The different teints in between the white, black, and “pure colour”, were all presented and named on the fifty-three hand-painted colourplates (as shown below).

https://archive.org/details/mobot31753002026018

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CMYk printing advices:


Tuesday, February 27, 2018
CMYk is color system used for printing. To print an mage, first you have to separate it into four colors: CyanMagenta,Yellow and BlackEach of this colors consists from halftone dots, when dots of different colors overlap each other you can get all colors of rainbow. By using halftones of each colour, we are able to mix various percentages of all four process colours to print a huge spectrum of colours. If you take a magnifying glass to the full colour image, you will see that it is comprised of dots of various process colour. There is a measure of density of this color dots, it is called DPI, in particular the number of individual dots that can be placed in a line within the span of 1 inch (2.54 cm). If you are printing photo, dpi should be around 300. But if you are printing big board or poster, something that people will observe from the distance dpi can be less than that.

RGB


Monday, February 26, 2018

RGB is an additive colour model, meaning that lights are added together in different frequencies to create colours. For example, when red and green lights are added together they create a yellow colour. This is different to a subtractive colour model where colours are created by mixing dyes, pigment paints etc. which then absorb parts of the full spectrum of colour frequencies available in white light and reflect other frequencies which then give the surface it’s colour.

 

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RGB is used in digital colour sensors and digital colour displays and projectors. Each pixel on a screen has three tiny light sources, red, green and blue in colour. These emit different brightnesses which in the combined effect create the specified colour of the pixel. The sum of all the pixels on the screen will create an image.

 

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These three colours, Red, Green and Blue, are chosen because they correspond to the way the human eye sees colour. We have photoreceptor cells in our eyes called rods and there are three types of rods. One which detects long-wave frequencies of light, another for middle-wave and another for short-wave. Specifically, these correspond to the frequencies of blue, green and red.

 

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Herman von Helmholtz colour theory


Saturday, February 24, 2018

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Becoming an Utopian Dream


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

 

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 Picture 1: The Wassily Chair (Model B3)

 

Marcel Breuer

Wassily Chair (Model B3)

1927 – 1928

 

Medium:

Chrome-plated tubular steel and canvas

Dimensions

28 1/4 x 30 3/4 x 28″ (71.8 x 78.1 x 71.1 cm)

 

I still remember when I was a child the furniture of my uncle was always in the way. I couldn’t play with my toys because of the strange shimmering steel frame that was blocking my way. As I grew bigger and bigger I found out that the frame was part of a chair, but not a very comfortable one. I climbed the chair, but my legs got stuck between the spaces of the frame. The only thing that went on in my mind was, why the hell would you buy a chair that’s not comfortable at all? Later I found out that the annoying thing that was blocking my playground was a part of the chair that I now recognize as the “Wassily Chair” made by Marcel Breuer in 1927. A chair that symbolizes modernist design.

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Picture 2: Reclameposter from the bicycle brand Adler, the brand from the bicycle on which the chair is inspired. 

 

The story goes that Breuer oftenrode a red bicycle and that this inspired him and led him make the most important innovation in furniture design: the use of tubular steel (Picture 3). Strong and lightweight. Perfect for mass-production. A model that is based on the traditional overstuffed club chair: but all that remains is mere the outline. In this way, an elegant composition of gleaming steel arises. The seat, back and arms seem to float in the air. An interesting tension between heavy and light is created.

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Picture 3: The “exposed” chair

By scrolling over the internet, I found a picture that really catches my eye. On this picture (Picture 3), an “exposed” version of the chair is showed. The photo makes me curious, I want to see and touch the steel and throw it and feel how heavy it is.  See what happens if you turn the frame around, would it still be a chair? It looks a little bit ridiculous. In my head, it looks like a tool for a playground, or a tool to work-out with, no wonder that I got stuck. But at the same time, it looks fragile and light, and the shiny steel creates an effect of a mirror, it reflects the surroundings. All of this creates the feeling as if the completely chair doesn’t exist. The feeling that I had as a child, by almost disappearing in the chair pops up in my head. The feeling of exposure, getting stuck between a frame that is almost invisible, in other words a human trap.

Breuer himself spoke of the chair as “My most extreme work… the least artistic, the most logical, the least ‘cosy’ and the most mechanical.” And he was probably right.

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Picture 4: Marcel Breuer on his Wassily Chair

The chair is part of the style of Bauhaus. Which is part of the Modernism movement. Modernism is a term widely used, but rarely defined. We live in an era that still identifies itself in terms of Modernism. The buildings we inhabit, the chairs we sit on, the graphic design that surrounds us have mostly been created by the aesthetics and the ideology of Modernist design. The term refers to something that is characteristically modern, of its time. “The New”, “forward-looking”. In the designing world, it can be defined as: “Modernism is not a style, but loose collections of ideas.” It covered a range of styles, spread along different countries. But all those sites have in common that they were espousal for the new and mostly rejected history and tradition. A utopian desire to create a better world, to reinvent the world from scratch. Belief in the power and potential of the machine and industrial technology. Where there is a rejection of decoration and ornament. And a belief in the unity of all the arts. Most of the principles were frequently combined with social and political beliefs, which held that design and art could and should transform the society (Wilk, 2006). And by this raise the standards of living for all people (Poursani, 2018).

It’s a global architecture and design movement emerged in the 1920 as a response to accelerated industrialization and social changes. By using new materials and advanced technology. It emphasized function, simplicity, rationality and created new forms of expression with a new aesthetic. Building and design can be recognized by use of clear lines, geometric shaped, cubic forms, windows, flat roofs and functional flexible spaces (Poursani, 2018).

The Bauhaus movement, started as a design school in 1919 by Walter Cropius, Mies and Marcel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. They combined technology, crafts with industrial production to revitalize design for everyday life (Poursani, 2018). They thought that

‘new machine age’ demanded a new way of living and a new architecture with new materials as reinforced concrete, steel, and glass (Poursani, 2018). Their design principles, such as simplicity, rationality, functionality and universality, would change the world (Poursani, 2018). Their mission was to create a functional design with the principles of fine arts. Faith in new technology convenience and the promise of a better life. New materials brought new possibilities, break with the conventional forms, and use traditional and modern materials that show the possibilities of the modern industry. Functionalism is priority. Production for everybody a fact.

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Picture 5: The Wassily chair in its “natural” habitat 

When I was able to climb the chair, I got stuck between the frame made out of steel. The space between the black leather and the frame was something where I got lost into, and my body didn’t know how to findrest in this chair.  The leather seat turned into a slide, and the chair became for me more an attraction then an object with the function of sitting. A labyrinth of body, steel and leather, or maybe a hybrid creature seen from far away. Where the object and the human became one, or where they are maybe to different.  Seeing this chair in the Stedelijk, brings questions to the mind. For example, by placing the chair in the museum, its uniqueness is accentuated. But do cheap reproductions destroy this feeling of uniqueness again? Does the space where the chair is placed have influence on how we look at it? The function of the chair is faded, by placing it really high and not as how it should be (picture 6).

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Picture 6: The floating chair                                                                               Picture 7: The Rising Star (prize)

Could you speak of design for “everybody”, when the price of a “real” Wassily chair is “almost” unaffordable. Does the contrast between functionality and comfort, make the chair a utopian idea?

By designing an object, such as a chair, the tension between the user and the object is important. There seems to be a confusion between things that are designed and who is going to use it. There is a risk that design can be over-determined and this creates not enough space for the user to act and improvise on the object. Knowledge about people, capabilities and needs and desires is required. It seems that there is a misunderstanding in the way that the intention seems to design the user experience, but this doesn’t make the user the subject of design. By the design of the Bauhaus form became subordinate to the function. Design became not only a matter of forming objects, but increasingly a matter of how ways of use and even ways of living can be designed and in this way, it turned into designing with a social agenda. This clearly state an ambition of social transformation. But by now we know that while the social aspects of the modernist project may have been ambitious, they did not necessarily succeed. Misfits between the intended and actual use, and the user’s understanding is something that exist, but this doesn’t need to mean that they are not necessary to have. Misfits can bring new knowledge on what can be improved. Also by designing you’re in a sort of way predicting how the object will be “used”. But this doesn’t mean that it will work out in this way. Communication between the user and the designed object is based on understanding and interpretation, misunderstanding can also be seen as a point of this. It’s in important to understand that people are active parts of the system and not only a “user” because they are turned into an object. By designing it’s not possible to making people fit into systems, societies and strategies. People are fluent and flexible, such as their taste, needs and desires.And besides that, people are moving creatures, changeable, and different. Creating something that fits all of them is a beautiful utopian idea (Redstrom, 2005).

Back to the chair again, a couple years ago I found out that the chair from my uncle had disappeared from the room. The space of where the chair ones was located is filled with some new interior stuff. Something soft, more colourful and bigger. When I asked my uncle where the chair went he said that he had put it with the trash (picture 8). Not even tried to sell it, because according to him nobody would have been interested. Maybe this was something that should have happened. How my connection with the chair started as an annoying object turned into a fascination for the weird structure. But how the chair in the house of my uncle turned from something functional to something that was not interesting anymore.

stoel 10stoel 11

Picture 8: Life of the Wassily chair

 

Modernist had a Utopian desire to create a better world. This they frequently combined with left-leaning political and social beliefs that design and art had the power to transform society (Lodder, 2006). The word utopia is taken from the Greek and literally means both nowhere and a good place. An impractical scheme for social improvement, an imaginary and indefinitely remote place, an ideal place or state. Something that is described as perfect, but from what you know is not possible, it’s more like a beautiful dream (Collins, s.d). Nowhere and a good place is an interesting point, because in my eyes there are contradictions from each other. A good place can exist, but maybe it’s then subjective. For example, the house of my parents is a good place to me. But nowhere only seems to exist in words. It means to no place, the state of nonexistence. So actually, it’s not there, but a good place can be, can exist. The chair makes clear that the faith in new technology is a usable for creating new objects, and in this way the step to a better life is maybe made. But the chair makes also clear that the “right” object doesn’t exist. By making the chair, an idea, an ideal, a dream, (a good place), is created as an existing object. But because the chair doesn’t completely function as a chair for all the people, because of taste, price, function and discomfort, and new materials and development of technology. It makes clear that the perfect “chair” doesn’t exist (It’s nowhere). Time is a huge disturb transmitter. Technology and innovations are changeable. Besides that, humans and their needs and desires are not predictable, stable and universal, and this makes it impossible to create an object that suits all and is timeless. The chair is the symbol of modern design. Progress is the realization of Utopias, and by creating this chair at that time a little step towards a utopian dream was made. And a progress starts with a strong idea, that then is made in practice. So maybe the outwork and how it is used doesn’t need to be perfect, and we only need a Utopian dream to move forward in making new things.

It’s interesting to see how a chair can be placed in a museum, but at the same time can be sold on Marktplaats just for 100 euros (Picture 8). How easy it is to own an “extraordinary” piece. But also, how fast you don’t want to have it anymore. When I walked in the Stedelijk, the only thing that I thought was, why are those chairs so high, I want to sit in it and try them out. Untill I saw the Wassily chair, because it gave me so much memories of my childhood. Ofcourse the chair made me more curious to try out than any other, but at the same time the “special spot” in the Stedelijk is the “special spot” that the chair deserves. The untouching, unreaching of the chair, by placing it this high, reminds me of the fact that as a child I couldn’t climb the weird steel thing. And this “unreachable” value of the object as a child I now have when I walk into the museum and this is for me a beautiful annoying feeling.

A dream that started as a functional designed chair for everyone, made of new materials. Unity of all the arts, and principles combines with social and political beliefs and raise the standard of living for all people. A step to a utopian dream. Realized and made, fitted for a living room, but where slowly the function and the appreciation faded. Just as the visions that inspired the creative figures were dreams based on the technological potential and the social experiences of that time. Maybe the chair cannot be seen as a symbol of modern design, but as a symbol of the progress to realization of Utopian dreams.

 

References:

Collins Dictionary [Online] / aut. Collins // Definition of Utopia . - 17 02 2018. - https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/utopia.

Modernism in Architecture: Definiton and History [Online] / aut. Poursani Ela. - 10 02 2018. - 2018. - https://study.com/academy/lesson/modernism-in-architecture-definition-history.html.

Searching for Utopia [Sectie van boek] / aut. Lodder Christina // Modernism: designing for a new world / boekaut. Wilk Christopher. - Londen : V&A publications , 2006.

Towards user design? On the shift from object to user as the subject of design [Tijdschrift] / aut. Redstrom Johan. - Sweden : Elsevier, 2005.

What was Modernism? [Sectie van boek] / aut. Wilk Christopher // Modernism: Designing for a better world / boekaut. Wilk Christopher. - Londen : V&A publications , 2006.

 

 

 

 

 

A commentary on the Lower Level Gallery display design for the STEDELIJK BASE


Monday, February 19, 2018

–>On December 14, 2017, the Stedelijk Museum opened its doors to inaugurate the curatorial re-purposing and display of their permanent collection. Under the influence of the research and architectural design of OMA/AMO’s Rem Koolhas and Federico Martinelli, STEDELIJK BASE presents on the Lower Level Gallery, a display and curatorial experiment.

I attended the festivities and found myself overwhelmed by the masses gathered, and the maze of thin steel panel-structures overloaded with works. The crowd of Art enthusiasts traveled the space restlessly and it became a dense environment where all senses where assaulted. Every corner of the space was utilized and the works where closely displayed, interacting and clashing with each other both in context or physically, showing in this first installment of the exhibition pieces from the 1800′s to 1980′s in a great hall tracing endless possible routes by means of the a set of slim self standing steel panels from which most of the artworks where hung or held. Its kind of hard to talk or read about this exhibition if you haven’t seen, so if you are reading and haven’t, and can’t see the animation below, click on the black box.

 

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I have visited the exhibition repeatedly in the past month to informally survey the thoughts and reactions of spectators on day-to-day basis, to get a broader sense of how this specific architectural endeavor on artwork display has been perceived. Eavesdropping conversations and asking around, I’ve heard all kinds of inclinations towards this unexpected environment:   A young student anxiously disapproving a Barnett Newman cornered by a pile of chairs collaged into a wall that, in her opinion, deflated the experience of such a powerful painting into a piece of an absurd scalene puzzle where great art works where being interrupted.

A couple eagerly wandering about the labyrinthine pathways, surprised by the fact that every direction their eyes turned to, there was either a piece provocatively displayed or in conversation with another, that otherwise could have never been intertwined. I myself have been in a constant state of flux about how I feel about it, as in the many visits I have payed to the show I could relate in separate occasions to one or both of the previously mentioned comments, both retrieved from my time in  the BASE’s lower level, dismissing the first floor more or less entirely, due to its conventional curation and display that is densely misted over the experience and for some, controversy of the former. In fact, in the last few visits I didn’t even pass by the first floor and proceeded to focus on the lower level.

Looking for more insight on the stimuli behind the final decision to discharge an overload of works  in this particular manner, I consulted the statements made by the people behind this project. Martinelli expressed in a publication in the OMA’s web project description, that the design and display was highly bound to the way in which and due to the multimedia means of communication function, from a users perspective, people have become prone to focus, process and compare abismal amounts of information. As a way to homologate these tendencies, the disposition and amount of works in the gallery, are in fact, a reflection of these communicative behaviors, where artistic perspectives can be assimilated.

That being said, I still am not sure if I fully appreciate the collection’s display management. If, in deed, it seems to have managed a dialogue between works and compiled and engaging environment to freely associate and compare different works, this does not necessarily mean that it has a positive repercussion on the value some pieces can have by themselves. Even though I felt the heavy devaluation of certain works have been a consequence of this overcharged curation, I have to mention that it has been the very reason I returned and have been in a constant state of critical thinking regarding the reasons behind STEDELIJK BASE’s curatorial experience.

I realize that the dominant ways of communication are shifting the way we perceive things, but should we let them stimulate the way in which we view everything else? Are our lives so strictly joint to  the high tides of rapidly flowing information that it is becoming the standardized form of perception? Is this merely a superficial association? How can we evaluate it, in any case?

Not for Humans


Monday, January 22, 2018

TG

 
The white Floris chair made by Gunter Beltzig in 1968 invites you to sit down comfortably at the same time at it does not.
The material from which the strangely shaped chair is made is solid but smooth fiberglass and although the chair has different parts they can’t be separated from each other for it is a whole.
By the way it is made and shaped, your body should fit precisely when sitting in this chair, the back part being in the shape of a human back with space for your backbone to rest in and shoulders on both sides.
The seat being in the shape of a flattened butt, mirroring your seated butt, looks still too curvy for you to sit completely straight.
Its neck, which smoothly devolves from the shoulders seems way too long for your head to be able to reach the headrest and if you would place your head on the right spot, your back probably wouldn’t be anymore.
 

T zijkant rechts close

 
Because of its alienated human body features, there must be only one way to sit or else you will lose the comfort it might have.
But still, the chair gives the impression that it is not meant to be used at all.
That this chair is not meant to be used in the Stedelijk Museum, is made clear by its place on a small white platform which is attached to the wall.
The color of its surroundings is all white giving no room for any distraction and because its the only chair in the room that you have probably never seen before, it pops out and catches your eyes quickly.
While I walk on, the white alien chair waits lonely for the right person who fits.

We are in this together


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Writing for the sake of writing

Make a blog post about nothing or whatever

Here are random connections to random posts on a blog that everyone is obligated to update. Why? Just because. Do you ever read anything because you have to? When does it happen mostly?

School? Aren’t you studying what you like? Aren’t you supposed to study what you like?

Work? Yh you had to work somewhere. Those readings are probably boring but you need to eat and pay rent so here we go. Capitalism. Sigh.

Government mail. Can’t read those though, they’re all in Dutch. “We killed the tree now it’s your turn to struggle. Folded in half. Eight fold. Figure it out somehow. Or don’t. Whatever. Couldn’t care less. Careless.

I am sorry if you’re reading this because you have to. I wish you didn’t. But bear with me. We can power through this together. We will come out of this different. We will learn something.

I am not going to teach you though. You can only learn yourself. Ask yourself questions. Or don’t. Don’t ask questions if you don’t feel like it. Listen to your body. That pressure you feel on your chest? That fire you can’t put out, your back burning, pay attention to it. Relax. Use this moment to listen to yourself. It is hard, Everything could be hard. Sometimes its hard to leave your bed, I know that way too well. Sometimes working two shifts in a row is not as hard as making yourself some breakfast or picking up that paper from the floor, that has been there for a month.

Don’t be hard on yourself. Accept your weakness. You don’t have to love yourself. Its great if you do, but don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t. One day you will. You don’t have to love yourself in order for someone to love you. I love you. Just for you. For you fears and struggles. For your carefree attitude. Or absence of it. It’s ok to care. Its hard but you’re gonna be fine. You’re special. You’re unique. You’re so cute when you laugh. I don’t have anything funny to tell you right now, though. Kinda feel guilty for it, sorry. But I will learn to accept it. One day. One thing at a time. Or after ten thousand times. Lets change together. Its ok if you don’t want to. It’s ok if you did. Every thing is different. Every day is different. Every day you’re different and the same in a way.

All the bad and good is in you, you don’t have to look for it anywhere else. Just take a look inside. You also can take a look at someone else. Its fine to look up to people. You’re someone’s hero too. Somebody looks at you and realizes they could be better. Sometimes they don’t believe it because of how awesome you are. They should read this post too. But only if they want to. It is also ok if they have to. I hope they feel better after reading it. I hope it could make you feel more at ease. It’s ok If it couldn’t. Sometimes we can’t help but worry about things. This world is stressful enough. We just have to navigate through it. Do you know that just looking at you could make somebody’s day better? You look so radiant when you feel inspired! It’s contagious! Its ok if you feel shy for people looking at you. Don’t worry, they are in their own heads. It’s ok if you feel shy anyway. It’s ok if you don’t want people to look at you. I respect your desires. You’re a great person. But you don’t have to be great to be respected. You deserve love. You deserve peace.

It’s ok if you like when people look at you, you deserve to be the center of attention. You’re such a fun and outgoing person when you feel like it. Sometimes you don’t and I appreciate that. Everyone needs time for themselves. Some people probably don’t. But you do you! It’s important to recharge from time to time. For you it may mean all the time. Maybe you need to reach out for support. I hope you have your support system. It sucks if you don’t! Let’s try go through this together then. I am so glad we met like this. Through our eyes. Or ears. Maybe fingers. I hope you are having a good day. Or that it’s a little bit better now that we spent some time together. I hope you know your worth. It’s ok if you don’t yet. It could take some time to get there, especially living in the system that is thriving from you not knowing it. Remember it when you feel like you’re not enough. You’re more than enough, you have everything you need to be you. I am sorry if you don’t! Please, reach out for the support. You deserve every bit of it. Please, do. You are valid. You make this world so much better. I love you.

Observation


Friday, May 5, 2017

A day of observation ; visiting a museum.

To see, watch, perceive or notice

Visiting a museum always end for me daydreaming about other artists. Influenced by the atmospheres of the art and people visiting the museum. So I wrote down my observation and daydreams of an artwork in the exhibition of the Kunsthal te Rotterdam.

Cars, motorcycles, egg, hamburger, portraits and colorful vanitas. Walking into a hall full of pictures; was my first reaction of the exhibition of hyperrealism in the Kunsthal te Rotterdam. Coming closer to this images; amazed by the fact that these where paintings.
In front of a painting there was a man saying to his wife; ’Yes, you can really see that this is a painting, because the artist did not paint it perfectly.’ Pointing out all different kind of lines and spots which where not perfect according to him.
My observing of these paintings was also absolutely triggered. How is this possible? Is this a picture painted over? Is it really not a picture? Also searching for spots to confirm that it are paintings.

Rod Penner Rod Penner

Rod Penner 

 

Passing all the work I noticed all the American subjects. Especially the landscapes of Rod Penner ; painter. Staring at his work I found it very intriguing how he translated the light so beautiful in these paintings. Every shade, light stripe and reflection he paid attention to. He is not only painting the landscape itself but also the atmosphere that is connected to the landscape. Not only the houses/signs are giving a clue to the American landscapes but also the atmosphere itself is very recognizable.

The beautiful light and atmospheres of Rod Penner reminded me of two photographers ; Gregory Crewdson and Tod Hido.

2077 Tod Hido Tod Hido

 Tod Hido

 

Tod Hido is photographing landscape/houses in America. He got a amazing series of photographs called ‘Homes at night. Tod is using long exposure and most of the time the only light source is the light from inside the house. He is also searching for very specific moments and houses that are making this series so great.

Gregory Crewdson  Untitled__Merchants_Row__08large

Gregory Crewdson

 

Gregory is photographing cinematic landscapes in small towns of America. He is making beautiful images where he is influencing the light and the scene. It is very interesting how he and his team are building up these scenes and you can see that in his documentary Gregory Crewdson : brief encounters.

Inspired by a day of Kunsthal te Rotterdam
Hyperrealism ; 50 years of painting.
Exhibition from the 25th of January till the 5th of June 2017.

cyber and (un)aware


Monday, December 1, 2014

 

Jacob Jensen’s 1997 waterproof Beowatch (produced by bang & olufsen) was designed as a personal, unisex timepiece that makes telling time convenient and accessible. additionally, it also functioned as a remote control that controlled the volume of later bang & olufsen music centers. this design prompted me to question its present-day relevance in the design exhibition at the stedelijk museum, Amsterdam. over the last two decades the technology industry has undoubtedly grown and so has the way in which people engage with methods of measuring time. it is noticeable that less people wear wrist-watches everyday and the norm has adapted to using smartphones or other multifunctional devices to keep track of time.

this research will further discuss the design of the Beowatch in relation to the myriad of social questions it raises such as today’s security in wearable, intelligent technology and the aesthetics of unisex design.

b&o-image1

few wearable objects are designed to be unisex, particularly jewellery (if we classify a wristwatch as jewellery). i am drawn to the statement this wristwatch is indirectly raising about society’s perceived aesthetics of gender. the design is created as ‘neutral’, an object that is seen through its own entity- regardless of preconceived ideas of masculine and feminine beauty. throughout history, wearable objects or fashion, has had a very divisive characteristic – creating standards and room for assumptions. this design forgoes these notions and is created as its own autonomous form.

balancing aesthetic and (multi)functionality reiterates how the Beowatch was very modern for its time;.Jensen’s approach to design drew my attention as he states “…we expand our concept of…what a watch should look like. the sight of an object does not necessarily have to show its function…” (1994, Jacob Jensen design [paperback], Paul Schäfer). this relationship between functionality and aesthetic is a core issue that designers are faced with.

however, it is a challenge nowadays between technology and its external design. technology is becoming increasingly intelligent with wristbands/watches that gather data to measure heart rates, count steps, give directions, forecast weather, play music, interact with other devices, predict the position of the moon etc  and the visual appeal of wearing this technology. for example with the recent design release of Apple’s iwatch and Google’s glasses there is already considerable criticism on this ‘cyber-human’ image and artificial intelligence we are sometimes reluctantly and often unavoidably accepting.

b&o-image2

Jensen redesigned the concept of a remote control in the Beowatch by making it multifunctional (acting as a remote control and timepiece). similarly, designers today are changing conventional objects into ergonomic designs that fabricate, sync or react together with the human body. there is an evident focus from the technology industry to attach these gadgets and lumped plastic to people especially by getting them onto wrists. of course there are many benefits of having such tools; they are accessible, readily available and can make tasks faster. however, the fact that these devices become so quickly absorbed into the culture of everyday society is blurring the boundaries of our true basic needs.

they are also perhaps just purely adding insult to injury- for example do people need to know how little sleep they are getting? or if they have eaten too much on one day compared to the next? or if they have skipped a day of exercise? this data collection that these devices provide may give us information but it is still not enough, what is more important is the reasoning- why we slept/ate bad and missed exercise, for example. simply knowing these facts without reasoning is the added ‘insult’ to the injury/damage that has already been created. for instance if your watch tells you that you haven’t exercised enough, things that you probably know already, would you change your routine just because your watch is telling you? in most cases, not. there are versatile calculations everywhere, but the problem is what to do with this information and how to interpret it.

it is irrefutable that the pace of technological advancement is remarkable; but this also affords the risk that people will develop a better reading of their technology/ wristbands and lose their sensitivity and awareness in reading their own bodies.

b&o-image3

since the Beowatch, wrist technology has advanced further than the individual, as over the past decade debates have risen over personal security and privacy. it is unknown to the individual how much is known about them through their digital dossier. we are uncertain about where our information is stored or if it is being used for analysis; examples we have witnessed recently include the NSA files, cyber-hacks with phone applications and celebrities, Facebook scandals, Wiki-leaks and much more. these personal items have the potential act as a sensor or tracker, they constantly collect data which are ‘invisibly’ fed to different networks. though this subject may seem far fetched from the design of the Beowatch, the design is relevant as it marks part of the evolution of our technological reliance and dependence. it is uncertain where this line is between the personal object and a device that is actually just a form of data to a bigger establishment.

b&o-image4

the Beowatch nowadays represents a certain phase in design (1993-1996) as well as the literal time. it represents the start of multifunctional, human-fitted technology. though now the object is more about its face than its function, being presented in a showcase at the Stedelijk Museum, it is still highly relevant and raises many direct and indirect issues. As the son of Jacob Jensen said in an interview: “a product which survives the test of time, even when it has been out distanced by technology, contains a concise idea carried out at the right time, and with an aim of thorough reworking” (Timothy Jensen in Jacob Jensen design, 1994, Paul Schäfer). though technology has definitely distanced since 1997, the design of the Beowatch has survived by providing a mark for its time as well as offering insight into how we should speculate the future of cyber-human technology.

 


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