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"public space" Category


Results of day-to-day technology and modern media.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

An introduction to: Forensic Architecture. 

Forensic Architecture (FA) is a research based agency located at Goldsmith’s university, London. It undertakes advanced architectural and media research on behalf on international prosecutors, human rights organisations and political and environmental justice groups. It refers to the production and presentation of architectural evidence – buildings and larger environments and their media representations.

As contemporary conflicts increasingly occur in dense urbanised areas, homes and neighbourhoods become targets. Casualties come to be in cities, buildings and the ‘safety’ of their own home. Nowadays, thanks to this multimedia era, urban battlegrounds are overflowing with information and data shared to social media platforms. Many violations, undertaken within cities and buildings, are now caught on camera and are made available almost instantly.  The premise of FA is that analysing IHL and HR violations must involve modelling dynamic events as they unfold in space and time and creating navigable 3D models of environments undergoing conflict, as well as the creation of filmic animations, and interactive cartographies on the urban or architectural scale.

 These techniques allow FA to create precise, convincing and accessible information that could be crucial for the pursuit of accountability. Architectural analysis is also important because it enables new insights in context of urban conflicts.

The widespread possession of cheap digital recording equipment, the development of satellite communication, the public availability of remote sensing technology and the ability to communicate and diffuse information instantaneously through the internet have made urban conflict more complex, but also generate enormous amounts of data that can be used as potential resources for monitoring. But these transformations also lead to secondary conflict about interpretation that takes place on news and social media websites. The establishment of new forums of international jurisdiction mean that also contemporary forums themselves become dense media environments. In them screen-to-screen interaction replaces face-to-face deliberation. The combined process of the urbanisation and mediatisation of war makes FA an urgent and indispensible practice for human rights investigations. FA seeks to respond to these challenges by developing new modes of media research and new modes of media presentation for urban and architectural environments.

FA1-6.5-Photo-montage-TO-BE-CROPPED-TO-IMAGE

 

 

Results of day-to-day technology and modern media. 

Nowadays our lives are filled and dependent on electronic devices, and with that `I don’t mean the ones that keep you breathing in the hospital. It is the smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart watches and what not that makes that we can function in modern society, because of it we can keep up with the ever-changing world on a speed that we have never seen before. Now it is a very contemporary debate if this is a positive development, many pointing out the negative. From a subjective and personal point of view I would have to place myself on that end of the spectrum as well, seeing the unfavourable short and long term effects. Finding out about FA was because of that very thought-provoking.
I will open up a research project that compares positive and negative aspects of modern media and technology use in the present-day.
I will introduce this research through a series of set examples.

 

Generation Selfie

First of all, a negative side to the rise of social media is the deteriorating self image and esteem of essentially Generation Z and the Millennials.  Quoting scientist Clarissa Silva:

“Social media has been linked to higher levels of loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcissism and decreased social skills. As a Behavioural Scientist, I wonder what causes this paradox? The narratives we share and portray on social media are all positive and celebratory. It’s a hybridized digital version of “Keeping up with the Joneses”. Meaning for some, sometimes it appears everyone you know are in great relationships, taking 5-star vacations and living your dream life. However, what is shared across our social networks only broadcasts the positive aspects of our lives-the highlight reels.”

The idea of saving and sharing the highlights of our lives has been a long past introduced concept, think about the photography albums your parents made of you and themselves. But in this new form of doing so, we are constantly bombarded with other’s excitements and achievements in life as well. From the envy and hate- love relationships we hold with our online society grows a competition with a non-existent finish line. Seeing photos and videos of your ‘friend’s’ beautiful holiday destinations, their new set of clothing and perfect life is just a start. The image we have our own appearance decreases drastically, not only as an indirect result of the examples shown above, but also the obsessive behaviour around beauty.

It has been part of mankind that the vision on beauty evolves over time and differs from culture to culture, but the coming of social networks has changed the game thoroughly. We can change our DNA online to look like what we see as perfect. Setting impossible goals for ourselves in real life, which makes it less interesting to ‘live’ there.

Animated GIFAnimated GIF

Here is a link to an ongoing social media based project using Instagram as publishing base and inspiration input. 

Why Make Carpets?


Sunday, December 4, 2016

 

The designers Bob Waardenburg, Marcia Nolte, and artist Stijn van der Vleuten are the collective We Make Carpets, who are represented with the pieces Stirrer Carpet, Cocktail Carpet 2 and Umbrella Carpet 2 at Dream out Loud in the Stedelijk museum Amsterdam.

Umbrella Carpet 2, 2015

Umbrella Carpet 2, 2015

 

We Make Carpets create both big and small patterns from simple products, such as cocktail stirrers, paperclips, candy bars and spices. They manage to create these patterns and structures, that is not only pleasing to look at but they also question how we see these products, by finding the beauty and characteristics within each material.

In all their work there is a clear systematic process. It is important when selecting a material that it relates to the location where it will be exhibited. It has to suit the place and/or theme, since both the space and material will influence one another. Most of the time they won’t even manipulate the material at all.

Then comes the question how to place the material. I think it is important to remember that the qualities of the material will decide a big part of how the pattern is going to look like. For example in Straw Carpet (2014) where the straight shape of the straws guides the pattern from the center and outwards.

 

straw 1

Straw Carpet, 2014

Straw Carpet, 2014

 

Carpet Carpet, 2015

Carpet Carpet, 2015

 

In one of their later works (Carpet Carpet, 2015) for the carpet factory Ege the group used leftovers from the factory itself. They collected 3500 cutoffs from actual carpets to create a carpet that covers the floor and one of the walls in the exhibition space.
What makes this piece interesting is that all these cutoffs come from different carpets, which makes each piece to stand out in colour.
After counting, sorting and measuring the pieces, the group could eventually find a way to puzzle them together by making a pattern, divided by white carpet rolls, to avoid getting a blurry mess of colours.

 

They also experimented with other materials, like in the piece Forest Carpet (2009), where they bring in materials from the nature into an exhibition space.  This is actually their first carpet together.

They also experimented with other materials, like in the piece Forest Carpet (2009), where they bring in materials from the nature into an exhibition space.
This is actually their first carpet together.

 

Their 6th carpet, Brick Carpet (2011), was made from 40 000 bricks and measured 42 x 70 meters.

Their 6th carpet, Brick Carpet (2011), was made from 40 000 bricks and measured 42 x 70 meters.

 

Connecting these objects even more is that they are so useless most of the time. They are at the bottom of our consumption list. For instance, we only buy paperclips because we might need a few of them, and we don’t even notice how beautiful they really can be.

We Make Carpets really see the beauty in recycling, as shown in Bottle Carpet (2012), a project that appeared at Maroccos Taragalte Festival. The work is made entirely of empty plastic containers of various shapes and colours to comment on contemporary consumer aesthetics.

 

Bottle Carpet, 2012

Bottle Carpet, 2012

I find it really interesting that We Make Carpets are using different products/materials for nearly every carpet that they make, and yet they always end up with a great result. They seem to know what possibilities and limitations there is within each of the materials, and it makes me curious to study the material itself, since I think it’s obvious it can be of importance.

Though their systematic way of working, without manipulating the materials too much, does not fit me very well, I still like the idea to create new patterns like this and I would like to explore this method in my own way, to find out what I can learn from it.

I made a few tests with leaves, painted A4-papers and rubber bands, to try and find out what unique characteristics they have.

gummigummi cola

papperpapper 2

After I spent a little time with these few products, by collecting, sorting and observing, I definitely got a better understanding of the importance in both quality and quantity of each material.

löv 2löv

löv 4

The leaves even ended up as an additional element for another of my projects.

There are big ambitions in We Make Carpets work and they seem to have an optimistic view on the future. There is some kind of sarcastic feel within the materials, and how they use them, that tells me there is hope that everything will be environmental friendly and people will be healthy, with no littering, and that this can only be reached if we really start to look and question those products that we as consumers are purchasing.

De diepte van stadsbloem in stenen stad


Monday, November 28, 2016

Lopende door de expositie Dream out Loud , in het Stedelijk museum, voel ik mij aan getrokken tot de stokroostegel van Patrick Kruithof, waarna een zoektocht volgt waar deze intuitive verbondenheid vandaan komt.

Stokroostegel_Plant_Bamboo

De eerste stappen in deze zoektocht leken mij duidelijk. Van wie is dit werk, wat en waarom, waren de eerste vragen die bij mij op kwamen. Deze werden al grotendeels beantwoord door de algemene informatie tekst naast het ontwerp. Patrick Kruithof is een ontwerper en kunstenaar gericht op het creëren van een duurzamen ervaring. Zijn projecten, ontwerpen en ideeën zijn makkelijk te realiseren in het dagelijks leven maar bieden op de lange termijn een plezierige exspansie op dit leven. Met zijn werken probeert hij dan ook een tegenhang te zijn voor de consumtiemaatschapij, waarbij juist de focus ligt op het korte gelukzaligheidsgevoel waarna weer een leegte ontstaat en men nieuwe impulsen opzoekt.

De stokroostegel is een ontwerp bedoeld voor de straten van voornamelijk Rotterdam. Deze stad staat bekend om zijn stenige uitstraling vanwege de vele nieuwbouw als gevolg van de bombardementen in de tweede wereld oorlog, het simpel aanbrengen van de stokroostegels zou de stad een groener en vrolijker aanzicht moeten geven. Daarnaast heeft de stokroos grote bladeren wat zeer  goed is voor het afvangen van CO2 en is het probleem van erosie bij het verwijderen van stoeptegels voor de groei van planten verholpen doordat er dankzij dit ontwerp zowel een tegel als plant aanwezig is. Hiermee is het ontwerp een groene en duurzamen innovatie. De tegel [x] is zo ontworpen dat de stokroos ondersteund word door twee toe te voegen (bamboe)stokken. Verder heeft de bloem niet veel nodig hij is namelijk zeer sterk en groeit zonder al te veel problemen, de stokroos is een mooi symbool voor de veerkracht van de Rotterdamse inwoners. Ook groeit de stokroos niet in de breedte maar in de hoogt dit is wederom een symbolische verwijzing, dit keer naar de skyline van Rotterdam.

a 2 rotterdam

a stokroos

Dit beantwoord echter nog niet de vraag waarom ik mij persoonlijk aangetrokken voel tot dit ontwerp, dus dook ik dieper in de materie.
Eén van de eerste verbanden die ik legde was met het boek ‘ Een nieuwe aarde’ van Eckhart Tolle. Tolle stelt namelijk dat de bloem, na miljoenen jaren van enkel groene begroeiing te hebben gekent, als verlichting van de plant zich aan de wereld toonde. Dit zou ook de reden zijn waarom de mens zich zo aangetrokken voelt tot deze schoonheid. De bloem is het venster op het vormloze, de voorbereiding voor een diepere verandering in het menselijk bewustzijn.

Vanuit dit startpunt ben ik verder gaan zoeken naar de betekenis van natuur voor de mens in de stad. Hierbij stuitte ik op verschillende onderzoeken die aantonen dat de aanwezigheid van natuur een grote invloed heeft op het brein.
Zo blijkt dat bepaalde centra in de hersenen die in verband staan met angstreacties en met het verwerken van emoties rondom beloning en straf bij stedelingen verhoogde activiteit vertonen wanneer zij worden blootgesteld aan kritiek. Dat het emotionele systeem van stedelingen anders werkt dan bij de mens op het plattenland is dus letterlijk zichtbaar in de hersenen. Wanneer deze sociale stress een chronisch karakter krijgt heeft dit invloed op zowel de psyche als lichamelijke gezondheid. Zo speelt stress een grote rol bij het ontstaan van burnout, depressie, angst en schizofrenie. Het lijkt dan ook logisch dat mensen  in een stedelijke omgeving meer last hebben van depressies en gevoeliger zijn voor stress en omgevingsprikkels.

Bomen en planten zorgen voor een verplaatsing van de aandacht in de hersenen van de stedeling. Waar waakzaamheid en gerichtheid op de visuele buitenwereld in de stad de boventoon voert zorgt natuur voor een focus op de binnenwereld meer reflectief en op jezelf georiënteerd zijn, ofwel het nu ervaren. Stad en natuur doen dus een verschillend beroep op deze twee vormen van aandacht. Gebleken is dat de mogelijkheid te reflecteren een sleutelrol heeft in het omgaan met stress. En dus heeft de aandacht die ontstaat in de natuur  een positief effect op de omgang met kenmerkende problemen van de stedeling.

Om hierop in te spelen zijn er al verschillende vormen van psychische hulp gebaseert op dit gegeven, zo bestaat er tuin- en natuurtherapy.
De drempel om positieve effecten van de natuur te ervaren is namelijk verassend laag. Zelfs een natuurfoto of -film vergemakkelijkt het al om met stresvolle ervaringen om te gaan. De aanwezigheid van een bloem in het straatbeeld heeft dus ook invloed op onze psychische welgesteldheid.

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En daar ontstaat een interessant draagvlak in mijn zoektocht.
Om meer te weten te komen over hoe Patrick Kruithof dit soort diepere filosofie betrekt in zijn werk zoem ik in op een ander project van hem.
Lange tijd heeft hij zich bezig gehouden met het onderwerp ‘het nu’. Dit project bestaat uit een onderzoek over het nu en visualiseert zich in een verzameling quots. Met het uitgangspunt dat ‘het nu’ veel te bieden heeft,  maar de mens hier vaak te weinig vanaf weet en voornamelijk in het verleden of de toekomst leeft. Het doel is dat deze studie Patrick zelf en de aanschouwd zal leren over het belang van leven in ‘het nu’.

The Moment Quotes ?@themomentquotes · 2 mei 2011
“There is only one #moment for us to live, and that is the present #moment.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

En daar ligt het verband met mijn intuitive verbondenheid tot het ontwerp van Patrick Kruithof. Zijn werk, waaronder de stokroostegel, spreekt voor mij over een diepere filosofische beweging; het proces van bewustwording.
Het proces waar ik op dit moment sterk mee bezig ben.

Techno Beauty


Sunday, November 27, 2016

We humans have created technologies and machines to enhance our lives, we invented cars to liberate ourselves, built all kinds of factories to raise efficiency, but now these innovations are striking back, making the environment extremely polluted in high-density cities; some visible, while others may be invisible, but still left the real impact on our daily life and health. Think about donating 50 euro to get a Smog Free Ring[x], which contains smog filtered from 1000 m3 of air, in order to support the Smog Free Tower and Smog Free Project by Studio Roosegaarde.
Will this make a real contribution to solve the problem of pollution? By purchasing a Smog Free Cube, Ring, or Cufflink, are you purchasing a souvenir, a design or are you building your association with the Smog Free Project, the anti pollution movement?

Smog_Free_Ring2324-7394-image
Daan Roosegaard’s Smog Free Ring • Smog filter in Bejing

Our technical interaction with artworks has only developed within the last decade at the level of using touch screen to improve the understanding of drawings, but now in the art and design world, both these two elements have been introduced to the real application domain.

3 Dune by Daan Roosegaarde, Photo Tomek Whitfield_originalFigure-1-X-Ray-Examination
Daan Roosegaard’s public interactive landscape Dune (2006-2012) • John Constable: The Great Landscapes” 2006

 

To gain a better understanding of this change, we can look at Daan Roosegaard’s public interactive landscape Dune[x] (2006-2012) which interacts with human behavior, and the Tate Britain exhibition “John Constable: The Great Landscapes[x]” in 2006. The Great Landscape used X-Ray examination and Drawing screen to help the visitors to obtain an understanding of Constable’s working practice and techniques through body movements in front of the X-Ray projection and figure movements on the touch screen (Engaging Constable: Revealing Art with New Technology), while  Dune served itself, stood for a hybrid of nature and technology, artwork and the way to present the artwork. It is composed of large amounts of fibers that brighten and made sounds according to the sound and motions of visitors. Both enhanced social interactions with the help of sense-based technologies and being recorded with cameras and microphones in order to study and analyze people’s interactions, Dune and The Great Landscape had quite different starting points.

The visual impact of the eyes decrease as the other senses are heightened due to the introduction of tactility and sound, thus the aesthetic value is no longer of primary importance and the design opens up a broader spectrum of uses and practicality. This also explains Daan Roosegaard’s later works, how he uses modern technology to deal with multiple subjects; such as the relationship between intimacy and body (high-tech fashion project Intimacy[x], 2010), the historical heritage and sustainable idea (Van Gogh Path[x] [x], 2014), the power and poetry of living with water in Netherlands (Waterlicht[x], 2015 and Icoon Afsuiltdijk[x]).

The modern presentations of art and design in museums and galleries provide personal and collaborative experiences as The Great Landscape did, but Roosegaarde’s tactile high-tech environments enable the viewer and space to become one, not only because it can encourage more people to interact with each other and the environment simultaneously, but also because the technology leads the viewers to become both users and performers, thus the art raises people’s awareness of public issues.

Concerning its unique background associated with environment protection and sustainable development, the Smog Free Ring distances itself completely from traditional souvenirs in a museum and the association created by purchasing it, just as putting yourself in the Dune and reacting with it stands apart from the traditional way to appreciate an artwork. But is this different to other design works which also aim to serve a better life?
As science and technology are an essential part of his work, I want to introduce the Three Cycle Review of Design Science Research from Alan R.Hevner’s ”A Three Cycle View of Design Science Research”.

design-cicles

A Three Cycle View of Design Science Research [download as pdf]

 

Design Science Research is motivated by the desire to improve the environment by introducing new and innovative artifacts and processes. The Three Cycle Review of Design Science Research consists of Relevance Cycle, Design Cycle and Rigor Cycle. Good Design Science Research often starts by identifying problems in an actual application environment or recognizing the potential to improve a practice before a new problem occurs. When applied to the Smog Free Tower, people’s neglect towards air pollution interested Daan to think about building the largest purifier in order to solve the problem. In the Relevance Cycle, the air-polluted environment is not only where the problem is found, but also a testing field in order to see if the design results meet the criteria. Then, they moved to Rigor Cycle and the knowledge base and found the existing air purification technology which is used in the hospital. Following the search for technology, they moved to the internal Design Cycle, and built the Smog Free Tower based on the original issue found in the environment and the technology found in the knowledge base. While the artifact is being built, field testings are input from the relevance Cycle and the design and evaluation methods to Relevance Cycle and Rigor Cycle. After several rounds of improvement, The Smog Free Tower and The Smog Free Ring, which contained both technology and beauty were born.

To give a brief conclusion, pragmatic science, interaction between human, responsibility for the living environment and beauty are core components in Daan Roosegaard’s works and in the future world of art and design. But not only the world of art and design, or let’s say, since art and design has gradually found their new position in 21th Century, they will no long serve aesthetics as the core matter. Techno Beauty, as how Daan Roosegaard described his own works, may becomes a direction in design to beautify and save the world.

 

Utopia on a small scale


Friday, October 28, 2016

Utopia could be characterized as a place where all the problems we experience every day have been resolved. And for that, it could be a way to criticize the society we live in. Utopia is also a no-place as the etymology of the word itself tells us. And for that, it is a place that has not and also can not be realized. Nevertheless, utopian thinking has been and still is a basis for political ideas. A scale model can be one of the steps for developing or realizing a project. So isn’t it just so smart to combine the two ideas in one’s artistic practice?

I’d like to start with – maybe the most famous utopian scale model – Monument to the Third International. Tate.org.uk calls it the “world-famous symbol of utopian thought”. It is a never realized project for a communist building that was supposed to serve various governmental purposes. But it is also a symbol of modernism, for it was the first project using steel and glass. And in its ambitions – at this time it was supposed to be the highest building on earth – we see the utopia. It looks in a way like the biblical Tower of Babel – the symbol of man’s vanity -  a building so great and enormous it cannot exist. Even though the tower has never been realized, it is vital in our Europian culture. Not only as a part of Russian avant-garde history, but as a symbol of utopia.

Tower Bawher Theodore Ushev : National Film Board of Canada

Utopia is a social project, but as history shows us trying to implement it in society fully can be fatal. Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn tries to do so on a smaller scale. He has made sculptures referring to various philosophers and thinkers like Antonio Gramsci, Baruch Spinoza, George Bataille or Gilles Deleuze. He places his works in selected areas, where with members of the local communities it becomes a sort of inclusive, intellectually stimulating event. His sculptures seem to be social scale models. Scaling not space but time. Making use of their temporality. Hirschhorn calls them “social commitments”.

I want to make non-hierarchical work in non-hierarchical spaces. The work is not something more in the museum and something less in the street; this is essential for me. I am concerned by equality and inequality in all forms. Thus I do not want to want to impose hierarchies (…) I am not interested in prestige. I am interested in community.

Thomas Hirschhorn, Interview with Okwui Enwezor, 2000

 Be sure to see it for yourself:

 
Spinoza Monument in Bijlmer Amsterdam, 2009
 
and
 

Thomas Hirschhorn: "Gramsci Monument"

Another artist that plays with the idea of utopia is Bodys Isek Kingelez. He builds scale models that represent the future state of cities/villages that already exist in the Democratic Republic of Congo. What the cities are in his scale models is not necessarily the desired way he imagines future, but rather a capitalist utopia – an inevitable way in which cities are transformed in a logic of consumerist society. Depending on how you look at it – it could be a utopia or a dystopia.

Kimbéville is a real town witch, given time, will exist; it is not an effigy made up of well-known brand names witch is doomed to remain a maquette. (…) This maquette is a promise of something real. The attractions of this town include a plethora of services, hotels and restaurants. Sometimes with an American flavor, sometimes Japanese, Chinese or European, not to mention African fare. 

The town has it all, from sun-up to sun-down, and for forever and a day. The artist, Kingelez, prophet of African art, is striding towards a new world witch is more modern, more prosperous and a better place to live.
Bodys Isek Kingelez, The Essential Framework of the Structures Making up the Town of Kimbembele-Ihunga (Kimbéville), 1993-4

 

Utopia is a way to criticize the society we live in. Dystopia serves the same role but utopia does so by providing/imaging an alternative to what we have, whereas dystopia points out the risks that society might face in its development. Dystopia is a utopian project that went wrong.

(…) there remains something subversive about these attempts to celebrate the beauty of utopia as inherently totalitarian while maintaining a critical distance from the implications of this attraction.

Pil and Galia Kollectiv - The Future is Here

The ultimate dystopia has been indeed realized in a history of human activity and probably is still in realization in places like North Korea. But for western people, the most horrifying part of the world’s history is likely to be the Second World War. The unimaginable dystopia that has been created by the Nazi government is the concentration camp, where the idea of efficiency has been realized to the point where a mass genocide could be profitable in the logic of capitalism.
Polish artist Zbigniew Libera has made an art piece in dialogue with this historical fact. It’s 1996 “Lego. Concentration Camp”. He used popular Danish construction toy to make a scale model of a concentration camp.

IslBG
Holocast LEGO 1996 by Zbigniew Libera ©2016

 

The future that never arrived


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Most major cities in Japan were left in ruins after the second world war, in particular, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. In the post-atomic bomb area, Japan was democratized and turned into a nation with a pro-American orientation. As a response to the human and environmental catastrophe, and as with the growth of the Japanese economy in the early 1950s, proposals for urban redevelopment began to appear. This is when the first concrete example of urban planning with ideas that would later come to define the metabolism movement appeared. You can argue that it started with the designing of the reconstruction of Hiroshima. The Japanese architect Kenzo Tange and his team of architects was commissioned to make this plan.

 

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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum / Kenzo Tange. The initial plan was presented in 1949 and the building was made in 1955. source: "Hiroshima mon amour [1959]"

 

In the 50’s Kenzo Tange was very oriented towards the international architecture scene, note the resemblances between the memorial building and the work of Le Corbusier. He also met up with and found inspiration in an architect such as Aldo Van Eyck who was in many ways in opposition to the “functionalism” of Corbusier that was criticized of ignoring its inhabitants. Van Eyck created the orphanage next to our school, and took part in coining the architectural movement structuralism that Tange also defined himself within.

 

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Orphanage / Aldo Van Eyck build in 1960. source

 

In short you can say that they shared some of the same ideas in creating spaces where the relationships between the elements are more important than the elements themselves – built structures corresponding to social structures. It wasn’t until 1960 that the movement was actually defined, by the architect Kiyonori Kikutake who created their first manifesto together with the architect Fumihiko Maki and Kisho Kurokawa:
Metabolism 1960 : The proposals for a new urbanism ”.
The name arrived to an other member of the movement, Kionory Kikutake, as he was working on a floating metropolis, his “Marine City” project.

 

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Marine City / Kiyonori Kikutake 1958. source

 

The word “Metabolism” comes from Greek and translates to “change” but also refers to the life-sustaining transformations within the cells of living organisms. As the name might suggest? they pushed that buildings and cities should be designed in the same organic way that life grows and changes by repeating metabolism.
The “Marine City” is one of many projects that was never realized but played a central role in the works of the Metabolists. It was this vanguard idea of taking on new space whether it be the ocean or the sky that was the foundation of their way of shaping “the future”. At the same time it required developing and making use of new technology. None of the experiments and realizations were made by single individuals but drew on the big think-tank that the Metabolist movement was from artists and writers to scientists and industrial designers. The “marine city” was a proposal for a solution to the rapid population boom especially taking place in Tokyo in the years after the war till the brink of the 60s. Kikutake believed that the ocean was the only valid space to develop in times of an imbalance between population and agricultural productivity.

 

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City in the air / Arata Isozaki 1961. Never realized.

 

As such sustainability was surely an integral part of this movement as well as resilience considering how the risk of earthquakes and tsunamis make for tough conditions in japan – especially for urban concentrations. Structure wise the Metabolist movement was characterized by taking certain architectural steps towards recognizing this. A main idea was to design architecture to be built around “spine-like” infrastructure on and around which pre-fabricated replaceable parts could be attached being almost cell-like. At the heart of this setup is also reorganization of the relationship between society and the individual.
Another important inspirational source was found in old Japanese shinto religion and a specific Ise Grand Shrine that carries the ritual of being created anew every 20 years. This is an example of how the Metabolists as a movement was wearing multiple meanings, being both modernists and traditionalists at the same time.

 

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Ise Shrine having been in continual existence since 690 C.E. source

 

The Metabolists respected environmentally-conscious boundaries and the material in which they worked. This gave them the pride, and also reluctance, to not be parted from their vision. To demonstrate and construct only that of ideas was monumental enough.

 

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Festival Plaza / Kenzo Tange and the artist Taro Okamoto, Osaka Expo, 1970. source

 

After 10 years of development and growth within the Metabolist Movement, the structure that was metabolism came to a climax, exhibiting some of their finest work, at Expo 70’ in Osaka, Japan. It was around this time that Kisho Kurokawa’s project, The Nakagin Capsule Tower, began construction. A process that took only 30 days to complete.

 

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Nakagin Capsule Tower / Kisho Kurokawa 1972.

 

This building would serve as an “icon” to the movement. After the Expo 70’ took place in Osaka, individual architects from the movement began to take a step forward personally, focusing more on individualism and self-driven growth. Ideas about sustainable development within the 21st century are not new ideas; they have spread through a continuous evolution. An end sometimes not only existing as an end, but that of a new beginning.
 

text by Christian Stender and Ivan Fucich

 

Spaces in Between


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

 
 

Spaces in Between

 

 


Unsorted, disarranged, unorganised library, full of elements placed according to different components, which have an order or perhaps do not have it at all, just existing in an unrestricted randomness. Which ironically speaking could actually be seen as the same thing, since a lack of order is also an order in itself. Chaos with a clear beginning and ending kind of like a bad book. What exactly did I find there…? Big books, small books, orange, white, shiny, mat, hard, soft, precious, forgotten, books that are filled with content, wedding books. Books of a specific nature, books that are about nothing at all, ones that wait for attention and ones nobody cares about. Art books, design, educational, pointless, and sharp and blunt, basically all you can find in a library. I was asked to find a solution for the lack of structure in their position on the shelf. So the primary question that I am asking myself is; what is the point of doing it at all? Of course the obvious reason would be the easy access to the content, otherwise lost in the madness of disorganisation. However, I still struggle to understand why to bother ourselves with creating this specific order, if in the end it is still the same amount of books in the same space? Somehow I think this action is irrelevant, especially if we put so much effort into creating a puzzle that can be made in an infinite amount of ways… according to any system that a specific person would find attractive or interesting (depth weight, etc).

 

    In the name of captivation and curiously-provocative passage, I am trying to crack this system of easy predictable result, which in my opinion is rather obvious to foresee if you limit yourself by the boundary of an actual shelf. Instead of doing that I would rather step out of this radius. The concept that I tried to create is aiming to expand the perspective on how we view the book. What is a book actually? In short, it is a box of content pocket size captured by the single pages glued together, now isn’t that somehow equal to the very idea of a book shelf, in which many different books are aligned in the same way as the pages, however this time at a larger scale of information? Somehow I believe it is possible to see these systems as parallel ones. If a thousand books make a library; then, so to a thousand pages, and further, a book can also be seen as a pocket size bibliotheca.


The establishment of the fact that from now on, one copy can stand on its own, gives me the possibility of putting in on a pedestal and seeing it as something autonomous, in other words, let’s give the books the space that they deserve. There is no reason why they should be kept together in one place since in the end it’s just creating a bigger chaos. Let us treat books as unique objects instead of piling them on top of each other. As absurd as this sounds, to create an order you have to separate everything from each other and never put them back together again.


For my next step, I have chosen ten books from the shelf that I eventually turned into their own autonomous libraries, spread all over the city; one book for one building. I did this by searching for the places that seemed to me as the right environments for the books.  The main question that I had to ask myself, is how do I decide what aspect of the book should be the main criteria for the location, the physicality or the content. Not to leave it too vague, by physicality I mean the literal materiality of the book and where it could fit in the space of a building, so in the end it seems as the space was designed for the book and not reversed. In this case of preciseness, the dilemma of leaving the content out of the picture was not so disturbing anymore. However, after I found the main foundation that would determine the way of approach, I decided to take it further and only use the fore edge  of the books (opposite side to the spine), which presents it as more of an anonymous object rather than a work.


The result of this practice was the creation on ten completely autonomous bibliothecas, in ten different buildings. This created a situation in which a book stopped being a book, but rather a body living in perfect symbiosis with the surrounding environment.

 

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Since books can’t fly, lets angle them instead


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Since books can’t fly, lets angle them instead

I’m usually a patient and thorough person. My apartment is always in an acceptable order, I iron my clothes, I bike at an average pace, I don’t lose my patience when I stand in the slowest line at the grocery store. If I start reading a book, I always finish it sooner or later.

But; whenever I visit a bookstore or a library, and I get confronted by thousands of books, I completely lose my patience.

I know that there is a very clever and simple system to find what you are searching for, and that someone carefully placed every book in alphabetic order, neatly lined up on the bookshelves. But when I stand before the books, I get the same anxious stomach ache as when someone asks me a simple mathematical question that I usually can answer in one second, but in the stressed situation I turn red and stutter that I don’t know.

So how could I avoid this brain-freeze related paralyzation in the context of books?

Solution:

So lets start with the order of the books. The order is usually determined by the alphabetic order of the authors name or the title, which makes sense since it’s both practical and logical, which I’m a big fan of.

Now imagine that you stand before the alphabetically organized bookshelf, turning the pages in Hendrikje Koersen’s poetry collection De witte boot. You are now amazed over the treasure you found, and start to eye the bookshelf after more poetry.

Here is the interesting part:

Imagine every book containing poetry, magically hoovering in front of the bookshelf, making it easy as a piece of cake for you to find.

Sounds good right? Unfortunately I’m not a wizard and therefore not in a position to change the laws of nature, but I can however physically highlight a category of books, by tilting the short-side of them, so they hang over the bookshelves end, pointing out in the room, without actually falling down.

To angle these books, you could use a very simple wooden tool as in the illustration below.

angler

Left picture: Angler, viewed from the side

Right picture: Angler, viewed from above

How:

I have chosen to call this tool an angler, since it is used to literally angle books. (Angler is also the word used to describe a person who is doing angling, a kind of sport fishing, which is fitting since you hold your fishing rod in a angle similar to my wooden tool.)

angler and fishingrod

Left picture: The Angler

Right picture: Fishing rod 

The angler-tool is made of a very simple construction of wood. It can both be used in singles or in groups, but in the context of bookshelves, I will describe the usage of multiple angler-tools.

To use it you first have to fasten it to a bookshelf, and then put it in the angle that is needed. You can choose from five different angles, each representing a different category.

I have chosen to represent poetry, architecture, design, photography and fine art in this scenario, since I study at an art school where these subjects are the most presented in the school-library. In theory, you could add even more angles to the tools design, but I believe that that would affect the clarity of the category’s in a negative way.

anglers angles

Picture: The five different angles that can be used

The tool has five angles, each representing on of the category’s above.

The angles are:

90

110

130

150

170

The angle 170 will be most far out from the bookshelf, and thus also highlight the book. I want to use it as a category for Poetry, because I believe that poetry it is an underrepresented subject that is read the least in art schools in comparison to other subjects. Having this subject highlighted could direct more attention to poetry and maybe influence someone to take a look in the book, even if this person usually does not read poetry.

Angle 90 would be used for books about Fine Art, since I believe that Fine Art is the subject with the highest quantity of books, which therefore makes it important for them to stay further back so they don’t block the view of the angled books, hanging out a bit from the bookshelf.

It is also a category of books that are often used for research in an art university, so it is important for their title to be visible to make them easy to find.

Angle 110 would be used for the Design-category, for the same reason as Fine Art.

The 130 angle would be used for Architecture, and angle 150 for Photography.

 

visualisation

Picture: Illustration of how a book-shelf using the angler could look.

Result:

By using this angler tool system a modified bookshelf will look like a relief due to the books protruding in different angles. If you are looking at the bookshelf from a distance, you should have an easy time recognizing the different categories by the angle of the books. Looking at the bookshelf from a closer distance, you would be able to find your book by using the alphabetic order.

By making the bookshelf look like a relief instead of a plain overview, it will invite the viewer for a more tactile experience of the books, because you are not only able to touch and see the spine of the book, but also the front and back side, the material of the cover and the colors of the pages.

The tool may only be a small object, but it would affect not only the angle of the books physically, but also the viewers visual perception of the bookshelf, both from  far and close distances.

 

architectural rendering: about


Saturday, May 16, 2015

 

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read it all on ISSUU

I >Am< >Here< In This Space >With< You


Monday, January 27, 2014

Have you ever had different impressions than in the past or than other people in the same space? I can give two examples;

image1_Hanna Lee

There is a place where I always pass by with my bike. Today, I decide to walk along that same space. I stroll in this space. I ramble through every corner and small alley. My feet lead me to the scenes which were always there but very new to me; an ivy-covered wall, small scribbles of children probably who lives in this neighborhoods, tiny bike tricycle lying on someone‘s front garden and windowsill-piece with nice touch. I enjoyed these scenes while walking through the same place where I pass by regularly. I always thought I knew this place very well, but today I was only started to become conscious of these new and everyday-life scenes.

My friend and I passed through the narrow alley and came to a small door. When we opened the door we were able to enter a space. It was deep and narrow. The width was not enough for us to stand side by side. The side walls are high and ceiling was open towards a nice blue sky. I could see a bird flying and hear the wind. Space was quite dark, but I felt very comfortable and fresh. But my friend had left the room already, later she explained why; she felt almost choking so left the space early.

This might be a daily experience which we encounter often, but if it occurs too often we might not put any extra attention to it. I had a curiosity for this event, and wondered why there are such differences according time and person. I am sure that many readers had the same experience like this and wondered about it.

image2_Hanna Lee

Metaphorically speaking, space is ‘vessel’ that contains food, and this food can be defined as ‘happenings (or events)’ in the space. This ‘vessel’ gains its meaning only when it is used and it meaning will be even enlightened if the ‘food’ is delicious. On the other hand, the shape of ‘vessel’ differs according to its containing food; bowl, plates or cups. Every food has is matching vessels, if it is not matched well; simply, the food loses its merits. And of course this same food in same vessel can be tasted differently to every people depending on their preference or their body conditions. This ‘taste’ can be also, metaphorically, defined as ‘spatial-experience’. I want to explore these factors that create different taste which can be said as ‘recipe’- The secret of tastes. And I presume this factors-recipe- is ‘Experience’.

I "Am" "Here" In This Space "With" You : read or download my thesis below

 

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This essay initiated my graduation project “A Scenic Contemplation” presented at the grounds around the Rietveld academy as part of the 2013 graduation show.

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- A Korean Philosophy about window and surrounding says: “ Window is a frame that can hold scenery.
This philosophy about the window is called “borrowed scenery”. The borrowed scenery method reflects the exterior landscape into the inner spaces, forming new scenery.
This method does not destroy environment. It just borrows the environment. If you follow this philosophy you can live with a breathing landscape painting. When you borrow a landscape via the window, the architecture can breathe thought the window. The borrowed senery method make your senses soft.
I was impressed with this philosophy, especially with the attitude and the way how they treat the environment. They did not use the environment only for their own sake, but they borrowed the scenery and lived along with it.

It is a humble way to live with the environment.

text by Hanna Lee [graduate student department of inter-Architecture 2013]

Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 12.59.03 PM Download the publication ”A Scenic Contemplation“

 

UnDeR My Own COnstRUCtIOn OF RUIns


Monday, January 20, 2014

 

while wandering around the city center I become an observer….

 

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sPACes considered to be MOnUMents turning out to be RUIns in the FRAGMents of my MeMORIes.

 

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what I mean is a …

RUIN

- that what happens to the image from the moment of first gaze
- is in- between
- although beeing a man made it seems to be a gift of nature
- a law of nature that all things must fall into
- is to pass from perfect state into a state of imperfection
- it is a remnant of a future
- a souvenir -and souvenir as a suggested memory
- solitary presence whose reasons we understand less and less

 

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Figuring out or misusing a building is an interesting way of defining an architecture for ourselves, and that becomes possible with ruins I am talking about.
Where is a ruin there must exist a natural force which created it. Like buildings which were here before us and lived lives of previous generations, survived repetitive demolition of past dreams of future. sometimes trying to reconstruct from old is just a human inabil- ity to adapt to the new conditions and a fear of letting go. Visually I don’t see a ruin as an old architecture not being able to keep up with the shape which it was designed for. I see it as a transition from design back into nature.

text by Denisa Kollarova [graduate student department of Graphic Design 2013] : the images above are random compositions of the folds and flaps that construct or decapitate the pages of a limited Cyclostyled publication of the essay : more Denisa Kollarova

Screen shot 2014-01-20 at 2.36.21 PM Download this thesis [44Mb]

Over de kunstenaar die een detective wilde zijn


Friday, July 12, 2013

The Hotel, Room 47 1981 by Sophie Calle born 1953

In L’Hotel (1981) neemt de Franse kunstenares Sophie Calle tijdelijk een baan aan als kamermeisje in een Venetiaans hotel. Ze krijgt 12 kamers toegewezen, die ze gedurende enkele weken zorgvuldig moet schoonmaken. Tijdens haar werkzaamheden documenteert ze de voorwerpen die de gasten in hun verblijf achterlaten. Ze fotografeert de bedden, die soms niet eens beslapen zijn. Ze opent de koffers, bevoelt de zijden stropdassen. Ze leest brieven, die niet aan haar gericht zijn, en maakt aantekeningen van wat ze in de badkamers aantreft. Ze documenteert alles wat de gasten in hun kamers achterlaten. Als een ware detective onderzoekt ze hun levens.
De foto’s en teksten die Calle maakte tijdens haar werkzaamheden als kamermeisje, publiceert ze later in de serie L’Hotel. Met dit werk maakt ze het publiek deelgenoot van haar voyeurisme: ze biedt de toeschouwer een intiem kijkje in het leven van de hotelgasten.

The Hotel, Room 47 1981 by Sophie Calle born 1953

both images : Sophie Calle, The Hotel, Room 47 1981, © DACS, 2004

De kunstenaars die in deze scriptie behandeld worden gedragen zich net als Calle als een detective. In hun werk nemen zij het leven onder de loep: ze verzamelen informatie, onderzoeken deze zorgvuldig en komen vervolgens tot verrassende ontdekkingen. Aan de hand van het werk van onder andere Douglas Huebler, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Arjan de Nooy en Hans Aarsman, wordt in deze scriptie ingegaan op de overeenkomsten en verschillen tussen de werkwijze van de kunstenaar en die van de detective.

text by Rosan Dekker [graduate student deartement of Graphic Design]: www.rosandekker.com

 

From the jury rapport : The jury found the carefully designed thesis of Rosan Dekker, which looks like a poetry booklet from the early twentieth century, very charming. Scriptie - boeken - Rosan Dekker - Detective_small But the jury was also impressed by the content of the thesis. In her thesis Rosan investigates what we can learn from the artist in the role of detective. Rosan shows in a well-written narrative that the artist should be a detective that asks the wrong questions and takes up the false leads to get the best results. The jury has found that Rosan's is the only thesis that shows good art criticism in that she is not afraid to take in a position and defend it. [thesis nominated for 2013 Rietveld theses prize]

 

Pdf-icon Download this thesis: Over de kunstenaar die een detective wilde zijn [dutch language]
 

Stedelijk Design Show 2013 /Proposed Highlights


Monday, April 8, 2013

19 Rietveld Foundation Year students visited the "Stedelijk Collection Highlights /Design". Marveling at the many masterpieces, commenting on the applied or autonomous character of pieces in this highlight presentation, they arrived at the last part of this "depot salon", wondering what contemporary design would have in store for them and how it would look like. To their regret the presented selection faded out without any opinion on the latest developments in design; social engagement or neo crafts
Researching contemporary design we propose this "2013 Supplementary" as a possible continuation, an imaginary online next exhibition space.

click on images to visit the exhibit

 

 

selected designers are: Mark van der Gronden /site • Daan Roosegaarde /site • Tauba Auerbach /site • James Dyson /site • Ferruccio Laviani /site • Mediamatic /site • Leonid Tishkov /site • Jonathan Ive /site • Liliana Ovalle /site • People People /site • Nucleo /site • Faltazi Lab /site • Michelle Weinberg /site

 

Color Harmony?


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Up to the 1960’s, existing color systems were based on experiments performed in a dark room.

Another method was used to create the Coloroid System. The perception of colors happened by observing colors in compositions within a wide view-field, resembling a more real life situation.

Coloroid is a three-dimensional color space which is related to the CIE color measurement system using its characteristics; hue(A), saturation (T) and luminosity (V). Nowadays we all use these characteristics in Photoshop to make changes in light-intensity, brightness etc.

Unique to the Coloroid system is it’s aesthetic value, due to a model based on observation conditions resembling real life. Research also included color preference, biophysical and psychological effects and colors used in different art and architectural periods.  Based on results involving nearly 80,000 people, rules were formed and named the Color Harmony.

With these rules designer software has been developed to create harmonious color groups. 

For me it’s difficult to accept the aesthetic value of this system, as I believe Color Harmony to be subjective. Also this database is created over a period of 50 years with results resembling this time period. Is this the color harmony of the past? Will we have changed our mass Color Harmony- maybe created a love for clashing colors or is Color Harmony the base on which every eye at any time period feels comfortable?

As a start to the research of the aesthetic value, I tried to download some designer software based on the coloroid system. Unfortunately the software is being sold for 199 dollars and as I am not a download for free expert, I gave up the software.

I found more articles on research being held based on the coloroid system and discovered architecture to be a returning subject.

The coloroid system is based on tests resembling a real life situation, how can this system be translated back into the real world?

For example: a paper about color in rural architecture and landscape in Poland.  The village is an example of change in architecture over the last 100 years. Color is not longer related to function. New materials are used creating a great diversity in building style, scale and proportion, which resulted in a visual chaos. Only the visual chaos, as the author is describing, is subjective; as I do not agree on the (digital) correction he shows in his paper.

Websites created with software based on the coloroid system are products produced for the mass. Just as architecture is a product produced for the mass. I ask myself, what does my surroundings look like, is it harmonious to me?

 

Over a week’s time I take photographs of street views, buildings, my surroundings. I make a collage of the pictures to get an overall view of my personal color harmony.

Only, these buildings are designed by architects. They have already chosen the harmony for the people. They might have based it on the surroundings or decided to create something standing out. So my selection of the surroundings is still based on some other person’s harmony.

The only way to create my harmony is to change the colors, choose the colors, and even mix the colors by my own hand to be completely harmonious to me.

How do I choose the colors? How do I choose the color composition?

I use the collage as a base to make different color combinations, they will be silkscreen printed on a large roll of paper, all connected. The result is a color line where you can find your harmony, going forward and backwards on the roll.

A idea of what the paper roll will look like in the nearby future. Online version under construction.

 

A while ago I found this online version of a Chinese handscroll, a panoramic view of the surroundings. Translating this ancient roll back to this our digital age is a amazing connection. So after the screen printing is done, I’m going to create an online-digital-version of my color-line, so we can either manually or digitally scroll to find our harmony.

Cause aren’t we all looking for harmony?

That’s why the silkscreen printed color circle has an intense blue color, the color of twilight. The time of the day where I believe all to be harmonious, where I reflect upon my day, my surroundings-

 

 

Typographic Matchmaking in the City and how it gave me an interest in the meaning of type design.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

 

First I would like to start with an introduction of the project. The typographic matchmaking in the city project, launched by the Khatt Foundation, focuses on typography’s use(d) in place-making within an urban context. It will investigate the way that typography can fuse with urban design to create public spaces with an unique sense of place. Places that attract people because they are pleasurable, involve social encounters and immersion in the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the space.

Trying to bring back the traditional use of typography in the city, five teams of fifteen Arab and fifteen Dutch designers collaborated on creating new bilingual typefaces formed for 3-dimensional/architectural applications. The end results of the projects are five new bilingual typefaces, inspired by both Latin and Arabic script traditions. These typefaces will be applied as poetic narratives in the form of participatory public art, into the public spaces of two cities: Dubai and Amsterdam.

Each team took their inspiration for their typefaces from different sources. Their inspiration, process, brainstorming sessions, early sketches and prototypes are carefully documented [x]. It gives an insight into the thought behind typeface design. A big and complicated challenge in this project –of course– was to create the same visual language and aesthetically corresponding letters (type/font) for two scripts that are structurally very different. One of the five projects is the Kashida. In this project for example, they took inspiration for their typeface from broken pieces of tagliatelle. Kashida became a completely 3-D font, that is, in its result still noticeably coming from the tagliatelle. Here is a program to use Kahshida for your own personal text.
These typefaces are meant to stand out, in contrast to street signs for example, that affect us unconsciously. Eventually, the main goal is to have these typefaces to become part of public space and perhaps even to help create or improve public space.

So far about “matchmaking in the city”. What was more interesting for me, was the fact that for some people typography is a serious and genuine interest, even a passion. For me that is hard to understand. I think typography is something you either love or hate, or to be more subtle, like or don’t like. I can’t “kind of like” the subject, however I can try to get interested, but I will never fall in love with the amazing world of helvetica, verdana and Kashida.

Where did it come from? The urge to design something that has already been designed and been used in currentform for ages; our alphabet, simply how we now it, and once was decided how to write it.
Our alphabet, as we know it know developed from pictographs, that are dated before the 27th century BC, to hieroglyphs, known as the Egyptian writing, to the Phoenicians alphabet (1050 BC), which is first to be composed exclusively of letters and is the earliest alphabet that is directly related to our alphabet now. From this alphabet, the Greek alphabet derived, which in its turn evaluated to the alphabet we use nowadays.

So to make a distinction between the alphabet and typography: An alphabet is a standard set of  letters (basic written symbols or graphemes) which is used to write one or more languages based on the general principle that the letters represent phonemes (basic significant sounds) of the spoken language.”  and “Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible”

There actually is a great distinction to make, and that is, that typography is something that is supposed to be designed, it is design. The alphabet is like the entity of typography.
Typography is about arrangement and appearance. This arrangement involves the combination of point size, line length, line spacing, defining the spaces between groups and pairs of letters.

Why do we feel so eager to arrange and to come back to my previous question; why do we want to design something that is, in itself already a design? What can there be designed out of something that already has specific rules to be followed, in order to be understood? Well, apparently, quite a lot. In fact typography is a way to say something in a text that is already saying something.
Typography gives a text a double meaning and can create awareness on itself. With a type font you can force someone to read, or experience a text in a specific way.

With this conclusion I would like to look back at the Typographic Matchmaking in the City project. A project based on trying to design an experience, rather than a type font. By reading a text in Kashida in the context of, for example, an urban environment, could give you, in a way, a certain experience of the space. A harmony or connection between languages and their role in society creates a consciousness of a multicultural space where everyone can feel welcome.

Because of doing this research I was forced to create an interest, not only for the subject I was given, but also for typography in general. I couldn’t have imagined how important a good designed type font can be and what it can evoke. How much time and energy it takes to design one and most important how it connects to way more than only just “saying something” with letters.
Still typography is something I was not made for, as well as typing with Kashida can only interest me for not more than the sentence: Hi, this is a type font.” surprisingly, over all, that was what I enjoyed the most.

 

Variations of the Incomplete Cubes 2D, Sol Lewitt


Friday, November 2, 2012

Sol LeWitt  „ Incomplete Open Cubes“:

In the 1960s, Sol LeWitt began to investigate the cube, one of the most basic geometric forms.

He started with the question: If you take an open cube and systematically subtract its parts, how many variations are possible? LeWitt identified a series of 122 unique open cubes with three edges (the minimum number needed to suggest three dimensions) to elven edges.

 

4D typography in public spaces


Sunday, October 28, 2012

My first contact with 4D typeface was in Casco at Utrecht. The 4D typeface was from Herman Damen and it intrigued me and left some questions behind. After i dived in the subject I found the typeface of Lo Siento. The beautiful designs are however not really used in the public space and not well known by the public’ because of that. Why? Are the 4D typeface not useful in public spaces or are they just not clear enough? In this research I will analyse which kind of way 4D typeface can be an extra supplement in public spaces.

Plan of the research
To find out why 4D typeface it not that much seen in the public spaces I will ask some different questions to help myself in this research.
-what kind of 4D typefaces are already present in public spaces?
-what do people think about 4D typeface? Is it well known?

Examples of 4D typeface in public spaces.
When we think about some known examples of typeface in public space we soon think about logo’s or indication of places (for example in public transport). It’s impossible to miss it on the highway: the Mc Donalds indication. Maybe that’s a part of the success of the logo next to the road; it is recognizable and readable from two directions. But is it also a 4D typeface? The definition of 4D typography: “4D Typography is the result of intersectioning, in an orthogonal way in space, two extrusions of the same character, which allows the spectator to read it from, minimum, two different positions in space.” (Lo Siento, 2012) that means that the Mc Donalds indication next to the road (what is readable from both sides) is a 4D typeface. But of course when the Mc Donalds logo is placed on a wall of a restaurant, this is not the case.
A second example of 4D typeface in public spaces is a place indication, for example a subway. In the Netherlands you see this a lot in the form of a cube with the letter ‘M’ printed on every side. The indication sign is readable from more perspectives (at least four). But… here starts the question: is it allowed to call this a 4D typeface when it is a cube with a printed letter on each side? When you ask me, it isn’t because the indication (the cube itself ) is not a character.

 

To define that 4D typeface will fit in public space, the opinion of the pubic on these places is important. To find out these opinions I went to Schiphol airport, the library in Middelburg and the railway station Rotterdam Central. Prominent is that a big part of the respondents (above 90%) never heard about 4D typeface. When I showed the 4D typeface of Lo Siento, there were not many people who recognized this way of typography. Of course they did when I showed them a picture of the indication of Mc Donalds. When I asked them about their opinion, a lot of people reacted really positive. Over all they thought that it is a really attractive supplement in public spaces. Eva: “For me it is really appealing. 4D typeface could give the usual (mostly boring) indications a new life.” Next to all these positive reactions there were also some negative points, mostly about the readability. Richard: “This way of designing is much better, nice! But I think it’s not always possible to use 4D typeface. The character ‘R’ is a difficult one, they should be careful with that.”

Ways to put 4D typeface in public spaces
In this research I couldn’t find many examples of 4D typeface, especially not in the public spaces. But the people I interviewed where really positive about it. I think (and the respondents also did) that 4D typeface could be a new supplement in the public spaces. I will give you some examples how we could do it. I hope that this way of typeface will pick up fast in the public spaces. For me this is a big discovery in the typeface.

  


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