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"Exploring New Territory /process documentation" Category


Dutch style aquarium – Criteria of beauty


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Step 0 | Question: What is beauty?

 


 
What is beauty? How can it be defined?

It would be obscure question which does not have a clear answer. A topic in my first art theory class in the semester was just about this. The first chapter in Cynthia Freeland’s book, Art Theory: A Very Short Introduction was used there and it also reffered to aesthetic judgement of Kant. It is never simple subject for me since there would be enormous space to argue.

But a couple months later, I happened to think what is called “style” might have its own clear answer.

This idea made me feel a little bit better.

 

Step 1 | Dutch style aquarium has appeared as unknown territory

 

Work by Takashi Amano, the founder of the style “Nature aquarium”
 
When I got an assignment of exploring unknown territory for design, I never thought about such thing. As I need to meet a professional inspiring me to go in his/her context, I was simply looking for someone who I can reach to in the present Netherlands. In my mind, a specific genre of aquarium, Dutch style aquarium, came earlier than an idea of who to choose.

It is because making an aquarium was my hobby which I got interested in a few years ago in Japan. This aquarium is specifically called “Nature aquarium” in which you can create an “aquascape” resembling nature landscape by putting growing aquatic plants, stones, wood and little creatures like tropical fishes or shrimps in your tank.

Unfortunately I had to leave mine there when I moved to Amsterdam but I still also had a little expectation that I can see a different type of aquarium. I had already heard the word of “Dutch style aquarium” even in Japan. Now is it time to explore it here, in the Netherlands?

 

Step 2 | The Answer from Dutch style aquarium

 

A work from category of Dutch aquascape in AGA contest 2015
 
There are two kinds of major styles of aquascaping. One is called Nature aquarium in which I had been interested since before, and the other is called Dutch style aquarium, the oldest style becoming popular during the 1930’s in the Netherlands. The former has become the global mainstream since being established in Japan in early 1990’s, but actually it came after the latter.

To know more about Dutch style I tried to meet one of judges for a category of Dutch aquascape in an international aquascaping contest. Unfortunately it was not realized. Instead, I still could get a lot of information on the internet.

Though its most simple feature to say would be that it does not suggest a use of hardscape material like stones or wood, the most interesting finding for me was its very detailed rules. It is very much specific.

 
It requires;
- well grown and defined grouping plants
- a small space between the groups
- clearly different height between the groups
- more than 3 plant species per foot (foreground / middle / background)
- terracing to convey depth
- rich contrasts (made by color variation, leaf height, texture)
- a focal point (emphasized by a red or large plant / by the effective use of the “Rule of Thirds” / only one focal point in tanks 36” or less)
- more than 70% of the floor planted
- imaginary streets / pathways of plant
etc…

 
You would also find that contest’s judgments are always given from a objective viewpoint of how each works fulfills the criteria like above or not.

In my mind, these were immediately connected to the question, how aesthetics can be judged, which was for the theory discussion before. If it would be the guidelines of aesthetic, could it be applied to even other things?

Then, I decided to try to make “beautiful” compositions by appropriating these criteria for totally different things.

 

Step 3 | Then, what can the criteria fit?

 

The first cutout with images from “SimCity” app

 
It was not easy to choose the objects for the composition.

I think I was too much caught by an idea of choosing a specific motif which needs arrangements as well as aquascapes do. What came in my mind was, for example, still life painting, architectures or city planning, and then I actually tried to make some 3D collages with these motives.

After some struggles, however, my idea eventually reached to autonomous graphic compositions without any motif. It would be interesting to use things without any restriction than to focus on a specific objects, since it has more expandability. What is more, I could not imagine the result and it simply made me curious.

How much universal could these criteria become? I wanted to make some studies to examine it.

 

Step 4 | Interpretation of aquascape language

 


 
To go on this experiment, I deliberately applied some points below choosing from many to my practices.

 
- Contrast by colors
the use of color highlights
black and white, green and red, positive and negative…

- Contrast by textures
fluffy, flat, glossy, mat…
photo prints showing deferent textures

- Contrast by shapes
curvy and strait, circles and angles
same shapes but in different size and height

- Focal point
A focal point provided by the use of above techniques
Application of the rule of thirds

- Imaginary pathways
Emphasis of the perspective

 

In addition to these rules, I found that aquariums are something in-between 3D and 2D. I mean it is actually three dimensional but its layouts are always considered from a fixed viewpoint. Traditionally tanks show only one front side and the others are totally covered. Also, photography always has an important role to show it. I put a camera based on which I started each layouts.

 

Step 5 | A result

 

 
During the experiment I’ve already found that the goal of this project would not be to make an finished image but to try a lot of compositions as studies. What kind of results can I get from it? Is it “beautiful”? These kinds of things are not completed in short time but would be just a starting point of pursuits.

Does it still continue?

 

// Tailor Made Construction


Friday, April 21, 2017

 

 

In 2010, when I was still in high school, I discovered a minimalist blog named Love Aesthetics. Ivania Carpio is the creator of this blog about fashion, photography and do-it-yourself projects, all with a consistent and unique style. I have been an active follower ever since. The appearance of this blog is ‘quality over quantity’ based; high-end fashion items are present as well as a healthy amount of handcrafted items, that are no less in relevance.

 

Last year the lifestyle brand Aetelier (short for ‘Love Aesthetics Atelier’) was established. Few designs of this brand, that carries the same ideals as the blog, are sold online. The selection includes one bag in two available colors, a notebook with exposed binding and a concrete-look blanket. An ‘under construction’ element is the self-explained signature of the brand. This refers to a concept of a creative space with open possibilities.

 

Over the years this blog and its branches have been influencing the forming of my own personal style and self-development. To this day I keep up to date with the blog via social media. This is the reason why I wanted to meet the woman behind Love Aesthetics. Unfortunately our agendas did not collide within the given timespan. Instead of meeting Ivania in person, I chose to let one of her designs speak on behalf of her.

 

I took the Aetelier ‘Flat Fold Bag’ to be the mediator for this design assignment. High quality materials as leather, stainless steel and acrylic tube are used in the design. The signature element is found in the two hardware clasps that make the chain a continuous loop. The exterior of the bag is left visually clean by placing the zippers on the inside. This makes that the bag is a contemporary translation of Ivania’s need to keep this bag very minimalistic.

wieke 1

This analysis resulted in a starting point for my design; it was now clear that I wanted to make a bag tailored to my own requirements. To have an insight in these requirements for a bag, I had to evaluate the bags I currently own and the items I wanted to fit in the bag. It became clear immediately that all of these bags and items are black. This is a result of my preference to dress all black, my carried accessories are no exception to this rule.

wieke 2

This preference, in combination with my forgetful nature, often causes a problem for me. Let’s say I am on a train and want to check if I did not forget my wallet at home. When I open my bag, I am looking for an optical conformation of the presence of this wallet. Instead, because of the black on black, the outcome is panic by visual confusion. In this case the initial scare is counteracted by touch; a quick pinch in the bag will tell if I am in trouble or not.

wieke 3

This haptic perception is the basis of the redesign. To amplify this existing movement all the items were given an own tailor made pouch. This way, all my valuables can be recognized by touch. The pouches are connected by a hardware clasp. The clasp binds the pouches as a whole and, when a strap is attached to the clasp, the bag can be easily carried. Alterations to the bag are easily achieved; pouches can be taken off or put back on, to the desire of the wearer.

 

wieke 4

After the first prototype was made, it was tested and evaluated. The basic shape and function of the bag were right but the haptic element loses strength when, upon first contact with a pouch, it is not immediately clear what corresponding item is touched. To avoid this confusion the haptic element needed to be extended. This was done by adding a specific material to a pouch that complements it content. A piece of leather was added to match my wallet.

wieke 5

 

The interim conclusion for this design process is positive. In the mean time I have tested this design approach on the items of my classmate Yuri. Her items and requirements are different mine but the result is a tailor made lunch bag for her bento box and chopsticks. Both this lunch bag and the bag for myself are substantially different than conventional bags. I think interesting steps are made end I would like to continue to work on this project.

wieke 6

wieke 8

 

 

 

 

Room


Thursday, April 20, 2017

 

I think they live differently. In a different world than mine. They look differently. They do not chase after things that capitalism offers.They live within a concept that is rooted from ages ago.

The concept is centered around the immaterial. It is real for them. I would like it to be real for me too, but somehow it does not work. I wonder how it works for them. I think they are happy to have a one focus in life. I feel that my mind is out of focus.

I wonder if in a contemporary society one is able to find a grounding. If one has to separate himself to find a clear focus, in order to create a space inside thoughts that are often dominated by information from the outside world.

By separating themselves they fill the space with the highly structured concept, that occupies their lives from the very morning till the very evening. I resist to analyze the concept, but I rather focus on their inner state. Which seems to be empty form overdose of various forms of information. They have one form of information that can guide them through all.

  Saša Karali? / Square

 

 

That information is received in a condition of silence. They said that the noise of the world disturbs the signal. And a closure helps to cultivate it,          creating a room for exercise.

 

 

process

 

 

Emptiness is the inner state of things. Things around us are weightless. They do not have any meaning, only our mind creates meaning for them. Objects are silent and transparent.  We are surrounded by space and we float in it.

 

 

 silent book copy

 

 

Space is a continuum. It gently touches objects not affecting them. If we would like to, we could see just space around us instead of objects. We could see  negative shapes in objects instead of seeing objects themselves.

 

 

2 .2

 

2.3

 

1.

Orange see-through


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

yo yo yo

The word that represents my intention is “cool”.

The photo above is a source of inspiration.

 

I aimed to get knowledge from people who achieved something in their life. I chose two bloggers important to media community. Internet gives great opportunities for the users, sometimes it makes people famous. I guess we all have followers nowadays.  The question for me is how is it to be a media guy and what are their secrets? So I have decided to ask for some kind of information that would give me a better understanding of certain processes. ( How it is made? How does it work? How did you get there? etc )

 For different reasons none of the meetings did not occur.  They were too busy answer my questions IRL although social media was limiting for them as well. So I had no one  to rely on anymore except for myself. I continued working on my own and came up with this:

LuzinF.Orange

Glasses with great visual effect which is produced by an optical illusion. It gives me feeling of organised chaos and kaleidoscopic experience which works best on a sunny day!

——————————————————————–————————————————–

I used it for photography experiment to combine several plans in one image. It is great to see these images knowing they are not edited! This makes me want to continue working with that medium…

IMG_9357 IMG_9360 IMG_9359

I have repeated it a 1000 times


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

 

ajax stress proposal image

I met him. I ordered a coffee, thee and beer. He only drank thee. I was probably to enthusiastic.
‘Now you have had everything’, he said. He had sweet eyes that looked shy to me. Charming almost. Most.
‘I never really like to meet people’. We laughed, we just met.
‘No I mean, now it has a purpose, so I know what to do, what to expect. But when I meet with friends it does not have a purpose. It really stress me out. I cannot focus on anything the day before I am going to meet with someone. All I think about is that meeting, so now I kind off stopped meeting my friends, I only see good friends’.

I was confused I laughed.

This remark of him kept coming back in my head and a few days later I realized that I had the same. Not as present as he had it, but sometimes, all I am is stressed, just because I am going to meet a friend. Or the appointment keeps repeating itself in my thoughts, I have run through everything that could happen.

No surprises. 

I have a respond to every situation that could interest me. I will not think about the boring ones, my reaction on boring situations will be improvised.
But I know that it is a bit useless to thing about everything that could happen, or that could be said to me, because the people I am with will not respond the way they do in my mind and they are also not as busy with me as I am.
The situation will mostly be of no meaning, just people being together, but nothing really happens. I know that these moments are also important, but it are not crucial moments. My reaction will only matter at some moments.
It are those moments that are crucial, that I meet new people, make friends, start a fight, love someone, break up with someone, never say goodby, run away to come back, fall of my bike in front of you, laugh about their jokes.

So even though I already know that it is not that useful to think about all the social situations I might be in someday, I keep hoping that thinking about potential situations will cause that these thoughts will actually happen. In my mind social situations, are more interesting than they most of the time will be in real life.
But, when a situation in real life ís interesting, it is exceeding. It are those moments when I learn the most.

Surprises are unthinkable.

‘I freak out when I accidentally meet someone. I have no idea how to react’. I tried to keep my face neutral. Are that not the meetings that change my days?
When I accidentally meet someone, go with him or her and learn? Learn how to actually react to people, not just like I do in my mind but like I do when the environment, other people and my feelings of that moment also influence the situation? When I am alive, and experiencing how it is to be alive, apart from breathing and eating? The non-crucial situations, are the situations where I don’t really feel alive. I am there, of course, I react, I do what I have to do. But the crucial moments are the moments where I am learning, experiencing, making, achieving, failing, living.

One night, this real life social interactions were just like they are in my head. There where a lot of people that I knew, vaguely but still. When I got bored of a situation, I went to another, new people, new reactions. New me?  I remember her, climbing on the building, making photos of me, looking to her, forgetting that this was a situation where I had to react or think about how to react. Naturally. We danced, kissed. I even got her phone number. Still not being aware that this was a situation that I had repeated a hundred times in my mind. It was that night that I learned new things about myself. These things bring me further in the things I do.

Surprises come to me.

Just like the situation were I met him. Without him I would not have known this about myself. Or at least I would not have thought about it so much. His shy looking eyes make more sense now. His charming look makes me curious to him, but I know that it is not likely that we see each other soon.
I can prepare every situation in my head, but I cannot know how it will actually go, there are so much situations. It are the situations when I am not aware that it is a situation that are crucial. I am open to what is happening. No stress.

 

design blog situatie



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