Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu


"light" Tag


Gaze Order of the Shades Harmonium


Monday, April 2, 2018

Everything around us has a color, from the ground we walk on to the sky above, the world we see is anything but black and white, never achromatic. Some people prefer to wear black clothes while others feel them selfs most comfortable in white, empty spaces. Red light automatically makes us cautious, while green lets us know that it is ok to go. Could the colors you see actually influence the way you feel and the decisions you make in your life? In fact colors can represent many different feelings, moods, and concepts. There is reason why people have certain favourite colors or why some shades become color of the season in fashion. By looking deeply at the colors of the things a person is choosing in their everyday lives, a cognitive perspective could help to understand the reason of this occurrence. Colors are one of the many things that play a part in our daily lives, whether we realize it or not.

20180402_170402

The starting point for my color project was observing my own personal color choices. I made an attempt to look consciously at my closest, most colourfull surroundings –my wardrobe, my make-up kit and my personal belongings. I was inspired by color analysis, also called skin tone color matching, personal color or seasonal color. It is the process of finding colors of clothing and makeup to match a person’s skin complexion, eye color, and hair color in cosmetics and fashion industry. The goal is to determine the colors that suit best persons natural coloring and it was popular in 1980. My aim was to simply observe how often I would choose certain shade over the other, so to determine it’s importance in my personal color system. The colors that I like to wear most are from variety of pink-purple-blue. I do tend to avoid red items, as I associate it with aggression, except for classic red nails. Interestingly in my paintings and drawings I use a lot of red, usually combined with contrasting blue. When I’m sad I tend to surround myself with gray and brown. In general observing people’s behaviour in context of colors we can agree that colors are communication as well as they have direct influence on us. Many examples show that when people see certain colors they feel different emotions. Bright colors portray happiness and excitement, dark colors are more somber and sad, and those in between trigger all kinds of activity within a person’s mind and body.
When you look at an object, the “color” of that object that you see is actually the wave length of the light reflecting off of the object itself. Color as feature of our vision don’t exist without light. From what we know, the primary colors are, red, yellow and blue. Followed by secondary colors and then more complex color mixtures including green, purple, orange, black, grey. Red expresses passion and draws attention to itself, positive and negative, and it has also been known to cause a rise in a person’s blood pressure. Yellow is the color of happiness, but if it is seen in too large of quantities it can have an ill tempered effect. Blue is the most popular color of mens wear, it is calming and basic and shows to lower blood pressure. Green reminds us of nature and tranquility, purple represents royalty, orange is often very friendly, and white is the color of cleanliness and purity. On the darker side of the spectrum is black which we see as depressing and bold and even grey that can make one have a feeling of loss and sadness. The other significant aspect of colors I focused during my research for the project was color combination and contrast. As I discovered color where never to be alone, there no such thing in nature as perception of a single color without influence of other shades. They can be contrasting or complementary or may appear to change a tone of each other when they are together. A very good example of this phenomenon is glitter. Glitter describes an assortment of small, colourful, reflective particles that comes in a variety of shapes. Glitter particles reflect light at different angles, causing the surface to sparkle or shimmer. Since prehistoric times, glitter has been made and used as decoration, from many different materials including stones such as malachite, galena, and mica, as well as insects and glass or nowadays from plastic.
So it it something that appears somehow consistent but hard to describe as one single colors, more like seeing few colurs at the same time. Something like this may occur in synesthetic experience when sensorial perception can link a colur to a smell or a word. Also people having hallucinations whether caused by substance or medical condition can have problems with describing a color or seeing a single color at once.
In my color sytem I decided to extract 12 colors as a basic set of shades of nature. Instead of white and black I introduce metallic colors of gold and silver. A metallic color is a color that appears to be that of a polished metal. The visual sensation usually associated with metals is its metallic shine. This cannot be reproduced by a simple solid color, because the shiny effect is due to the material’s brightness varying with the surface angle to the light source. In addition, there is no mechanism for showing metallic or fluorescent colors on a computer without resorting to rendering software which simulates the action of light on a shiny surface. Consequently in art would normally use a metallic paint that glitters like a real metal. I think it is a great emphasize of unique and variable nature of colors. Metallics are both light and shadow at the same time. By applying seemingly synthetic medium of color to the organic surface of stoned a specimen of colour system is created. A circle of colors is closed and harmonious. The shades remain unnamed as they are intuitively recognised. Together as a part of the project I created an abstract acrylic painting, which try to represent full range of shades. As well as photo book with silver/gold covers they are all tools to exercise perception of colors and become color sensitive as an artist.

IMG_3740

IMG_3742

 

Exploring White Light


Monday, April 2, 2018

There’s more then just a simple white, the daylight is very different from the morning to the evening, there is warm white light and more cold to very blue light. This warmth in light is defined in the Kelvin scale. Buying a light bulb you can decide the color temperature. What interested me was how light is used in different spaces. Therefore I searched in the internet for extreme examples of light. That’s how they look next to each other:

Example

Even what we think of as white can be different. Some people are very aware of these differences for most of us light is just there and we don’t really care about it. Even if flickering LED’s in offices produce physical stress or candlelight can make someone look more attractive. In my color system I want to make these differences visible. I made a list of places that possibly show them:

Museums, Libraries, maybe private kitchens or restaurant kitchen and offices. I wanted to visit three of each to be able to compare them.

Public spaces are often aware of the kind of atmosphere they want to create. A library wants to be inviting, a museum wants to direct the visitor to the artworks and in other places it could be more about having enough light and not so much about the atmosphere.

I took my camera and started photographing my first stop was not on the list, but close to Rietveld. A parking lot. I saw a lot of flickering LED lights, green lights from the electronic car chargers and blue lights in the elevators. It was day but by night is must feel a bit scary there. Next to photos of light the photos became more and more architectural.

Parking Lot

The architecture of the places continued to play a role in the next pictures too. In the Eye Museum it was dark with a lot of projections and also purple light. That was the point where it went away from only the spectrum of white lights. The purple light was nicely cut by the edges of the building and created beautiful shadows.

To stick to my list I went to three different libraries. With a lot of warm and yellowish light. The photos I chose in the end where mostly from the central library.

In the end I did not visit all the places but I had a feeling of continuing the collecting without any direction, so I wanted to have a format to put them before taking more pictures. I chose the Leporello. With not much experience in book binding I wanted to try a new format that’s easy to teach myself. The part where I struggled the most was still to come. Making the selection of my photos and arranging them.

I printed the photos out, cut them in the middle and rearranged them. I wanted to select them by a similar place or color, but when I printed them out I found it more interesting to combine the different ones. Now it was a bit like puzzling the photos together and making two rows for each side of the Leporello. Some of the photos from really different places fitted very nicely together. I was happy about the selection, and didn’t want to compromise them more. From the printed photos I went back to the computer and fitted the photos on A3 sheets, so each photo was about a size of 15cmx 21cm. What I realized after the printing is that in this size the photos not really matched the format any more. I still wanted to see how they looked as a finished thing. So I started putting everything together.

Front

Leporello

Looking back on it now, the Leporello is a step in the process. I found it difficult to find the right frame for it and to make the step after having a selection of photos. I put the Project to the side, because I did not have an idea how to change it. Since I started writing down the process I think about continuing with the color system. I thought to make more pictures that have green, blue and red light. Which are on top of each other white light. I thought about my presentation of the discovery of Maxwell and tried to split one of the photos I liked most into the three basic colors. I printed it on transparent sheets and hold them into the light. The result I liked a lot and I thought to use them as a cover for a new booklet. Maybe not a Leporello and probably a bigger size. The next step is to take my camera and add the missing photos to the selection. What I learned from the last time is to be more selective about the photos and what I missed was to have a specific eye on what photos I’m looking for. To make the book look more finished I want to visit the bookbinding workshop instead of DIYing everything.

HERMANN EBBINGHAUS’ COLOUR SYSTEM


Friday, March 23, 2018

Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) was a German psychologist who pioneered the experimental psychology of memory. He is mostly known for his discovery of the forgetting curve (describes how the ability of the brain to retain information decreases in time), the learning curve (graphical representation of the rate at which you make progress learning new information) and the spacing effect (phenomenon whereby information is learned and retained more easily and effectively when its studying is spread out over time).

 

However, Hermann Ebbinghaus has also been known thanks to its colour system. Indeed, the concept of the double pyramid gained in popularity thanks to the latter.

 

In 1902, he proposed a new version of Hofler’s double pyramid. Ebbinghaus constructed a colour system rest on this system of double pyramid but made few modifications: he put rounded corners and an inclined central plane.

He rounds off the corners of the solid as he considered the transition between colours as fluid and not sharply defined. The Hering-type fundamental opponent colours are located at the six corners (black, green, red, blue, yellow, white).
The resulting chromatic body, from the four primary colours, links Leonardo da Vinci’s idea that colours vary in brightness and can thus be differentiated. The idea was to separate and so distinguish those four colours due to the variation of brightness.
The base-square of the double solid is tilted in such a way that the best yellow hues, which are relatively bright, are nearer to white, and the best blue tones, which are relatively dark, are nearer to black. His system does not predict the mixtures of colours and the complementary pairs are not arranged opposite one another.

 

 

In 1893, Ebbinghaus published a «Theory of Colour Vision» in the Zeitschrift für Psychology (Journal of Psychology), in which he mentioned that humans perceive colours through higher mental processes. As a psychologist, he knew about the perception of the four elementary colour (yellow, red, green, blue) and thanks to physiologists knew there were only three photo-sensitive substances in the eye’s retina (rods, cones, photosensitive retinal ganglion cells) thanks to which the phenomenon of coloured vision and its anomalies could be explained.

 

In addition, Ebbinghaus has discovered that two white hues produced by spinning either red and green or blue and yellow, appeared to be the same at certain levels of brightness, but appeared different when the illumination was reduced or the speed was reduced.

genuine product of light and shadow


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

1            

Athanasius Kircher,was a German Jesuit scholar and polymath. As he had outstanding talents and  wide range of interests in mathematics, geology, medicine, etc.  he has been often compared to fellow scholar Roger Boscovich and to Leonardo da Vinci.

8

Kircher also was a follower of the theory called DE COLORIBUS which argues that all colors (yellow, red, and blue) are derived from mixtures of black and white.

 

As we can see in the diagram below, all the color points of the system can  be reached from white and black, and this shows his fundamental view on colors as genuine product of light and shadow.

 

12

In his system, all combinations of colors are produced with three colors between white and black and all the possible mixtures are shown on half-circles. 

 9

For example, in the case of green, which is a mixture of yellow and blue, it is located at the overlap of yellow and blue and takes a special position as it is in the center with red below. 

 

His idea of combinations of colors was already pioneering and had a big influence on the color theories in that time.

 13

It remained influential until Isaac Newtons’s experiments with light refraction came out. In fact, the prism, and its effect on light, was something already known to Kircher, but he made an incorrect ordering of colors from bright to black. Newton was the one who defined the right order of the rainbow colors.

 14

 

 

Although, his system still has significance for the color theories for these reasons.

 

It is a linear diagram with red, yellow and blue as the basic colors

It is  a theory behind De Coloribus (all colors are derived from mixtures of black and white)

It also provides a firm idea of mixed colors, characterised by semi-circular bows

 

 

 

The Flasher


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Reflecting on a reflection with a play within a play

Schermafbeelding 2017-05-18 om 15.15.40

Deer:               Hi, I can’t see you properly.

 

Albedo:               That’s weird, because we can see you very clearly.

 

Deer:               Why?

 

Albedo:               Because we made you like this.

 

Deer looks confused and wishes to walk away.

 

Albedo:               Wait! We’ll explain.

 

Deer:                   I don’t trust you, I am an individual and not made by humans like you. Humans are dangerous and all they do is kill us.

 

Albedo:               Exactly!

 

Deer:               I don’t get it…

 

Albedo:               Hold on a sec.

 

Deer:               I don’t have all day, I’ve got some cars to catch in accidents tonight.

 

Albedo:               This is precisely the point. So we made this retro-reflective coating. It is paint mixed with glass beads embedded in a mirroring material.
 

Deer:               This sounds really horrible.

 

Albedo:               It’s not, haven’t you noticed that less of your family friends got killed since we came up with this?

 

Deer:               Maybe


IMG_20170510_120814

 

Albedo:               What we did is, we applied the paint to you antlers such that direct light is captured and internally reflected to brilliant effect.

 

Deer:               When did you do this exactly?

 

Albedo:               Not relevant.

 

Deer:               Okay, it sounds great, but to me it sounds even more dangerous than before I had this spray. Looks really unhappy.

 

Albedo:               How come?

 

Deer:               Well, for instance, wolves. They will see me since I am now glowing in the dark.

 

Albedo:               They can’t see you. The antlers glow only in car headlights so it’s not like wolves are scanning the forest with searchlights for flashy reindeer. Laughs.

 

Deer:               Hmm, still not convinced.

 

Albedo:               Hey man not to be rude, but between the moon, their natural night vision, and the snow, pretty sure wolves don’t need head lights to see a reindeer with reflectors on its antlers…

 

Deer:               True. Butt still.

 

Albedo:               What’s wrong now?

 

Deer:               I feel a bit like I am being used. Do I look like the patronus of Harry Potter?

 

harry patronus stag

 

Albedo:               No. You are not the only one we will use this paint for.

Anti-paparazzi handbags and clothing would also do great.

 

Deer:               That goes far beyond me. I am just a deer you know.

 

Albedo:               It’s slim. You are now somewhere where the future is superficial.

Don’t you think this is super cool?!

 

Deer:               Why would I think that? looks alarmed.

 

Albedo:               Because it’s like magic, like Harry Potter. We changed your life, we saved  it. Now there is less car accidents, which is a win- win for deers and for humans (and their cars).

 

Deer:               Okay man, I get it. I like it. But I do want to say, without humans nature would have done fine by itself.

 

Albedo:               I think humans are also part of nature.

 

Deer:               This is an endless discussion. We are done.

 

Deer walks away nodding and mumbling quietly.

 

Albedo:               Good luck. Waves.
 

THE END

xR2VSju

 

 Reflective Spray Albedo 100. exh.cat.no.72/74B-slim

VISION


Saturday, April 22, 2017

background designblog copy

I always felt this inner urge for adventure and to built crazy machines like airplanes. I never thought I would ever be capable of doing so, so I never tried to realize these dreams. Until I found out about Joost Conijn. He’s an artist that builds his own airplanes, cars and other vehicles. I tried to contact him. This ended up into an email contact drama. Then I tried to meet with two other, but with no result.

Eventually, I thought it to more challenging to go to a specific place in which people exist. For me it was important to spontaneously meet a person and not having an email contact introduction. I went to a church. Religion, or in this case Christianity, is such an undiscovered way of perceiving the world for me. It feels so distant and isolated from what I think is the ‘truth’. The main idea was to talk to a person in a confession booth to talk about my ‘rage’ that nobody cared to meet me or help me with my project.

The day I went the church was closed and the confession booths were out of use, but a small chapel was open. Two ladies opened the door and one of them guided me to the chapel.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 22.44.11

A confession-booth with a sign that says 'afwezig',
meaning absent in dutch.

She told me about what her relation was to religion,  about the future of religion and the people that come there. She said that religion resembles the inner truth to existence. People who believe, are people that have felt a lot of pain in there life or people are simple raised that way. Pain brings people back to the ground, it makes people see the light and realize what’s really important. She says that people nowadays also have to much distractions, people shroud themselves with fun and give importance to things that really differ from what she says is important in life.

Our conversation was so honest. I realized that if I were to talk in a confession booth about certain things, it would almost feel like I’m mocking the people that actually go to a church. Talking to this woman, made me realize that there was far more than just believing, it was an undiscovered world.

I thought the element of pain was something to work further with and for me after the talk religion in a modern society also became an interesting subject. What makes people nowadays believe and how is religion holding up. The interior of the chapel was very modern and recently renovated with unnatural white lighting. One lamp was broken and blinked the whole time, for me that felt like a metaphor for religion in a modern society. Also the whole ritual churches have of lighting a candle for good fortune inspired me. Especially because wax is also known as a material with healing abillities, it made me think of the people in pain that decide to devote their lives to Christianity.

Click ->

4 5 7 8 2 3

9 10 1 11 13 12

My first ideas how to translate my experiences into matter. Candle-like drawings with lightbulbs.

For me it felt obvious to make a lamp. My first idea was to make a lamp out of wax in the shape of a candle. After some feedback I realized that I wasn’t using the wax in a way that I could fully explore the material. I had an idea to make a lamp and using wax was just to live up to certain aesthetics I imagined in my mind. So making a lamp was to limiting.

IMG_4423

A construction for a 'candlelamp'. The idea was to pour liquid hot wax over it so the construction wouldn't be visible, but it would look like a candle with a lightbulb instead of a flame.

——————

I started rethinking what my experiences were going to the church. Looking back the aspect of suffering and this isolated community of people that kind of live outside of society were the strongest memories. I started working with a big chunck of wax and started carving into it with a spoon, it felt saying a prayer over and over again, a road of suffering… Eventually this weird religious object came out of it, looking like a plate. After this I started making objects that resembled a kind of ritual, but in a way that I used very recognisable objects and used the wax to melt them together and creating a totally new function.

IMG_4984  IMG_4886

IMG_4875  IMG_4876

These are three of the eventual religious objects I made; a cup together with a leaning carafe and a square plate with it's inside carved out with a spoon and with an object that fits in it that holds coctail picks to display small foods.

Then came the idea to go back to my startingpoint, church, to make my objects interact with what made me make them. The voices in the video are recordings of collective praying by the people (just ladies) in the chapel. It is said that jesus is present in this chapel, they were singing directly to jesus.

—————————————

 

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

 

Ray


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

cover of Ray by Susanne Kriemann

What could ‘Ray’ be about I wonder? What kind of ray? Ray who? Stingrays? Electromagnetic radiation?
After holding this book for long enough to determine that it has nothing to do with any of these, the mystery of the content, for that moment, became irrelevant.
The matte, black and grey photograph of what seems to be a large rock amidst a rockier landscape provokes the question further, but this provocation is quickly smoothed out by the incredibly soft texture of the cover in which to run your hands across with pleasure.

Apologies Susanne Kriemann, for I am without doubt that this is an interesting book, but my other senses are currently occupied…

Opening the not-so-glossy, smooth publication that is creating such an aura of intrigue, is all the more satisfying. With black pages and a silver typeface to contrast, I am immediately drawn in by the first few images; a double page, inverted radiograph of two keys – unlocking this mystery at last perhaps – two saturated photographs of landscapes and hand written material.

page_trees

By cleverly playing around with the orientation and size of photographs; some with an opposing black page, others wedged between boundaries of silver, is just one of the ways in which Radim Pesko, designer, creates more invitation to go deeper into this book.

Scan-6-text

The simplicity in using a plain Typeface (F Grotesk Light) can be overlooked, with text positioned only on the far left and right of the page, giving the centerfold its black depth.

This dark and light theme gracefully continues throughout the book, with a few pages of text, followed by changing and developing perspectives of more atmospheric images.

This layout has been well thought out, even down to the threaded binding, this book has a particular attraction about it.

Finding an instant connection with a publication is a rare and enjoyable experience.

Sacrificing myself to the curiosity that had built up, just by holding the book and skimming through the pages a few times, I decided to delve into the contents.

Obscurely at first; broaching a subject that we are so familiar with, and such an integral part of every crevice of our lives,  yet we barely give it any thought. Written in such a way that doesn’t seem to want or need to give too much away, which matches the design impeccably.

When talking about light, to a photographer especially, the layers upon layers of this incredible source we take for granted becomes aparant, and goes deeper than expected.

Rooted in geology, rocks and the landscape; our connection and consciousness with the Earth, are essential in Kriemanns research. The birth of photography and introduction of electrical lighting, the minerals extracted, right down to the mine from whence it came; the corruption that followed blinded by human desire, to the growth into the world we live in now, with the glare of an LED screen ever present and almost impossible to escape.

A somewhat poetic approach, exemplifying more than just the artificial. As humans we are connected to the landscape and geology of the Earth, both physically and psychologically, as much as we continue on the unscrupulous path we tread.

An enticing read, with interesting extracts from contemporary writers and stories of the past, many angles are covered and stones unturned. This goes deeper than a photography publication, but more like an exploration into the process; the why, where and how we have reached the conditions we are in today…

This conceptualization must have also attracted Pesko to work on the design. For him, methods in working number 1: have an interest!

If you are not drawn in by the concept or idea, then you will not produce a successful outcome. With ‘Ray’, he brings forth an approachability to a book that I have not encountered before.

I could have returned ‘Ray’ to the library weeks ago, but I didn’t want to. It felt too nice and I had not finished reading it. But also the photographs, are wonderful, and mysteriously come together and take form as you read on. I want a copy of my own.

So how is he able to hit the mark? Well not only is a peak in Pesko’s interest essential, but also an element of humanitarianism; doing it for the people and the community.

After gaining plenty of knowledge studying at art academies in Prague and London, then completing a post-grad at ‘Werkplaats Typografie’ in Arnhem, he began designing for a magazine.  The history of all typeface-design, and the idea that you could make a part of that history, was an interesting thought for Pesko, and when design became more serious a deepening interest and work on commissions helped to form his own preferences and continue to develop his skills.

Successful working method number 2: be comfortable with your own limitations. That’s when it got more interesting, as his style became more refined and he was easily able to pull together key elements.

Formerly based in Amsterdam and once a teacher at the Rietveld Academie,  he now primarily works in London as an independent graphic designer. Whatever the project, I think Pesko has developed a good approach to his way of working.

Lesson 3: You begin with no material, until you start drawing, then allow your concept to grow. In each typeface created, he is also finding its own story, and history.

Playing with weights, styles, layers and colour, there are “endless combinations and infinitive variations”, which gives him a sense of freedom. A freedom that he also shares… At RP Digital Type Foundry established in 2009.

‘KILL YOUR TIMID NOTION”

is one of the many examples that have been used to preview his fonts. This information is automatically saved to his website. From Amsterdam Weather Forecast, BBC News and New York Times, to tv show The Wire and other websites and sources. Hundreds of these headlines are cataloged and published in the ever updating book ‘Specimen’, along with new and indicative fonts.

”DESIGN FICTION; GOLDEN ORB SPIDER FARM”

His distinctive family of fonts, whether in response to changing conditions in production or individually adjusted according to the space they occupy, are highly recognizable forms with the design remaining in the defined project.

Working method number 4: VISUAL is important.

Emphasized in personal projects such as the book ‘Informal Meetings’. A collection of photographs made during his travels to different places.

‘any part, any form’ is the follow up to this, and also the beginning and the end. No other text is included in this book. Discoveries of interesting encounters between space, architecture and water, each photograph seems to reference the other, forming a narrative and giving the images a natural flow, without the addition of text. A blue rectangle and textured red circles on the cover are all this book needs; relating to the title and content, everything makes so much sense, without giving it all away at first glance.


cover of 'Any Part, Any Form' by Radim Pesko [x]

 
Similarly in the design for Ray; the links form themselves. Ah so that is a Quartz Crystal on front cover… nice.

Teaching number 5: Let me take you on a journey, let me be your guide on this path of realization that you have already begun, you just don’t know it yet.

Okay, entice me a little more why don’t you, that is fine with me.

 

Scan-12

Scan-11

Rietveld library catalog no : kri-1

 

PERNILLA


Thursday, April 30, 2015

In February 2015 I visited, together with some fellow students from the Rieteveld Arts & Design Academy,  the exhibition Possessed by chairs at the Gocrums Museum. The intention of the exhibition was to celebrate the history of design through picking out around 90 iconic chairs from the 100 past years. 90 chairs exhibited, a rather broad selection concerning to a western perspective– all from Scandinavian classics like Eero Aarnios famous Balls Chair, Hans J Wegners Papa Bear arm chair , chairs by Alvar Alto to international classics such as the MR 20, And off course – a couple of chairs made by the Dutch famous architect and chair designer himself – Gerrit Rietveld.
During my visit at this exhibition, experiencing all those chairs, some questions came to my mind. A collection of 90 chairs and every single one made by a male designer I made me wonder: if all this chairs were made by men, who were they then made for?  When observing the chairs I got a feeling that many of them where carrying an expression of power and that one had to have a bit of courage to actually sit in them. Maybe this is what happens when chairs get exhibited on a museum instead of being in use but still I got a feeling of them not welcoming me.

chair_3 chair_1 chair_2
some unwelcome examples from Possessed By Chairs
 

Chairs often supplied with a high and straight back gave me more a feeling of how to position you than place for resting. How do we position our self by sitting and what is the difference between sitting and standing trough history according to gender, social class, culture background and so on. Who can sit and who don’t? Who sit today and who have been sitting the past 100 years? I think every chair have plenty to tell, not just from the technical aspect in how we been building our furniture’s and which material we been using; I think they as well have great stories to tell about our social history.
Anyhow, while walking thorough this selection of chairs there was one that caught my eyes and that I felt spoke with another tune. It was a leaned back chair that almost reminded me about a sun-lounger.

With a green cover in woven textile in a kind of plating technique this chair were for me manifesting everything else then hierarchy, rather a feeling of joy. I immediately got very touched by it. The color of the chair, which was a light green color, close to a light green Verona were expressing something very inviting and then along with the size of the chair, which felt more than enough to take one person gave a atmosphere of generosity.
 

Mathsson_Pernilla Mathsson_Pernilla_detail
 

When the title of the chair later became clear to me it got even more exciting as the chair actually had a woman’s name – “Pernilla”. A chair made for a woman? To put a human name to a chair apparently works well though all of a sudden I felt a personal relation to the chair and I wanted to know more. To know more about her. Who was this Bruno Mathsson and who was Pernilla?

 

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

Bruno Mathsson was born in a small city in the south of Sweden called Värnamo. Since Bruno was the fifth generation in a family of master cabinetmakers Bruno was learned early how to do carpeting by his father. To live in Värnamo which is a small and quite isolated city wasn’t something that stopped Bruno from having big visions. He early learned how to get input from his surrounding world and keep up with the contemporary arts and design. After a visit to the Roohska Art and Crafts Museum in Gothenburg in his early years, he got in contact with the manager of the museum and through him he started to borrow the literature of the museum – which they send back and fro with the trains between Värnamo and Gothenburg. The Rooshka Art and Crafts Museum, which is one of the biggest museums in Sweden specialists on art combined with craft, would later make strong connections with Bruno and his design and still today they every year support and exhibit work by one designer with a scholarship through the “Foundation of Bruno Mathsson

In 1930, at the age of 23 years the Bruno got the opportunity for the first time to put all his study and theories into real practice since he was commissioned to design a new chair for the Varnamo Hospital. Bruno took the chance to create something that he found less traditional and decided to make a chair without the old conventional and quite shabby sprung upholstery that the chairs in the hospitals of Sweden at that time used to have.

The quality and comfort combined with a new and fresh design finally brought Bruno to an unusual solution. He covered the frame with a sort of

plaiting webbing technique plaiting-webbing.
The arms and legs were made in sold birch. Bruno liked to keep the light in his design and I think you can se this in his relation to the birch as material. The chair was not of a big success by the staff of the hospital though and they nicknamed the chair The Grasshopper”.

Mathsson_Grasshopper
 

The Grasshopper hasn’t been in use for long before it sadly had to move up the attic of the hospital. Even if the mission with the chair to the hospital didn’t led to an immediate prosperity Bruno continued his work and carefully studied the ”mechanics of sitting”. He wanted to find the perfect sitting line, or curve and this he approached in different ways. One way of finding it he got through sitting in snow and then study the imprint his body just made. Once again the comfort was one of his biggest aims. He further on kept on experimenting with techniques of bent laminating wood to gaining skills and found out compotes of great strength but still with a gracefully and restrain look. Bruno held his visual language minimalistic and did never use more elements than necessary.

In 1936 Bruno launched three new chairs in one series that he called “Working”, “Easy” and “Lounge chair” model 36. These chairs were all designed using one piece of frame covered with plated webbing supported by separate bent laminated legs. Different but same. Bruno was reaching for a concept of a chair that could work for different settings. As well as working is something we do we equally need a chair for resting. I find it funny that Bruno made the chair ”Lounge chair” so much reminding about a sun-lounger though I somehow think it says a lot about the Swedish mentality. As the winters are long and heavy in this northern country people appreciate the summers and specially the sun almost in an absurd way and because of this Swedish people often make jokes about how we to the very extend try to catch every minute of sun.
br m 2
The sketch of the three chairs in one serie.

Liggstol = Lounge chair

Arbetsstol = Working Chair

Vilstol =Easy

 

THE BREAKTHROUGH

The three basic chairs can more or less be seen as a breakthrough in the career for Bruno. The same year Bruno got the opportunity to have an own exhibition in the Roohska Arts and Craft Museum where he now could show his work for a much bigger audience. Brunos chairs did apparently made a bigger accomplishment in the space of a museum than in the Swedish hospitals and soon Mathsson could be seen as one of the leaders in the design of Sweden. One year after the exhibition Bruno was asked to participate in his first international exhibition in Paris, “The Paris 1937 Expo”,

exposition-internationale-paris-1937Bruno_mathsson_bok_bocker_design

where he won the Grand Prix for his bed “Paris” that he showed. His furniture was received with a great appreciation and admiration and he got a lot of interested from all over the world. The same year his furniture also got represented at other exhibitions such as the world exhibition in New York and the Golden Gate-exhibition  San Fransisco.

Swedish Pavilion Golden Gate International Exposition 1939

 

WORKING IN AND OUTSIDE OF SWEDEN

Even if Bruno never gave up his small hometown Varnamo he made a lot of journeys abroad to stay update. In the 1940s Bruno made a visit to the US with his fiancé Karin that resulted in lots of new inspiration, which led to among others, an architectural work that would become very famous as built houses in glass. Houses you today can visit in Kosta, called the Mathsson Glasshouses.

The light was of great value for Bruno, which you already could notice in his furniture’s and I think you can see a link here to his way of using of the glass as a material. Bruno wanted to get as close to nature as possible and investigating in how close the design could get to nature, and this was something he was developing through his work with the glasshouses. Later during the winter times Bruno used to leave Sweden for some months for going abroad and spend some time in Portugal where he could work in one of his own glasshouses that was established there.

br m 4 glasshaus-interior
 

PERNILLA

In the late 30s and beginning of the 40s Bruno’s international work somehow slowed down a bit, partly as a result of the The Second World War. By reason of this he however slowed down the tempo of the business and instead got more time to be able to develop his own design. In 1944 he launched the classic chair for resting “Pernilla 2” and then one year later the deck chair “Pernilla”. Pernilla was a chair in the already recognizable and typical style of Mathsson in which he used the technique of bending the laminating wood to get the curve he wanted and then used the plaiting technique for the cover. This time he let the whole chair be covered with the light natural green textile. The only part of the chair that wasn’t covered was the armrests. “Pernilla” was also resourced with something similar to a Canterbury, which could be used for reading without the need of using hands.

But why the name Pernilla? In further research I found out that in 1943 Bruno got interviewed by a journalist from the Swedish daily newspaper “Dagens Nyheter”  by a journalist called Pernilla.

Pernilla pernilla_tunberger, or Pernilla Tunberger as her correct name were was a prosperous and important journalist that were beside writing about Bruno’s work an involved food columnist. She wrote critical about the food processing industry and she lifted questions around food and transport; something that was not that common in this days. She often created heads in the newspaper and somehow she must have made big impact also to Bruno as he after their meeting decided to dedicate the chair to her.

To give his chairs and furniture’s name were later to become significant for Bruno. And nearly all of them he gave female names. Eva, Mina and Miranda were besides “Pernilla” three of the most famous furniture he made and they were all named after women he met. Was he a man with mainly woman surrounding him or why did he want to give his furniture’s female names? In this I’m leaved to speculations.

As I said earlier the name of the chair worked as an intriguer to me and gave the chair a certain personality. I like to think of the furniture’s of our homes as nearly creatures and as objects that we care about. Furthermore I think it also contributes to a philosophy of the importance of quality. When our furniture’s get personal to us, we put more effort to take care of them and then we have them for longer. By this the quality will play a stronger role and quality together with functionality was together with the ergonomic quality and beauty the main things in Bruno’s concept of design.

Bruno continued his work for many years and and the fact that he turned older was nothing that constrained his passion. In the 1970?s Bruno for example had a project going on way outside of Europe, where he were being part of a panel discussing design with a several hundred interior architects in Tokyo. In 1981, at seventy-four years of age, he designed a workstation for computer users that was equipped with a “wing” that supported the shoulders. The last piece of furniture Bruno Mathssons did he made at the age of 90, the easychair “Minister” in 1986.

Bruno Mathsson died in 1988 leaving behind a rich cultural heritage.

only a scale model


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The impact of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe on modern architecture is of similar magnitude as that of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. With his timeless, rational architecture and eternal quest for the essence of architecture his influence can still be felt today. The career of Mies van der Rohe falls into two parts; until 1938 he played a major role in the German architectural world and after 1938 he influenced a totally different world on the other side of the ocean, in the United States.

In the 30’s of the last century the architects of the bauhaus were very aware of their dangerous position in Nazi Germany. In 1938, Mies van der Rohe emigrated to the United States where he was appointed director of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The work of the architect changed, but related topics returned regularly. He studied in the United States how he could coordinate the technical and constructive capabilities of the U.S. construction industry architecture.

250px-Rascacielos_de_vidrio

From the Wendingen issues I chose the Glass skyscraper desiged by Mies van der Rohe, Due to the nazi rule it was never actually build. Van der Rohe stated about the building “the exceptional form of the plant stems from the structure of the site and the result is due to the properties of transparent and reflective glass facade, which the architect admitted openly: “Tests on a model of glass showed me the way and soon I realized that by using the crystal is not achieving an effect of light or shadow, but rather to achieve a great game of reflections of light. ”

I do think that is one of the reasons why these buildings are seen so frequent until this very day. The scale model shows how far ahead of his time Van der Rohe was.

721px-Rascacielos_de_vidrio_planta

Wendingen 5-3 1923 Rijksacademie Amsterdam

Lamp Science


Saturday, September 28, 2013

 

Gispen’s Giso lamp (model 24)

A lamp, a simple product. A lamp only needs to give light, you have to turn on the light and after that you don’t have to touch it anymore. So a product designer is not really limited to the function of it, except the fact that it must give light. Or is this not true? Despite of all the possibilities to create a decorative lamp, Willem Hendrik Gispen made a really minimalistic lamp, the ‘Giso Lamp’ []. Only a white opal glass shade and a frosted glass above it, but that simplicity, I think, is the power of it. Willem Hendrik Gispen (1890-1981) was a dutch designer. In 1916 he began his own forge, called ‘W.H. Gispen & Co’, where he created crafted products. But in the twenties Gispen  became increasingly influenced by the design ideas of De Stijl and he switched from traditional to mechanized production. In 1926 he designed and produced the Giso lamps, it became a big success. The Giso lamp (Nr. 24) is a pendant lamp and  has a shade made of white opal glass that is 25 cm and a frosted glass disk that is 43 cm, the stem is made of nickeled metal. The opal glass ensures that the light is not really intense, but soft. The disk ensures that the light is not going up but only going down, the reason why most of all the lamps have a hood is interesting. Maybe a lamp is not only to give light, but also to give it a direction. There are a lot of Giso lamps [], but I think Nr.24 is one of the nicest, because of that disk above the shade.

This lamp is an interesting starting point to look at the vision of Gispen about de art of light. Gispen says that in the theatre the only place is where they control the light so good, that it became a real lighting art. This is because they focus on the most essential element: the light, and they are constantly occupied with the goal: lighting. If you want to make a lamp, you should be aware of the technique and also the goal: the right light on the right place. The requirements that must be set by a good lamp are  of different kind: physically, technical, economic, psychic. There are two groups that create lamps, but not with all the suspects. Architects and artist only focus on the psychic suspect, but then rarely on the main points of this suspect: colour and mood of the light. They only focus on the carrier of the light source, the lamp or ornament. The meaning of a lamp and the way to show it be interchanged. He thinks of all possibilities, an interesting way of hang up, or he creates lamps in the form of a square, instead of round, or a lamp out of wood. He thinks about everything except the fact that a lamp must be an object that light the space as good as possible. The other group is the group that only focus on the technical and economic suspect of a lamp, they want to create the best formula: the most light for the lowest costs. A lot of calculations and math, but a moderate result.

Gispen_Model24_redu

 
I will explain the different requirements.

The physic requirements: the light must be calm and not flicker, that is harmful to the eye. Also the light must not be too strong, that is also harmful for the eye. So you have to cover the light source. You can see how it is done in the Giso lamp. The shade is made of Giso-glass, the best kind of crystal glass, in minimal achievable thickness, (1mM.) covered with a layer of white glass, to a thickness of only 1/5 mM. They make the light pleasant and soft and only lose 10-15% of the light. Also the light must not be too weak. If the light is too weak it requires too much effort from the eye.

The technical requirements: the light out of a lamp can be controlled, by the use of reflectors, diffusers and light-breakers. The light can be absorbed and reflected, the way it absorbed and reflects depends on the material that is used for the reflectors, diffusers or light breakers. So you need to know about materials if you want to create a good lamp. There are also three different ways of lighting: – direct lighting. The reflector is so made that the light goes straight to one place, and is very concentrated. Examples are outdoor lighting or lights in a storefront.

-Indirect lighting: you get this light to let the light first been shined on to the ceiling. But the shadow it creates is so small that you get a surrealistic feeling, and also it is really expensive because the efficiency is only 35%.
-Half-indirect lighting: the best for general lighting. You’ll get this light if you put the lamp in a diffuser of a particular form. The light will shine in all directions . The Giso lamps are made to create this half-indirect lighting. But what you can see, the Giso lamp Nr. 24 has also a reflector above the diffuser, so the light won’t go up to the ceiling.

Economic requirements: maximum efficiency at minimum power consumption. Giso glass is perfect for this efficiency. It has a huge perseverance.

Psychic requirements: the place where a lamp hangs is of course important for how it looks like, a lamp in a living room must be different than a lamp in a party room or a storefront. As you have read there are many different requirements that a lamp must meet. They already decide what a lamp should look like, but you still can design a lamp as good as possible. For example Gispen uses soft gold bronze instead of dark bronze, so there is less contrast between the white shaves and the metal. The Giso lamp (Nr. 24) does not hang on a clumsy chain, but on a fine metal tube.

So maybe it was not true that a lamp is just a simple product. You have to be aware of all kind of different suspects if you want create a lamp, as Gispen did. But if you think it doesn’t matter at all, you can make whatever you want, without looking at all the requirements. (in my experiment I look don’t really look at the requirement, only at the atmosphere.)

 

Light experiment

Experiment

So now we know what Gispen thoughts were about light. I wanted to do my own light experiment. I changed my lamp into different forms, to look what will happen with the lamp and my room when I make small changes. I used my lamp in my bedroom that has a reflector above the lamp, so the light is more concentrated on the floor and less on the ceiling (like the Giso lamp number 24). I put all kind of different things under the lamp or covered it. The changes are huge, you can see it in the pictures, but it was even more in reality. If we look at the physic requirements I think Gispen would say that I made really bad lamps, because they are often too weak. Personally I like weak light, I liked the one with the white paper around the lamp, and the light concentrated on one point of my room and the rest of the room was less light. Economically it were also not really good lamps, a lot of light gets absorbed so it was not really: maximum efficiency at minimum power consumption. But my experiment was not about creating a good lamp. But about what little changes to a lamp do with the atmosphere of the room. I found out that it changes a lot to a room, but also really your mood. When found out that when the light changed, so my view at my room changed, so my mood changed. The best example was maybe the one with the color, the blue was cold and the red warm. Also the weakness of the light matters to my mood, the darker, the more I get into a mysterious almost melancholic mood. So I discovered through this whole research the impact of a lamp in a room. And that is bigger than I first thought.

 

Light experiment

 

Abstract Language of Space and Light – the Metaphor of Perception in Space for Correspondence


Saturday, August 31, 2013

 

Melancholia_rietveld graduation show2013Ji Sun Nowh

 

Writing this I discovered a new aesthetic language through the “way of looking” and the combination of possibility and imagination latent in it. This tends toward the potential unknown reality. The artist has an insight to see through various worlds and this inner eye allows the artist to experience the

other world beyond reality. Melancholia03_ Jisun Nowh_redu The work created by this artist is the very gateway leading us to this place across time. Through the operation of thinking and recollecting, we are able to bring out the invisible time and space, experiences, reminiscence, and subconscious. What I have attempted to represent using a metaphoric form of visual language is the faint outlines of the invisible beings, the lingering ambiance of light, and the emotional respiration coming from the stream of subconscious, all experienced through the mutual perception of time and space.

Melancholia04_ Jisun Nowh_redu Melancholia02_ Jisun Nowh_redu
My work intends to be vacant and open rather than to express many things. This is to induce the viewers to read the work as a reflection of their own experience and sensibility. I found that architecture and art consist of the inner abstraction and the perception of light and I have experienced the process of the works in this thesis that starts from the convergence of form, line, color and sensibility and develops into sculpture, painting and building involving space and light. The combination of form and color awakens the sensibility inside this. I tried to enable a more direct visual experience and bring out the abstract forms to the real space in order to substantiate them.

The geometrical Melancholia01_ Jisun Nowh_redu forms in these works are  imaginative spaces waiting to be filled with serene experiences.
I brought this abstract language form into my work and it will be originate from the restoration of imagination through the “way of looking”. I wish it did not remain in the state of merely reflecting the inner space but rather to be continuously reborn through various interpretations by being read as different stories and experiences.

text by Jisun Nowh [graduate student department of Inter Architecture]

 
Pdf-icon Download my thesis: ”Abstract Language of Space and Light;
The metaphor of perception in space and light for correspondence
 

Lucellino by Ingo Maurer


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

 

Lucellino by Ingo Maurer

 

Two words that probably describe Maurer’s designs the best are whimsical and magical. His works always seem to have a narrative about them and a certain ability to draw you in. Facing Maurer’s designs it is easy to forget that the object you are encountering is a lamp or a lighting device / installation. The infinite imagination present in Maurer’s work is not the solely thing he should be praised for. Maybe even more the ability to create such work and still keep it as simple and minimalistic as possible, always trying to reduce the material usage to the bare necessity. What makes it possible for Maurer to create in this manner, is also the fact that he was a pioneer in applying contemporary discoveries in light technology to his designs. First with the introduction of the halogen bulb and later the LED as well.
Ingo Maurer’s work is thus characterized with a wit, humor and easiness only a light magician like him can achieve.
Ingo Maurer [born May 12 1932 in Reichenau Germany] is an industrial designer who devoted his career to light, light design and light installations.

 

 

One of the examples of such wittiness is certainly his work Lucellino, the standing lamp from 1992. The usage of the material is visibly scarce, yet only a bulb, a wire, a metal stem and a pair of goose feather wings are enough to create this almost alive-like lamp creature.

Seeing Lucellino in the Stedelijk it was evident that it will be my item of choice, as I, myself, have always been inexplicably attracted to light and light emitting bodies.
What also attracted me to Lucellino was its animalistic quality of embodying a bird-like creature (hence the name – luce = light, ucellino = small bird ) which made it easy for me to connect with this object.

Its playful charm makes it more than just a lamp but rather an object that almost has an intelligence of its own.

A FIGHT FOR SUSTAINABLE LIGHT


Saturday, January 28, 2012

 

 

sustainable |s??st?n?b?l|
adjective
able to be maintained at a certain rate or level : sustainable fusion reactions.
• Ecology (esp. of development, exploitation, or agriculture) conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.
• able to be upheld or defended : sustainable definitions of good educational practice.

Sustainability has become an word used easily in the design world. It has become somewhat of a trend to be sustainable. However, to what extent are these designers, categorized as sustainable, truly part of that platform? Recently, there has been an exhibition in the Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam on sustainability, slow design and new energy. There was a great collection of works that were chosen to be displayed in the museum by the curator. While I was walking through the collection I wondered how and why the curator had chosen to present these particular works. There is a link to sustainability in all of them, yet, is the relationship valid enough?
There were many products which used natural elements, but do they fulfill the criteria of being sustainable? As you can see above the definition is: ‘conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources’. This is a very complex statement. If you are creating awareness of the natural resources and using it as a platform for design does that imply that you are being sustainable? It seems to be that designer takes this idea of sustainability a bit too easily. To investigate this concept I interviewed Mike Thompson and looked at his work.

Mike Thompson sees himself as an instigator of design in the bio-technological world. Using unusual power sources, he has developed a myriad of ways to create light. One of these unusual design was shown in the Boijmans exhibit. The piece, named “the blood lamp“, contains a fluid, which reacts to blood to create an ambient lighting. Curious about it’s versatility, I asked Mike Thompson whether his light only reacts on blood or if other fluids could trigger a similar reaction. The answer was surprising, a yes for urine. Urine is as effective as blood as it is the ions that react to the fluid.
His objective behind the project was to create a ‘debate piece’. In his words: a piece that would ‘plant a seed of thought’ and ‘change our relationship towards energy’. The user of the lamp would have to think about the sacrifice (blood donation) that would have to be made in order to use energy. Blood, is a romantic to stimulate self-analysis. Do we use energy with that same consciousness, when we are in fact sacrificing the delicate balance of our natural surroundings.

Blood Lamp – Mike Thompson video

My choice to investigate Mike Thompson as the representing designer of the Booijmans van Beuningen, was based on the fact that he established a piece which by using beautiful symbolism, had created a clear message towards the public. However the question still remains whether or not we can call this ‘enlightening’ piece sustainable.

When I asked Mike Thompson how he interpreted the word sustainability; he directly admitted that his work and his way of working was not based on being sustainable. He merely wanted to create some consciousness and does not believe that his rather unsustainable process of creating pieces will distract from the message he is trying to bring across.

But is this the role of the designer? Designers, in this day and age are merely the instigators of something new and innovative. It is the role of the designer to create something tangible for the public. Mike Thompson is working on a biotechnological level surrounded by people whose main goal may only be sustainability. From which a product or solution may appear that do not relate to the world around us. The designer’s role can be seen as a mediating role, a role which Mike Thompson takes with pride. It is important to remember ‘that no one is shown the way to speculate’ and speculation is all we can do. A nice example of how the relationship between the design world and the biotechnological world works, is a new project that Mike Thompson is working on. He is in cooperation to create an ambient light that would trap light. The principle behind trapping light is that the lamp would catch light through which it would be able to reuse light and work for hours after the light has been trapped. In theory this project may work, but it does not yet. This initiation of creating the trapped light can cultivate a whole new stream of designs for recyclable light sources. Mike Thompson often works in theory, he has also designed a light called the algae light. The light would hypothetically work through photosynthesis. This however is not possible. But by designing these hypothetical pieces he has initiated a chain of thoughts: Are we able to use these natural processes for our own benefits? Or as he has written on his website: Are we able to use a flower as a light switch?. A question definitely worth further investigation.

In relation to many other works that where exposed I do believe that the work of Mike Thompson has an interesting approach to sustainability. I would however like to put him on a new platform, and make clear that he is not being sustainable with the blood lamp and is in no way ‘conserving natural resources’. The platform for designers that I would like to create and initiate would be called; ‘instigators of sustainability’. You can question whether this does not fall under slow design, but I am a great fan of clear labels, and words like sustainability are very easily manipulated to something that it is not. To prevent this from happening again we can merely add the verb ‘instigator’.

 

 

 

More on Mike Thompson: http://www.miket.co.uk/


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

entering.
sucked in.
floating.
utterly detached.
vanishing edges.
out of focus.
trying to resume.
luminous.
reverberation.
collapsing borders.
surfaces.
totally surrounded.
circling around.
indifferent.
spinning.
round. round.
lined.
behind.
different shades of. red. yellow. purple. green. blue. pink. black. white. grey. brown. orange.
passing by.
driving.
forms. square. rectangle. stripes.

trying to summarize.
repack.
total loss of consciousness.
realization.
scattered.
vague.
blurry.
still floating.
losing direction.
packed.
rapped.
interest.
curiosity.
surprise.
amusement.
hope.
joy.
elation.
triumph.
attraction.
desire.
admiration.
panic.
aversion.
disgust.
revulsion.
fear.
anger.
rage.
cruelty.
hate.

greed.
jealousy.
sorrow.
grief.
remorse.
embarrassment.
shame.
guilt.

with hands forward walking. touching. scanning.
soft. squeeze. searching for edges.
lost. still floating.
vanishing.
deleting.

disappeared.

 

this post is part of he subjective library project "Unopened Book"
the book can be found at the Rietveld library : catalog no : -rothk-5

Heavenly Glass


Monday, November 28, 2011

 

The first time I went to the Tuschinksi theater I must have been somewhat around 10 years old. It made a huge impression on me, between all the ugly stores and cheap restaurants, a beautiful building with butterfly cocoons and metal trees.

Remembering this I decided to rediscover this building when we got the assignment on the “Wendingen” magazines.

So with my camera I went there, the building was still as impressive (looking a bit smaller though) and from the entrance to the loge it was a real joy. There is so much detail at first it looks like scribbling, but after a while I could focus on individual parts  of the interior. Behind the bar there are three heads, enlisted by glass birds in blue and yellow. The walls mostly covered by paintings and endless woodwork. And the many lamps, in all possible shapes. Mostly they look like stylized insects.

But when I asked a lady if she maybe had some information on the theater and the lamps and glass-work specifically, she told me no. Also, sadly, I could not go past the entrance hall. Luckily I was allowed to take some pictures [x].

(more…)

DeBazel


Thursday, May 19, 2011

On Chaos, Fine Matter & The Immaterial.

From a Theosophical point of view, the whole body of the Stadsarchief Amsterdam represents the three basic evolutional stages; chaos, fine matter and the immaterial. The dark, syenite foundation of the building signifies the lowest level of cosmic evolution from which all forms emerge. From the solid base rises the concrete skeleton hidden by the façade of interlaced yellow bricks and purple granite. To the Theosophist yellow is equal to gold and represents the sun and male cosmic power, the purple symbolizes the moon and female cosmic power. In this sense the façade realizes one of the most important principles in H.P. Blavatsky’s (founder of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society) work The Secret Doctrine; the cosmic creation rising out of the chaos. This is called the fine matter or Svabhavat. Finally the massive glass roof that rest on top of the building, letting the light reach all the way down to the central court embodies the spirit or the immaterial. The immaterial is the highest level of cosmic evolution and brings everything to life through astral light (imagine all the employees working on the ground floor of the building still being able to get a glimpse of sunlight). This brick spekkoek is not just a fireproof vault; it is the manifestation of cosmic evolution.

[by Olga Nordwall]

Light in ‘De Bazel’

Bazel’s unique architectural form was greatly influenced by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright as it conveys a feeling of harmony and balance, with hidden religious influences in its simple organic form de Basel achieved to combine modern architectural ideas with ancient archetypes.
The glass ceiling of the building creates a sense of transparency as it leaves space for an everlasting game between light and darkness to be played within its chambers. In de Bazel sky is the lightest element of the building nearly unreachable source of luminosity then you have the last floors escalating like Japanese rice fields, 3 floors down , allowing thin air occupy most of the space in between. As you go down its round stairs the light becomes dimmer due to the stained glass that covers the windows, leading to the basement of the building where light slightly becomes less and less as you go further down, until the only source of light is artificial, asphyxiatin (being smothered) between the close walls of the basement, the spaces become smaller and the air thicker.
From the outside de Bazel seems like a close fortress contrasting with the true inner nature of the building, containing hidden beauties and mysterious qualities, stands and talks for itself as the great architectural piece that it is.

[by .............]

Checkout that amazing table.

I wanted to write you something about the amazing table in the Italian room/italiaanse zaal in de Bazel but I could not find any information about it from the internet and I missed the name of the designer, help me out please!
I think the contrast of something so modern with the rest of the room (18th century style Italian landscape murals) is a very cool effect. Since the weird Italian room quite stands out from the whole building and it’s style, placing such a minimal design table there was a brilliant move who ever then did it in the later years. I also had to think about a connection to the glass stairs (by Claus & Kaan) down to the archive that the guide was so enthusiastic about.

[by Katja Hannula]

Amsterdam City archives

Amsterdam City Archives was first built to be used as a bank, and it was not until 2007 that the purpose of the building changed to host the city’s archives.
The building was designed in 1919 by de Bazel and was finished at 1926, three years after de Bazel’s sudden death.
Its unique architectural form was greatly influenced by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright as it conveys a feeling of harmony and balance, with hidden religious influences in its simple organic form de Basel achieved to combine modern architectural ideas with ancient archetypes.
The glass ceiling of the building creates a sense of transparency as it leaves space for an everlasting game between light and darkness to be played within its chambers, the glass ceiling also supports the contrast between the inside-outside impression since when you look at the building from the outside it gives the feeling of claustrophobic space but in contrary to its illusive form when you enter the space a feel like you re in the middle of an open space.
The building was officially declared as a national monument in 1991 for its distinctive formal values by the Dutch government.

[by Clair Bamplekou]

Balanced architecture

Amsterdam Archive building. A creation of Dutch architect Karel de Bazel in which each and every measurement and size are dedicated to the proportions of the human body. However the architectural tradition which seems quite unique for that period, takes its roots back in the ancient times…

The philosophical approach, formulated in 5th century BC by the Greek philosopher Pytagoras, stating that “Man is the measure of all things”, was further developed by the Roman architect and theorist Vitruvius, who created a famous code of human proportions, describing how a well-built man fits with extended arms and legs into the most perfect geometrical figures (circle and square), which was supposed to be the basis of temples and churches of those times to be able to give a person a feeling of balanced architecture.

This principle greatly inspired Leonardo da Vinci, who in the 15th century made a famous drawing of a vitruvian man as an attempt to relate human body to nature and architecture, as well as trying to define the ideal Renaissance church.

At the beginning of the 20th century, continuing the research of da Vinci, Le Corbusier created his modular, an anthropometric scale of proportions, based on the height of man with his arm raised as an attempt to discover mathematical proportions in the human body and then to use that knowledge to improve both the appearance and function of architecture.

In his own way, based on theosophical approach, de Bazel also set out in search of universal harmony and balance for his work on the Archive building. In the lay-out of the building he used a raster of rectangular’s of 3,2×3,6 meters, in other words 8/9×9/9, which reflect the proportions of the human body with and without head. A result of it – a building, which feels comfortable, inviting and truly made for a human-being!

[by Anastasia Starostenko]

personal architecture

What is fancy about building De Bazel designed by Karel De Bazel is the whole ideology he put into forms, patterns, outlays and finally the facade of the whole construction. He believed in harmony and balance in life so its projects, expressed his personal feelings and confessions. Noticeable is how every detail has been refined and his travels to Indonesia rebounded imprint on the inside of this building here. I liked the idea concerning the architecture as a bridge between cultures, beliefs. Coming into the building, despite not knowing the architect's plan was to feel the atmosphere of stability and peace. It seems to me that you have to have an amazing sense of form to achieve this effect. It is almost like being a good psychologist. Because of the openness of architect’s mind the building he constructed could be very easily called a place of a surprise and admiration but also curiosity. Indeed, when you keep moving between the rooms, halls, you almost get an impression that you are in a museum. The idea to place the archive there is the more accurate and suits his concept better than it did for the bank that was originally there, I guess.

[by Agnieszka Zimolag]

Bazel Civilization

The Bazel is not only a building, but also furniture! I had been visiting the Bazel before, but this time the guide was putting a particular accent for the furniture “designed by De Bazel”. Not only tables and chairs, but also coffee cups, inkwells, the colors of the walls. Everything inside the building was made on purpose to fit in the building and consequently I imagine the people looking like the building too! I personally find really contemporary the idea of making such big project and follow it from the beginning until every final detail (or almost, because Karel de Bazel was dead in 1923, just before finishing the project). A “total” architecture that keeps together the whole environment inside it. It makes me imagine at the creation of a new civilization where all the tools are thought in a way that consequences and growth are predictable. It sounds science fiction, but it’s what happen when design is perfectly designed. In the Bazel furniture, colors and objects have differences depending on the level of importance of the person they were  made for. Most of the differences are details that say “we are almost the same, but my chair has a more comfortable seat” or “my table is bigger”. That’s why the hierarchic system of the bank, De Bazel designe, required respect and strict definition of roles. This is not difficult to understand for that time (early ’20s), but weird to realize in the proud voice of the giude talking about “the desk set for the president manager, a bit more black of the others desk sets, designed BY DE BAZEL”.

[by Sara Cattin]

De Bazel

Vijzelstraat number 32. the front of this huge building is covered completley with construction frames. Workers are shouting.

Karel de bazel is responsible for this.

Enter the 1920s. Look at this beautful wooden floor! Elegant white. Sunflooded. A sealing out of glass.

„karel did this all by himself!“ i love our guide, she fits the building.

Shocking from the outside and so sensible from the inside, like everything in this cityarchive; the cellar, massiv tresor doors.

Esotherik painted sealing.

„ de bazel designd everything in here, thats a gesamtkunstwerk!“ „ de bazel designd everything in here, thats a gesamtkunstwerk!“ i love our guide.

But she loves karel.

Black marmor. Dark green walls. Thats the chef etage. Now a days you can get married here.

This going back way back into time. 1920s and stylishe lightswitches. De bazel is a craftsman he knows his bussines. This is love for the detail.

He died before the building was finished. True romance. he would be proud.

I am.

[by Martin Kaehler]

light is art, and in the fusion of all art with life, light is life


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

light is art, and in the fusion of all art with life, light is life
It is quite a bold statement to make, but not a wrong one in my opinion. Light is one of the keystones to our existence, it is energy, warmth and above all it makes us the visually driven creatures that we are. Moholy-nagy introduced photography and film in art as the new media with light as its main ingredient. And with this move he made art accessible for a much larger audience than paintings for instance. He wanted this to be so very much, art in his opinion was something that merged with life itself, worked together with it, to make one big artwork together of it all.
and to that sense in his view light is life.
Of course this was a long time ago, and film, photography now together with other media such as TV and Internet we can’t even imagine a time without them. It might be still be a valid statement today, but it didn’t proof to be only right, now art can also be an idea, an idea only, or a set of instructions of how to execute ones idea. In this view i would now say:

thought is art, and in the fusion of all art with life, thought is life

light is an outside source, which is very important, but animals also experience light. Art is opposite to animals, art is what makes us human, because art makes us reflect upon ourselves, something an animal can not do.  Thought is at first within ourselves and is the source of all human actions. And to express this we can use light to make it visible, but also sound and touch are just as valid means of expression.
Moholy-Nagy thought of art as an collective mentality where art and all other things to life would merge together as one big whole. and trough this way would create a general progress is humanity. again a very noble thought but still incomplete, seen his view on light, and light only as the medium. Touch, smell, sound, taste and light are all equally important medias in which a human can express himself.  Especially because he wanted art to be an overall merging cornerstone to society he might have meant:

Sensibility is art,  and in the fusion of all art with life, sensibility is life

instalation Moholy Nagy using all senses


Log in
subscribe