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"postmodernism" Tag


The X-Factor: Interior Edition


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Even though the title of the book that I will discuss here sounds like a cheap television-show, I am forced to be objective today. Therefore I would like to mention that the title of the book is, in fact, both good and bad. I’m totally neutral about it, really.

Xtreme Interiors – Courtenay Smith + Annette Ferrara;
is what the cover screams (the ‘X’ in ‘Xtreme’ covers most of the cover, printed in pink).
You might wonder why I am discussing the book with this particular cover at all. Well, dearest reader, with the three old keywords from a previous article (the keywords being: Bauhaus, contemporary, decoration) I have written for this site, I had to choose a book from the Art section in the Rietveld Library. As you may expect, the Art section in the Rietveld Library covers more than just one shelf. I even am under the impression that the Rietveld Library is an art-minded library rather than a usual library. Anyway, the three keywords in combination with the Art section of the Rietveld Library brought me to this book; since it’s full with contemporary architecture that does use decorations a lot.

The cover turns out to be very straightforward about its content: it’s a simple book filled with pictures of extreme interiors. Unlike the previous book, this book does look a lot like an art book: every two-pager has at least one image; every image is supported by some text. The book supports a wide range of architectural interests: it shows images from renowned architects to companies like IKEA, it shows interiors from all over the world and from many different movements/years – although it does not show any interiors from before the 20th century.
I think this book is more a fun-to-have, a visual page-turner to inspire your architectural designs once you found out that your designs are just as boring as the ones of most modern architects.

Rietveld Library cat.nr: 14564

Self-expression, constructed in mathematics


Friday, May 3, 2013

With three keywords in the back of my head, I had to search for another book in the Rietveldian Library.
I had chosen a book I new that I would hate – a book about modern architecture.

The keywords ‘Bauhaus’, ‘Contemporary’ and ‘Decoration’ had to give me a clue what to choose. Yet this time, I had to be objective. Ah well, when I saw the book entitled ‘Postmodern Urbanism (Revised Edition)’ it was easy to choose without judging. It was clearly the best book to choose for me, since Postmodern Urbanism is extremely contemporary, Bauhaus-influenced and therefore a-decorative (relating to ‘decoration’ as a keyword).

The first thing one could notice about the book, is that it feels a lot like a modern building itself. The book is solid, practical, safe, strong, linear in design, no decorations (except for the cover, however, the decoration is rather mathematical than baroque-like) and unpersonal. I estimate there are about 15 pictures in the book that counts almost 400 pages. This is definitely remarkable for a book about art, where the visual aspect is usually so important. It feels like a book written by a philosopher rather than an artist; rather focused on the inside visuals of one’s mind than the outside visuals of the physical world, in which all contemporary postmodern buildings are standing after all (if we forget about the people that say that what is in their brains is reality too, which of course is debatable).

Upon studying the book a little bit longer, one could notice it’s full of footnotes. The book really looks a lot like a scientific paper, it does not look like an art book at all. I feel the urge to complain about modern architecture again, how it is so different, so ancient, so non evolved compared to other forms of modern art, but let’s keep it objective here, hey!

Rietveld Library cat.nr: 14749


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