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


"research" Tag


SCREEN 100


Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Presentation of ‘Screen 100’

In the Stedelijk Museum Base, a screen made of pinewood can be found, next to other Scandinavian design. The description tells the beholder some basic information of when the screen was designed, by who, and when this specific one was produced.The object was designed by Alvar Aalto, who was a Finnish architect and designer who was born on the 3rd of February 1898. He could be seen as one of the most influential in Scandinavian design of his time. When looking at the representation of his works in books, his architecture is most prominent, as those were very big projects he worked on for multiple years. For every building he made he wanted the environment to be functional, so naturally he also started making furniture. In books about Alvar Aalto there is often a mention of the Pinoy vase and the Paimio chair, but it’s difficult to find the more obscure ‘Screen 100’.

aaaaaaltoScreen 100 Alvar Aalto in Stedelijk Museum Base

However, looking for it on the internet, thousands of results pop up. Even though printed matter hardly mentions the less popular objects, this does not seem to be the problem online. Instead of information about the object itself, or biographical details about Aalto (or maybe even the theory behind his design) it seems to be mostly auction sites. Various auction houses have a broad range of prices, starting from around €1800,- till approximately €8000,-. The sites claim that their ‘Screen 100’ was produced very short after the design year, but never give actual information on the piece. Often, the screen is presented in a way that Alvar Aalto would never. Next to very decorative elements full of color, or with clashing styles. The only place on the internet that seems to accurately depict the aesthetic of his designs is Artek.fi , the company founded by Alvar Aalto himself to produce his products en masse. Still though, the site remains simplistic and does not give away too much information.

auction site aaltointernet screensaalto artek

To see how this object is represented in other media, a library needs to be visited. Specifically, the library of the Stedelijk Museum itself. In this library there are many books on art and design, but there are also documents on every piece in the museum, including ‘Screen 100’ by Alvar Aalto. Looking in their catalog, many books on Alvar Aalto mostly focus on his architecture again. However, there are some books specifically on his industrial design. Even then, the screen is not put into the spotlight. In one of the books about Aalto’s design, it only has a very small mention in the back of the book, where his designs are put in chronological order. Only a small symbol is present, no pictures of the screen are shown in the book. The depiction of this exact design item is very scarce, even in very specific books.

alvar aalto furniture bookartek design alvar aalto chronological order

Luckily, the museum library has more than just those books. A brown file storage box is brought out, containing various brochures and sale catalogs from Artek. There are folders and papers from the fifties, nineties and early two thousands that contain every object sold by Artek. These are one of the few printed documents that show ‘Screen 100’. Besides the catalogs, the library also has the complete object description on hand, which is a file including all known details about the specific screen that they have in the museum. Details like the manufacturer, the size, the number of slats, and even how the object is transported are included. In this description it is mentioned that the screen was used in the museum, before it was put in the collection of the Stedelijk Base. Pictures show that the screen was used to block entryways while exhibitions were built. This means that the object was also represented in a very practical context.
artekartek catalogus spread alvar aalto designscreen 100 alvar aalto volledige objectbeschrijving stedelijkscreen 100 aalto stedelijk

The differences of how the media presents this object lie in the frequency and detail of information. Printed matter available in regular libraries often focus mostly on the more iconic, time consuming efforts of Alvar Aalto, as his architecture is often more prominently shown than his design. If the design does have a mention, it is mostly the more popular things that will be mentioned. This also holds true for more specific books on his design. One of the few printed matters that do mention the screen are very functional such as inventories or catalogs, where the context is about selling a product, instead of informing the reader about various movements or ideas. The price is often listed right next to the object. The same holds true for the information found on the internet, where auctioning sites give a very simple description on the object. However, the online results show a variety of pictures of the same object, in different combinations and settings, whereas the printed catalogs often go with the same pictures and symbols. While the museum library has one of the most accurate and detailed descriptions for the object, one can only understand it fully by seeing it firsthand. Even then your understanding of it can depend on the context in which you see it, as the screen can be represented among other furniture of Scandinavian designers in the context of a presentation in a museum, or seeing it functional, as an everyday item, where you are more likely to glance over it.

Yet, after a deep dive into the designs of Alvar Aalto it seems impossible to glance over it and not admire the simplistic beauty that is inherent to ‘Screen 100’.

Providing research in reaction to Research


Friday, October 26, 2018

A Research about research

Taking the Work “Relief Rug” from Dutch Artist Kitty van der Mijll Dekker, made in 1934 as a leading example, the following text will try to surround and highlight analogies as well as differences in researching online or in printed matter.

The following articles give additional information about the Artwork itself, the Artist as well as the Bauhaus.

http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/?p=67877

https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/collection/35745-kitty-van-der-mijll-dekker-reliefkleed

https://www.bauhaus-dessau.de/de/index.html

 

Starting with the inscription, which is hung by the museum next to the piece as the first information any audience should get, and could already be named printed information as well, the text doesn’t say anything but the basic information we expect from such source. Juxtaposed with other objects, artworks and artefacts from the same period and art-movement, another inscription announces some facts about the Bauhaus, which educational institute the artist that made the piece, attended. Therefore the very first appearance of printed information just adds little more but what a viewer may be expected to have as common background knowledge.

Printed documentation from and about Bauhaus highlight the emphasis Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, put on the concern of equality between women and men inside the institution. The Bauhaus was one of the few institutions, where not only men but also women were allowed to attend. What seams ahead of time, quickly turned out as not very long lasting and supportive to the persons concerned. Here, the most significant gaps from printed matter to online material can be pointed out. While printed matter talks about a topic and somehow provides information, online publications and writings mostly start with questioning facts which are already researched and published. Some of them come with an outspoken oppinion as well as a contemporary context and  as a reaction to other publications.

The disconnection from general information about the Bauhaus to the issue that female artists and their part of the Bauhaus legacy are barely mentioned in publications, can be taken back to the difference of “providing information” with printed matter and “reacting on information” in online publication.

https://frieze.com/article/women-bauhaus

https://www.emma.de/artikel/bauhaus-die-bauhaus-frauen-264076

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-women-bauhaus-school

 

If assumed, a book or documentary publication is preserving information about its content, and not too much voicing an opinion, unless it is a critique, the reader gets broader information which needs to be classified afterwards by the reader itself. Going through the listened publications underneath, the attempt to sum up or conclude seams to be more present than putting forward a subjective perception or even including a critical position.

  • The Worlds Greatest Art – Bauhaus“ by Andrew Kennedy, 2006
  • Das Bauhaus“ by Hans M. Wingler, 1962
  • “Bauhaus“ by Magdalena Droste, 1990
  • Human – Space – Machine. Stage Experiments at the Bauhaus“ Eds.: Torsten Blume, Christian Hiller, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, 2014

Simply spoken, these books come with a quality of  objectivity that allows the reader to bring further a general knowledge. It builds up kind of a base where more specific ideas or concerns start to unfold.

Research in literature may appear more challenging, since the linking to connected subjects is not provided and has to be done by the researcher. Googles (or any kind of search engine) supports with its algorithm and referring proposals. Although this twofaced matter, the advantage of high rated recommendations is considerable. It enables the user to quickly collect a lot of information from many different sources, processing the subject in different contexts. To later on distinguish the quality of information or confirming sources stays an important part of putting research forward to a conclusion. At the same time the internet’s bottomless quality leads to many dead-ends, what creates an alarming but ironical analogy with the lack of importance that was payed to refer female artists to the Bauhaus history.

Heading to a provisional end, the following experience works as an example of applied research.

“Looking for work about v.d. Mijll Dekker I first went to the library of the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. But I was not able to find any literature dealing with her or her work. But knowing that the artist was a part of the Bauhaus Dessau, I started looking through the English and German literature the library had to offer about the whole Bauhaus movement. Unfortunately, even looking through the register of them all, I wasn’t able to find anything about her specifically. So I tried finding out more about the women who were part of the Bauhaus. I started researching information about different influential women who were part of the movement. That turned out as quite a challenge. After this I went to the library of the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam. But also there I could only find few new information on Mijll Dekker and her work.“ progress report, field researcher L.P., Amsterdam octobre 2018

 

Text by Luca Putz & Jonas Morgenthaler, GRA 2018

Alien Matter


Monday, May 1, 2017


images (15)
Strandbeest‘ by Theo Jansen

Large sculptures made out of plastic PVC tubes, able to move on their own. An animal like mechanisms that does not need food, but just the power of wind.
Theo Jansen, a genius that fusions art and engineering, is busy since 1990 with his project called Strandbeests (Beach animals): a new life form on earth, yet unknown for humankind.

cloud_1100

A life form looking at another form of life : What it means to be alive.
I always wonder why is it so exciting for me to watch the Strandbeests moving? Perhaps because I can not define at what I am looking at, is it real?
How to define it?
When I look up the word alive in the dictionary, I came across the meaning existing.

But wait, everything has an existence in space and time, so how can you recognize a life form? People may think, the fact that something is not animating is a reason of a non-life form, somehow no definition feels right to me. There is much more to living than having a heartbeat. There is much more to life than breathing and the blood flowing through your veins. You might be living, but are you alive?
What if matter has a life on its own, able to learn, teach and to stretch its ‘lifespan’ beyond humankind? An alien matter that absorbs intelligence and reaches capacities that go far beyond our own.

anigif2

Inspired, I went to Delft at Theo J. exhibition with the hope I could come across his path and there we go: I was able to talk to him. Unfortunately our meeting was so spontaneous,  that I just got a few minutes. Nevertheless it felt like a miracle, he ended our conversation with the sentence man should get rid of its ego, then he will be able to see the real qualities in life.

I got fascinated by his way of being, how modest and grounded he was when we met. He is not an artist but rather a happy victim of his work which is pure functional. The tubes are the ones making the process beautiful.

As miraculous life is, I decided to adopt a Strandbeest myself, the Animarus Ordis Parvus. First It needed to be born so I assembled 117 plastic pieces together. About an hour, the evolution was finished and I had my own beast at home.

During the process something weird happened to me, something I can not explain. It was like a virus in my head : the beast’s rubber feet.

model_1100

I got inspired to work with Silicone. Why Silicone and not something else? Something that remains a mystery. What happened to me, at this moment? Perhaps it started to communicate with humans, perhaps it chose me.

Silicone is a synthetic polymer made up of silicon, oxygen and other elements.It is generally liquid or flexible and the rubber like plastic has useful proprieties. From medicine to personal care items.

Sometimes there is a confusion between Silicon and Silicone. Silicon is a naturally occurring chemical, a key element in bricks, cement or glass. It is the second most abundant element in our earth crust, after oxygen. Whereas Silicone is a chemical substance that derives from Silicon.

anigif

Silicone often stands as a tool for the use of something else. Maybe it is living, maybe I should threat it as a oneself.

Exploring the matter

I started experimenting and researching on the structure, and I tried to find out some processing and proprieties of the material. I adapt myself to the matter, a constantly evolving process between human and material.

IMG_1734

There are different kinds of Silicone and they all have different proprieties from each other. From sticky to stinky.
The Silicone from the hardware shop has never a clear structure, it is really hard to manipulate while it’s liquid. Impossible to work without mask, it almost intoxicates you.

IMG_1761gray-matter_950

The splintered structure could almost be found in nature.

IMG_1768

Birth of Silicone

hart_1100IMG_1745

Silicone organ

color-absorbing_950

colour absorption
I experiment with different kinds of tools such as a pencil, a marker, watercolours , acrylic, ink.

paint_1100IMG_1801IMG_1779

One ting that was completely new for me is that, Silicone can print.
This technique just works with Silicone from the hardware shop, because it is so sticky.
It absorbs the ink while drying and the text or image will appear reflected.

black-white_1100IMG_1851

 At the end, it is hard to discover something mind blowing in such a small period of time. Theo Jansen is still researching on the same material since 1990 and he thinks that there is a long path to be done.

In a constant flow of doing and learning, there were plenty of disappointments on the way. But on the few occasions that things worked out, being connected to matter is such an enriching experience.

 

STARSTRUCK


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

01_animation_EX_book

Hello Experimental jetset

My name is Claes and I’m a student at the rietveld academic, and my design teacher has given us an unusual assignment to contact people that influence our work and see if we can spend a short period of time with them. I had the chance to talk with one of you at the San Serriffe bookstore a while back and it was a really nice conversation. Your group is a huge inspiration to me and contacting you was the first thought i had! I hope that we could work something out at your convenience.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

Claes

This is the first mail I sent to EJ and the starting point for a really nice project which resulted in a book that you can see as the gif above.

The research publication can be found in the attached PDF at the bottom. The research publication is about the work before and after the meeting with EJ. This meeting lead me to the conclusion that “less is more”. Enjoy.

 

IMG_0730_2_500px

“The tattoo I got is the worst and best…. But I would never show it to them, they would think I’m a freak”

research publication

 

“1-2-3 Jewel”


Monday, March 5, 2012

As part of the final exams and graduation show 2011, the Jewelry department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie “Het Sieraad” published a wonderful triptych.
A successful effort to put the work of the 8 graduating students in broader perspective.

This triptych consists out of 3 layers in which the students present
1] their visual inspiration material, 2] parts of their theses in relation to the works, 3] the works itself.

The whole publication is beautifully designed by Anna Hennerdal a graduation student of Graphic Design herself. She managed in a very effective way to visualize these layers and their interrelationships. Most intriguing in this publication is the transformation of all the material through the miraculous technique of cyclo-style printing causing an unique visual interpretation.

 

“1-2-3 Jewel”
a feel of the field / research & inspiration / final pieces

page 2 - 3 : chapter 1 / a feel of the field / index - Boris de Beijer

page 8 - 9 : chapter 2 / research & inspiration / Benedikt Fischer - Catherine Doyle

page 12 - 13 : chapter 3 / final pieces / Nhat-Vu Dang - Marina Elenskaya

The 40 page publiation “1-2-3 Jewel” of which 200 copies were printed can be bought for € 25 at the Jewelry department or can be downloaded as pdf below.

  download thesis: 1-2-3 Jewel” [english language]

 

Cup or be Cupped : Designlab project


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The aim of this project was to get introduced with the several methods of design research. This 3 week project took place under the supervision of Sophie Krier and Cynthia Hathaway. Because of the short time span in which the course took place, the schedule was packed full of activities, making it an intense first experience.

The case of this project was all about cups. We were to become cup professionals, gain the uttermost expertise in the world of the cup.

Presenting work

(more…)

XX- ,The Book


Saturday, January 9, 2010

XX- is based on a research-approach that focuses on the intensive examination of typography and writing in all its social, societal and aesthetic ways of application. In the 2006 ‘typography class’ at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts, we (Elisabeth Hinrichs, Aileen Ittner and Daniel Rother) developed our project on the visual implementation of “symbols of power” in writing systems under the conditions of a totalitarian regime. In particular, we examined the way in which the SS (Nazi SS 1925-45) presented and visually legitimated itself by means of a constructed sign . A collection of sources was created on the basis of intensive research in libraries, state archives and the Internet as well as of interviews with contemporary witnesses. This collection was the starting point and the foundation of that book XX-, The SS-Rune as a special Character on Typewriters.

In its three chapters FEMALE (FRAU), SIGN (ZEICHEN), MACHINE (MASCHINE) the book XX examines the way in which administration, communication and technology were an elementary condition of the functioning of the annihilation apparatus in the Third Reich.

The book’s content consists in visual (advertising and propaganda images, files) and textual fragments (contemporary, philosophical, sociological statements as well as statements related to cultural studies and encyclopedic entries).In it, history is interpreted, displayed and arranged. In this sophisticated way of dealing with history which makes its documents visible and discloses them for use the book XX- questions its sources and their perception. In its hybrid composition as a file as well as a book its design employs filing techniques such as a registry, catchwords, numeration and categorisation and embeds these into a book format.

The book XX- is composed as a symbiosis of a file and a book cover and thus refers to its sources: The archive and literature. Constructed solely of visual and textual fragments, it uses available literature (contemporary statements, encyclopedic entries, philosophical, sociological, political and linguistical standpoints as well as statements related to cultural studies) and images (advertising- and propaganda images of the 30s and 40s, files).

In the book, fragments are juxtaposed without them being commented in way resembling an archive. Thus, they demand an independent analysis and an autonomous evaluation of the different opinions by the reader. The selective constellation of the sources takes on the book’s structures: Their succession and compilation are fixedand thus generate a new content. The resulting hybrid presents history and questions its alleged absoluteness and unambiguousness at the same time.

The book XX- questions its sources and their perception In a sophisticated way of dealing with history that makes its documents visible and discloses them for use. Thus the closeness of the book as a medium is abrogated in favour of a new perception of historiography. History is interpreted,  displayed and arranged in a reflection of the medium.

by Elisabeth Hinrichs, Aileen Ittner, Daniel Rother

Title: XX- (The SS-Rune as a special Character on Typewriters)
Series: orange files. Studies on Grammatology # 1 [orange files. Studien zur Grammatologie]
Editors: Julia Blume, Prof. Günter Karl Bose, Institute for Book Design at the Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts [Institut für Buchkunst der Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig] Leipzig 2009
324 pages, 198 images, 420 citations, hard cover, cost €49
ISBN: 978-3-932865-55-8


Log in
subscribe