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"shapes" Tag


Who said books should look like books?


Thursday, February 28, 2019

 

Who said books should look like books ?

I was initially drawn to 70 degrees due to it’s rhomboid design.
Before opening the book you get a sense of quirkiness from the get go.
The layout of content continues to play with you throughout which is eye catching and unique.
My thoughts on the design have led me to consider the potential shape of books, bookcases and technology.
If we look through time we see the generic library format of rectangular books housed on shelves with a 90 degrees support point.
I believe questioning the shape of books, bookshelves and technology can lead to new ways of giving and receiving information.
Traditionally, in two-dimensional geometry a rhomboid is a parallelogram in which adjacent sides are of unequal lengths and angles are non-right angled.
For me this definition represents the book quite well due to it’s content involving a collaboration of artists who are parallel in unison but unique by definition.
Maybe the world has become too accustomed with the usual rectangular book shape and partly forgotten about how much potential there is when it comes to the shape of books and how they are presented.
Are we choosing convenience over creativity, or is the rectangle shape law abiding for the rest of time?
Why is everything mitigated through the rectangle?
Most of the time books are rectanglular. Right in front of me I have another book. It’s a rectangular book which fits in my hands like the size of your average telephone. But why is it not shaped like a circle or a hexagon?
In fact if we think about the history of book making technology and the history of the book, there is not a particular reason why it should be rectangular instead of any other shape.
There is something about the ways in which we use technology where that technology effects us and we in turn are effected by the technology.
For example, I find it more satisfying to hold the book in front of me in a portrait position.
But if I’m not going to hold something in my hand then I often find it more satisfying for it to be in a landscape position. What would be some examples of this?
As previously mentioned the book in front of me is the same size as your average phone. They’re almost the exact same size. And although I can hold my smart phone in a landscape position, and will do that sometimes to take pictures, by and large I tend to use it in a portrait upright position.
If we look at a normal paper back book which is usually around the same size as a tablet computer then here they are both oriented in much the same way, in an upright fashion. And can it be used sideways? Yes, when looking at video.
We spend a lot of time looking at monitors and if you look at the shape of the monitor we notice that monitors are not upright, they are horizontal. Historically, televisions used to be more of a square and that’s because the movies used to be more of a square. The rectangular shape came later and then later on as television technology changed, it made it easier to move away from picture tube. Then we started to move away from the square to the rectangular shape for our televisions as well.
There is something about the ways in which we interact in the world that says to us, “If I am going to hold the text in my hand in some way and I am going to interact with it, then I want it to be upright.” But if we are to be more passively observing, like watching a movie or watching television, or if the way I’m manipulating it is at a distance-  like looking at a computer monitor, but I’m typing on a keyboard, then i want it to be rectangular. And there are many ways in which we interact with our technology everyday in everyday ways, that we unconsciously accept these things as if they are cultural imperatives.
And which is first? Is it that there is something natural about it? That just being a human with normal size human hands oriented in a normal way? That this is the way in which we desire to interact with both rectangular books and the shape of your average smart phone? Or is it that we culturally developed it and now we have that expectation? The answer is both. We make technology to change the world around us.
But by the same token we are changed by our technologies, interacting with them in many ways.
Nowadays we are looking at some changes, where people want to move to more wearable technology. And some people I think are a little concerned that as we move to wearable, embeddable and AI technology the distinction between us and our technology will be less clear. The truth is we have always interacted with our technology in much the same way.
So the next time your using any piece of technology whether it be a book, a cell phone or a steering wheel of a car, take a moment to think about the ways in which we accept certain things and that technology just seems to fit us properly, because humans made it for humans and we ourselves have adapted to the limits of our own technologies.

To conclude, If we break down the word knowledge we see the words know ledge and no ledge. Maybe this is a sign that we can expand our horizons towards a more creative and compelling environment when it comes to the shape of books, bookshelves and technology as a whole.

 

Bedwyr Williams: ECHT/70°. design by Åbäke, Rietveld library number: williams 1

Meeting with a shape explorer


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Olivier van Herpt is young Dutch designer from Eindhoven, he graduated in 2014 form the Eindhoven design academy. We discovered his work at the “Dream Out Loud” exhibition in the Stedelijk. Both of us were strongly attracted by the 3D world and process in the show. Therefor van Herpt’s work seemed like the most instructing of all regarding his process but also due to the final objects themselves. The other aspect that catches our eye was the combination of brand new technology and crafts, (3D printing/ceramics, weaving). Van Herpt’s work consists in making ceramic shapes (vase looking shapes) with 3d printing machine that he engineered for it. We were therefor even more fascinated not only by the shapes but even more by how he got there. We had the opportunity of meeting him in his studio and ask him more about his work and work process.

The conversation immediately focused on his work process.
It all started when he was still a student at the academy, he was already interested in 3D printing and was taking ceramics as minor. He also mentioned that he had always been interested in the technical part. But was quickly limited by the technical possibilities of the machines at the academy, size wise, material wise and so on. This is when he started thinking about making his own. His approach was also mainly to combine different techniques. He therefor though about a machine that would combine man action and machine made. He wanted to have an interaction with the machine. That combination also takes place in the process of designing the object and making the object. Van Herpt had some help from student friends at the beginning but not from manufacturing industries. He started with a small machine and they got bigger with time. He designed and engineered the machines himself and learned the technical part while in the process of creating them. Also as a designer, unlike an engineer, he already had an idea about what the machine had to look like from the start. That give it a different approach but of course he had to adapt to technical issues and the machine had to adapt on what he wants to make. « It’s a parallel process between the object and the machine. »

3d-dripping

3d-printing-ceramics-1

After graduation he focused on experimenting with the machine with different techniques all about randomly approach « dripping » with different materials, such as wax, and bee wax. At the time he was experimenting with soft clay by softening it with water but had quickly explored all the possibilities with it so he then decided to focus on ceramics, dive deeper into it and use hard clay for which he had to build a new machine. Again we can see the close relation between the process of making the machine and the object, how one is to the other, and the constant need to develop a machine that is adapted to the material (hard clay).

IMG_8799

The second machine he made for the hard clay is basically like a pomp, he described it as an ‘extruder’, the innovative aspect to it is its openness and the possibility to interact with the machine that works with any kind of hard materials : « the machine is really like a tool » that he uses to make objects with. He explained that there were two ways of working with the machine. You can decided to interact with it or not. The most basic shapes are hand made. Some of the shapes are design then put into the computer and then when a machine prints it then it is machine made, or you can shape it yourself on to the machine because the machine is not closed.
This is it’s way of renewing an very old craft (ceramics). It is a human versus machine collaboration. The shapes of the products are all unique you cannot make one twice. Because of the use of clay it is also fast to make and always reusable until you cook it. It is then possible to make a lot of different try-outs and and shaped it until you are satisfied with it. Meaning that there are endless combination of shapes possible to explore. He also sees it only as the beginning and very much as an on going process of experimentation.
«It is only the beginning » as he said « it can be really random but also really controlled » which gives a bigger range of possibilities, also with the use of different colored clay, creating very different kind of shapes. He also told us that he recently started to experiment with new materials such as porcelain.

IMG_8795 IMG_8790

He is in process of creating a new machine, even bigger, to have the possibly of making bigger shapes and objects. Having the possibility now of collaborating with different fields, which was his idea in combining techniques, he is enthusiast in working not only with designers but also with artists, architects, interior designers and even industries. for example industries ordered his machines for other purposes.

This research project by Daria Nakov and Raphaelle Hugues is based on the "Dreaming Out Load" design exhibition curated by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

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

 

A Completely New Shape


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Starting Point – Ted Noten “Chew your own Brooch”

Chew your own Brooch is a project by the Dutch designer Ted Noten, who is known for his jewellery and bag designs. It was started in the late 90‘s in the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, where visitors were asked to sculpt their own brooch with a piece of chewing gum which was afterwards cast in either gold or silver.

brooch

At first I could not see the connection between the golden shapes and the chewing gum above, still wrapped in its paper. The package was designed to resemble a regular chewing gum which seems to emphasise the close relationship between design and commerciality.

Having a concept for making own designs which is accessible to a wide range of people is a valuable thing. It enables somebody to adjust and shape a product instead of making use of a pre-designed model which may not be as suitable to an individual‘s needs but is more representing a general trend.

Even though mass-designs have their perks, people have always been striving for individuality – and they still struggle to find ways of expressing their ideas. Opportunities like Ted Noten‘s Chew your own Brooch are therefore a great enrichment to the world of design.

The beauty of this concept lies in the idea of creating completely new shapes by using everyday products. If the common purpose of an object is being put aside, new ways of applying its materiality and construction can be discovered.
To me looking at everyday objects without bias becomes more and more important since I realised that too many doors are being closed by focussing too much on what something already is instead of all the things it could be.

Taking this project as a starting point I want to investigate more on “new shapes”.

 

Experiment – Creating New Shapes

One way of creating a new shape is to exchange an objects material and see what it does to it‘s shape.

 

cup1 cup2 cup3 cup4

Ceramic to Chewinggum (aprox. 60 pieces) 

In this case what hapens is, that the reproduction does not want to stay in the original shape. The softness of the chewinggum allows the cup to collaps as time passes which leads to a unfunctional, and yet new shape.

 

elastic

Elastic to Polyurethanium

Something very different happens if you replace a strechy material with a solid one: the reproduction breaks into sections, creating different pieces with individual shapes. It almost seems as if by changing the material, the object has been dissected and therefore can be looked at from new angles.

 

plastic

Plastic to Polyurethanium

The original shape is almost not visible in the reproduction which, with its massive and clumpy look, is quite the opposite of transparency and lightness.

 

Another way of making new shapes it to detach the process of creation from personal intentions or standardized movements that were learned before and to use the element of chance.

This has been done by many artists and also musicians (John Cage, “Number 14” and “Indeterminacy)

Simple elements could be the use of dice or outer influences like nature or spontaneous reactions of people.

 

What does a new Shape bring?

Art World

There are several examples from the Art World where the replacement of an object‘s material leads to a dysfunctional reproduction. In the case of Claes Oldenburg‘s Soft Toilet creating an „anti-sculpture“ or an „anti-object“ was the aim, functionality did not play a role. Also Ted Noten changed an everyday object like a bag into something which cannot be used in the classical sense but is being used as a transmitter of a message or opinion.

 

Nature

Shapes constantly change in nature, everything is shifting, adapting, evolving, it is all about survival and therefore must be functional.

In colder regions of the world, animals have a different surface-to-volume ratio than animals living in a warm climate, meaning that the size of their extremities and the compactness of their body depends on external influences. Compared to a regular Fox, a Fennec has extremely big ears which enlarge his body surface in order to lose more heat. Even though both animals derive from the same family, the shapes of their bodies changed due to different needs.

 

New Shapes as Solutions

In the end, whether it is making a statement, forwarding a message or personal view, adapting to new circumstances or improving a present situation, it is always about a problem that requires a solution which can be found in a different shape through evolution, reflection or experimenting.

 

Gerrit Rietveld as a kick-off


Monday, April 7, 2008

sangyong_portraitSangyon_maquette2

Our Design Program consists of 7 different classes. All focusing on an aspect of the design spectrum. In one of these 4-week classes Carla Boomkens creates a laboratory in which the students get access to the visual language of shapes in large format/scale, through small-scale researches on the essentials of spaces and what they can express: spatial-/architectonic design. (links to: Allan Wexler, Eero Saarinen, Zaha Hadid, Paul Gehry, Rudi Riciotti

maquettes_display
All projects have a start at the buildings of Gerrit Rietveld (1888 – 1964), the architect of the main-building of this academy. Sometimes the academy-building itself is taken as a research-location, in other cases a building is selected by the student out of his whole body of built works. In doing so, the student studies and gets acquainted with his approach to spaces and his choices to making them fit for particular needs and functions, in relation to it’s environment. (links to: Luis Barragán, Peter Callesen,

Elmer_maquetteMartino_maquetteDagmar_maquette

Departing from ‘the lessons we can learn from Gerrit’, which the student can easily use as a hand-grip in learning technique and working method, the student can freely develop her/his own expression of sculptural quality, choreography and a personal research for exciting spaces. As you can see, we work in scale-models. The student is asked to develop an authentic visual language in this field as well. (links to bookshops Architectura & Natura [dangerous grounds] or publisher Lars Muller

Julia_maquette-interiourCecilia_maquette

The assignments may appear similar to each group/project, but they never deal with the same subject – this guarantees a fresh start for each session with a new group. (link to: Gerrit Rietveld, Barbara Visser [Maison Grégoire or Transformation House])

posting prepared by Carla Boomkens


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