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Social isolation in cities; Balance, Pro’s, Con’s and the Internet.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The ‘Happening’

An appealing aspect of every city is it’s ‘happening’. This could be translated here as: there’s movement, conversation, and just plain interaction, negative or positive, whether that be the honking of the horn or just the ‘good morning’ to the elderly man reading the paper at the café. This has always been something that is somewhat comforting, at least to myself. An example of a ‘happening’ city could be Naples, because, the core sidewalk principal that we will mention further into this article is fully in effect, and despite the city having many problems such as waste management, or crime, there is an underlying sense of happening. And of course, something to keep in mind is also the level of comfort each person has when it comes to being close, or around, to borderline illegal activities. The streets are packed, scooters flying up and down the street, people talking, arguing, people exchanging services on the street and not just in shops, the list goes on. This sense of happening helps someone who could be a victim of social isolation feel grounded, balancing between the familiarity of being in cities, and knowing that if there’s something they need to know, if the word is out, the sidewalks will be the first place to find out.

Streets of Naples (Napoli). Naples, Campania, Italy, South Europe.

 

The Internet also plays a part in this in 2017, as it’s a hub of information, but the one thing separates it from a city, is of course, it’s human interaction. And although the information that you get on the city sidewalk is conditioned to whom you’re talking to, and not to thousands of sources, the difference is that you are able to have a human discussion with this person, and not just the long deep stare into a screen, searching until you find something vaguely similar to the answer you were hoping to find from your search engine. This social isolation also occurs because a lot of times, we, or at least I, fall into the mistake of underestimating our fellow humans and assuming they don’t know about my interests, or about what I’m looking for. Chances are, if you risk conversation, they actually will. And if they don’t, oh well, that’s the beauty of discussion. And that’s the beauty of sidewalk chatter, conversation and interaction in the city.

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This happening is present in the sidewalks of large cities and mostly the social structure of sidewalk life hangs partly on what can be called self-appointed public characters. A public character is anyone who is in frequent contact with a wide circle of people and who is sufficiently interested to make himself a public character. A public character doesn’t need to have any special talent or wisdom to fulfill his function – although he often does. He just needs to be present. His main qualification is that he be public, and that he talks to a lot of different people, instigating and creating interaction and discussion, leading us to conclude that news actually travels faster in these urban areas, seeing how sidewalks can serve as steady flows of information.

Social isolation in cities, and its virtues and disadvantages

I wanted to find out more about how different people handle stress. I read up on an article that explained that city dwellers’ brains, compared with people who live in the countryside, seem not to handle it so well.

The example given in the article was from a case study by Dr. Meyer-Lindenberg and his colleagues, where, as they were stressing out their subjects, they were looking at two brain regions: the amygdala and the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC). The amygdala is known to be involved in assessing threats and generating fear, while the pACC in turn helps to regulate the amygdala. It turned out that in stressed citydwellers, the amygdala appeared more active on the scanner; in people who lived in small towns, less so; in people who lived in the countryside, least of all.

PostStressBrainfigure2

Here the important relationship was not with where the subjects lived at the time, but where they grew up. An erratic link between the pACC and the amygdalas is often seen in those with schizophrenia too. And according to the data, schizophrenic people are much more likely to live in cities.

Dutch Dr. Jaap Peen and his team found out in their meta-analysis that living in a city roughly doubles the risk of schizophrenia. To explain inner-city and urban–rural variations in psychiatric morbidity, there are two main theoretical concepts, which originated from the early ecological research of schizophrenia, and from the Chicago School of Sociology: There’s the ‘drift hypothesis’ and the ‘breeder hypothesis.’ The ‘drift hypothesis’ assumes that sick and vulnerable people are more or less doomed to remain in socially unstable, deprived neighborhoods, while better off people move away. On the other hand, socially deprived neighborhoods can also have a pull-function on sick and vulnerable people, as they move to these areas with low social control and greater tolerance towards deviant behavior, this being what they call the ‘social drift hypothesis’.

The second theory, the ‘breeder hypothesis’, assumes that various environmental factors cause illness. These can be physical factors (air pollution, small housing, population density) and also social factors (stress, life events, perinatal aspects, social isolation). A lot of the stress factors mentioned above are more common in urbanized areas. Urbanization is modestly but consistently associated with the prevalence of psychopathology. They even suggest that levels of urbanization should also be taken into account when planning the allocation of mental health services.

“Obviously our brains are not perfectly shaped for living in urban environments,” Dr. Adli says. “In my view, if social density and social isolation come at the same time and hit high-risk individuals … then city-stress related mental illness could be the consequence.”

Cities, the theory goes, might be part of the reason why a person’s dopamine production starts to go wrong in the first place. Repeated stress is thought to lead to this problem in some people, so if high social density combined with social isolation could be shown to do so, and thus to alter the dopamine system, we might have the first rough sketches of a map from city living that leads all the way to schizophrenia, and perhaps other things.

Many other possible impacts of city living on brain function are also being investigated. Aircraft noise might inhibit children’s learning, according to a recent study from Queen Mary University in London. (Although traffic noise, perversely, might help it.) Researchers in the US and elsewhere have also found that exposure to nature seems to offer a variety of beneficial effects to city dwellers, from improving mood and memory, to alleviating ADHD in children.

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Privacy

I found that the perfect balance of social isolation between keeping to yourself and social interaction in a city was the ability to be able to wander and explore, go out on the hunt for information, but always have a private base to return to, to let loose and relax. Privacy is precious in cities. It is indispensable. Perhaps it is precious and indispensable everywhere, but in most places around the world you aren’t allowed as much of it. In small settlements everyone knows your affairs. Whilst in the city nobody does, unless you allow them in. This is one of the attributes of cities that is unique to city dwellers, whether their incomes are high or their incomes are low.

According to Jane Jacobs, in her book The Death And Life of Great American Cities, “A good city neighborhood achieves a marvel of balance between its people’s determination to have essential privacy and their simultaneous wishes for differing degrees of contact, enjoyment or help from the people around them. This balance is widely made up of small, sensitively managed details, practiced and accepted so casually that they are normally taken for granted.”

The more common outcome in cities, where people are faced with the choice of sharing much or nothing, is nothing. In city areas that lack a natural and casual public life, it is common for residents to isolate themselves from each other to a marked degree. If mere contact with your neighbors threatens to entangle you in their private lives, or entangle them in yours, and if you cannot be so careful who your neighbors are as compared to people who can be, the logical solution will seem to then be avoiding friendliness or casual offers of help. Better to stay thoroughly distant.

It’s important to recognize that a lot of adults either don’t want to become involved in any friendship relationships at all with their neighbors, or if they do succumb to the need for some form of society, they strictly limit themselves to one or two friends, and no more.  And the individualism and privacy that comes with city living makes it possible to choose to be solitary, which a lot of people find hard to deal with, but for a lot of people it is actually a luxury. So compared to town living, where interaction with your neighbors is almost inevitable, city living provides a choice; whether to keep to yourself or to socialize, and this is a choice that for many people can be quite hard to handle.

In light of the increasing push for us to work at home, here’s an interesting statistic from Robert Putnam, a Harvard political scientist and the author of Bowling Alone (which looked at how social ‘glue’ such as bowling clubs, which were so prevalent in 1950s America, have almost disappeared). It comes from a New Yorker article about commuting: “I was shocked to find how robust a predictor of social isolation commuting is,” said Putnam “There’s a simple rule of thumb: Every ten minutes of commuting results in ten per cent fewer social connections. Commuting is connected to social isolation, which causes unhappiness.”

Conclusion

I’ve come to conclude that although I do feel like a very open and city involved person, I need to know that I always have a safe haven to return to, where I can shut the blinds and lock society out for whatever time necessary. And what’s interesting about this in today’s day and age is that although we shut ourselves out, we still have access to the Internet and social networking. Being connected to the Internet let’s us control our interaction with the outside public world. Comparing the Internet to let’s say, the sidewalk interactions of a busy city is quite simple. We have, of course, the human vs. screen interaction, but more importantly, the Internet enables us to be in total control of what we discuss, and more importantly gives us freedom to search for answers from numerous sources instead of resorting to information from whomever is around. This isolation can be healthy or unhealthy for some, depending on who you are and how you deal with it, but without a good balance, it all falls apart.

 

 

 

 

Species of Magnets in my house.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

 

“Every word was once an animal.”

 -Ralph Waldo Emerson 

 

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figure 1                                                        figure 2

 

 

Argument

In his 1974 essay Espèces d’Espaces (Species of Space) Georges Perec [x] states the following:

‘To live is to pass from one space to the other, while doing your very best not to bump yourself.’ (Espèces d’Espace, Georges Perec, p. 6)

 

Tine Melzer [x] in her 2016 essay (hand-out) subsequently notes that words are ‘magnets’:

A word has two ends and each awaits ties with another word.

Furthermore that the poetic ‘charge’ of several words together is based on such bonds:

When words meet up, they generate a field of tension, they go together!

In his 1958 book La Poétique de l’Espace (The Poetics of Space), Gaston Bachelard [x] points out that our whole perception of the world we inhabit based is upon our first encounters with the first universe of mankind: the house, the spaces we inhabit. He construct his argument by using the tactic of ‘Poetic Phenomenology’, which is to say, a philosophy built up while reading the poets.

Texts are a constellation of words, the same logic applies so to speak. Texts also have a magnetic effect. A late, albeit, useful discovery. They meet up as well, go together, and charge the field with the same sort of tension. And it this very tension that leads met to the following conclusion.

Something happens when we enter a room or when a work of poetry gently leans upon us. Something, to removed to mention, but there non the less. It leaves us tantalized. This is what we could call ‘the oneiric effect’. The tension, the magnetism has a familiar sound. It is in fact a logical extension of things I have referred to previously. Shortly put, I conclude: a word is a room and a room is a word.

Now what are the implications of such a statement? To illustrate further, this means that magnetism of words and text are played out on an even more poetic and fundamental level, for the visual has to be resolved and is dissolved by words and vice a versa. The visual and the language are (and become) then, in term, the concepts, notions, names and words we call upon to name our interior spaces, our inner houses, the room’s of our own.

This tension can even lead from time to time to vibration, think of Kandinsky’s ‘Seelische Vibration’, Think of a Paul Klee picture, think of the last time you drew a straight line, out of the blue. Try to imagine it again and try to measure it by using the corners of your childhood bedroom and you’ll see what this tension, this magnetism, this vibration, the poetic charge produces first and foremost: warmth, heat.

The subject of this research, this article, is informed by all of this, that’s why I called it: Species of Magnets in my house -see figure 1 and 2-  (small reference of course). For I have in my possession three texts that all deal with the design of such things, but all push and pull the same way, that is to say; like a magnet do. For to live is to imagine, is to speak from one magnet to the other while doing my very best not to bump myself. All these texts I wrote while walking in out of my house, while I did my very best not to bump myself  (of course).

 

 

Texts

 

I

I am the translator.

I am the the one who was too late. But I am the one who in time, has to defy and define, a divine straight line, or something in between, a shape and a dream.

Escabeau, 60° 55″ 6,54′

L’été, 51° 33′ 7,43′

 

II

In 1972, my grand-father left my grand-mother’s house in Strombeek, on the hilly outskirts of Brussels, for the first time. Just before his departure, he poured Pisang on the balcony, sealed off with dead plant leaves and broken pieces of glass, the apertures in which the different rooms were discussed and assembled, made alterations to the provision of shadow cells by taking 100.000 Belgian franks and left a feeling of sultriness and a trail of ashes on the radio, bookshelves and the countable rugs and carpets, making these regions of the house the most fertile for the following thirty years. But it was only during the last act, the act of inserting a silver object into a vexed area of a piece of wood, that he pronounced the terms of condition, while exposed to the strange and morose rendering of the orange light.

They are the following:

Vincent:

A day run astray but not lost. A dried-up carpet stain, a spastic vibration, taken faraway. A closed sometimes, while the sun comes in, anew.

Douffet:
A choice that at high temperatures glows in an environment of nitrogen and/or carbon monoxide and disposes, by means of evaporation a ceaseless flow of microscopic particles, which settle themselves on the inside of the house, whereby the house, in time, dusks.

Honte, La:

It is either a military tactic or an ululation (Klaagzang) that has it’s origin in the first sounds. It is a particular, grievous mode of weather which is converted into language upon its death.

Brasschaat, Belgique:

A form of rain that is neither poor nor stubborn. Theoretically, there’s an occurrence of acuity when approached, but acuity is relative and subbordonante to the songs and the smoke of the sea, plus, lake and the melancholy which is cherished by a diffusing sky.

 

III

Index of words used in this article:

Act

Albeit

Am

Anew

Animal

Aperatures

Are

Argument

Ashes

Assembled

Astray

Bachelard, Gaston,

Balcony

Bedroom 

Belgian

Best

Bump

But

Carbon

Carpets

Ceaseless

Childhood

Choice

Condition

Corners

Day 

Deal

Dispose 

Douffet

Dream

Dried-up

Each

Effect

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Environment

Escabeau

Faraway

Feeling

First

Following

Forms

For

Franks

Grievous

Hand-out

Heat 

High

Honte, la

I

Implications

Inhabit

In

Klaagzang

Last

Leans

Level

Magnetic

Military

Morose

Neither

Nipomo

Nitrogen

Notions

Object 

Occurrence

Off

Orange

Outskirts

Phenomenology 

Pieces

Pisang

Poetic

Questions

Radio

Research

Room

Run

Shadow

Shape

Something

Spastic

Straight

Strombeek

Sultriness

Sun

Tactic

Tension

Time

Together

Too

Trail

Translator

Ululation

Universe

 Very 

Vice a versa

Vincent

Visual

Waldo, Ralph Emerson

Warmth

Weather

With

Words

Years

zig zag

 

Stone, Space, Me; Pretending to be Solid


Sunday, October 30, 2016

How to enter a stone? by knocking? stroking? breaking it with a hammer? or by curving a door in order to step inside?

Thinking and imagining about how it must be like to dwell inside a stone and take part in the universal creation, I find my search. Focusing on the human ability to relate, think and imagine spaces in objects, I create a link between the interior of stones and human memory and imagination.

 

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Pretending to be Solid, Naama Aharony, Gerrit Rietveld Graduation show, 2016.

( solid as stone they say…)

Along with personal notes and thoughts of dwelling a stone, I collect, trace and place cultural narratives, legends and philosophical thoughts contemplating the meaning found in stones. Through those I look to change the perception of stones being solid, suggesting to look at it as constant movement. The mind then becomes the traveler, moving through environments, places and spaces the stone I hold may offer. Those spaces are changing, coincidental, circumstantial.

This writing can be seen as a collection of short texts where the shared ground is memory, imagination and the stone. It will not necessarily talk about actual caves, walls, floors or corridors that might exist in the interior of stones, but will be researching the potential content of the stone, the meaning and narratives this stone might bring. And although while reading you might drift away from time to time, one will always go back to the ground, and the stone.

 

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For my graduation project, I was focusing on the relationship between man and the stone. I wanted to work on the way people approach and perceive stones. To open up the understating of A Stone to discussion and new ways of seeing. To create tension between what people usually think of a stone and the sensible perception I am offering them.

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Writing the thesis and researching on different layers the stone offers, pushed me to create my own, man-made stones. Using ceramics, a study of oxide glazing and experimenting with different firing programs, enabled me to create a divergent collection of stones. Where each of the made stones carries different qualities, tells a chapter, a layer and where all together they create a story.

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The installation ‘Pretending to be Solid’ consisted of the stone collection I have made, creating a constructed landscape inside the room. The spectators were invited to walk through the room, in-between the placed stones. Through the walk, I looked to evoke a personal contact between the spectator and the made stones. Which was for me, a place for memory and imagination.

 

cover_image_shade download this thesis by Naama Aharony
all rights to this thesis are property of the author © 2016

 

the pleasure of the unknown


Monday, October 24, 2016

 

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Guy DEBORD - Concept of "Derive"
How could people renounce to act, to move into a defined space?

“Follow the line. Walk. Turn left. Straight on. Turn right.”
Everyday is the same way. Wake up, go to work, one way. Finish work, go back home, same way. Same streets. Same sidewalk. Same hall. Same way to move into a defined space. I’m bored. I have the feeling of being programmed. I walk as an automate. The way I’m moving is determined by the space. A space, which has been built to create a certain kind of movement. Movements chosen by the hand of the architect.
I’m bored.
I want to derive.
I want to EXPLORE.
I want to be excited.
Let’s break the routine.
Let’s take the chances as a guide.
Let’s follow the chances.
The derive is defined by Guy Debord (a French Marxist theorist, writer, filmmaker, member of the Letterist International, founder of a Letterist faction, and founding member of the Situationist International) as a fast technical way to go through different atmospheres. It is deeply linked to the space and to how people recognize it. The right words are “the psychogeographical thought”.

The human being evolves during his life through different spaces. He is acting, moving because of his feelings but also because of the space he is in itself. If the space is small, without windows, just made of walls, he will turn around in circles like a wild beast, searching for some space to explore. Put him into a wide space, with no walls, maybe he will run, maybe he will walk but he will have the freedom to explore. The space, thus, determines our behavior.
The chances has an important repercussion on the derive, even if the mind and feelings about the space, are still the elements which affect your choices. You’re walking in the street without any goal, you want to get lost, to explore. To your left, there is a narrow passage, it seems calm and quiet. To your right, there is a big street, noisy and full of people. Which one would you choose? Which path will attract you the most? Your feelings will help you choose.
The derive is something you can do by yourself, alone, but it has more impact in a small group. People can help you discover different places you don’t know, they can help you appreciate it. Also, a group of 4/5people maximum can create a different energy than if you were just by yourself.
 

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The exploration supposes a kind of calculus which helps you to know where you are going. That’s what the map is for. In your daily life, you just know the streets you need to take to be at specific places. Take a map and start to look at what is around you will help you to understand how the city is built and how you can play with it.
“What if today, I decide not to turn left but I chose to go right, to get to my office?”
A small change of your routine can have a very positive impact on you. Your attention will be different so you will start to feel the pleasure of the unknown.

First cover Guy Debord’s book

In architecture, the derive creates new spaces, new ways to go, to move and to determine the space. 

Everyday you take the lift, go to the 3rd floor and open the second door on the left to your office. No excitation. Tomorrow, you will climb the stairs, try a new way to move and you will rediscover a place you thought you knew.

Why not create a place where the owner could remove the walls to make the space bigger or smaller? A place where he could be his own architect, a place where, he has everyday, the possibility to create his own space. For example, in 1955 a building was built in New-York in which three four room apartments could be turned into a big twelve room apartment thanks you moving walls.
Also, one of the most famous architecture of De Stijl movement, the “Schröder House”, illustrates very well this idea of transformable space. The Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht was built in 1924 by Dutch architect Gerrit RIETVELD for Mrs. Truus Schröder-Schräder and her three children. She commissioned the house to be designed preferably without walls. It is visually very simple with its use of primary colors and geometric shapes. The outside-inside boundaries seem to blur, thanks to its many windows that open up completely to welcome nature indoors.
 
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This house is a great exemple of a home you could easily transform to suit the weather, your mood. The simple and straightforward house was made using long-lasting, affordable and standard materials like concrete, glass and wood, with floors made from rubber and even some small cork areas in the bedrooms, for standing when getting out of bed. A doorbell and a long horizontal window that only open a small area to receive the post straight to the working desk inside. Upstairs, three bedrooms and a living room area around a central staircase and fireplace can be dynamically turned into a open big open space when opening wide up the sliding the walls.
The whole idea of derive deeply echoes Constant’s work. After WW2, the artist saw the destroyed cities as a possibility to rebuild them in a different way. He started to think about a New Babylon, a city that would offer to his citizens a new way of life, a new way to explore the space. Stairs, ladders, open spaces, light… Everything in his mock ups gave the user the possibility to create his own space, his own movements, his own rules. On a certain level, we can say that Constant wanted to give us the possibility to derive. This idea echoes Guy Debord ’s sentence, “One day, people will build cities to derive”.
To my mind, i think that with or without those utopic cities, we already have the possibility to derive. As human beings, we are building our own limits. If we decide to see our everyday life as a playground, if we push ourselves out of our landmarks, out of our comfort, we became the actors of our derive. The main problem of derive is finally how we accept to deal with the notion of freedom, the freedom we are giving to ourselves.

Spaces in Between


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

 
 

Spaces in Between

 

 


Unsorted, disarranged, unorganised library, full of elements placed according to different components, which have an order or perhaps do not have it at all, just existing in an unrestricted randomness. Which ironically speaking could actually be seen as the same thing, since a lack of order is also an order in itself. Chaos with a clear beginning and ending kind of like a bad book. What exactly did I find there…? Big books, small books, orange, white, shiny, mat, hard, soft, precious, forgotten, books that are filled with content, wedding books. Books of a specific nature, books that are about nothing at all, ones that wait for attention and ones nobody cares about. Art books, design, educational, pointless, and sharp and blunt, basically all you can find in a library. I was asked to find a solution for the lack of structure in their position on the shelf. So the primary question that I am asking myself is; what is the point of doing it at all? Of course the obvious reason would be the easy access to the content, otherwise lost in the madness of disorganisation. However, I still struggle to understand why to bother ourselves with creating this specific order, if in the end it is still the same amount of books in the same space? Somehow I think this action is irrelevant, especially if we put so much effort into creating a puzzle that can be made in an infinite amount of ways… according to any system that a specific person would find attractive or interesting (depth weight, etc).

 

    In the name of captivation and curiously-provocative passage, I am trying to crack this system of easy predictable result, which in my opinion is rather obvious to foresee if you limit yourself by the boundary of an actual shelf. Instead of doing that I would rather step out of this radius. The concept that I tried to create is aiming to expand the perspective on how we view the book. What is a book actually? In short, it is a box of content pocket size captured by the single pages glued together, now isn’t that somehow equal to the very idea of a book shelf, in which many different books are aligned in the same way as the pages, however this time at a larger scale of information? Somehow I believe it is possible to see these systems as parallel ones. If a thousand books make a library; then, so to a thousand pages, and further, a book can also be seen as a pocket size bibliotheca.


The establishment of the fact that from now on, one copy can stand on its own, gives me the possibility of putting in on a pedestal and seeing it as something autonomous, in other words, let’s give the books the space that they deserve. There is no reason why they should be kept together in one place since in the end it’s just creating a bigger chaos. Let us treat books as unique objects instead of piling them on top of each other. As absurd as this sounds, to create an order you have to separate everything from each other and never put them back together again.


For my next step, I have chosen ten books from the shelf that I eventually turned into their own autonomous libraries, spread all over the city; one book for one building. I did this by searching for the places that seemed to me as the right environments for the books.  The main question that I had to ask myself, is how do I decide what aspect of the book should be the main criteria for the location, the physicality or the content. Not to leave it too vague, by physicality I mean the literal materiality of the book and where it could fit in the space of a building, so in the end it seems as the space was designed for the book and not reversed. In this case of preciseness, the dilemma of leaving the content out of the picture was not so disturbing anymore. However, after I found the main foundation that would determine the way of approach, I decided to take it further and only use the fore edge  of the books (opposite side to the spine), which presents it as more of an anonymous object rather than a work.


The result of this practice was the creation on ten completely autonomous bibliothecas, in ten different buildings. This created a situation in which a book stopped being a book, but rather a body living in perfect symbiosis with the surrounding environment.

 

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Tabula Rasa


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

rei-kawakubo copyConstant_Nieuwenhuijs_(1974)

 

1. Rei Kawabuko

 

Rei Kawakubo is a Japanese fashion designer. She first studied fine arts and literature at Keio university but then later thaught herself how to design and started making clothes under the label Comme des Garcons. In 1973 she incorporated it as a company. Soon Comme des Garcons became a label preferred by the Avant-garde. Kawakubo designes clothes with a modus operandi more familiar to conceptual art than to fashion.

 

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Rei Kawakubo
and Yohji Yamamoto,
1983

 

During the 1980s, her garments were primarily in black, dark grey or white but later more colors were added. The materials were often draped around the body and featured frayed, unfinished edges along with holes and a general asymmetrical shapes. Comme des Garcons is often referred as anti-fashion with their austere, deconstructed garments and the focus is more on the three-dimensionality of shapes and not so much on the surface and finish. By all these means Kawakubos designs challenges the traditional notions of beauty in fashion.

 

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Rei Kawabuko,
1997

 

In 1997 the spring/summer collection was an ironic commentary on female vanity and advertisements for cleavage enhancing bras and figure sculpting thights. These designs suggest that the mind no longer need to submit itself to the dictates of conventional notions of beauty, but it is free to find it where it will. Also that beauty may not reside in the places what our culture suggests but more in our own imagination.

 

What is beautiful doesn’t have to be pretty

Rei Kawakubo

 

Working together with other professionals like photographers and architects their approach in fashion is very collective. Kawakubo wants to be involved in all aspects of her business like photography, graphic design etc.

 

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Ensemble
Rai Kawabuko
1997

 

Ensemble is a top and a skirt from collection Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body. It is made of cheesecloth stapled together in layers of pattern sections. The sculptural silhouette and the complex piling reflects Japanese ideas about the garment, which is seen as a construction in space. Here the garment is an autonomous sculptural object and it is no longer dependent on the shape of the human body.

This garment was part of a exhibition in Booijmans museum under a theme: Tabula Rasa. I think Kawakubos design fits quite well to the theme because she has been quite groundbreaking in her field by challenging the traditional idea of beauty in fashion.

 

2. Constant Nieuwenhuys

 

Constant Nieuwenhuys (1920 Amsterdam – 2005 Utrecht), also known as Constant is dutch. He is a painter but he touched other fields such as sculpture, music and, what interests us, theory and architecture.

His brother Jan Nieuwenhuys, who was born a year after him also became
an artist and their paths are closely related as they founded together with Corneille, Asger Jorn, Karel Appel and others the Experimentele Groep in Holland in 1948. It is important to mention that all those people then took part to the CoBrA movement which we all know and which was a period when Constant painted a lot and a lot of beautiful paintings.

 

Constant

Constant Nieuwenhuys
Maskierte Ungehorsamkeit
1948

 

Constant took part to the theorizing of CoBrA. In Wikipedia I found his theory resumed to six points, I translate it here.

 

– Realism is the negation of reality
– Who denies hapiness on Earth denies Art
– No good painting without great pleasure
– Civilization admits the beautiful to excuse the ugly
– The best painting is the one reason cannot admit
– Imagination is the way to know reality

 

After CoBrA, he briefly joined the revolutionary Art movement International Situationist (from 1958 to 1960), led by Guy Debord, between others. Asger Jorn was there as well. This part of his life is really important to understand his work New Babylone.

The International Situationists were influenced by Marxist thinking and wanted to end the class society and the merchandise dictatorship. Their thinking is well explained in the book Society of Spectacle Guy Debord wrote in 1967. Guy Debord is an important character to understand New Babylon because in 1956, he theorizes the Derive in his text La theorie de la derive.

 

One or several people experiencing the Derive are renouncing, for a laps of time more or less important, to the reasons to move and to act they generally know…

– Guy Debord, Theorie de la derive, 1956

 

societeduspectacle

Image used for the cover of one of
Society of Spectacle editions

 

New Babylone was supposed to be called Deriville. It is a utopian city in which the defaults of capitalism (and of society of spectacle) does not exist anymore. In this sens, it fits very well in the Tabula Rasa theme.

 

imageproxyboijmans

Constant NieuwenhuysNew Babylone
1966

 

3. Tabula Rasa

 

Even though the history and works of Constant and Kawakubo aren’t similar, they work in different fields, different puposes and connections are hard to find, we see that in those both particular works, some interesting aspects can be joined.

 

The first aspect is the use of architecture thinking for works that are not only architectural. Kawakubo, in Ensemble, thinks the garment as a construction in space, which means that she works with the object but also with the void it creates. Ensemble is a garment created using architecture.

Constant tries to build an utopian city, he has no choice but using architecture (he also made some beautiful models of New Baby- lone). The sketch we are talking about can also be seen as a piece of Art because the city was never built, it was only a big project that, I think, even Constant himself did not think he would see become real. New Babylon is a piece of Art using architecture.

 

The second aspect is related to the idea of Tabula Rasa. As we saw, Constant relation to it is quite obvious, he wants to built a new city for a new kind of human. In other words start everything again.

Kawakubo, in her garment, tries to challenge our traditionnal idea of beauty and to find new aesthetic values. We saw in Ensemble that the garment becomes autonomous from the body form an can be seen as a sculpture too.

 

 

My Sofa Journey


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Larssofa_0

What happens if you could take a nap when and wherever you want? Forrest Jessee designed the sleep suit(1), that makes it possible to sleep in your own cocoon, at work, school or at the streets. I wanted to challenge the idea of Jessee. So I went to the streets to experience it, not with clothing… but with a simple sofa.

 

\BRIAN-LAPTOPUsersBrianDocuments! LUZCADLuzcad Drawings Ba
(1)

 

The sleep suit of Jessee immediately got my attention when I visited the exhibition “The future of fashion is now”. The shape in combination with the material its made of, creates an architectural form. It looks as a personal space, because of the thickness of the primary material, EVA foam, which is also used for padding and shock absorption in sports equipment. Usual fashion, in my opinion, is meant as a kind of jewelry for the body. Fashion, in common, plays with the form of the body, and is meant to be decoration. In this design the form of the body is almost not visual anymore. It adds something to the body, where it almost becomes a second body part. That in combination, with the daily environment, creates very interesting images (2,3).

 

Desk_675 (1)(2)

Steps_675 (1)(3)

 

The part where this piece is playing with his environment is the part that I wanted to experience by myself. I just moved to my new home in the centre of Amsterdam, as I found my new sofa in the streets of Amsterdam South. So I walked 5,2 km to my home with it. I had to take a lot of breaks, and interesting things happened that for me related to the ‘Sleep Suite’ of Jessee.

What I wanted to experience, is the interaction with me laying/relaxing/sitting/jumping at my sofa and the busy city life. A lot things happened on my way so…

I want you to share my ‘Sofa Journey’.

 

Larssofa_4(4)

Larssofa_5(5)

Larssofa_6(6)

Larssofa_7(7)

Larssofa_8(8)

Larssofa_9(9)

Larssofa_10(10)

Larssofa_11(11)

Larssofa_12(12)

Larssofa_13(13)

Larssofa_14(14)

Larssofa_15(15)

Larssofa_16(16)

Larssofa_17(17)

Larssofa_18(18)

Larssofa_19(19)

Larssofa_20(20)

Larssofa_21(21)

Larssofa_22(22)

Larssofa_23(23)

Larssofa_24(24)

Larssofa_25(25)

Larssofa_26(26)

Larssofa_27(27)

Larssofa_28(28)

 

 

After 4,5 hours

Larssofa_29(29)

 

The experiences I’ve had this journey, I would never had without the sofa. The sofa became a medium to communicate with buildings, animals, trams and people. In the pictures I tried to play with the environment. For example, I saw a lot of buildings which had the same stripes above their windows as the stripes from the couch. I could involve in that way the couch with his surrounding(11,12). Also the stripes of the zebra path were interesting to combine with the sofa(14). The garbage that I found at the streets I also used to create a fake ‘living room atmosphere’, with the television, couch and ventilator(13).

Also the opposite situations were very interesting. Where the sofa was not palpitating the surrounding. A good example of it, is the picture where people looking strange at me sitting at my couch.(16) In the rest of the pictures there is also a lot of ‘miscommunication’ between me, relaxing at my sofa and the busy background. I enjoyed the journey a lot with me and my sofa, which is now settled in my appartement. It will always remember me of this day.

I >Am< >Here< In This Space >With< You


Monday, January 27, 2014

Have you ever had different impressions than in the past or than other people in the same space? I can give two examples;

image1_Hanna Lee

There is a place where I always pass by with my bike. Today, I decide to walk along that same space. I stroll in this space. I ramble through every corner and small alley. My feet lead me to the scenes which were always there but very new to me; an ivy-covered wall, small scribbles of children probably who lives in this neighborhoods, tiny bike tricycle lying on someone‘s front garden and windowsill-piece with nice touch. I enjoyed these scenes while walking through the same place where I pass by regularly. I always thought I knew this place very well, but today I was only started to become conscious of these new and everyday-life scenes.

My friend and I passed through the narrow alley and came to a small door. When we opened the door we were able to enter a space. It was deep and narrow. The width was not enough for us to stand side by side. The side walls are high and ceiling was open towards a nice blue sky. I could see a bird flying and hear the wind. Space was quite dark, but I felt very comfortable and fresh. But my friend had left the room already, later she explained why; she felt almost choking so left the space early.

This might be a daily experience which we encounter often, but if it occurs too often we might not put any extra attention to it. I had a curiosity for this event, and wondered why there are such differences according time and person. I am sure that many readers had the same experience like this and wondered about it.

image2_Hanna Lee

Metaphorically speaking, space is ‘vessel’ that contains food, and this food can be defined as ‘happenings (or events)’ in the space. This ‘vessel’ gains its meaning only when it is used and it meaning will be even enlightened if the ‘food’ is delicious. On the other hand, the shape of ‘vessel’ differs according to its containing food; bowl, plates or cups. Every food has is matching vessels, if it is not matched well; simply, the food loses its merits. And of course this same food in same vessel can be tasted differently to every people depending on their preference or their body conditions. This ‘taste’ can be also, metaphorically, defined as ‘spatial-experience’. I want to explore these factors that create different taste which can be said as ‘recipe’- The secret of tastes. And I presume this factors-recipe- is ‘Experience’.

I "Am" "Here" In This Space "With" You : read or download my thesis below

 

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No biggie… you can click here to
download the PDF file.

This essay initiated my graduation project “A Scenic Contemplation” presented at the grounds around the Rietveld academy as part of the 2013 graduation show.

650-_MG_0721_Hannalee_V

- A Korean Philosophy about window and surrounding says: “ Window is a frame that can hold scenery.
This philosophy about the window is called “borrowed scenery”. The borrowed scenery method reflects the exterior landscape into the inner spaces, forming new scenery.
This method does not destroy environment. It just borrows the environment. If you follow this philosophy you can live with a breathing landscape painting. When you borrow a landscape via the window, the architecture can breathe thought the window. The borrowed senery method make your senses soft.
I was impressed with this philosophy, especially with the attitude and the way how they treat the environment. They did not use the environment only for their own sake, but they borrowed the scenery and lived along with it.

It is a humble way to live with the environment.

text by Hanna Lee [graduate student department of inter-Architecture 2013]

Screen shot 2014-01-27 at 12.59.03 PM Download the publication ”A Scenic Contemplation“

 

Cyberflânerie


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The thesis of Olya Troitskaya “Virtual walking” studies a gesture of strolling in physical and cyberspace.

It looks into the history of a “deliberate walk”, starting from the concept of the flâneur developed by Charles Baudlaire, its degradation by capitalism into the figure of the shopper, its later radical political update coming with the concept of the “dérive”, its development through a notion of “Psychogeography” with Guy Debord and Situationist International and its popularity later in 1990s in artistic and academic circles, building up psychogeographical praxis in various ways.

Physiologie_du_flaneur
Louis Adrien Huart / Physiologie du flâneur

Further the thesis draws a parallel between these historical processes happening in the real space to the ones taking place in the cyberspace.
With the development of capitalism flânerie becomes increasingly restricted. Is it possible that Cyberspace, that can be looked at as an update of a personal, bodily and architectural space, would become a more popular place for flânerie?
If in the 1990s “cyberflânerie” is associated with a free “strolling through information space, taking in the virtual architecture and remaining anonymous”(1), then in 2000s it doesn’t seemed such an intriguing activity as in the early days of the Web.

The processes happening to the internet in 2000s can be considered similar to ones happening in 19th century Paris, lead to the change of its original, playful identity.

live-rmb-city-1
Cao Fei / China Tracy, 'Live in RMB City'(2009) Video
: Courtesy of Artist and Vitamin Creative Space

Various artistic practices are being developed around a cyber stroll. Will they react to the changes happening to the figure of cyberflâneur and challenge its appropriation by capitalism, similar to Debor’s challenging capitalism’s hold over the city? (x) http://www.ceramicstoday.com/articles/051998.htm, last accessed: 06.09.2013

What is the future of the cyberflâneur? Is it possible to learn from Situationist’s example? Where to look for the “dérive” in cyberspace?

text by Olya Troitskaya [graduate student department of Graphic Design 2013] : more www.olyatroitskaya.com

 

Pdf-icon Download this thesis ”Virtual Walking“

 

Zig Zag Stoel


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ik zig/zag
een zig zelf
zittende
zichzelf zaggende
zig
zag ik zigzaggen.

Ziedaar de zigzagstoel van Gerrit Rietveld. Zag jij hem ook?

Zo zonder leuning, zonder pretentie zeer zeker van zichzelf?
Zig Zag
Een Zizag, ziedaar het woordenboek, is
een bewegende lijn die plotseling van koers verandert.

Zo Spannend, de Z, ik zou hem om willen draaien om zo de Z van alle kanten te bekijken.

 

Zo, van ziehiertje zie daartje en zo en zo.

Zalig zon zigzag!
Zo zonder aarzeling aanwezig, een bazige Zigzag- Z-stoel.

Zigge zagge
zage
zigge zagge zo
zigge zagge zage zonder
zigge zagge
zoooooooooooo
ziezo
zie zo

Zigzag,
ziedaar zo in de verte
zaagt de zigzag door de lucht
gelijk een bliksemflits

O zigzag, kartonnen design klassieker, zonder ondersteuning zeer zitbaar.

Test, Test, test, test,
Ziedaar iepenhout, bout en messing,

Zigzag in zicht.

Met Zwaluwstaartverbinding verbonden, zo zigzaggend aan elkaar.
Zonder benen, zig zagt zij als een zwevende zwaluw gier!

Zij is zeer zeker zwevend aanwezig maar ruimte neemt zij niet!

Zo is Z een stoel, of is Z een tafel,of is Z een Z
Zoals je wilt!
Zig-zag-zo-zoals-
je wilt!

Stijvolle Z,
Zakelijke Z,
Zinderende Z,

Zwaluwstaart, Deuvel, Lij, Schroeven,
niet piepend iepen hout:
Een Z, een Zwiepende Zig Zaggende Zag ik nooit eerder Zig Zag stoel

Ongetooid, Ongekleurd,
Z, Zomaar Zie ik Z Overal!
Zie hier, Zie daar,
z, Z, Z, Z

Het Zigzagje, zegt Rietveld,
Ik noemde het altijd het Zigzagje,
Zegt Rietveld zachtjes zigzagggend.

Zigzagje, schotje in de ruimte,
Zag jij haar ook, zo met je blote oog?

In Z, om Z, tussen Z,
Zigzaggend zag ik Z in
en om en tussen

Zigge zagge
zage
zigge zagge zo
zigge zagge zage zonder
zigge zagge
zoooooooooooo
ziezo
zie zo


Een ruimte om op te zitten,
te zagen,
te zwoegen,
te zo evenaren,
Zo nog eentje, Zo dezelfde Z


Ijzeren Z, Fiber Z, Bandijzer Z,
Z, Z, Z, Z, Z.
Oneindige ruimtelijke Z

Zigzagje,
Zag je Zigzagje?
Gebruik je zintuigen,

Zag je zigzag je echt
Zigzaggen?
Zag je hét
Zigzagje?

Zag je een zig zelf

zittende
zichzelf zaggende
zig
zigzaggen?

 

De Zigzagstoel heeft in de geschiedenis van de twintigste-eeuwse vormgeving niet voor eenzelfde doorbraak gezorgd als de rood-blauwe leunstoel1

. De Zigzagstoel wordt in de geschiedenis van de twintigste-eeuwse vormgeving veelvuldig genoemd als voorbeeld van de synthese tussen vorm, functie en constructie die door Gerrit Rietveld werd nagestreefd.
De zigzagstoel omsluit de ruimte niet, maar doorsnijdt haar met vier vlakken: rug, zitting, poot en grondvlak.2

Volgens Rietveld corresponderen de beeldende kunsten, schilderkunst, beeldhouwkunst en architectuur met de drie elementen van het zien: schilderen met kleur, beeldhouwkunst met vorm, architectuur met ruimte. De beeldhouwkunst moest zich concentreren op één zintuig: het oog. Via het oog kan de mens ruimte evenaren, aldus Gerrit Rietveld.

Rietveld citeert dichter Tagore:

Door begrenzing, van het onbegrensde wordt de waarheid werkelijkheid”.

De Zigzagstoel was voor Rietveld een oefenterrein, een middel om nieuwe ideeën, materialen en technieken uit te proberen. De Duitse meubelontwerpers en fabrikanten Heinz (1902) en Bodo Rasch (1903-1995) hadden al eerder een stoel gemaakt met een Z-vorm, de “Geiststuhl”, maar daarin speelde de ruimtelijke werking geen rol, zoals bij Rietveld zijn Zigzagstoel.

Ida van Zijl noemt in Gerrit Rietveld, de doelstelling van Rietveld consistent, “Hij wil een deel van de onbegrensde ruimte afzonderen en op menselijke schaal brengen om die ruimte als werkelijkheid te kunnen beleven. Dat is en blijft de essentie van zijn werk, los van alle experimenten met materialen en technieken en variatie in zijn stijl”.3

Gerrit Rietveld speelde met de begrenzing tussen binnen en buiten. Kleur is voor Rietveld een middel om de begrenzing van ruimte te structureren. Vorm en kleur stimuleren een actieve waarneming die mensen uitnodigt om het werk te leren kennen.

Als literatuurwetenschapper denk ik bij het aanschouwen van de Zigzagstoel direct aan de letter Z, aan poëzie en vooral aan taal. Ik schreef een gedicht. Waarom heeft Gerrit Rietveld voor deze letter gekozen? Wat betekent Zigzag eigenlijk, waar lijkt zij op? Hoe klinkt de Z, de laatste letter van het alfabet als je de Z voortdurend gebruikt. Wat voor ruimte ontstaat er als er een stemhebbende letter Z in een ruimte wordt geplaatst? Is er zo weinig nieuws over de Zigzagstoel geschreven omdat zij niet te vangen is in beeld of taal? Omdat zij zig-zagt? Beweegt? De Z wordt een kunstwerk op zich, soms ontsnapt er kunst, in Rietveld’s woorden. De Z wordt onderdeel van de ruimte, haar voeten raken de grond, maar zij blijft toch ook een object.

Peter Vöge noemt in The Complete Rietveld Furniture de Zigzagstoel conceptueel interessant en niet zozeer interessant als sculptuur. Vöge is van mening dat de Zigzag stoel zo interessant is omdat het een dynamische kwaliteit heeft door de diagonale vorm, “Like a crouching animal about to convert watchful suspense into vigorous action”.

Voor mij is de Zigzagstoel een ruimtelijk beeld dat autonoom wordt als letter, als Z, als bewegende vorm, die je van alle kanten zou willen bekijken. De Zigzagstoel als oneindige letter, want het alfabet begint na de Z weer opnieuw bij de A tot de Z en weer opnieuw. Voor mij is de Zigzagstoel een bliksemflits en een gierzwaluw zonder poten die ongrijpbaar in de lucht blijft hangen, zonder vastigheid.
De Z- Zigzag als kunstwerk, als stoel, als experiment, als overdenking, als trillend geluid, als zin, als gedachtezigzag. Oneindig veel mogelijkheden zitten er in de Z, zie ik, want na het zien van de Zigzagstoel zie ik overal Z, Z,z, z Z.

 salie zigzag stoelen

ZigZag- salie Tekeningen

 

1,2,3 page 189, Ida van Zijl, Gerrit Rietveld

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
 

4D typography in public spaces


Sunday, October 28, 2012

My first contact with 4D typeface was in Casco at Utrecht. The 4D typeface was from Herman Damen and it intrigued me and left some questions behind. After i dived in the subject I found the typeface of Lo Siento. The beautiful designs are however not really used in the public space and not well known by the public’ because of that. Why? Are the 4D typeface not useful in public spaces or are they just not clear enough? In this research I will analyse which kind of way 4D typeface can be an extra supplement in public spaces.

Plan of the research
To find out why 4D typeface it not that much seen in the public spaces I will ask some different questions to help myself in this research.
-what kind of 4D typefaces are already present in public spaces?
-what do people think about 4D typeface? Is it well known?

Examples of 4D typeface in public spaces.
When we think about some known examples of typeface in public space we soon think about logo’s or indication of places (for example in public transport). It’s impossible to miss it on the highway: the Mc Donalds indication. Maybe that’s a part of the success of the logo next to the road; it is recognizable and readable from two directions. But is it also a 4D typeface? The definition of 4D typography: “4D Typography is the result of intersectioning, in an orthogonal way in space, two extrusions of the same character, which allows the spectator to read it from, minimum, two different positions in space.” (Lo Siento, 2012) that means that the Mc Donalds indication next to the road (what is readable from both sides) is a 4D typeface. But of course when the Mc Donalds logo is placed on a wall of a restaurant, this is not the case.
A second example of 4D typeface in public spaces is a place indication, for example a subway. In the Netherlands you see this a lot in the form of a cube with the letter ‘M’ printed on every side. The indication sign is readable from more perspectives (at least four). But… here starts the question: is it allowed to call this a 4D typeface when it is a cube with a printed letter on each side? When you ask me, it isn’t because the indication (the cube itself ) is not a character.

 

To define that 4D typeface will fit in public space, the opinion of the pubic on these places is important. To find out these opinions I went to Schiphol airport, the library in Middelburg and the railway station Rotterdam Central. Prominent is that a big part of the respondents (above 90%) never heard about 4D typeface. When I showed the 4D typeface of Lo Siento, there were not many people who recognized this way of typography. Of course they did when I showed them a picture of the indication of Mc Donalds. When I asked them about their opinion, a lot of people reacted really positive. Over all they thought that it is a really attractive supplement in public spaces. Eva: “For me it is really appealing. 4D typeface could give the usual (mostly boring) indications a new life.” Next to all these positive reactions there were also some negative points, mostly about the readability. Richard: “This way of designing is much better, nice! But I think it’s not always possible to use 4D typeface. The character ‘R’ is a difficult one, they should be careful with that.”

Ways to put 4D typeface in public spaces
In this research I couldn’t find many examples of 4D typeface, especially not in the public spaces. But the people I interviewed where really positive about it. I think (and the respondents also did) that 4D typeface could be a new supplement in the public spaces. I will give you some examples how we could do it. I hope that this way of typeface will pick up fast in the public spaces. For me this is a big discovery in the typeface.

  

We sense volume before we can articulate it


Friday, October 19, 2012

 

Marie De Bruyn makes monumental objects out of hand blown glass alongside video work and wooden constructions resulting in hybrid installations. Apart from the making process she is interested in integrating objects in a specific setting, creating atmospheres where the viewer can engage in a physical relation towards the objects and their surrounding space. Similar to Brancusi’s sculptural permutations – arranging and re-arranging the space in between his sculptures – the placing of an object is as important as the object itself.

Her work is about the relation between the perception of inner and outer. ‘How do we deal with our (surrounding) space? How do we position ourselves towards ourselves, the people around us, and the objects taking place in a given situation?’ The theses then discusses the function of the surrounding in the work of Dan Graham and those of body and space in the work of Richard Serra

 


Download thesis : We sence volume before we can articulate it [in dutch]

[images of Marie de Bruyn's graduation show

 

The man and the sea


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sea. Water. Home. Words you said minute ago is gone. It disappeared in an endless space. Somewhere in between 0°55‘.654N 40°25‘.522W and 15°00‘.411N 28°51‘.315W, or maybe somewhere else. It just a spot in a middle of the ocean. You reached that point and went away.


Eleonoras first Atlantic crossing. A kind of logbook“.Two books, different size but the same landscape on a cover. The sea and a small line of the sky, blue color mixed with a calmness and secrets. The coordinates on a book cover looks like a silhouette of a ship on a horizon line, just passing through. Pointing the space. There is something very mysterious about this book. Finger print on a side of the book, its like a signature of a man who went all the way from Gibraltar to Rio de Janeiro, but also it reminds me the look in to the sea from above. Also it shows that this book is personal, and important for a man. It could be a logbook, but somehow it looks like a diary of a man and the sea. What makes this book really interesting, is the difference between two books. At first you may think that small one is the same as big one, just the different size. But the small book has all photos made on the trip, big one only the sea scapes. I imagine how it really looks, for now I cant see that. Just a space where you can catch an image and let it go, into the endless space.

Shield and Shelter


Thursday, July 15, 2010

 

enclosureflevoparkbath-etching

intuitive fear spaces

 

Architectorial anxiety.
Can I design a space that uses my experience of fear to design the perfect safe zone? How can I shape a space which gives one freedom and privacy but which is not enclosed?

Shields and Shelter is a design for the grounds of the public bath – Flevoparkbad [link] – in Amsterdam. For the Rietveld graduation exhibition 2010, I realized a 1:1 detail of my design on the lawn behind the Rietveld Academy.

Kristin_Mauer1

above : a 1:1 detail of my Flevoparkbad design on the lawn behind the Rietveld Academy.

 

In Shields and Shelter I applied step by step the guidelines that I have developed to achieve safe and comfortable zones using my own fear experiences. These guidelines involve architectural concepts like shielding and view, shadow and light, flexibility versus rigidity. The perfect safe zone to me is a flexible space which gives one freedom and privacy but which is not enclosed. As basis for the design drawings I used an aerial photo from Google Earth of Flevoparkbad. From each towel, I constructed lines of sight from 120° angle views. Through shading these 120° triangles a map emerges with different degrees of surveillance. The darker the area, the more views. At the darkest areas the view must be blocked. Therefore I developed shields, which can be slided along rails that follow the lines of sight. This allows the bathers to adjust their exposure to others according to their own wishes.

kristin_slide8

kristin_slide7kristin_slide16
IMG_4897

tracing the 'feel' zones and the emotion lines and reproducing them in a real situation.

 

From the jury rapport : Kristin Maurer’s installation outside is a whole new interpretation of space. Space can be created by shadows as well as materials. This is what struck our jury-members. Next to this the technical realization of the work is stunning and therefore our members of the jury wanted to celebrate this piece of work.

 

etchings at graduation show Kristin_Mauer3

ICE-etching

The etchings in the thesis, presented as part of the graduation show, are ground plans of remembered fear spaces. A scheme of lines of sight in train, Kristin Maurer, 2009 [etching]

 

Pdf-icon Download thesis: Architectural anxiety. the perfect safe zone
 

Absence is the biggest presence


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A hole, a crack, a black space – consisting of nothing!

I came to the bookshelf to choose my book and what i found was a book on its own and a large space which seperated it from the main body of the other books. The absence of something was so present for me in its tension that it drew my attention to that spot right away. Like the suspense of quiet in between movements of musical symphony the quietness was pointing and preparing me for this one very special book.

Rietveld Library code: *7399*

the cleaning of the Rietveld pavilion


Monday, November 16, 2009

At March 16th 1992, Cornelia, Jane, Greetje, en Weimpje Koelewijn Vermeer cleaned the pavilion of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

the soberness and functionality of Rietveld

the neatness and the costume of the women from Spakenburg

respect

space – light – color.

a women that cleans will not lose her morality.

Job Koelewijn, Winner of the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art (2006) talks.
photo’s by Erik van de Boom, reprinted from Rietveld Publication no 76


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