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Fleuron. ,


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

 

 

domino effect


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Browsing through Design Blog – a description of my search. 

By browsing through design blog I decided to only follow the tags in which I am interested and are making good promises based on their name. Also, I decided to follow the tags quickly without going deeper in the reading but having an eye on that it still feels like a clear amount as I planned to go back later and read deeper in the essays. With that technique I created my own little library around 30 tags to come back to without feeling overwhelmed by all the essays I could read while visiting design blog. As my search got really specific at some points and I wrote down every tag I followed I can easily recreate my search which shows that design blog search stays steady through the tags if you know where to go. My search started with the aesthetic tag. After looking back on my search timeline it made really much sense. Everything was connected somehow and was laying most of the times in my interest. 

In the beginning I was browsing through the architecture category followed by blank spaces and minimalism. Fast it became more specific as about light and surface. Coming from surface I found myself in the graphic design section about covers, book design and color questions. It became to be about Illusions and fake appearances and going back to architecture and more specific about glass. 

Being at the same page again from the beginning I decided to go this time into the product design tag. It became about school furniture design and exhibitions. 

Then coming to the really brought tag art I ended up in physical exercises meaning to enter the world of theatre. From theatre I decided to follow the naked tag which leaded me to invisible fashion, minding material and wearable technology and going back to craft again. Here I followed my last tag form follows function which connected to product design again. 

So after analyzing my design blog browsing I can connect the essays I looked at to different main content sections of design. 

Architecture 

Graphic Design 

Product Design 

Theatre 

Fashion Design are making up the more really brought topics I was browsing through. 

As I tried to follow really clear lines while browsing I was hoping to not loosing track and moving in between the topics I like. This worked out really good but almost too good. Often I ended up with the same essay or got so specific tags that only one essay was left fitting. Still, for me to stay still in logical order it was a good experience. Maybe I only was disappointed in this system because I even if it was not my goal expected that the amount of essays would destroy my focused searching  but in the end it just showed me that there is sense behind the pages. Therefore I think it is a really good and brought way of dealing with subjects one is really interested in but for sure one should know what he is searching for otherwise the design blog can soak you up. This I am reasoning with that even if I followed the tags I am interested in design blog leaded me through different sections of design. When I started to go deeper in the architecture category I didn’t expect to end my search finding essays about wearable technology. Which means it leaded me towards unexpected topics but still they were based on my decisions and therefore interest. 

The visualization of my searching.

The whole idea of connections and following tags in between the essays reminded me of the domino effect or a network of laying domino stones. In fact I was only really in control by deciding on the very first tag. Eventually the overall image of the searching pattern became only clear after ending the search itself. Every domino stone represents a tag in my search and is a connecting point for the others and therefore a necessary part of where I come from and where I go. After clicking on the first page it becomes an aware automatism. Every mouse click follows the other as one stones falls into the next. click click click click …

The interesting point is the fact of the awareness. The design blog works automatically if you decide on following the existing tags instead of choosing your specific topic every time again. But still it is in my choice which tags I follow and that is what creates my own network in the blog. If I would have chosen other tags to follow or would have continue for several hours the whole structure would look different now. This is what makes the search unique and individual based. 

The essays I followed were always connected through at least one tag. The tag I followed. This is the same way I connected the domino stones. 

The numbers of my search getting higher and higher referring to the feeling of building up layers of pages. When I followed my 15th page I ended up at the same page as my second one and the layers got mixed up. Still, the numbers are connecting the different topics. 

Now when going back through my tags to reread the essays I came across I can go slowly back in timeline but only one by one not destroying the connections of my whole searching structure but staying in the network I created. 

 

by Marlene Stach

Sometimes, creating something with something created can lead to a new creation


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

 

I rely on science just like another person may rely on god like

a woman that cleans will not lose her morality 

Or Hamlet, whose private conversation with his mother is overheard by Polonius, hiding behind the drapes

 

Blue means “deep, inner, supernatural, peaceful “Sinking towards black, it has the overtone of a mourning that is not human.” “typical heavenly color”, not being able to direct the final outcome of a project

 

the outcome can sometimes become quite exciting, bringing together recordings that are time wise very far away form each other

Of showing the change through time, by pushing a big squared formed ice block through the streets  of …Mexico City

 

When is a sock a sock? a word is a room and a room is a word

We can always be slow in reference to something

which is faster. Get used to see the shoe on the other foot, get used to perceive slowness

 

Where did you hide the gun? It can be weeks before they are found, and by then, the bodies are in a state of decay

 

But sometimes you can find something that can be of use. But then I come across delightful sentences that have now regretfully almost disappeared from use, and instantly I am charmed again.

 

For me sound is something mysterious, because I’m deaf

I find myself in getting shallow answers and understanding of the material world around me..

 

Step six, keep it together

 

Some theories hold that cave paintings may have been a way of communicating with others

Some people prefer to wear black clothes while others feel them selfs most comfortable in white, empty spaces

…..It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy

 

He tells that his girlfriend had a birthday party but didn’t had enough space to let all the guests sit, so in one day he made a table and extra chairs so all the guests had a place and a table to eat from

It gave the children the opportunity to explain themselves in a way, that haven’t been possible for the children before

Should we think about our plants and animals? 

 

The sensations stays with you long after you have exited the work and you feel a connection with everyone who have ’felt’ the work

But sometimes he gets criticized that he did not had a relation to the real world

 

I was thinking, writing about a chair can be really interesting but for me it had to be more than only writing about a chair

it seems like this chair just appeared to be. and it looks great.

I wonder how does it feel to sit on that chair

That same one that JØRGEN HØVELSKOV

Designed

 

The book gives us back that brave imagination of a child

A thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present

the dimension of pure existence, of the goodliness, of eternal and perfect beauty Well, in this century grooms usually don’t give their brides gifts like this

 

Despite its abnormal appearance this book is like many others of its kind held together by tape

 

The noise from the boots that hit the cold wet floor, yelling men shouting and cursing, fork lift trucks and pallets that hit the floor with a loud bang But the jury was also impressed by the content of the thesis

 

Though there’s definitely a shadow hanging over this book and it’s called reality  However, the Mohawk tribe never actually wore the Mohawk hairstyle traditionally

 

If I was a nomad.. I would be a technomad

The golden thread gives me the feeling that it will hold forever…

 

as can be seen by the frequency it has been rented out in recent years by people with a similar curiousity and interest to mine

The exhibited artworks or the visitors walking carefully among them, observing them…

¡¡¡¡¡The naked truth!!!!!

 

Where does it come from, and how can we get it, (energy wise of course, I wasn’t talking about love)

 

Am I experiencing life like a collage? 

Remembering that humans possess in a 98% the same DNA than gorillas

Like the plastics

Humans are moldable as well, changing along with new inventions

…In the end, I’m a person, not an algorithm, and I decided to embrace this…

 

A poem created by putting together sentences found amongst the many existing writings, while browsing the 3000 texts on the blog. The copyrights belong to the auteurs, and to me.

Missing


Monday, May 20, 2019

I’m upset. I have been lied to by a page.

I was searching for a specific page. A page that was quite rare. A page that people always try to avoid. But I was searching for it. It was a page that I did not see for a long time and I tried to remember it. Because when I was younger it popped up more often. I guess people back then were not that focused on fixing it. I now I remember that I actually feel sorry for this page, because nobody want is. So therefore I tried to find it.

 

So there it was.

 

And it was there! I saw it! With my own eyes. A page that says it’s not a page, but is still a page. Why does it lie to me? Why does this page wants to play trick on my mind?  How can it treat me like this? I was searching for this page for a very long time. How can you even Continue reading…

 

Another 21st Century Ballet


Friday, April 26, 2019

In Oscar Schlemmer’s ‘Triadic Ballet’ we are presented with a plethora of colours and shapes that touch the imagination as if being in another universe. The opening scene starts with two ‘living puppets’ standing in a yellow room. Their costumes resemble harnesses from some other age in another space with primary shapes that limits their movements incredulously. With a staccato walk they move around each other, surrendering to the costume that hides the true identity behind these puppets. As the performance proceeds, and yellow changes to pink and pink changes to black, the dancers appear in various costumes that share the same alien ‘harness’ look and all seem to be made to make movement impossible. With these minimalist movements, Schlemmer seems to be commenting on the position of the individual within the roaring Interbellum: the performers were reduced to puppets that were meant to blend into the colourful decorum.

The ‘Triadic ballet’ is an important manifestation of the aim for interdisciplinarity that characterizes the legacy of the Bauhaus academy that was founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany. Schlemmer, who was originally schooled as a painter, turned sculptor, turned decorist, turned choreographer, subsequently found himself at ease within several disciplines. And so did many of his colleagues: painters became designers and drawers became weavers. The true modernity of this Bauhausian aim for the integration of disciplines might have only become clear much later in the 20th century with the rise of Postmodernism. As to this day artists and scientists altogether seem to become increasingly convinced of the benefits that arise when two or more disciplines are being combined. [The appeal for interdisciplinary practice is also very apparent in the educational system of the Rietveld academy in the present day.] It is argued that, within the realm of an educational system it might be beneficial to learn through several disciplines in order to deepen the learning experience, to connect with your subject on many levels as opposed to just one. This also touches on the theory of constructivism, which suggests that people create their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiences and reflection on those experiences. In other words: a plurality in narratives calls for a plurality in educational journeys (and results in a plurality of learning outcomes).

To me it seems that in my generation (y) a common awareness towards this plurality in narratives is manifested more clearly than ever as we have been exposed to so many through both mass media and personalised media. And yet again, just like in the Interbellum, the position of the individual within this digital era is being discussed. This made me wonder: what would a triadic ballet look like if it was recreated to-day?

I therefore set out to research and create a choreography that would share a minimalist approach with Schlemmer’s ballet, but simultaneously touches on contemporary culture. Evidently enough there are many possible ways to represent the novelties of postmodern civilization within this historical context, so I made the choice to focus on the subjects of digitalisation and individuality. I discovered that these two themes are apparent in our lives not only through visual experiences, textual communication or metaphysical perception, but also through bodily adaptation. With this term I refer to the different adjustments modern humans allow their bodies to make in order to make use of digital devices and/or media. This bodily adaptation displays a process where an individual’s reality-identity somehow seems to have merged with their digital-identity. Inspired by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, who often attempts to create dance forms out of daily movements, I tried to work out different movements that I found to be exemplifying for these bodily adaptations: people crouching over their phones on trains, people shifting their view to and from their screen.

With these movements mimicking digitally-driven bodily adaptations I made a short movie showing a 21st century ballet in 21st century costume. Unlike in Schlemmer’s ballet music and sound has been left yet-to-compose in order to limit the scope of this research. A next step would definitely be to experiment with audio in order to create a complete experience. An important notion must be taken in the fact that this outcome is highly context specific (and therefore quite postmodern for that matter) as it is a result of my interpretation of what a 21st century ballet should look like carried out through my body.

The choreography can be watched here:

 

 

The Neo Neo Romantics


Friday, April 26, 2019

Triadisches Klassisch Ballett?


Friday, April 26, 2019

The choreography, the costumes, the music and the decor that Schlemmer uses in his Triadisches Ballett were in my eyes the complete opposite of the classical ballet performances, for example The Swan Lake. After further research, I actually came to the conclusion that it is difficult to compare, since his approach has had nothing to do with the telling of a story. Schlemmer’s ballet is based on three basic forms: square, circle and triangle and the various postures of the human body: standing, sitting, lying. These combined add up to an infinite number of variations and possibilities of interaction of the human body with space. In this approach, the choreography, the costumes, the music and the decor are all the same. The ballet is the result of the relationship and interaction of these four elements.

Even though Schlemmer’s choreography of the ballet was only a style element, equal to the costumes, the music and the decor, I consider it as the most crucial aspect of the ballet. Therefore, I asked myself: Can it be elevated to classical ballet if you omit the music, the costumes and the environment, and thus only focus on dance technique and choreography?

Ballet technique is the basic principle of exercise and form used in ballet. Within classical ballet there are some elements that distinguish it from other dance forms, such as the five basic positions, the turnout, balloon and the ‘pointe’ technique. The turnout is a rotation of the leg at the hips, causing the feet and knees to turn outwards, away from the front of the body. This rotation ensures a greater elongation of the leg, especially when tilting up and back. Balloon is an aesthetic in ballet and other dance genres, which makes it seem as if a dancer is effortlessly floating in the air, floating in the air and landing softly. The pointe technique is the part of the ballet technique that concerns pointe work, where a ballet dancer supports all body weight on the tops of fully extended feet and wears pointe shoes.

To answer my research question, I gave myself the task to learn ballet, to learn two dances. I did this to see if –when I do the dances without the costumes and surroundings in which the dance originally took place– it is rather seen as a classical ballet.

The start of this journey was a big failure, I started to reenact parts of the Triadisches Ballett. Almost immediately afterwards it dawned that it would be a lot harder than I had expected. A friend of my mom, who practices classical ballet, suggested that I sketch out every movement and position.

The first dance, yellow part, was way more easy to sketch out that the other one, the pink part had a lot of movement and positions switches really quickly, so I tried to make it as visible as possible. While learning the Triadisches Ballett, I started researching classical ballet, so I also started to learn the five positions of classical ballet. I wanted to see if I could apply these five positions when learning the Triadisches Ballett.

Learning the movements and positions of my body progressed more and more, until the moment that I started to dance along with the original. I was very slow and took quite a long time to keep up with the rhythm. With the yellow part that went well quickly, even though my leg and arm coordination is not too good. The pink part lasted much longer, the combination of positions very quickly after each other and the twist with the leg going back and forth has been a long struggle and that includes most of the exercise.

While learning both the Triadisches Ballet, the classical positions and continuing to watch the ballet, I reached a conclusion. I have noticed that Schlemmer’s ballet has certainly included some positions of the classical ballet in his dance, not so much in the two that I have learned. In the very first dance section of yellow and pink, the woman dances with the pointe technique and combines it with the arm positions of all positions of classical ballet. I have also noticed that throughout the Triadisches Ballet use is made of the ‘turnout’, not the feet entirely from the side, a milder version of the classic turnout. The ballet takes elements of classical ballet and applies these, but in addition to that Schlemmer does create many more elements in this dance that do deviate from the classical. For example, there are the more angular movements and the way of walking or running, which I would not call classical. They are a good reflection of the Bauhaus in ballet. The ballet takes classic elements and applies them,  yet there are more non-classical movements and positions than classical, hence my conclusion.

 

The final result of me dancing ballet:

Bauhaus and me


Friday, April 26, 2019

I’ve always been very fond of the Bauhaus photography, or photography itself, so when we visited the Bauhaus exhibition in the Boijmans museum, all I really focused on was the photography. The way they use lightning (reflections) on different textures and materials, make the pictures look very beautiful and dreamy. The black and white effect and the high contrast in shade and light in the pictures also ad to the dreamlike feeling I get from the photographs.

 

So I immediately knew that I wanted to research the photography of Bauhaus. In this post I’m going to compare the Bauhaus Photographs with photographs of myself, as a Rietveld student, and see if there actually are any similarities between us.

First I researched how photography in the Bauhaus was. At the very beginning of Bauhaus they only used photography as a form of documentation, so it wasn’t actually seen as a form of art but only for practicality. After that they were very experimental with the camera, they used new angles, new perspectives and new techniques. A big influence on this experimental phase was Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. He used unconventional and daring perspective, which defined a different relation between people and architecture. Moholy-Nagy inspired the Bauhaus students and teachers to a new way of experimentally exploring and making use of the camera’s potential. By this way, the students used photography as a means to discover themselves and their work. After the experimental phase they put more emphasis on product photography and got teaching in technical and aesthetic skills, which was a more school-like approach to photography.

 

 

For this part of the research I am going to search for photographs of my own, that are similar of that of the Bauhaus and compare the images.

What I noticed when I was scrolling through the photographs that I have taken, I see quite a lot of architectural photographs. In the Bauhaus theres a big range of architectural pictures as well. But there are some differences in the architectural pictures in Bauhaus and my architectural pictures. For example in Bauhaus they mainly made photographs of architecture as a form of documentation, to publish in a magazine or a book. Of course there were some photographers who didn’t just take pictures of architecture for that purpose but also in an aesthetic or formal way. What I find interesting when taking architectural photographs is zooming in on its structure and details, taking it out of its context and creating a new kind of space or environment. Hereby I try to stimulate the viewer to create their own context and let their imagination on the lose. Who I can most relate to as an photographer is Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. His architectural photographs are more playful and experimental. He makes use of different angles and perspectives which gives the photographs a whole different purpose than just documentation. Where I don’t relate however, is that in his architectural photographs he puts a human element in there. For example the picture below, there is a person standing on the top balcony which create a very different composition and context. It ads a dimension to the picture that my picture does not have. Similar in our pictures is the cancelling out of the space around it, and just focusing on one part of the building. Of course a big difference in our photographs is the technique.  Now in 2019 we have many more (technical) options in photography than they had in 1919-1933. My picture is made with an iPhone and edited on the computer, so its digital. Moholy-Nagy’s photo is made with an analog camera and developed in a darkroom, unedited because that was not possible back than.

 

 

Another picture I want to compare is a picture I made at the Stedelijk museum a few years ago. The photograph is of a fan with thin aluminium strips that move with the wind of the fan. I find that a good comparison to this photograph is a photogram. Which is a technique Laszlo Moholy-Nagy used to experiment a lot with. With this technique you place an object or anything you want on a piece of photographic paper and exposing it to light. The result is a negative shadow image of the item placed on the paper. Why I compared this to my photograph, is because the experience of looking at the images is quite similar even though the technique is so drastically different. What I mean by a similar experience has a lot to do with the lightning and the movement in the pictures. With my photograph the light reflects very strongly on  the aluminium and on the wall, which creates a same kind of effect as the photogram. The differences in the strength of the light is a similarity between the photographs. In the picture of the fan its visible that the aluminium strips are moving, and in the photogram there is also a kind of movement in the picture.

Now how does the Bauhaus photography relate to me as a Rietveld student? Definitely experimenting plays a really big role in the Rietveld Academie, as well as in the Bauhaus. Next year I want to go to the Photography department and there I really want to experiment different techniques and discover new ways of taking photographs, or using photography. I really want to explore the world of photography like they did back in the Bauhaus.

 

 

 

If I was a chess set ???


Thursday, April 25, 2019

 While at the exhibition “Netherlands <=> Bauhaus”, I decided to take a closer look at a chess set by Josef Hartwig, barely knowing anything about either chess or Josef Hartwig.
Reaching the end of the basic year has made me think about how I have developed so far in my practice, way of living, and my way of seeing and making things. For this reason I will use the Bauhaus chess set designed in 1922 and observe to what extent it relates to me as a Rietveld Student.

First of all, a few pieces of information about Josef Hartwig: he was the head of the sculpture department at the Bauhaus, invited by Walter Gropius between 1921 and 1925. He was also a member of the NSDAP during the reign of the Nazi regime in Germany. It is hard to find any specific information about his actual role in the Nazi party, but his association with the 3rd Reich already shows a gap between the Rietveld of today and the old Bauhaus. Today it seems unthinkable to have, within the academy, someone so close minded and rigid controlling all aspects of students’ education.

But while looking deeper into chess, I realized that it is one of the oldest games that is still around today. Appearing in India during the 7th century, reaching Europe during the 9th and receiving it’s most modern rules in the 19th century, chess is much more than just a game. Due to the fact that it has been around for such a long time it has had a lasting impact on the society it lives within. It has been used throughout history to confront the human capacity for logic, at first among themselves, later against human created computers. It’s not only a source of entertainment, it also gives us a metaphor for complicated and abstract ideas. On this basis I assume that it will give me a clear illustration of the mindset and the philosophy of Bauhaus.

« ..from artists to computer scientists and theologians to politicians, it pushes them, who in turn push us. It allows us to better understand ourselves and the world we live in. »

« “Chess helps you to concentrate, improve your logic. It teaches you to play by the rules and take responsibility for your actions, how to problem solve in an uncertain environment.” – Garry Kasparov, a world chess champion

The specific feature of Hartwig’s chess set is that each pieces tells you how you can maneuver them on the grid. With their characteristic Bauhaus style shapes; made of cubes, cylinders and balls. By handling them and not knowing how to move each pieces, with a bit of imagination and logic we should be able to understand how and where they can move in their closed environment.

For me it is a direct image of the Bauhaus education system itself, which base can be found in the basic year ;

– the pawn could be the drawing skills. It opens your game, it’s the base of your development, bu not the most important pieces. By moving it you gives space to the other elements.
– the knight, the bishop, the rooks and the horses can be related to deeper disciplines such as sculpture design, and other medias and mediums. It gives you the ability to create a more complex strategy, all the movement options are exponentially increasing. You get more creativity in the making of your game.
– the queen and the king could represent your capacities as student, those are the most important pieces of the game, they have the biggest impacts even if by using only them you can’t do much.

In my eyes this is a way of development that traveled from Bauhaus to Rietveld. Creating your future moves, depending on your past and taking in account the present.

As a basic year student that’s where I feel I am at the moment. Figuring out how I can play, how I can use the pieces I have and how to shape the new ones. Even though I realize there’s a lot of similarities between Bauhaus and Rietveld I’m also glad to see a big evolution.

chess board and pieces by Ivor Dabadie

For me the chess set of Hartwig, couldn’t represent legitimately the current situation, it is, in a way outdated. The Bauhaus set shares the same base but with important differences in its further characteristics.
There’s no grid here, you can move your pieces everywhere. If a grid there is, it’s not made of 8X8 squares, and it’s not flat anymore, you can play on different levels create your grid with different levels.

 

 

Also you shape your own pieces. With different materials and shapes that don’t necessarily tells you what to do by handling them. You need to figure this on your own with some imagination and a bit of helps of course.
Josef’s chess set, his main work is visually strong and practical. Everything is ordered perfectly in the small box, the pieces and the grid are precisely made to fit it. My set is in a bigger box where you have space to put more pieces and games.

 

 

Finally an opponent is crucial as the aim is also to understand each other’s ways of playing.

 

 

Imagining Bauhaus Poetry


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Through the looking glass of Bauhaus principles, observing the elements of “poetry” and how that guides new possibilities in the making of a poem.

What inspires me to explore this idea is the incredible visuals of Bauhaus Theatre.

 

  

 

More spesifically HOW the concrete, minimalistic and practical demeanours of Bauhaus (which in my mind have such an adult attitude!) created such extravagant, playful, toy-ish costumes that look like perhaps a child puked them out of their wild imagination! 

While “the Bauhaus element” in these costumes is undeniably present to me, there I observe something more, almost an added element… Having read that the thinking behind the designing of these costumes is in fact by observing the performers body with a calculating attention and following its relations to the space (the stage) through its motion*, I am tempted to think this “other element” I was looking for might just be the ballet itself.

Assumption…..         The designs of these costumes are just materializations of the visuals the dance draws in the viewers mind-eye. The dance is numerous invisible lines and shapes drawn in time with the tool of the body…       Perhaps!

HypothesisSS:————————————————

Bauhaus building within an existing art form alters its outcome.

So It makes me Wonder. How would it apply to poetry? With letters and words as form and rhythm and sound as dance, the paper as the stage. I found myself wondering this more so than other mediums mainly because I haven’t seen it attempted.

Starting… Concrete, aNew.

A concrete definition: Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response.

Here is a new world, with its new forms and movements, sensations and images, to build a new Bauhaus in and of it. I will attempt to look at some elements of poetry and seek new possibilities in its design, looking at it through the 5 characteristics of the Bauhaus design.

1=Form Follows Function

It means that in design, a form should always be applied because of its function instead of its aesthetic appeal. “Utility came first and excessive ornamentations were avoided.” The thing is that this principle seems to shift slightly when applied to an already existing art form like dance, or poetry, as the means of actions in these are the adornments themselves. So, thinking of function for aesthetic, rhythm, imagination and emotion (and so on…) is altogether a different approach. Function in this case, I imagine, would be to ease and support the already existing or suggested communication of forms and elements -in the case of poetry, for example,——: All aspects must serve to communicate/highlight the emotion/mental picture/phoneasthetic situation. 

Letters (uppercase, capital;size;font;color;bold-italic…so on.), Words, Gaps, Marks, etc. + the plane the poem will be viewed on should be used for this, courageously.

2=True Materials

According to the teachers at Bauhaus, materials should reflect the true nature of objects and buildings.

This to me, follows up to the previous case. What are the true materials of text, literature and what are their functions? These are not meant to be hidden, but even highlighted to show their functions thus exaggerating and complementing the existing literary pleasure.

In Bauhaus Theatre we see the stage too, is designed in such a way that it holds hands with the costumes designed to exist with it, so the form and its space exist as one self-complimentary relation. I believe this relation is somewhat weak in the current poetry. There is perhaps much to do to enrich our poems by putting more thought on the plane (usually the regular white paper) we present it on. I would advise seeking new possibilities on this, trying to create a more powerful relation between the elements of the poem and the presentation of it.

3=Minimalistic Style

Bauhaus artists favoured linear and geometrical forms, while floral or curvilinear shapes were avoided. Only line, shape and colors mattered. Anything else was unnecessary and could therefore be reduced. Therefore we should give the reader the necessary amount of words (and preferably words that are not too difficult or esoteric) and not more, as it risks tiring the emotional and phonetical landscape. This approach also gives the poem a fresh, modern look, which is desired. It becomes open and approachable artistic experience, instead of possibly exclusionary one.

4=Gesamtkunstwerk*

Translated from German as “total work of art”,”ideal work of art”,”universal artwork”*, “synthesis of the arts”, “comprehensive artwork”, “all-embracing art form” or “total artwork”) is a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms or strives to do so. 

The poem can draw a picture as a visual form, can be sang as a song or acted as a play and so on… all this is desired and should be attempted.

*The concept of language makes this difficult as many languages used for poetry cannot be called Universal, but I believe it is still quite possible to challenge this with the help of growing alternative languages, which I will go more in depth in the following.

5=Uniting art and technology

In 1923, Bauhaus organised an exhibition that shifted the Bauhaus ideology. This exhibition was called ‘Art & Technology: A New Unity’. From then on, there was a new emphasises on technology. The artists embraced the new possibilities of modern technologies, for example at the time, mass-producibility was keep in mind whilst designing a product.

New technologies today, give us new languages for poetry to play and build with, of which I don’t see enough use. A prime example of this are the Emojisa small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion. It is, by definition, quite similar to the words that we use but with an advantage of their own, being capable of much more of a universal communication than any word of any language. They are being used so often in our daily texting and us new age kids have learned to communicate so much with them so easily, and with the help of an ever growing selection of emojis available to anyone with a smartphone, I am surprised why they are not being used more creatively. I believe through emojis a new, different and straightforward literary landscape is possible and I would like to attempt it, here…

My (currently very incomplete) draft/attempt at Bauhaus Poetry::::::::::

 

Side-walk in the cold regular night,

I am sedated by 

the surrounding objects :

Moving amongst growth and shrinkage

To the pointed futurity which sits folded 

in Z00Ming horizon———. 

Moments pass themselves to remain 

over my shoulder, behind my last step 

to Reside as the Past. Behind the direction    of 

my opposing attention  

As we speak I am Approaching 

to : 

the ————. needle tip… 

Shapes emerge and grant me locality

The wind blows Regular 

and I start takinK 

The X Large stepsS 

of a clown. crawl

into an ever-descending point 

   the buzz of everything glimmers an easy happening  

   thingness of the smallest spot

                               WiNKs at me

Everywhere is filled with stars!

Except the calming darkness of the surrounding

Tree trunks 

descending...
     

 

 

The diversity of a stable object


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

     As a student of arts and design and, at the moment, about to reach the end of the first year – I found myself trying to understand my progress and development process as a student- considering all the different situations and stages I have been through this last year in relation to the school.

     Characterised by strong rhythm and diversity, the basic year forced me to be extremely versatile.

     Creativity and quick response led me to places where I had never been before and although I was very confused in the beginning, I can now understand the interconnection of all the proposals from the school and how my reaction to them should be constantly evaluated in order to keep developing as a student.

     As so, confrontation becomes incredibly important to get to know myself and, under pressure, the behavior of my body had many times to overcome the speed of thought, which means, that it was necessary to act without thinking innumerable times – which resulted in a completely different way of perception on my own work. This practice, of course, has greatly influenced my method of creation and helps when it comes to try to have an overall view on the last period of my life- which I will be doing meanwhile writing this essay.

    From this very small and summarised description of the last months as a student of an art academy I ask you to take some words that will help you to follow my thoughts throughout the essay:

  • Rhythm;
  • Diversity;
  • Versatile;
  • Creativity;
  • Interconnection;
  • Confrontation;
  • Development;
  • Behaviour of the body;
  • Method.

These words, for me, interrelate the three points I want to focus and connect: Art academies; me as a student and school furniture design. But lets start from the very beginning.

     Art as an educational practice emerged in the 16th century in Italy, and has since evolved in many directions. Artistic teaching has been constantly changing and responsible for the emergence and development of multiple movements and new artistic practices that grow from the urge of the artists and and the society. As so, methods used in art schools have been transformed side by side with the whole society and its needs. 

     Throughout all these years many academies have been important for the development of various names that have become part of world history. Thus, certainly, the school where each one of them studied, had a great impact in their own artistic practice. Aiming for the same to happen to me, when I decided to study arts, I promised myself that I would try to find a place that would truly satisfy my needs and where the thought that moves the school would meet my own way of thinking.

     The academies have become places where learning is fundamental but, over time, the way the disciplines are taught to the students is in constant transformation- what results in a huge variation of methods used in artistic teaching.

Therefore, my task of finding the place where I wanted to develop my practice as a potential artist had to be even more cautious and I had to get to know as much as I could about the schools to which I could apply without studying there.

     After much research, I ended up leaving my home country, Portugal, in search of something that seemed appropriate to me and I ended up enrolling in the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in search of a more adapted teaching to my ideas and to my way of producing.

     Surrounded by different ways of thinking and materializing ideas, I was immediately enthusiastic about the reality that surrounded me. The contemporaneity and versatility of the teaching of each one of the teachers has proven the ideas that I brought with me from Portugal. It is very important to have the school as a safe space where all ideas are respected; Where the concept is valued and experimentation has no limits. The unlimited access to the workshops gives creativity to the students and the consideration of the creation process by the teachers and colleagues makes me believe in several methodologies that open up a huge range of possibilities to each project that I develop.

     While considering all this I realized how similar the school I was studying was to one of the most important schools in the art and design history which I always had as a great example of education techniques: the Bauhaus.So there has grown an even greater interest for this fascinating school. Now, living even closer to where everything happened geographically, I have managed to get more and more acquainted with its history.

     After some research, I have come to understand that the way the Bauhaus developed and educated its students was more than a teaching method. It is perhaps a method of production and creation that is directly related to one’s own method of living.

     Honestly, I find it striking how schools like the one I attend and the Bauhaus consider the curriculum of the degrees, and as time goes on we have more and more evidences of the positive influence that this way of teaching has- somewhat minimal, where “less” is believed to enable a much interesting creation. I would like you to take into account the last sentence- “Less is believed to enable a very interesting creation”

 

 

     While researching about the schools of art education and my perception of them. I began to notice a very important element: school furniture. That both the Bauhaus and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie plays a very important role – maybe because of its relationship with design practices. Considering those academies as a space where an incredible relationship develops daily: between the building and its interior; the objects; and  the people that share this space of discovery and experimentation.

     The interaction turns out to be very relevant in the day-to-day of those who frequent this place. The distribution / organization of space among all those who occupy it is extremely relevant and certainly influences all activities that take place in the school environment, from pedagogical to playful.

     Historically, there are several objects that are part of the artistic school environment and that, thanks to its constant presence, a certain language between human being and object is developed. As I wandered through the corridors of my school, I realised that each student has its own body language, just like every person and that we all physically get involved with what surrounds us.


Cafeteria after lunch, Bauhaus, Dessau 1930-2, photo: Iwao Yamawaki, Tate UK

     The same happens in relation to pieces of furniture. Without realizing it, the chairs where we sit become part of our position while we are seated, or an easel can become part of our body while we paint – its triangular shape where the frame is supported, often serves as support for the painter. I myself have noticed that many times I paint I find moving in different angles thanks to the support given by the easel. And, together (me and the easel), support the fluid movements of my arm that moves the brush.

     Due to the introduction of this new theme – school furniture design. It is impossible not to go back to the Bauhaus, a school where numerous pieces of furniture were developed and included in the school itself. When I went to the exhibition “Netherlands Bauhaus – pioneers of a new world” at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, I found several photographs with many of the most famous pieces by Bauhaus students, such as Marcel Breuer’s stool but, and I realized how furniture captures my attention by the way it is designed and it interacts with the space. But, throughout the exhibition, there was one piece that captured my attention, the Ulm stool by Max Bill.

“Function means the relation of one thing to another. (…) When we speak about fulfilling a function, we are talking about producing something to fulfill a need. “;

“By function I therefore understand a relation, for example the relation between material and form.” – Said Max Bill.

     Having the designer’s words as a starting point I would like to take advantage of the functionality of his piece – which fascinates me – and directly compare it to my relationship with the school that I attend because, incredibly, while appreciating the stool in the museum Boijmans Van Beuningen I felt that, somehow, its structure was very close to mine, as a student of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

     Physical characteristics of the piece:

– The stool is made up of 4 pieces that when fitted create a volume of varied functionality. The joint of the different parts is extremely well design;

– The simplicity of the geometry allows the interconnection of all parts and a joint strong enough to handle a weight;

– The stool has 3 almost identical parts that form the seat and a tube that allows support and transport.

     In a metaphorical way, I associate this description with my goals as a student. Every day I try to find solutions for my assignments through maximum simplicity; I try to be as organised as possible so I do not get lost in my own thoughts and, to ensure that each of these thoughts results in something material. In order to develop my production process. In each of the projects that I do in school I seek the interconnection with the others projects- always trying to notice the small things where they might be similar and, therefore, I have discovered many personal characteristics – mainly in relation to the way I work and how I shape my thinking. By considering and evaluating my own works I manage to find myself a little bit more every day.

 

     Functionality of the piece:

  • One of the strongest features of the Ulm stool is its versatility in functionality.

The joining of four simple pieces results in a simple object that can be used as a bench, as a desk and as a shelf and can still be transported very easily.

     In relation to my own experience this versatility can be found in a lot of aspects. The Gerrit Rietveld Academie is a place where its diversity promotes an open space where a lot is possible. Even if the departments work in separate ways there are links in between that make the school work as one and everyone is free to participate and to take the best out of everything that the school offers, from people to workshops.

From such freedom I experienced a lot of different results from each student, including myself.  It is this versatility that I try to find in my posture as a student because I believe that it will certainly result in a practicality and ability to solve any problem that I will increase my creativity and for sure be one of the most important lessons I will take with me from my years as an art student.

 

     At this point, where I can relate the characteristics of a design piece with my own performance as a student. I consider my research finished.

After all and by becoming better acquainted with the reality of art academies and their direct relationship with what is produced in them. I believe that writing this essay resulted in a very personal development – It led me to conclusions about how I interact with the space around me and how this influences my results and it also made me pay more attention to the results themselves so that, later, perhaps, I might be able to assume that I know myself.

 


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

PIET ZWART DOLLS
 
The bauhaus might be quite interesting and new for some, but looking at the collection it only makes me realise how many works of theirs I see in daily life, without being aware of their background.
 
In the midst of it all there was one piece by Piet Zwart that caught my attention, the postal office dolls . The reason why his work interested me the most was not because of its material or colours but its size. Other works in the bauhaus were on such a big scale, or photos of bigger works, that these small dolls made them even more noticeable for me.

 


Piet Zwart Postel Dolls

 

Afterwards I did some research at home on Piet Zwart and his other works. What I found out during my research was that, he wanted to design his own identity, he wanted to see what Piet Zwart looked like. Writing doctrines, manifestos, mantras and disciplines, of various forms of the avant-garde, and knowing them well, was his first step in breaking the conventions. Three of his biggest influences were Russian constructivism, Dada and the De Stijl movement.
 
He studied a diverse range of art related subjects including painting and architecture, and he was introduced to the principles of the English Arts and Crafts movement. From 1908 he started teaching at an industrial and domestic school for girls. In 1913 he returned to study, attending the University of technology in Delft for a year. From 1919 while continuing to work as an independent designer, he began teaching at the Rotterdam Academy of Visual Arts, now known as the Willem de Kooning Academy. He was dismissed in 1933 because of what were considered his radical ideas on education. His ideas were too similar to those of the Bauhaus art school in Germany, where he gave some guest lectures as well in 1929.
 
In 1930 he was asked to design ‘The Book of PTT’. This book was made to teach school children how to use the Dutch postal service. It was full of bright colors and it was meant to be exciting. He created two main characters for the book: ‘The Post’ and ‘J Self’ [See Dolls 1] They were paper doll cut-outs that he photographed and then touched up with chalk, ink, and color pencil. Additionally, he used many different fonts of varying sizes and thicknesses. He was assisted in illustrating the book by Dick Elffers. The book was finally published in 1938.

 



the 'Piet Zwart PTT book'

 

I studied him up to this point because it seemed to me like his later works would be irrelevant to how I relate to the dolls. So after the research of his earlier years and how he worked on The Book of PTT, I finally found a connection. As a child I used to make a lot of dolls out of a wide variety of materials for example; clay, paper, trash, etc. I made their clothes and homes, I created a separate world for them. And I would link those to a story in my head or on paper. The reason I felt connected with his dolls was because it gave me a nostalgic feeling of how I used to play and the way I produced the dolls and linked them to my stories felt similar to Piet Zwart’s dolls and The Book of PTT.
 
Even though I might find them very similar, at the same time, to me they are totally different. For example the way he executes his stories in his book he uses a very precise and fixed style that doesn’t change throughout the book whereas in my case I was still a child, I did not have a fixed style; my drawings were childishly disorganized.
 
Another difference is his typography, not only the way he writes but the way he uses words and letters. It seems like he’s playing with them, something I could’ve only dreamed of as a child. I wasn’t really the smooth talker, I often stuttered and could never get my words across.
 
As for his writing of course it can’t be compared to that of a child’s handwriting even if it is made for children. Even now writing is not really one of my strong suits, a reason why I came to the Rietveld, to improve my writing skills in order to get my stories across. That’s why my stories were told mostly by images instead of text.
 
I hope to have to opportunity of honing my writing skills at the Rietveld Academy so that I can explore and find my own new way of writing. That would clarify the meaning of the stories I have yet to tell.

 

Look How Far We’ve Come


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The similarities between the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Bauhaus school are immediately apparent. In theory and course structure, one could declare them almost the same, even looking from far away at the way classes are taught, there is a striking resemblance, but looking in a little deeper, a lot of the practice has changed. A great amount of freedom has ensued in the last 100 years and that is highly visible in the hallways, classrooms, staircases and pretty much every corner of our academy. 

Looking strictly at the academy’s building, the Bauhaus influence, Gropius’ glass box designs’ influence on the Rietveld architecture is almost palpable. It is what Rietveld students have made of this glass box that demonstrates the progress. The beacon of modernist Bauhaus architecture is constantly littered and bombarded with student’s and teachers individual works and projects in the works; with posters promoting performances with roots in extremely diverse concepts, and the limitations of rationality imposed by the Bauhaus are thrown out the window.

Having spoken of posters, it would be ill advised not to look at the graphic design departments of the Bauhaus then and the Rietveld now. Having been put on paper by different designers, the ones coming from Bauhaus look like they might as well have been designed by the same person, and so do the ones coming from the second floor at the Rietveld today. Here is the difference: while the Bauhaus posters have a very neat, almost strict design based on straight lines and proportions, the results coming out of our graphic design department present relaxation and fluidity. The Bauhaus posters all promoted the same message through the same rhetoric: boring, modernist rationality. The Rietveld posters on the other hand merely promote each individual’s message through the same language.

But how have we arrived at this level of enabling relaxation?

It could be the teachers. They kept the structure of the Bauhaus, even in teaching drawing, but the drawing subjects are now far more varied and exciting. In 1929 Oskar Schlemmer taught his students how to draw human proportions using spheres, tubes, cubes and other geometrical shapes. He did this in trying to question the nature of the human being, a lesson I cannot see disbarred from the socialist rhetoric of creating a new, logical type of human being, that the Bauhaus was so keen on.

In 2019 Hewald Jongenelis (one of the drawing-painting teachers) taught his students, me included, how to draw fictional character Bambi through the same technique. He motivated this by saying: “If you can draw Bambi like this, you can literally draw anything”. Again adhering to teaching certain freedoms so necessary in the work of artists and designers these days.

It could be a collaboration between teachers and students. Looking through a Bauhaus exhibition in Rotterdam, a certain picture that had been captured in a regular Bauhaus ‘Vorlehre’ (the Bauhaus equivalent of ‘Basicyear’) classroom decades ago caught my eye more than any designs exposed. A shared class structure in the Bauhaus school and Rietveld Academie is undoubtedly there. But something is off…

Where as in the Bauhaus school picture the entire class was immediately engaged in discussing one student’s work which was sitting in a pile of others like it, in a Rietveld basic year classroom some of the students’ attention is drifting away when things in class are becoming to repetitive, either towards their phone, towards the hallway or to anything slightly more stimulating than the class itself. Although this may seem like a bad habit, taking the bad with the good on might realise that this kind of habit allows for a constant flow of information with the outside of the classroom, broadening the field of subjects that students can study in their work or that they can ultimately bring into the classroom for their colleagues and teachers alike to digest.

It could be only the students themselves. Its enough to look at their fashion, and how carelessly  they wear it within the school to understand the freedom that Rietveld students are experiencing today as opposed to 100 years ago in the Bauhaus. Even though much of the fashion on the Rietveld staircase is alike between itself, which was also very much the case in the Bauhaus, put it on the streets and it will be the only one standing out in Amsterdam a city which has come to look almost as if its streets are painted through one stencil.

A Spectacular Manifesto


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The ultimate goal of all art is the spectacle! The ancient drama was once the main purpose of the visual arts, and it was institutionalized as an indispensable part of life. Today, it exists in complacent isolation, from which it can only be salvaged by the purposeful and cooperative endeavors of all artists. Architects, painters and sculptors, designers, writers and potters must learn a new way of seeing and understanding the composite character of the theater, both as a totality and in terms of its parts. Their work will then re-imbue itself with the spirit of the spectacle, which it lost being caged in a white cube.

The art schools of old were incapable of producing this unity—and how could they, for art may not be taught. They must return to the performative, to the spectacle, the theater. They must get back up on the stage. This world of mere conceptual products must at long last become a world of performers. When a young person who senses within them-self a love for creative endeavor begins their career, the context of the theater will give them unrestrained freedom to achieve excellence in their practice of art, as well on stage as behind the scenes.

Architects, sculptors, painters, photographers, weavers and dressmakers—we all must return to the collective spectacle! For there is no such thing as “art by profession”. There is no essential difference between an artist and an actor. The artist is an exalted performer. Merciful heaven, in rare moments of illumination beyond man’s will, may allow art to blossom from the work of his hand, but the foundations of proficiency are indispensable to every artist. This is the original source of creative design.
So let us therefore create a new ensemble of actors, free of the divisive class pretensions that endeavored to raise a prideful barrier between actors and artists! Let us strive for, conceive and create the new theater of the future that will unite every discipline, architecture and sculpture and painting, video and glassblowing and jewellery which will one day rise heavenwards from the million hands of artists as a clear symbol of a new spectacle to come.

If you know your Bauhaus well, you may recognize this text as it is a rewritten version of the Bauhaus Manifesto. When Walter Gropius wrote the original manifesto back in April 1919 he wanted to unify ”architects, painters and sculptors” by going back to the crafts and combine it with fine arts. When I’m rewriting it now, to the month exactly 100 years later, I’m also aiming to unify not only architects, painters and sculptors, but all artistic disciplines, through a revival of, and return to, the performative arts within the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

We are always told to get out of our comfort zone, to aim for the impossible, the fantastic, to let us be carried away and explore our dreams. Where else better to do all that than in the context of the theater? It has room for, and it needs, everybody’s interests and practices! Apart from performers it needs just as many writers, sculptors, painters, musicians, designers, costume makers – you name it. Furthermore, there is nothing you can’t do on stage; if you want to fly, then you fly! This limitless space of imagination and exploration is something that should be available and encouraged for everyone, performer or not. With calling it ”theater” rather than ”performative arts” we can also emphasize on this collaboration and intertwining of knowledge and different practices which is absolutely essential.

”But you can already do this, you can do (almost) all you want at the academy!” some might say, and while that sure is true, the space and importance given to performative arts in this school is very limited compared to it’s precursor. Yes, there is a small group of teachers and students engaged with it within the academy (basically restricted to the Fine arts and VAV departments), and yes there used to be a theater department back in the days. But why isn’t it a natural part of the education for all of us, and not only for students in a certain department?

I say:

Let’s have theater class once a week in Basic Year!

Let’s build a proper stage with opportunities to experiment with light, sound, scenography and spatial design!

Let’s all and everyone, from our different practices and fields of interests, unite and collaborate in this machinery that is the Theater!

In the spirit of Oskar Schlemmer, I wish for us a rich and alive theater as the most central and unifying element of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

Let’s make a spectacle!

“Safeplace”?


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

“Any person of good repute, without regard to age or sex, whose previous education is deamed adequate by the council of masters will be admitted as far as space permit.”
Is the last statement of Walter Gropius in his Bauhaus Manifesto in 1919. It shows how open minded the school is in this early 20th century, opening the door of the art school to everyone.  At this time when women were not admitted in academies, the gender parity was respected at the Bahaus Schule, at its begining. Over the years, the number of admitted women will be considerably reduce.

Later on according to Gropius “Men thougth in three dimension while women can only handle two.” Relagated to the backgroung, females students had to figth male hostility to go beyond the textile workshop. Add to that how machiste the legacy of the Bahaus is and I can define females as a minoritie regarding this school. They had to figth to get into the education, then during their study to open doors of different workshop and achieve their goals more then others. Then 100 years later we have to figth for their memory to be inscribed in the Bauhaus heritage. In the Bauhaus book about great figures of the Bauhaus that I borrow in the library, their was nothing about Annie Albers or Marianne Brandts, while both had leadership position in the school.  Female work were not respected and is still not. During the power point presentation in class at the Rietveld, still nothing about women’s work or figures. Why do we keep forgetting about them even tho it was such a big change that their were admitted in such studies and they achieved so many great things such as their male co-wokers?

From 2016 to 2018 I did a bachelor in textile in ENSAAMA school in Paris. Some design teachers use to call our departement “napkin scetion”. Not ‘safeplace’ or open minded attitude. I still had to fight for my work to be respected and all the textile department was feeling like a minority in the school.

I felt like in Rietveld I haven’t experience that or even had to think about my “female position” compare to the outside world, or just in Amsterdam for exemple. Why is that? Is Rietveld a ‘safeplace’? For everyone?
During the Studium General I noticed that the relation between Rietveld and minorities was an significant subject for the school. But I couldn’t really understand how they related to this. What minorities exactly? Why some ones and not others? Is their a real issue or do they create the issue ? Or maybe their will always be an issue and the ‘safeplace’ is an ideal. Is it possible to achieve to be the perfect open minded art school or will it always reject someone? How long does it takes for a rejected minoritie to feel safe in an art school? And outside? What about the minorities inside the school? Quickly a thousand of questions came into my mind. I felt like if I was diving into an ocean of non resolving problematics. Then i asked to Mirjam the student councillor some of the questions below but she couldn’t help me cause she simply didn’t had the informations for answering my questions. She directed me to another person, Annelie Van Eenennaam.  Now almost one month after, I still didn’t had any answer.

So I decided to ask the point of view of students to maybe see more clearly. I randomly choose the students around me at this moment. Here are the questions. The answer of five different persons follow in my notebook:

    1. How would you describe minorities in Rietveld?
    2. Do you recognize yourself as a minority?
    3. Do you see it as a problem?
    4. Is beeing a minority in the school different from it in the coutside?
    5. According to you, who is the school involved in these subjects?
    6. Are there some significant changes that the school could impliment to improve the ‘safeplace’ in an effort to reject minorities in art schools?

 

Art School or Art Factory?


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The students and teachers of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie are outraged. Protest have broken out the talks of a strike are becoming harder and harder to deny. After a leaked email from the heads of the Rietveld Academie strongly suggesting what many student already suspected, the school is using the students as unpaid workers. There have been talks between students and some teachers for a couple of months about this development which by many is described as criminal and not from this time, anno 2019. The school is under investigation as we speak to see if the way the school has been treating the students is really unethical and it could result in a high fee for the school, the heads of the school are facing jail time and there are even talks about a complete shutdown of the school.

The Gerrit Rietveld Academie is known to be pretty closed off for the public. They don’t have to adhere to certain rules that other higher education institutes have to, like the fact that they don’t have work with a point system. Also does the school not work with professional educators, but with artist, although this is with common other art schools as well. This is so they say, art schools, to stimulate the student in there education in the arts. Being around real artist will help them think and work in ways educator could not. All this makes the school a hard institute to keep an eye on. Many question arise now if this way of educating should be allowed after the news broke.

I saw many of your new pottery yesterday. They’re almost all single pieces and it would be wrong if we wouldn’t find a way to make the really good work that is in the pieces not accessible for a bigger audience.”

“We need to find a way to reproduce some of the works with machines.”

These are some quotes that caused the outrage among the students and some teachers. The students are being used by the school as unpaid designers, if you ask the students themselves. ‘We pay the school a higher tuition fee than other school in the Netherlands and then your own school uses you and your hard work, to sell themselves and our designs to the public. Where is all this money going to. Why am I even in school. I could apparently just start for myself,’ says Maria Sløthja a graduate student for the DesignLab department. Second year ceramics student, Frank Trebull adds;’It is like we are student athletes, but then like student designers.’ Teachers are also not pleased hearing this news, basic-year sculpture teacher Laurie Nagette has this to say;’ We cannot forget that we’re an education institute, that should be our main focus, educating the students. We shouldn’t try to make money off on them, that’s wrong.’

How the email was leaked is unclear, but there is a conjecture that one of the heads of the academy leaked it. The mail in question was send to all the heads of the school. But the remarks were made by Stijn van Kleinheest, Chairman of board of Directors. The authorities are investigating him closely, and the school has put him on inactive indefinitely.

The academy is also facing a complete shutdown, which comes with an even bigger outrage from the students. Especially among the graduate student the outrage of the shutdown was the biggest. They are in danger of not being able to graduate in that state. The academy is trying to figure a way out to prevent this from happening. They also have a problem with accepting new students for the coming year. They are considering not accepting any new students at all next year, but the admission has already started. And what to do with the rest of the students that already are studying in the academy. These are real problems the school has to face and find a solution for. For now they do not seem to have any. The teachers are also in fear of losing their jobs, for many this job is something they do next to being an artist, however for others it is there only source of income. Working at the academy is a steady pay, with is hard to find when you are in the world of arts.

I TRIED TO MAKE AN ASHTRAY


Tuesday, April 23, 2019
                                                 I TRIED TO MAKE AN ASHTRAY
At the Bauhaus exhibition in the Boijmanns museum where many interesting objects and images were exhibited I started taking pictures of all the things that I liked and that interested me. After the exhibition I was still clueless what subject or object i wanted to focus on. I was interested in many parts of the exhibition but didn’t really know how to connect it to myself or to my situation at the Rietveld academy at the moment. 
Every now and then I looked through the pictures I took from the exhibition and also the catalog of the exhibition and noticed that I had taken quite some pictures of ashtrays that where exhibited. I asked myself where that interest was coming from. 
When i think of myself trying out a new material or trying to find a design, the first thing that comes to my mind is making an ashtray and I think that is something many people do in the beginning. It makes sense to start with something small and not so complicated, it makes sense to try something first where only a small amount of skills and abilities is needed, it makes sense to start like a little child by playing with a material and form, for example a vase, a teacup or an ashtray. 
I then tried to think about the students in the „Vorlehre“ of the Bauhaus school and imagined that they may also started out trying a new material with making ashtrays. An ashtray is a decorative object that is often located in the middle of a room easy accessible  for everyone and at the same time functions as a design statement.
I choose one of the ashtrays from this exhibition. It was a design by Nicolaas Petrus de Koo, I choose this ashtray in particular because I felt like the time in which it was produced was really well represented in the design and color. It took the art language of that time for example Mondrian and translated it into an every day object and at the same time it really represented the motive „form follows function“.
Form follows function was a principle associated with 20th-century modernist architecture and industrial design which meant that the shape of a building or object should primarily relate to its intended function or purpose. I think that is a really logical and sensual approach to not focus on all the „ornaments“ around but to set the focus on the pureness and the beauty of the function.
Nicolaas Petrus de Koo was a Dutch designer , book binding designer and interior designer. In the period 1901- 1905 he received his education at the Rijksschool voor kunstnijverheid Amsterdam. After spending some time in Vienna , he established himself as an architect in Baarn in 1907. In 1910 after his marriage, he became a partner at a Rotterdam furniture company. At that time he designed furniture for fellow members of the Rotterdam Art Circle. 
I imagined to be part of the zeitgeist of that time to experience the process of reproducing an exact and  polished design.
So I went and  bought some clay and started carving it and forming it. While doing that i noticed that it is going to be hard to make it look as precise as the original version. 
i tried to imagine the process of an Bauhaus school student. Before they created an end product they must have made several steps and try outs to come to an end result that looked finished and not crafted.
In that sense I think that the Rietveld Academy education and the Bauhaus school education really differ from each other.
At the Bauhaus school one received a quite specific education that would provide you with skills to produce design objects and images. The education started with a different approach, where you first learn how to produce an object, carpet, form etc. and on the ground of these tools developing a design language. 
At the Rietveld Academy on the other hand it seems the way to achieve your goals is more about thinking and reflecting and being aware of yourself and what is happening in the process. If you want to learn skills and abilities, go for it.

  

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