Rotation and cycle coexist. The design cycle is not one large cycle, but a series of smaller ones. Different styles rotate in transition from one style, to the next, and then back to the beginning style. This rotation mocks the rotation in a design process. The designer starts with a main concept, and then out of that, gets multiple possibilities for a product, and then chooses one possibility that is the best representation of the beginning concept. A new element was added into this rotation during the Aesthetic movement: japonisme. This new style in design would permanently modify interior design in both England and America. “The naturalistic forms of Morris’s surface patterns and japonisme were among the inspirations of the first great design style of the twentieth century, Art Nouveau” (Massey, 29). Art Nouveau was the beginning of a new development in architecture. On a more literal level, rotation affects the way people see a design. Depending on which way a person is looking at something, or which way that thing is rotated, there is a different perspective. This literal concept also connects back to the “whole” concept of rotation.
Movement: the act or process of moving; a series of organized activities working towards an objective
Movement is a major element of composition. Movement makes a design dynamic. Even in a 2-dimensional plane, if a decoration creates movement, a new dimension is added. Movement is constantly being emphasized in both our design and drawing classes. In studio, our most recent project was about the celebration of light. I believe that this celebration is most successful through movement or direction. In my artifact, I created direction for light, so that the movement through negative space was clear. Movement can also be made in a 2-d drawing through the use of light and shadow, contrasting the two. Movement is also seen in many designs throughout history. Directing the eye is important in architecture, because it is usually used to put emphasis on the most important parts of a building. For example, in Bernini’s Baldacchino, the eye is drawn upward and downward with the spiral. This movement is also symbolic in that the eye moves from the earths to the heavens in a sacred place. Movement can also be created through choice of shape.
Reflection: (reflect)- to bend or cast back (as light, heat or sound); to give back a likeness or image of as a mirror does; to bring as a result
Reflection allows for improvement in design. When a designer is going through the process to come up with a product, he or she must constantly be reflecting on the previous ideas in order for further development. The designer must have the ability to recognize what mistakes have been made, what paths to avoid, what materials would work best, etc. He or she must be asking questions such as “How can I make this better? What other ways might have more effective
results? What if I did this?”…And so on and so forth. This all has to do with reflection, or reference to what has previously been successful or unsuccessful. I stumbled upon reflection many times during the creation of my 3rd skin. I made multiple models before I reached one that worked. Each iteration was based on successes, or lack thereof, of the previous model. Reflection has made itself obvious through history of design. The designers are constantly looking back in time and recalling which designs were successful and which weren’t. For example, in the Crystal Palace of New York, designers decided to use a dome roof. However, recalling that there were some issues building the dome on the Pantheon out of concrete, the dome of the Crystal Palace was constructed from glass and iron, much sturdier products. In the nineteenth century, people reflected on the works of Morris and his followers for influence. “American interior design was profoundly influenced by the reforming ethics and naturalistic style of Morris and his followers […] “ (Massey, 19). Reflection is important in order to reach success- not only in design, but also in most careers. It is important for people to reflect on their education, as well as life experiences, and apply those to their work.
Source: origin, beginning; a supplier of information
Sources are crucial to the development of design. A source could be something as literal as a precedent, a book, or a magazine, but it could also be something that involves more thought, like an item from nature, or a specific material, or a particular color. Sources provide inspiration as a first step in the design process. For our 3rd skin project in environmental design, we were asked to write a story about a celebration that was important to us, and then we were asked to find a natural artifact that was inspiring. We were to take these two sources and create an artifact that celebrated a light source. This process of taking something as small as a twig and creating an elaborate design from it has been routine since the beginning of the history of design. We see it as early as the Renaissance, where artists, sculptors and architects are taking previous pieces as precedents, and developing on them to create new ideas. This idea continues up to the nineteenth century. In the first chapter, Massey emphasizes the importance of writings on interior design. “ John Ruskin, who influenced taste in interior design through his writings on art in The Times newspaper and his books, such as The Seven Lamps of Architecture and The Stones of Venice” (Massey, 10). Ruskin was just one of many who wrote pieces to influence architecture. “Baillie Scott’s influential article for The Studio of January 1985 entitled ‘An Ideal Suburban House’ included plans for an adventurous layout” (Massey, 17). Still today, many buildings that are designed resemble others, and this is most likely because one acts as a source of inspiration for the other.
Illuminate: to supply or brighten with light, light up; to make clear; to decorate with designs or pictures in gold or colors
Illumination can be looked at in two different ways. The first definition is “to brighten with light”. This pertains to our studio and drawing projects. First, in studio, our artifact should be illuminated by or further illuminate light. In drawing, we are also asked to look at light and use it to illuminate light and emphasize shadow to enforce depth in perspectives. However, this meaning of illuminate is actually extremely literal. To make clear is a deeper definition. Illumination is crucial in design because in order for a designer to be understood, he or she must be able to illuminate, or make clear, the important aspects of a design. This is particularly important when speaking to a client who, most of the time, does not have any design experience. Illumination of key points will help the client understand where the designers idea is coming from, and how the designer plans to incorporate different elements of design (i.e. Gestalt Principles) within a space. This illumination has been a major part of history, as it is a part of the architecture parlent found in the transition from style to style. Each style refers back to the previous; illuminating what has been taken from that style to make a new. This illumination has been spoken about through each time period (Egypt, Greece, Rome, Renaissance, Baroque, etc.) This illumination of a previous era is clear in the nineteenth century goal to revive gothic architecture into daily secular buildings. “For Pugin, Gothic was an expression of a just and Christian society in contrast to nineteenth-century industrial society with its social ills” (Massey, 9). To this day, we are building churches with precedents and ideas in mind, and most of the time, our results will illuminate the important aspects of those previous designs.
The projects that we did this week, both in studio and drawing/drafting, all involve these five words. The 3rd skin project in studio took a source of light, and used that light to illuminate an artifact. This artifact would either reflect, or allow for the translation of light, in a space. During the critique, Stoel would often pick up the artifacts, bring them to the wall under the light track, and rotate them to explore the different shadows it would cast. Depending on the angle that a person looked at this artifact, the movement of light would be different. For example, if the artifact were below the light, the light would move from above through the artifact, but if the artifact were adjacent to the light, it would move from side to side. This project was a process that also involved the words above, in the ways that I explained. The drawing/drafting project was another process that used all five words. We were to create a space with furniture that illuminated our own styles. We were to pay attention to light source, which would influence how we rendered our perspectives. Depending on where there were reflections and illuminations, we were asked to use light and shadow. This light and shadow created movement within the interaction of pieces in the space. The perspectives were detailed enough so that one could rotate it in their head and know where each piece of furniture was in multiple views. This, too, was a process of design, which generally involves all five of the above. As I have stated multiple times, all five of these words apply both specifically and generally to history. This is due to the constant cycle of past, present, future and the development of new ideas.