EPOCH EPOCH EPOCH
The following document was inspired by the collages of Archigram and expresses the essence of ten major eras in design between the 1920â€™s â€“ present day. We decided to create illustration style interpretations in order to be more visually expressive. We feel very strongly that the playfulness of the spreads relates to the playfulness of Modernism post World War 2 and therefore mimics the major theme of retro design. This document embodies the transition between the different epochs in design as retrieved from the assignment Post Modernism in Industrial Design by Johanna Kint. Each spread was mindfully assembled by Philemonne Jaasma and Jacquelyn van Kampen.
â€œThere i talked ab
only one thing in life worse than being ut, and that is not being talked about.”
The Twenties, the era of the Dandies. Oscar Wilde, ultimate Dandy explained how he saw the world: “The world is divided into two classes, those who believe the incredible, and those who do the improbable.” The latter definitely applies to CharlesÉdouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier, as may sound more familiar. He envinsioned a world with huge cities, where people would live in self-sufficient living complexes. Communities would not exist in blocks of neighbourhoods; no, everything would take place inside of one building. From shopping to swimming to dining to sleeping, one skyscraper would have it all.
The designers of Bauhaus and the Stijl had a Utopian vision; as well political as social and aesthetic. They believed in constructing a new world by starting with basic geometrical shapes and primary colours. Clean shapes always formed a unity. Ultimately, this redesigning of the world would lead to a clean, sober environment in which all people could live happily and effortlessly.
With great respect for materials and their characteristics, Scandinavian designers like Arne Jacobsen and Tapio Wirkkala created products inspired by nature. Jacobsen even named his chairs Egg and Swan, referring to their source of inspiration. Scandinavian design embodies a calm, essential beauty- a universal beauty that impresses without screaming for attention. Designers were craftsmen; studying their materials and using them not only as output but, even more so, as input while designing. Or, as Tapio Wirkkala said : “All _materials have their own _unwritten laws… You should _never be violent with a material _you’re working on, and the _designer should aim at being in _harmony with his material.”
THE PARADOX OF THE 1950’s The 1950’s brought forward a great deal of fear for humanity due to the absurdity of the Cold War and the possibility of Armageddon. Nuclear war meant new developments in technology. Money was pouring into science and industry resulting in hi-tech innovations and new materials. People were disturbed and frightened by the advancement of the atomic age and yet they were excited for what/where these advancements in technology could bring them. This became the great paradox of the 50’s. In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite into outer space to orbit the earth and thus began the Space Age. In the 50’s, designers experimented with state of the art materials and innovative techniques. Design was driven by technology. Influences from math and science can be seen through the use and placement of thin metal rods, as seen in the designs of George Nelson. It is evident through the advertisements of the time that consumerism has developed in Europe. Of course consumerism really takes off during the 60’s when a new strategy is introduced, the ‘throw away aesthetic’. But we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves here.
Movie Review 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick has an incredible sense of space. He plays with gravity, daunts us with technology and leaves us questioning the path of humanity. Stanley is experimental and committed to projecting a message through his film 2001: A Space Odyssey. He leaves this message up for interpretation allowing the audience to reflect on the main topics. Kubrick used sound in a revolutionary way, leaving very little dialogue and therefore putting the viewer in a sort of trance. His use of classical music makes time stand still and gives outer space that supernatural feeling that we all love. Stanley also humanizes the computer system operator (HAL) by giving him genuine human emotion and making the viewer feel empathy. Stanley envisioned a world where humans could spend long times away from earth, existing in the world beyond the familiar. These visions of space travel and way of life not only influenced film but also fashion. Paco Rabanne, for instance, commercialized his metal dress (see image to the left) introducing the world to a new trend in fashion. His use of unconventional materials in clothing was a revolutionary step for fashion in the mid sixties. Designer André Courrèges was also very moved by the space age and designed the ‘space helmet’ to realize his vision of what people would be wearing when the live on the moon.
I wanted to design furniture that grows up out of the floor – to turn the furniture into something organic and never with four legs. Verner Panton
Golden 60’s Design in the 60’s included an emphasis on fun and a new era for consumerism. Verner Panton, with his childlike aesthetic and wonderful sense for space, designed environments that invited play and social interaction. He used bright and bold colours and organic shapes. It is evident that he was serious about creating spaces where people could just have fun. Verner’s design aesthetic was adored by pop culture. Consumerism in the 60’s shifted to became more about variety, and disposability. Consumer goods at this time were made for short-term use, introducing the new ‘throw away aesthetic’. Fablon, for instance allowed any item to be transformed and customized to meet the consumer’s specific wants. Companies at this time were acting more strategically and began focusing on market trends and making an identity for their brand.
Designing fun, functional products was what designers such as Verner Panton and Joe Cesare Colombo did. Their work can be categorized as Pop-Art; using vibrant colours in designs for the massproduction of everyday objects for ordinary people. Shapes and colours were playful, but never without thought. Practicality of, and interaction with the products were especially considered, for example: the Panton Chair is stackable, and the Multi Chair can be used in many ways. Pop art was rejecting Modernism and its values, and embracing pop-culture, change and disposibility.
T P R O A P
Post Modernism The design style of Ettore Sottsas marks the shift to post modernism. In 1980 Ettore founded the Memphis Group, where he worked on designs that contrasted what had previously been perceived as ‘good design’. The group’s approach was to poke fun at modern design. They made unordered and illogical pieces using contrasting colours. It was a movement for anti-design. Although it may all seem very silly and cliché Ettore Sottsas very aware of what he was doing, he was making a statement. Once the style caught the attention of the mass population it turned into a consumer institution and Ettore Sottsas stepped down. Sadly tho the style remained and we are plagued by it’s poor taste still to this day.
You, the consumer, are king! Everything you could possible need is for sale. Even things no-one actually needs are for sale. And sold too, because companies spend large amounts of money into branding, and promoting their products. Designers are now becoming stylists who add a decorative element, or a bit of edge, or sexiness to products. An iconic case is that of the typewriter Valentine, by Ettore Sottsass. He transformed the conventional, heavy machine look of typewriters into stylish accesoires to always carry with you as you go. The cutlery for KLM by MOOOI (Marcel Wanders) shows how consumerism is shaping the ways of design. KLM indicates a wish, Marcel Wanders gives it shape. The cutlery is meant to enhance luxurious flying experiences. By putting much detail into the designs, travellers will feel special when using them. They will feel like kings!
Generation Y: where am I? I thought it was very interesting to read about the generation that I “belong” to. Some aspects are highly recognisable, such as self-actualisation. I definitely grew up with the TV screaming at me to “do my own thing” and be good at it; talent shows showed people who were desperately trying to be good at their thingand share their passion with the world. For myself, I can relate more to the part where everything you do should be meaningful, and should contribute to society. That is absolutely my outlook on my work as a designer. I also read that the boundaries between work and private life are fading, as both need to be socially involving, meaningful activities. Reading this, I felt they were talking directly about me. Furthermore the influence of internet and social media has affected the mindset of this generation. I think it is amazing to see how political and technological developments have such great impact on society and human behaviour. We also saw this very clearly in the history of art and design during the assignments Modernism- and Post-Modernism in Industrial Design (e.g. destructiveness from WWII and the tech developments of the Cold War). In my (extended) personal vision I always had a quote from Aleksei Gan: ‘The technological system of society, the structure of its tools, creates the structure of human relationships, as well’. [Alexsei Gan (1889-1942), Soviet architect, designer, and theoretician of Constructivism] I really agree with him; I feel that as a designer I have great responsibility in shaping the world, because I think that the world is “creatable”. Personal Vision One day, before I became a student of Industrial Design, I helped my granddad with his hearing device, and I was astounded to see how inappropriate it was for him. Tiny battery, imperceptible symbols, no clear place to insert the battery… and so on. I immediately felt a sort of mission boiling up; I believe that (technological) products should be naturally usable for their target group. My designs are a platform, a base, an instigator for human action. Whether old or young, poor or rich, female or male, people should have equal opportunities in a harmonious society. I want to contribute to this society by designing, not for the situation people are in, but for the situation they aspire to be in.
My working style is structured but open. I appreciate differences in perception, people's input and therefore teamwork and group evaluations. My somewhat controlling personality makes me prefer man-made over computer-aided methods of producing, because in this way I know, see and feel what I am doing and can intuitively alternate accordingly at any point. Moreover, I like to add a personal touch, which I think is best achieved by hand. As far as my process is concerned; it is iterative and has frequent evaluation moments. I create tangible explorations throughout the process and want to work in close contact with the user group. I use methods as co-reflection and context mapping to gain more insight in the user group and context of use; I am an empathic and ethical designer. “Dreaming never hurt anyone, sleepwalking did!” [Philémonne Jaasma 2009] “The mediator between Hands and Mind is the Heart” [1927, Metropolis by Fritz Lang] “Sharing not Buying” and DIY in Design In relation to my vision, I want to elaborate on the sharing of knowledge and experiences here, instead of the sharing of actual goods. I think sharing knowledge is key in order to bridge the gap between wealth in different countries across the globe, and therefore a step to reach equality. I relate sharing experiences to my ideal design process, in which I talk to people in the context of use, to experts in the field and translate their personal experiences to design implications. This suits my humanistic mindset: I like to approach ‘users’ as individual people in their lives, not as users in a context. Recently, I met up with Ambra Trotto, who is a promovendus at the research department DQI of the faculty of Industrial Design at the University of Technology Eindhoven. Her research project is inspiring to me and definitely relates to this theme. Ambra Trotto: Rights Through Making “Rights through Making is an international research project that combines ethics and skills through sharing the language of making among cultures. In this context, design handles the responsibility of transforming the world through products and systems that empower people towards the application of Universal human rights in daily life. By encouraging the integration of newest technologies with
saper fare (local craftsmanship), we aim to design products and systems that express the genius loci and reinforce the symphony of diversity in a globalized market.” (©Ambra Trotto) Designers I want to be associated with, or share my vision The examples below will show evident relations with my personal vision and working style, therefore I decided not to over-explain myself; I trust that the overall impression becomes very clear. Matrix: A Feminist Design Collective Matrix is a collective of twenty female designers who designed spaces for women that improved upon the safety and accessibility of male architectural projects. In order to do this, they reformed the whole design process. Whereas before, architects were imposing designs on the user (think of le Corbusier’s Unité d'habitation), they chose for public participation. The role of architects should be to help the users to realise their own needs. Matrix’s central point is that people who use buildings should have a say in the development process.
as a designer. At the moment I am designing office wear that changes the way it fits when the wearer is in a tensed position. This garment change is subconsciously noticed by the wearer, who intuitively adjusts his posture for a moment; herewith interrupting the long-term tension without killing the workflow. However, by choice of the wearer, there is an opportunity created for a reflective moment about their posture, or level of tension at that moment. Furthermore, there is no technology involved (natural actionreaction between garment and wearer) and the aesthetics of the garment resemble human anatomy, and the movement of the garment resembles natural movement of clothing. In this way I tried to be as contained as I could with this design.
Butterfly Works Butterfly Works co-designs for a better world. Butterfly Works was founded in 2003 (by Ineke Aquarius, Emer Beamer and Hester Ezra) with the wish to contribute to greater equality in the world through co-design. They work in emerging economies because they believe in undiscovered potential. Through serious media, social branding and experiential learning they share knowledge, trigger creativity and build sustainable businesses. Their values are reciprocity, sustainability and creativity. Viktor Papanek On the whole, I agree with his vision, but I was most impressed by the part in the book “The Green Imperative” where he talks about designers addressing wants of users instead of their needs. I think this is very illustrative for commercialism and it stands far away from me. I will always try to go back to the essence of a situation; everything I do starts from a deeper value. How ‘sharing’ relates to my current project Unfortunately my current project does not carry much of the sharing principles, though some small aspects do relate to a form of DIY; I give a choice to act upon the design. The words in italics are aspects in my design that really come from my preferences
Philémonne Jaasma is a second year student of Industrial Design at the University of Technology Eindhoven
ALL ABOUT US A bit about my generation and where consumerism is going An increasing forward-looking society is developing where everything is instantly available, life enriching, pleasing to the senses and emotionally triggering. Technology is ever present and being used to exchange knowledge, expedite communication and stimulate experiences. Blogs and websites allow for transfer of information and knowledge quicker than ever. Because these platforms are so readily available to the mass population, my generation experiences consumerism through online outlets that trigger co-creation and co-design. Co creation allows the consumer to add value within the process, which triggers our desire for meaningful experiences. Businesses are becoming more transparent and allowing the consumer to take part in the process of design within their company. An example of this is Quirky, a company that focuses on social product development. They mainly operate through their online environment, which acts as a point of interaction for people to come together and present their design ideas. In general business strategies have shifted because our generation is searching for convenience and more meaningful exchanges. If we are able to put value into the product then we will get more out in return. Platforms that enable DIY to take place, such as instructables.com, have exploded in recent years. People want to share their expertise and what better way to do so than through a community of people who have similar interests. Instructables.com’s slogan is “the world’s biggest show and tell”, I think this is a good indication of our generation’s need for approval and attention.
Designers who inspire me William Morris I have a great affinity for craft. I feel that something made by hand has more soul than massproduced consumer goods. I am inspired by William Morris for his amazing ability to infuse society with a new appreciation for craft. That being said I have an understanding of technology and a more forward-looking perspective on design. I witness technology’s ability to change interactions and I can respect its presence in our society. William Morris had the idea that artists, poets, writers and designers could all come together and revive artistic craftsmanship. I agree with this idea and I would like to see it even more interrelated and including technology. Archigram I feel very moved by collage art as a medium to share a vision. I love the impressionism that goes into these poetic expressions. The merging of different mediums creates exciting compositions that can be very emotional and communicative. Archigram has a wonderful collection of collage art that express their vision on the future. I share this desire to express myself through visual artworks, which was exemplified through the pages of this magazine.
Jacquelyn van kampen is a second year student of Industrial Design at the University of Technology Eindhoven
This report was written and composed with a great deal of mindfulness and care in relation to the designs arising from the modern and post-m...