Ishigami

Man made environment and the natural environment has affected each other to the extent that a new environment is created and it is one that we have to rethink our idea of architecture and how it plays a part in this new environment. It is interesting how scales affects what we see as the main form of architecture in an environment by making us forgo one for the other. But I think the ability to change the scale of environments can make one re-evaluate what is a space in a world that is undefined and maybe produce something unique when boundaries are crossed. 

Peter Zumthor

As architecture is a temporal and spatial art, everything needs to be taken into consideration from the exterior to interior. It is a form of art that triggers all senses. The perception of atmosphere has 9 different qualities that is used while appreciating the beauty of architecture. When all 9 qualities work together harmoniously, only then can one experience the beauty or desired experience of the architecture. It really makes one rethink what spaces are and how they are so much more meaningful than we know. Every single detail that goes into a space has a purpose and we should take more time and effort to fully immerse ourselves in the experience.

Prototyping by Takram

I was watching Netflix’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace and Gianni was telling Donatella, who was then afraid of sketching for fear of being mocked at, that it was not the quality of the sketch that matters but the idea behind it. Takram stated a similar thing too that “beautiful sketches are not necessarily essential”. I relate to these quotes as sometimes I struggle with sketching because I don’t have the confidence of drawing something nice and tend to give up which is bad. I feel like this fear prevents me from exploring design concepts and prevents innovation and creativity from happening.

Sketching is important to play a part in visualising the concept but to prove the effectiveness, prototyping is important as takram stated. We have to prototype to see if the concept visualised is possible to recreate and while using it, we have to question if it produces the experience wanted. This allows for fine-tuning and details that we may have previously missed to be added in to improve the experience when using it.

Embodiment

We always say design is form and function and as designers we tend to focus on form more than the latter. I think we tend to forget to design based on the people’s need as we tend to try to outshine each other to gain recognition for this “new” or “cool” form. Being able to design a form the triggers all senses is an impressive feat as it becomes more memorable and increases engagement with the user. It may be difficult to do but it is an important skill in my opinion as everything we come into contact with has an experience and this affects how users utilise products.

The Infra-Ordinary

The Infra-Ordinary talks about misplaced priority with “What is scandalous isn’t the pit explosion, it’s working in coalmines. ‘Social problems’ aren’t ‘a matter of concern’ when there’s a strike, they are intolerable twenty-four hours out of twenty-four, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.” As a society, we do not prioritise critical issues until something disastrous has occurred. Maybe because we do not question the issues and simply accept information given to us by ‘trustworthy’ providers of information — newspapers. There is a need to re-examine things, to invoke curiosity in us and perhaps we might see things in a different perspective and react differently to issues that needs to be changed.

Final Project Contextual Writing | Group 3 | Armorial Porcelain

Plate with the Arms of the Gyllenborg Family

Material(s): Porcelain 

Origin(s): China around 1755

From all the ceramics and porcelain wares found in the Trade Gallery in ACM, these Armorial porcelain plates caught my attention. Although small in size, the Gyllenborg coat of arms were painted with such attentiveness, capturing the intricate designs of the arms and borders. The elaborate border contrasts against the somewhat simple family crest yet the gold from the gilding accentuates and complements the vivid deep blue colour of the crest. Thus, the highly detailed painting emanates an aureate element to the plate.   

The gilt border uses vegetal forms such as flowers and leaves which come in many variations or perhaps different species native to Sweden. This border encircles an enamelled centre which features a family’s coat of arms. The crest features a golden crown resting atop a vivid deep blue oval suggesting nobility. Within the oval lies a miniature turret with a dark, winged creature posing on top of it. The creature has spikes on its back and claws arching outwards. Enveloping the blue oval, a dark greyish border along with some blue on the left are draped around it. Also, smoky greyish clouds are illustrated surrounding the crest’s bottom and left. Although it may be perceived that these clouds were part of the Gyllenborg’s crest, there was a funny and memorable story behind them. The clouds were an artistic mistake – things get lost in translation. So the story goes that the drawing of the Gyllenborg crest were damaged while being transported to China, and the “clouds” seen were not part of the drawing. The crest was smeared while being transported and the Chinese artist dutifully copied the details of the crest including the damage and thus, capturing and preserving the mistake for hundreds of years to come.  

The floral inspired design of the gilt border can be seen in the form or shape of the plate whereby the edges of the plate is curved in an inconsistent yet symmetrical manner. The edges bend and curves in a specific pattern to create and ornate, attention to detail aesthetic. The gilded stylised floral decorations are reminiscence of the Rococo or Late Baroque style which modelled after nature along with the abundance of curves. As the plates were made for a noble family, the usage of gilding emphasises on their wealth and social status as the presence of gold gives off the impression of richness. In my opinion, the gilding is mainly found on the rim and outer edge of the plates as when food is served, the food itself covers the middle portion of the plate but the outer edge remains untouched. Hence, going back to my previous point, the first thing the diner sees is the gilding and thus is reminded of the family’s social status. 

Week 7 Response – ACM Visit

What was your favorite object that you saw during our visit?

Pair of Mounted Blue Jars

Material(s): Porcelain and Gilded Bronze mounts

Origin(s): China (porcelain made around 1736 – 45) and France (mounts made around 1745 – 49)

Out of all the ceramics and porcelain wares found in the Trade Gallery in ACM, this pair of jars caught my attention. They commanded my attention due to its large size and highly embellished nature, emanating an aureate element to the jars. Although the jars were mainly made of porcelain, the intricately casted bronze mounts were gilded and attached, to accentuate the jars by complementing the vivid deep blue glaze. 

The jars fuses exemplary skills of the Asian and European components together. The vivid glaze was perfected in the Qianlong 乾隆 reign while the bronze mounts were casted as dragons and produced in Paris during the reign of Louis XV. Perhaps, due to the time period which was during the Rocaille era, this French style for ornamental aesthetics demanded for such exuberance. The Rocaille style was highly influenced by Chinoiserie and the incorporation of Chinese figures. Hence, even if the dragons’ appearances hails from European mythology with its lizard-like depiction with bat-like wings; The use of them seems more Chinese in nature as dragons were highly auspicious creature and used to represent imperial power in Chinese culture. This could reveal the deep appreciation for fine Chinese porcelain and culture in the European courts.

Other than the fusion of cultures that makes this jar so interesting, there is a subtle piece of art hidden within its deep blue glaze. At first it looks like cracks within the glaze but at certain angles of light, it reveals a traditional Chinese landscape painting of trees and mountains etc. It was so intriguing to look at and decipher what these “cracks” actually were and the subtlety of it makes this work of art even more endearing to look at.   

 

Week 5 Response – Engaging with the Past

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are some other contemporary artists who use traditional materials, genres, or subject matter from the past? Why are they engaging with the premodern?

Matthew Simmonds has a Bachelor of Art History specialising in art and architecture of the medieval period and is trained as an architectural stone carver. He previously worked on the restoration of several major British national monuments, including Westminster Abbey and the cathedrals of Salisbury and Ely. Later, he developed his own classical ornamental carving style in marble in Pietrasanta, Italy, 

The thought of using marble or stone as a medium would immediately be directed to the Greek marble sculptors from the past. However, Simmonds specialty in marble updates this traditional medium and technique. Moreover, from his past work of restoring cathedrals, his work is mainly inspired by sacred buildings such as baroque basilicas and Ancient Roman temples. These scenes engages with the premodern works of art by adhering and capturing the specific art styles and medium of their time. Thus, by using traditional themes of the past, we understand what sacred buildings are about and what gives significance to a space. Moreover, his work features architecture on a small scale which reminds me of the Mughal miniatures as it depicts artistry and creativity on an intricate level yet in small area of space too. Due to his past work of restoration, his work is mainly inspired by sacred buildings such as baroque basilicas and Ancient Roman temples. 

Simmonds’ principle is to highlight how “Nature overpowers architecture, as if it encases or envelops it”. The beautifully carved interiors alludes to buildings as fossils, carved and trapped inside the rock, therefore, humbling the architecture we once revered as without nature, we would not have such works of art today. By enveloping these scenes with nature through the stone, it creates some sort of balance within nature and the man-made. 

Final Project Free Writing | Group 3 | Armorial Porcelain

Plate with the Arms of the Gyllenborg Family

Material(s): Porcelain 

Origin(s): China around 1755

From all the ceramics and porcelain wares found in the Trade Gallery in ACM, these Armorial porcelain plates caught my attention. Although small in size, the Gyllenborg coat of arms were painted with such attentiveness, capturing the intricate designs of the arms and borders. The elaborate border contrasts against the somewhat simple family crest yet the gold from the gilding accentuates and complements the vivid deep blue colour of the crest. Thus, the highly detailed painting emanates an aureate element to the plate.   

The gilt border uses vegetal forms such as flowers and leaves which come in many variations or perhaps different species native to Sweden. This border encircles an enamelled centre which features a family’s coat of arms. The crest features a golden crown resting atop a vivid deep blue oval suggesting nobility. Within the oval lies a miniature turret with a dark, winged creature posing on top of it. The creature has spikes on its back and claws arching outwards. Enveloping the blue oval, a dark greyish border along with some blue on the left are draped around it. Also, smoky greyish clouds are illustrated surrounding the crest’s bottom and left.

The floral inspired design of the gilt border can be seen in the form or shape of the plate whereby the edges of the plate is curved in an inconsistent yet symmetrical manner. The edges bend and curves in a specific pattern to create and ornate, attention to detail aesthetic.