Category Archives: Books


MODERN, Jonathan Glancey, Mitchell Beazley

pg 7:

Modern, we use the word so often that we rarely stop to think what it means. It derives from the latin word “modo”, meaning “just now” or “right now”. It has been a feature of the english language and latin languages for a very long time, even though, when we are thinking about art, design, and architecture, we associate its use almost exclusively with the 20th century and possibly beyond. We find it hard to imagine that architects and designers in previous centuries thought of themselves as moderns, yet they did, and self consciously so.

pg 13: The modern movement

The modern movement was nothing less than a revolution in taste, in style, in the whole philosophy of architecture and design. It was perhaps the first time that architects, artists, designers, novelists, playwrights, poets, musicians, and philosophers rebelled against history. At its most extreme the decorations and canons of taste that had evolved over many centuries and even millennia were to be abandoned. A new aesthetic was needed, one that the most zealous modernists believed to represent a new epoch, the age of the machine. In reality, the modern movement was a complex phenomenon and it would be unwise to attempt to package it too neatly. Even so, there are clear markers inits history, key players in its development, and a number of buildings and interiors that define and characterise this cultural revolution.

The roots of the modern movement lay in the reaction of artists of all kinds to the rise of the machine age. It was clear that the revolution had hanged human life profoundly, and yet the response of architects and their clients was, for he most part, to try to deny the mergence of a new culture, or cloak it in such a way that would make it more acceptable to a part-fearful and part-fascinated public………

But the rejection of stifling historical styles was one thing; the development of a new aesthetic that was redolent of the machine age was another. And yet what should this new architecture look like? The styles of the past had developed incrementally, but in this case the need for a new style was instant. (Interestingly, the dilemma was to find echoes in the ultra-rapid digital revolution in the second half of the 20th century – what should a computer-driven culture look like?)

pg 31: Organic

“The straight line belongs to man,” said Antoni Gaudi, “the curve to god.” Most of us know what the architect of the biomorphic expiatory temple of the holy family (the sagrada familia)in Barcelona meant. For Gaudi the straight line was a problem because it spoke of the tyranny of the mathematical or clockwork model of the universe that modern man had created for himself. The truth, of course, is that Gaudi was a great, if intuitive, mathematician. The geometric complexity of the Sagrada familia has been a mind starching problem for those completing this great temple at the end of the century.


pg 93: High – Tech

This form of design has many roots, some of them new, others dating back a century and a half. What high-tech styling seemed to prove was that the industrial age had matured on the point whereby,  far from being fearful of machines and the image of the machine, people had grown not just used to them, but fond of them. The terrible images in fritz langs metropolis, in which the wretched of the earth are condemned to live in some demonic subterranean world where they feed the insatiable machines that drive the world of wealth, luxury, and power above them, had lost their power to frighten. It is significant that just as high-tech design became fashionable, so the age of heavy-duty industry that had inspired it, at one level, was coming to an end….


Yet again reading into this book i am left at a loss my interest has disappeared. This book boldly states its title as modern yet it just seems the same as most books writing about fashions and interiors that have been and who designed them….. are all books to repeat was has been and not what is to be? modern as a word meaning just now so why talk about the past? just now goes more into the future and away from the past. Another disappointing book, lets read some interesting opinions people not just a repeat of the book published before this.

Underground interiors

Norma Skurka and Oberto Gili UNDERGROUND INTERIORS

PG 1 – Underground interiors is not, as one might mistakenly infer from the title, an exploration into caves and subterranean living spaces. Rather, it is an exploration into the revolt against old concepts of décor and old ways of living – a look at the new living environments closely linked to recent developments in art, politics, and the press, all of which have taken the name ‘underground’ to distinguish them from their establishment counterparts. These anti- establishment interiors are whimsical, mischievous, simple, incredible, beautiful, obsessive, and dreamy……The interiors in this book may also indicate that something in our society has gone wrong and that what is needed to set right is a profound change in our priorities, which go far beyond the mere trappings of the home an enter the arena of social and political responsibility. What has caused the revolution in the way some people are thinking about design and living environments? The answer – the theme of this bokk- is a rejection of the traditional ideas and concepts that aren’t working and, worse, seem to be leading the world to doom. The revolt centers on the conventional status symbols of fashionable design and decoration and also on the seriousness of modern architecture – neither of which leaves room for the emotional outpouring of creative personalities, artists, counterculture groups, and just plain people. The reasons for the revolt are endemic to our society. The commercialism of everyday existence, the blatant bombardment of our senses by advertisements on TV, radio, and billboards, has caused many of us to feel a revulsion for the collecting of material things……………. Who is creating the underground interiors? There are, of course, architects, interior designers, and artists (who have always been the rebels and prophets of any age) who create them more or less consciously. But on a less calculating level there are also movie stars, fashion designers, and celebrities, who create hem simply out of a need to express their own individuality. And there is youth everywhere for whom the generation gap has caused the contradictions of society to seem especially ludicrous and bizarre, who in their ‘pads’ are evolving new modes and life styles. Youth has already turned the fashion industry upside down – no one can have failed to notice the revolution that ripped through the fashion world in the last two years.

Pg 3 – Man today has revolted against this rigid logic that forms the cornerstone of western thought. He has even turned to eastern concepts – to mysticism, to astrology, and sometimes to the occult – to find solace from the pat formulas that led to our present society and its problems. Architects, too, are turning away from the egotism of creating monuments to themselves – an accusation leveled at them about some of their buildings. Also, many young architects are embarrassed to design expensive custom-built mansions for the rich while such a large part of the world goes homeless and cities decay. They have entered the age of advocacy architecture, where participation in planning groups that can exert political pressure to improve the lot of the population as a whole is more meaningful than playing at being master-builder to a handful. The problems of the twentieth century have jolted us all into a new reality. Present social pressures and constraints, overpopulation and pollution, the high-sped march of industrialism, the crime rate, and the frustration we feel in our inability to influence the policies of our government are all bound up in the present revolt in interior design and architecture. The intense pressures of the times beg for a new beginning and some of the first indications of its arrival…There is no heavy gloom, or overpowering moroseness pervading these interiors. Rather, there is humor, wit, flippancy, daring, and audacity proving that man is indeed a thinking animal not so easily fooled by the line that society has given him to swallow. Like cryptic graffiti on the wall, the sentiments that these interiors express cut through the malaise of contemporary existence. Underground interiors mirror the false premises by which we have lived in the past. They prove, moreover, that we can no longer throw up the smoke screen of materialism that status, prestige and privilege are no longer valid value symbols for mankind………..We discern a philosophical basis for design and architecture that is utopian in its idealism. Interior in the chapter that deals with environmental design foretell the death of the cult of the object – indeed, the elimination of all extraneous objects, leaving pure, geometric spaces where the individual alone is all-important. The differentiation between architecture and interior design disappears as furnishings merge into planes of the room. Such interiors become spaces for super man, could mankind ever achieve this plateau of being.

Pg :4 Surrealist interiors: Nowhere are the absurd conditions of contemporary life exposed so devastatingly as in the surrealist interior. These interiors are blatant in their disdain of traditional and conventional concepts of decoration and nothing escapes their caustic cynicism. Like the surrealist movement in art following World War I, surrealism in interiors feeds upon the very unreality of today’s reality. The surrealist interior overlaps and shares many elements with the pop interior. It differs from it only in its sardonic humor and in the more sinister aspects of its creators’ discontent with present status symbols. The designers and owners of these rooms seen to enjoy the most outrageous put-down of society, all it stands for and holds dear. Exquisite antiques and fashionable furniture, for instance, are renounced for foam lumps in garnish covers; walls are splashed with ‘funky’ paint colours or draped in the dernier cri of the commercial furniture houses last year – wet vinyl. Such an interior not only explodes the inherent faddishness in such advertisement by exploiting its grotesqueness in draped walls but also uses it in draperies that create a kind of falsetto parody of the scallops of slippery satin traditionally used. In one interior, an enormous wedding cake made of edible hardened sugar frosting (that guests are invited to nibble) occupies the center of the kitchen, forms the table, and is the centerpiece. It might be construed as a symbol of the relentless consumption of today’s civilization – a society reared to consume everything with insatiable appetite – the planets raw materials as well as the endless stream of commercial products – a society chomping through the natural and commercial landscape like a swarm of locusts. Another indictment is leveled against society by the many interiors decorated with plastic plants. They seem to say that if nature is plundered for manufacturing, then we must learn to adjust to a world that synthesizes natural forms. Here, the eerie greenery in the form of paintings, pillows, and murals that simulate leaves or plants warns us to get ready for the consequences of a denuded world. Though some surrealist interiors can be dismissed as grotesque, many of them are remarkably pleasing and fantastical the stairwell, for instance, with its mural of wildlife and animals mimics a Rousseau painting….

Pg 6: Rather than forecasting the lifestyle of the future, these fantasy interiors are a loud but temporary protest. It is likely that the people who created them this year will tire of their own harangue and go on to make environments that give a more hopeful view of the future. A civilization that once valued artistry, craftsmanship, and a beauty that now entombs these objects in museums the world over cannot adjust to stark ugliness. The real value of surrealist interiors is the ideas presented by their creators. Seeing so clearly the consequences of our present way of life, their outrageous commentaries shock us into rethinking our values.

Pg: 26, Environments: In the last ten years the word ‘environment’ has experienced what might be described as an ever-increasing vogue. The term crops up everywhere – in posters, on lapel buttons, in magazine articles and newspapers, and even on car bumper stickers. For all its iniquitousness, it is quite a new idea when applied to architecture and interior design. Yet, the concept of environmental design is certainly the most important development of this century as it relates to the future of housing and its furnishings and equipment. This relatively new – and portentous – concept, the living environment or environmental design, is still widely misunderstood. These terms are often used to describe more what they are not than what they actually are. To come to a true understanding of environmental design it is necessary to examine the term, where it originally came from, and how it differs from all previous schools of architecture and design. The word ‘environment’ was originally picked up from ecological research to describe the interaction on a living organism of all the physical, biological and climatic conditions that influence its growth and survival. In its reference to homosapiens, the environment carries similar connotations. The living environment for man and thus, environmental design, is concerned with the sum total of physical, social, psychological, and cultural conditions that influence the growth and survival of an individual or a community. These last considerations are precisely what differentiate environmental design from all previous design movements. In the past , design and architecture sought to enshrine the accomplishments of man. Cathedrals, temples, royal palaces, even fortresses seemed to identify the heights that a particular civilization had scaled – and they were intricately bound up in deifying and perpetuating the status quo. The advent of the twentieth century saw the disintegration of many of the institutions that these buildings stood for, the powerful religion of the middle ages, for expel, or the royal dynasties of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Now man kind has embarked on a new route – based on its increasing awareness of how its supposed progress could, in fact, be contributing directly to mans demise and death. Thus, design, art, and architecture have changed the focus of their pursuits. The more enlightened architects and designers are becoming aware of the role they play in the disintegration of living conditions on this planet. The products that they have been designing foul the air by their manufacture and then litter the landscape by their disposal. Building, no matter how well designed, displace the forests and the plant life needed to cleanse the atmosphere. …… The concern of architects and designers and many ordinary citizens with the growth and preservation of our civilization and their hope of mapping a way out of our present predicament is the basis of environmental design. It is design that takes into first consideration its effect on the environment – the effect not only of the individual house with its four walls and roof, but also of the entire natural environment, earth. Obviously, a handsome eighteenth- century Parisian townhouse filled with Louis XV antiques has little to say about the conditions of present day civilization, or its growth and survival. Everything that we see, touch, talk to , sit on, sleep in, and read is part of an individual environment – as much as are our family, the stars , the H bomb, wars, and the government. That our habitation can influence our psychological growth is something of which we are just becoming aware. We are gradually moving away from a possession-oriented mentality toward a possession-less, psychic, mind oriented mentality, and it is showing up in our design and architecture. Environmental design seeks to place man, habitation, object, and society in their appropriate twentieth-century perspective. The living environment of the twentieth century is a web of functional and esthetic relationships. One flows into the other, is influenced, limited, or expanded by its relationship to all other factors. Environmental design is primarily a streamlining of our living habits, and thus, of our habitations. There is today an acute awareness of space and its psychological effect on us all….The growing population with its ravenous need for hous es has put living space at a premium. ..Our individual space is becoming more and more confined. Environmental design stems from the renewed awareness of our space, and the fact that it is shrinking or disappearing, as well as from the extreme complications and demands of contemporary life. What style shall my living room be? What colour, shall I wallpaper or paint? Wall-to-wall or area rugs? Acrilan, nylon, or wool? Neutral or patterned? How ridiculously confusing and meaningless are these questions to the growth and survival of mankind – and to the preservation of its ultimate environment, the fragile planet earth! Environmental design seeks to do away with much of this senseless confusion. There are still decisions to be made, of course. But largely, the living environment is relatively anonymous and is interchangeable for various occupants. It is a sculptural shell that presupposes an almost ideal existence – at its optimum; the individual environment is spatially free. Satisfaction and serenity come from the inner personal calm of its inhabitant reflected externally by simple, free surroundings. Rooms are space, uncluttered by bureaus, chairs, tables, or ‘things.’ Chairs are cushions sculpted into the space. Lights are unobtrusive – recessed or hidden, built in where needed for general illumination or as highlights for reading and working. Storage is concealed behind panels. There is less of it because there is less desire to hoard possessions that are instantly obsolete.

With reading this book I became very disinterest with its readings and images, the book had an interesting opening it grabbed my attention but then when it defined into more detail I become bored and lost interest the book, seems ancient and doesn’t seem to go into any interesting points other than look at how this room is horribly decorated and look how this other image is decorated. I think there is a far more interesting version to underground interiors and the title is highly wasted on this book.

research for second semester

Space and Place – setting the stage for social interaction

Eva Hornecker

“Spatial Interaction

We cannot escape spatiality: we are spatial beings, live, and meet each other in space. Space never is meaningless; it always surrounds us; it is our habitat. Our body is the central reference point for perception. Movement and perception are tightly coupled and we interpret spatial qualities (or positioning of other objects) in relation to our own body. Spatial qualities therefore have psychological meaning – space can feel protectively enclosing or claustrophobic, objects and people are near or far, large objects tower over smaller ones, protect or crush them.

Real space is also always inhabited and situated, becoming place [2, 6, 17]. By inhabiting space, we appropriate it, interpret it and give it meaning. Place is always situated, the environmental context affects meaning. The entrance to a building affects our perception and shapes expectations, changing how we perceive an object that we find inside. Orchestrating this embeddedness into context can be an integral part of design. Real places furthermore have an atmosphere as a result of a complex interplay of social factors, aesthetical, and physical factors of the setting.

Spatial interaction is observable and acquires performative aspects [13, 14]. Visibility contributes to account-ability [13], implicitly requiring vindication of public action. Seeing actions unfold aids anticipation and improves peripheral awareness. Performative actions take part in shaping atmosphere and how we encounter other humans. We encounter objects and people in space. They have material/physical presence (demanding our attention) – we meet them face to face, feel their (potential) resistance to our actions, feel the atmosphere they emit like an aura, and

resonate with [17]. Social effects of sharing space are intimacy, social nearness and a higher tendency to cooperate. Being in the same place is a reciprocal situation where seeing implies being seen [13, 14]. This creates both vulnerability and trust [17].

When engaging in tangible interaction, this usually means moving objects around or moving oneself. Configurability refers to the meaningful re-arrangement of (significant) objects, giving the user control over the environment, enhancing engagement, supporting explorative behavior or providing thinking aids (external representations) [4, 12].

Bodily interaction (manipulation, movement, gesture) is experienced as enlivening. It stimulates mental energy, enhances engagement and is expressive. It is part of expert skill, and also a means of self-expression. Bodily interaction is highly performative and supports implicit coordination. The size of interaction spaces/objects influences bodily interaction style. Movement furthermore leads to bodily appropriation of space (taking ownership).

The main concepts for this theme are:

Inhabited Space: Do people and objects meet? Is it a meaningful place?

Configurable Materials: Does shifting stuff (or your own body) around have meaning? Can we configure the space at all and appropriate it by doing so?

Non-Fragmented Visibility: Can everybody see what’s happening and follow the visual references?

Full-Body Interaction: Can you use your whole body? “

Designing interior environment – Mary Jean Alexander


” Space is a resource, to be treated thoughtfully and with care and respect. In earlier days it was treated as a by – product of the organization of enclosing solids. Today space can be given its rightful meaning and significance in a structure, equal in importance to the solids. Frank Lloyd Wright considered space intrinsic to an interior – the resource that provided for human use, the like that would go on within it. This is very basic concern for the human use of space is still too often ignored in the designing of interiors.

The growing interest in interior environment of the past forty years has brought the interior designer to a point where he is deeply concerned with the many complicated problems tha arise in creating spaces that satisfy equally the functional, esthetics, and even the spiritual needs of ‘man’. In planning an interior environment, a person will relate t the space in which he spends his time.”

pg 4

“Architects began to design structures on the basis of manipulating space, so that the surrounding solids now were determined by the solution to spatial problems, and the structure became a composition of enclosure and openness.”

pg 5

“Although many architects accept this new design concept, most interior decorators neither understood nor approve of it. They continue to think of their role in terms of a room, with walls, doors, Windows, and architectural elements, to be made comfortable and decorated appropriately. As the discipline has advanced interior designers have come to apply this concept and other ne theories in their design. The long-standing gulf between the so-called traditionalists and the proponents of modern design is disappearing, partly due to increase of collaboration between architect and interior designer: design has moved ahead, and contemporary and traditional – oriented designers, borrowing from one another, have moved closer together.”

pg 11

“The Renaissance – Where Gothic architecture had been vertical and soaring, Renaissance buildings emphasized the horizontal in their facades. Renaissance architecture is characterized by calculated simplicity, achieved through clarity of form, geometric harmony, refinement of detail and linear outlining of the points.

pg 12

” Baroque and Rococo – Baroque period, roughly from the early sixteenth to mid eighteenth century……….

In a Baroque environment, many different arts were combined to create a harmonious whole, with an emphasis on curves of great variety, and a strong feeling of movement. Form and applied ornament – simulated draperies and scrolls, cherubs, and many to gather with an exciting and sometimes unexpected interplay of farces.

Domestic interiors were furnished with impressive magnificence, and the visual effect was considered more important than comfort. Marble was a favourite material, and were not available, was simulated with paint on wood or plaster. Brilliant colours were popular.

The Rococo, an early eighteenth century out growth of the Baroque in Italy, was similar, equally complex, but less powerful, more delicate, and smaller and lighter in scale. Ornament, such as foliage, shells, flowers, and scrolls, was used profusely, both in architecture and on furniture, and little attempt made to relate them to the structure beneath. All geometric forms were abandoned; even circles were modified into ovals.”

pg 19

” In England – Georgian – The Georgian period (1714-1812) covers almost a century as well as the reigns of three kings George I, II and III- and parallels those os louisXV and XVI and the empire in France. There was a decided difference between the early and the late styles. After th death of Queen Anne, the mahogany furniture began tobe heavier and more ornate. Design was influenced by some of the outstanding architects, Inigo Jones and Sir Christopher when, for example, and classical architectural elements, such as pilasters and columns, were incorporated into furniture and interiors were simpler and smaller in scale. At the end of the period they had become classical and delicate, showing the greek and Pompeian influence. Satinwood became very popular during the latter part of the period.”

pg 23

” Regency The period of the English Regency (1810-1820)…..walls were mainly plaster, with many pilasters and pediments, usually in a colour contrasting with the background, providing strong value contrasts and silhouettes that emphasized the design. Light earthquakes or soft greens against rich browns and deep greens, as well as black with gold dominated. There were comfortable upholstered  pieces and a variety of tables. Many with a tripod or pedestal base. Classical ornamental detail, often in ormolu or bass, ebony, and lacquer were common; as were all over leaf and lower patterns in carpets. Windows were hung with elaborate curtains of velvets, satins, and damasks in brilliant colours with many swags and much fringe, stripes were popular.”

pg 23

“Victorian – The Victorian period (1837-1901) produced no genuine style. There were many movements, but no strong leadership, and Queen Victoria had little interest in design. The early designs  were adapted from Regency style, but in such a way as to be scarcely recognizable; later designs were adapted from the Turkish, Gothic, Venetian, and Egyptian. Chairs has fairly low seats and high backs. Upholstery was tufted, buttoned, corded, and draped. Curtains were heavy and elaborate. Everything was decorated – with inlay, paint,gilt, fringe, feathers, artificial flowers, mother of pearl. The effect was usually overdone and confused, with little unity. Historically, Victorian building has little significance, but some of it was both interesting and ingenious. The period saw the beginning of industrialism an mas production.”

pg 25

” Art nouveau – Another style started in the 1890’s. With a house in Brussels designed by Victor Horta and spread over most of eastern Europe. Called Art nouveau, it was a protest against the extreme electism and the amativeness of traditional design. Based on he idea that the forms of nature were a more valid source of inspiration than any classical forms, it made use of new materials, especially iron, and its organic, structural curves were covered with naturalistic decoration that was flowing, linear, and asymmetrical. As a style it lasted less than three decades, partly because it has little relation to architecture. It served the purpose of clearing away fr a genuinely contemporary expression. Its influence remains, providing inspiration for many designers today.”

pg 39

“To design is to create an arrangement of parts that gives order and tangible expression to an idea,”

pg 44

” Design principles – There can be no interior without space. There may never be complete agreement about the conception of space, but it is the first requisite for any interior. Actual space, in terms of interior design, can be defined as te area to be organized within enclosing forms. Visual space is apparent or sensed space and may include reflections in mirrors and areas beyond any transparent enclosures. The architect usually determines the forms that solve the spatial solution. For best results the architect and the interior designer work together from the beginning of the planning process. The design for the space should be based on an underlying concept, a central idea developed int a scheme according to which colour and all the either element are combined with the necessary furnishings to create an integrated whole.”

pg 44

” Unity, oneness, a totality of related parts, is absolutely essential to succesful design. The principles of unity encompasses all the other principles of design. It is achieved by choosing and arranging parts, both space and object, tha produce a ordely and esthetically pleasing whole.

In evaluating the unity of an interior, these questions can be asked

.1- Is the treatment consistent with the basic idea? ( if it is elegant in character, for example, do the materials and arrangement support this feeling?)

.2- Are too many materials or colours used?

.3- Does all the design, in properly varying degrees of strength, give support to the basic idea?

.4 – Is there sufficient variety to assure and interesting composition without interfering with the harmony?

pg 45

” Line – In the design of interior space for environment,line is so taken for granted that it affects is sometimes overlooked….

A line is versatile and can define or limit shape, divide areas, suggest movement.speed, or direction…

In an interior, straight lines – vertical, horizontal or diagonal – give a feeling of strength and severity. Vertical lines tend to be strongest and have a structural feeling, suggesting the vertical supports used in buildings… Horizontal lines are less strong than vertical lines, and are fundamentally more restful.

The use of color in interiors – Albert O.Halse

Pg 18 – technological factors

“Colours used in the various periods of human history depended upon their availability.”

pg 25 – Sociological factors

“Today, because of our mass media, particularly architectural and interior design magazines, there is a greater mass understanding than ever before of the problems of interior design and,meeting, of colour. Tastes change and vary, and styles wax and wane. Colours are either “in” or “not in”this year, but whatever else may b sais, a broad interest in colour exists such as the world has never before seen.

Taste is  personal matter, but our architects and interior designers are its custodians……The correct use of colour in our public, commercial, and industrial buildings will further the education of the general public, ad this must be the goal of today’s designers.”

pg 21 Colour theory and colour design colour and light

“White surfaces reflect all colours, absorbing none. Black surfaces, on the other hand, do not reflect colours, but absorb them. Thus black is the complete lack of light and colour.

These basic facts are only a small par of the body of fascinating information about colour and light amassed by men of science. But even in the worlds of science, different aspects pf colour concern different disciplines…”

pg 22

” The psychologist, the artist, the architect, and the interior designer believe that certain other aspects of colour must be consider. The appearance of colour for them depends on viewing conditions, the surrounding objects or areas, the sizes and relative positions of objects, and the adaptive state of the viewer. It is for these reasons that for te purpose of this discussion we shall consider colour as not merely reflection, but as an entity in itself, with its own properties.”

Pg 22 properties of colour

“Colour may be described as having three outstanding properties:hue, value, and intensity. Hue is the name of the colour, such as blue, which differentiates it from another colour, such as green. Value designates the brightness of a colour, that is, whether the colour is light or dark. Intensity, or chroma, denotes the extent to which the hue is free from any white constituent. The “temperature” of a colour has no physical basis. but blue greens and blue violets, which seem to recede, are called “cool” colours; and reds, red orange red, red violets which seem to advance, are called “warm” colours. 

pg 22 Effects of surroundings on colour

“There are certain other phenomena which should be kept in mind when selecting colours for an interior space. There must be for instance, a delicate balance between the several colours used: one colours must be predominate….

The fact that colours look different in different surroundings has led t many disappoints  when colours have been selected for decoration with no thought of their eventual neighbouring colours…..

If a room  is painted with one of the cool colours, the apparent size of the room will be increased. If one of  the arm colours is used, the room ill seem to be smaller..”

pg 39 The effect of light on colour

“In the field of interior colour, the expression “true colour” has no meaning because light is such a variable item. There are times when a room will be lighted by day light only and times when artificial light will be used…

A colour which is popular in one part of the world probably obtained its popularity because  it looked good in that particular location…

We know, then, that light modifies colours in an alomost intimate number of ways. How can we apply this information to the use of colour in interiors? First, let us be sure that we realise that the colors we select mix should be seen in the light in which they are to “live”

pg 45 The psychological effects of colour

“By observation, one may see that the various colours have a strongly emotional effect on most people. It has been known for some time, for instance, that blue reduces excitability ad therefore helps one concentrate. Blue is both cooling and sedative. but it cannot br used to indiscriminately, because too much of it may produce melancholia.

Green seems to be cooling, and it acts as a sedative. Yellow, as one may note from sunlight, is cheery, stimulating, and attention drawing. On dull days, when the yellow of the sun is absent, most people exhibit mental and physical  sluggish and a general lack of enthusiasm for their work. Yellow also demands attention, and so it is used in dangerous locations, such as the edge os a subway platform, to mark the hazard.

Red is exciting and stimulates the brain. Medium red suggests health and vitality; bright red often has armour connotations. Red also has an aggressive quality and is frequently associated with violence and excitement.

Purple, sedative and soothing, was originally made from purpura shellfish of the mediterranean. The dye  from this shellfish, which was used for royal robes in ancient times, was so expensive that only te wealthy could afford it.

Orange has a stimulating effect and should usually be used in relatively small amounts Brown is restful and warming but should be combined with orange,yellow or gold because it can be depressing if used alone. Gray suggests cold and, like brown, is depressing unless combined with at least one livelier colour.White on the other hand, is cheerful, particularly when used with red, yellow and orange.”

The methodologies of Art – Laurie Schneider Adams


“A picture is worth a lot more than a thousand words. No amount of words can describe an image or an object exactly. Whether it is a picture, a sculpture or a work of architecture. This is because words constitute one kid of language and imagery another, thereby creating a need for translation.”

What is Art? – Pg 3

“Art is as simple as it is difficult to define, for those who belong to the “i know what i like” school, art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. For others, art is any object or image that is so defined by its master. Art can also be an object or an image not explicitly identified as such, but which strikes  the observer  as expressive  or aesthetically pleasing.”

“Before there was art history and the methodologies considered in this book, there was  philosophy. Philosophers have had a great deal to say about the nature of art and the aesthetic response. For plato, visual apart was mimesis greek for”immitation”and techne or “skill”, and beauty was an essential ideal that expressed the truth of things. But beauty and truth, in Plato’s view, were of a higher order than art. In fact, he had little interests in works of art because they were neither useful imitations of essential ideas nor the ideas themselves.”

“Take   the example of Mariette’s twentieth century ‘the betrayal of images, which is a convincing painting of a pipe. According t Plato, there ould be, in the world of ideas, an essence of perfect “pipeness”. A pipe in the real world, on the other hand, might be useful, but it would lack the perfection of the ideal pipe. The painted image of the pipe, however, is neither useful nor ideal as is implied b Mariette’s written text. For plat therefore, the image is the least “true” of the three conditions.”

Pg 4

“To know a hing in Aristotle’s view, one ha to know its matter, its maker,and its purpose, a well as its form.”

Pg 8

“From the nineteenth century, various methodological approaches to works of art have developed, and these provide us with different ways of thinking about images, artists, and even critics. In the best of all possible Worlds, these “methods” of artistic analysis do not compete but rather reinforce one another and reveal the multifaceted character of he visual arts.”

“One thing that can be confidently said about “art” is that it derives ultimately from an inborn human impulse to create. Give children crayons, and they draw. Give them blocks, and they build with clay, they model, with a knife and a piece of wood, they carve. In the absence of such materials, children naturally find of the outlets for their artistic energy. Sand castles, snowmen, mud pies, scribbles and tree houses are all products of the childs impulse to impose created form on the world of nature.”

Formalism and style pg 21

“Formalism is an approach to the art that stresses the significance of form over content as the source of a works subjective appeal. To a large extent, formalists consider that form is content. Roger Fry (1866-1934) the most influential formalist critic in early – twentieth century England, took the position tat rt has little or no meaningful connection with either the artist who makes it or the culture to which it belongs”

“Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

believed in an essential ideal beauty, which is distinct from both nature and art. In Kant’s system considerations of utility, origin, context, and so forth interfere with the experience and judgement of an objects aesthetic qualities.”

This was an interesting book it was more historical methods than modern ut it took an interesting look into the theory tha art is an imitation of real beauty. I think that is quite a clever analogy. The art has no actual function unlike the object from where the art was inspired from. Art is only an imitation of what the theory is behind it. Why have a piece of art that stands for values you admire than actually doing something practical towards the issue.

Extravagance – Roland Beautre; Claude Berthod

Pg 9

“Extravagance is often absorbed into the baroque, that culture of excess, excrescence, overflow, and theatrically what purists denounce as bein ostentation, psychologists on the contrary diagnose as timidity, as a way of shielding the personality behind objects. Those who feel the heartfelt need for a protective shell so as to be able to be themselves, and who do not shrink before stacks of  bibulous, piles of fabric, and heaps of cushions, call “deserted” apartments from which “ornament” has been banished unavailable and thus, extravagant.”

“Our aesthetic investigations have thus become a kind of walk, half on the wild side and half down memory lane. And we’ve brought back over a hundred snapshots that document taste and offer an invitation to follow ones own ideas and construct an interior without fear of showing ones vulnerability, of making mistakes, of self-contradiction.”

Pg 22

“The poet and his muse, The painter and his model. Ideal couples we know well: the cliche, “woman counts on man to ensure her posterity” (or at least to ensure a good life) is a hardy perennial. Since Pygmalion , the roles have altered somewhat : producer and actress, choreographer and ballerina, conductor and sta soloist. There too, examples are legion and, if its true that in this way everyone knows their place (“her”for a start), then at least everyone is happy(“him” for one),”

This book was very extravagant the imagery was staggering the excess of the designs. I have to say i do like theme designs but personally  extravagant designs would make my head hurt. It is as if the person inhabiting has no thought of their own and portrays a collection that is infused and to busy by adding items from all over, as if the Victorian style is back in “fashion”. Why not have extravagance from your own design collecting items that intrigue you or designs from your experiences rather than borrowing some one elses aesthetic vision.

n theory i still believe a good design is ones own design as it becomes more personal rather than most pointless extravagance just for the sake of making ones life seem fuller. Don’t get me wrong the images presented in this book are beautiful but i am al bout the practical theory with personal meanings. As long as the designs arent imposed on some one living space just because they think it gives their home a more theatrical value. You home should represent you weather that’s simplistic or filled with exotic artifacts as long as its relevent to your experience.

Aesthetics and Language – William Elton – Basil Blackwell.Oxford

Pg 17

“The job of philosophical aesthetics would be to articulate the essence of Art as one grade of spirit (this means, as a rule, equating it with imaginative activity) and to exclude from the category of Art those features, ordinary ascribed to works of art or to artistic creation or enjoyment, which cannot be comprised within this essence or equation.”

“If we begin with the assumption the Art is essentially one grade or activity of spirit, then we are faced with some pretty obvious difficulties. For, to common sense, the word “Art” suggests a complex situation in which three distinct factors are involved: artist or artistic activity, works of art, and the enjoyment of works of art.Idealist aesthetics, given its initial assumptions is committed to reducing this triadic situation to unity to monastic act (Art being, by definition, a grade or activity of spirit).

Pg 36 – The dreariness of aesthetics by J.A. Passmore

“British philosophers, with some few exceptions pay little attention to aesthetics; it does not figure largely in mind, nor is it considered a disgrace to a philosophy department when aesthetics forms no part of its curriculum.”

Pg 73 – The expression theory of art by O.K. Bouwsma

“The expression theory of art is, i suppose, the most commonly held of all theories of art. Yet no statement of it stems to satisfy many of those who expound it. And some of us find all statements of it battling.”

Reading this book it occurred to me how important language is when used to describe art. Just the wrong word can give a piece of at a whole new idea behind it. The expression of a theory behind a piece of art is crucial, because one first has to decide is the ar objective or non objective. If it is objective the main title or sentence to first set the image of the design is crucial, it has to inspire the imagination and use te correct language to influence interpretation on he observer without portraying too much direct information of ones own interpretation.

New Decor

Blog  book the new décor, Hayward publishing

Modern art is not complex to me but yet portrays simplicity as most modern art have great methodologies and research when producing the art but the art its self seems pointless, Cant these methodology produce a productive useful piece of design rather than just aesthetics.

“pg 11 … Taking the forms and display of everyday furniture as a point of departure, the artworks in the new décor pointedly twist and subvert our conventions of interior space. Rewiring the behavioural cues embedded in décor and unsettling its social and psychological narratives, many of these sculptures convey breached sense of decorum. The standard etiquette of interior design, and the idealised image of social behaviour that it communicates, is conspicuous by its absence. In its place we encounter objects such as a cannon-powered office chair, a flying table, a lighting fixture that resembles a pile of explosives, and a sculpture that eerily merges a sofa and a memorial. Like items from an interior decorators anxiety dream, works such as these summon an unstable, restless apparition of décor.

While these sculptures evoke commonplace objects, they do so only to disarm our customary intimacy with them. This is as true  of those sculptures that modify parts of existing objects as it is of those that have been specifically fabricated to recall, directly or indirectly, the appearance of furniture. In both cases, the resulting objects appear as perplexed, precarious or troubling – as alienated, in other words – as any subjects who might conceivably ‘use’ them. Bereft of utopian rhetoric, they offer no vision of art galleries transformed into congenial sites of collective exchange or activity (and in this respect they provide a distinct contrast with design-related art from the past fifteen years that has been associated with ‘relational aesthetics’). Instead these sculptures imply a degree of alienation and uncertainty – a sense of not fitting inane not feeling ‘at home’- is a crucial benefit of our encounters with art, and integral to its capacity for displacing our readymade ways of relating to the world around us.

Just as the French word decor refers to stage sets as well as interior design, much of the art in The New Decor seemingly occupies an arena between theatre and everyday life, between the fictional and the empirical. As sculpture that resembles furniture, it inevitably enacts a masquerade of sorts. It assumes a kind of double or in some cases, triple identity, as in the car (to name only one example) of Los carpenters’ Cama (bed)2007- a sculpture object that resembles a bed that in turn evokes motorway overpass. Uncertainly poised between artwork, theatrical prop and decor, such works open up an expanded field of reference and allusion. They transform the self-contained design object into a matrix of associations and ideas, often extrapolating on the ways that decor projects a desired image of the self or arbitrarily imposes one; how it reproduces social relationships or functions almost like a theatrical prop in staging the identity of a person or place. Sme works refer to intimate encounters or to political struggles in parts of the world ranging from palestine to paris, Beijing to Bogota. And like came, many of the sculptures in The New Decor combine references to inside and outside spaces, suggesting ways that public and private experience increasingly bleed into each other (sometimes with disastrous consequences).pg 11

“Enough of the house as an artificial cave: it is more a warping of the sphere of interpersonal relations.”

Vilem Flusser, The shape of things: A philosophy of design, Anthony Matthews (trans), Reaktion books,London,1999,p,81

“The interior marks te perspective of the subject, his relationship to himself and to the world.”

Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste, Richard nice (trans), Harvard university Press, Cambridge, MA, 1984.

“pg13 In taking up décor as a visual refernce, sculpture inevitably engages with the connection between furniture and the human body. Furniture, after all, is designed to hold and support us, to accommodate out physical activity , and this intimacy of use is reflected in the anatomical terms used to describe its various parts. We speak of the “head” of a bed, the “legs” of a table and the “back” of a chair.(and this is not merely metaphorical speech: there is no other term to describe the “arm” of an armchair, for instance.)”

“There is no way of isolating living experience from spatial experience.”

Quoted in ‘interview with Carlos Basualdo’, in Doris Salcedo, Phaidon Press, London, 2000,p.17.

“The ultimate in paranoia is not when everyone is against you but when everything is against you”

Quoted in ‘Philip K.Dick:speaking with the dead’, an ‘interview’ by Erik Davis,21C Magazine, vol 2,2003.

“pg 19 – Is it possible to conceive of a paranoid decor? What would it comprise an interior landscape in which mundane objects look back at us with sinister or unknown intent? According to the late science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick, the definitive paranoid formulation is not ‘My boss is plotting against me’, but ‘My bosses phone is plotting against me’. Perhaps in the case of Urs Fischer’s A thing called gearbox (2004), a painted bronze sculpture that presents an item of office furniture as a vehicle propelled by violent explosions- we might be  led to imagine our boss’s chair plotting against us. Given the pervasive culture of paranoia induced by a mass media that relentlessly focuses on fear-inducing subjects (terrorism, crime, contagious disease), even our most mundane daily environments are not immune to intimations of dread…… 21…In many ways paranoia is an appropriate narrative model for an age in which all places are connected, in which no effect is purely local, and faraway cores can have a profound impact on our private lives. The works in The New Decor highlight this situation in delineating breakdowns and ruptures between our categories of public and personal space. Against the background of a social landscape where ‘home’ has become a frontline commodity riding the roller coaster of speculative bubbles, they engage the increasingly exposed precarious and unpredictability of our everyday environments.

Yet at the same time these works invert paranoid formulations- which concentrate all possible meanings around a single (persecuted) subject – by opening up our reading of sculpture to an expended field of cultural references and alternative identities. They articulate a conceptual decor in which objects function as generators of ideas about particular kinds of spaces and the relationships they engender, operating from an underlying assumption that space is never neutral or abstract but is always tied to specific cultural frameworks and histories. Ultimately, the content of this kind of work unfolds in the ways that it stimulates us to rearrange our mental furniture, to open new doors and windows in the separate compartments of our thinking- including all those principles of inclusion and exclusion that shut down the range of connections that we make between disparate aspects of social and aesthetic experience. Radically denaturing the appearance of those objects with which we feel most at home, the art in The New Decor provokes us to resituate our own position amidst that ‘warping of interpersonal relationships’ that defines our worlds of interiors.”

Kleine Lichtkanone (Little light cannon)(2009), as its name suggests, is no ordinary overhead lamp.It neither envelops its surroundings in a warm cosy light no serves as a decorative centrepiece. Constructed from neon tubes slung together and cinched at their middles with a single black wire, Bonvicini’s lamp hangs precariously above our heads, dousing us in a shocking harsh white light. It may be reminiscent of Dan Flavin’d Minimalist sculptures made from neatly arranged neon tubes, but the gesture of Bonvicini’s DIY arrangement, with its chaos of tangled wires plugged into fuses at the ends, is more reminiscent of the act of throwing together a makeshift bomb.

This aggressive configuration is characteristic of Bonvicini’s sculptural interventions, which are uncompromisingly direct responses to architectural spaces that she sees as being designed by and for men. Using primarily industrial building materials, including metal bars, chains, plywood, plaster and drywall, she designs sculptures that provocatively reconfigure the rooms in which they are placed.


Chain Leather swing (2009), a hybrid utilitarian object, is a hammock slung from the four corners of the gallery space by metal chains, converging in the middle of the room to form a seat that does not so much invite relaxation as dare you to enter its tangled web.


Martin Boyce: ‘Can i make a table sad or heavy or exposed and lost?’ wonders Martin Boyce. In his sculptural installations the artist imbues modernist urban furniture with characteristics that transcend their original forms and functions.

Some Broken Morning (2008) is a floating lattice of neon tubes, suspend above our heads. This fractured, fluorescent expanse forms a spider’s web of light that Boyce sees as a distortion of the city grid- an urban plan that has been twisted out of shape in order ‘ to slow it down’. The work is characteristic of the way that Boyce extracts elements from their original contexts and gives them abstracted forms. Liberated from their original purpose, they can be seen as symbols of the short-comings of modernist design, or given new possibilities to achieve their utopian objectives.


Angela Bulloch: In the wall- based work Smoke Spheres 2:4(2009), The arrangement of lights is also not merely decorative. Rather, the placement of the 19 illuminated smoked-glass spheres is based on the composition of black circles on white canvas in Bridget Riley’s 1964 Op-Art painting Whit discs 2. Though smoke spheres does not formally resemble pixel boxes. its structure is similar, in that Bulloch transposes one apparently ‘random’ arrangement into another. The modulating light and fading colours in Bulloch’s light-based works, sometimes accompanied by commissioned soundtracks, is not that of a ‘mood lamp’ or ‘lounge music”instead Bulloch renders the domestic or communal act of watching TV or ‘chilling out’ unexpectedly inscrutable.


Los Carpinteros: (‘The Carpenters’) make work that inverts the function of interior spaces and the objects within them, employing metaphor to raise questions of politics, identity and national culture. Compromising the Cuban artists, Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez, the duo’s practice places a value on collective working, subverting the notion of the individual artist as genius in an age of mass production. With Cama(BED)(2007) they present a bed that has been customised into the shape of a motorway junction, complete with flyovers and slip roads. One cannot help but think of this in the context of Ameica’s fascination with the automobile. The freeway overpass is an architectural landmark, a feat of structural engineering, each one an anonymous homage to the freedoms afforded by road travel in that country. And yet this homage is here supplanted in a bed, a place of rest, sleep and love. The bed as a domestic site was similarly explored in La Montana Rusa (Russian Mountain)(2008). This time a pink version was reconfigured into the form of a roller coaster. In both works, such juxtapositions are at once seductive and monstrous. They might be trumpeting the extrapolated whims of a consumer society, but equally they could be an ironic upturning of commodity in globalised economy. It is unclear where the celebration starts and the criticism ends.


Jimmie Durham: A Meteoric Fall to Heaven (2000) features and elegant Viennese armchair desecrated by a heavy rock. The perfectly calculated missile ha shattered its wooden frame and ripped through the upholstery, forcing it into a paradoxical new subject – hood as the victim of human violence. As the work’s title suggests, this is not an act of god but a carefully orchestrated set-up, like most things in our mediated, earthly lives. Durham has said that sympathy with objects engenders imagination, both in the sense of creating pictures in the mind and allowing new ideas to emerge.


Elmgreen and Dragset: Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset employ a radical, at times theatrical, use of the site-specific to examine underlying social structures. Taking public of institutional spaces as their raw materials, they investigate the indivisibility of architectural and social conventions. Through alterations to the figures, they suggest alternatives to the rigid behavioural standardisation that these structures not only reflect but also perpetuate.

An ongoing series of works entitled ‘powerless structures’, which began in 1997, explores attempts to undermine the authority implicit in these conventions by means of subtle alteration. Anxiety, frustration and desire are played out through furnishings, rupturing their generic finish, dimensions and usage.


Spencer Finch: The light installations of spencer finch often reconstruct specific examples of external luminosity. Using everyday lighting equipment he attempts to recreate particular light conditions based on his observation of technical measurements, stimulating our sense in scenes that are resonant with poetry.

In Night Sky (over the painted Desert, Arizona, january 11 2004) Finch turns our attention away from the obvious natural phenomenon of Arizona’s painted desert, with its stratified layers  of brightly coloured rock, to the twinkling heavens above. He presents a constellation of 401 dimmed light bulbs in an apparent attempt to replicate the night sky at a particular moment. Upon further examination we learn that the clusters are not in fact representations of the stars, but rather visualisations of molecular structures. Finch first painted a watercolour of the sky on the night in question and then employed simple scientific means to determine the atoms of the paint, which were then used as the basis of the stars.

Finch’s work revolves around the problems and opportunities inherent in the act of representation. At an immediate level the ordinary household lights elegantly recreate a night sky we thought. By representing the atoms from an image of the sky, Finch creates further distance from the original scene and in doing so imbues the process with greater significance. The accuracy that is achieved is not intended to introduce an empirical outcome, but rather serves to maintain the fleeting,subjective nature of observation.


Sarah Lucas, sculptural tableaux adopt a junk-shop aesthetic to describe a grimy, downbeat existence.In Fuck Destiny (2000), a battered old sofa bed assumes anthropomorphic attributes, with a pair of lightbulbs for breasts on its reclining frame and a long phallic fluorescent light that penetrates a tear in its red vinyl upholstery. The sexual innuendo that runs throughout her work is impossible to miss here, but the offhand way Lucas combines these elements, propped casually on a packing case, is an exercise in sculptural confidence and her ability to install the cheap and readily available with metaphysical resonance. Cultural cliche of a particularly British sort may be her raw material, but her sculptures, even when they feature grubby toilets or stinking food standing in for genitalia, suggest melancholy sympathy rather than ridicule for life;s sorry protagonists.



New decor