Friday, March 27, 2009


definition - a turning around as on an axis ; regularly recurring ; movement or path on an axis (

I am sure everyone has heard the theory that "history repeats itself". Well, as I have learned in Design Theory & History, this concept happens to be true for some design styles. For ages, rotations and repeats of design ideas have occurred. The design world, in a sense, has relied on changing trends to keep moving along, but also to look back on. Roth points out these rotations in design: “What precipitated these fundamental social changes was a cycle of interrelated sweeping reorganizations and upheavals that collectively can be labeled 'revolutions'. These revolutions are so interconnected that they can be thought of as operating in a circle, each feeding off into the next” (Roth, 439). These repetitions are caused by the world events or simple the designers ideas. During the Arts and Crafts Movement, the Gothic style from previous ages was revived to create an interior for a wealthy and eccentric client. The designer took inspiration from Gothic architecture , but critic John Ruskin "warned against the common practice of making one material look like another, and the effort to create a new style when Gothic could not be surpassed" (Massey, 10). Similar to the rotation of the earth, creating day and night, design processes revolve and change, never fully going away, just "disappearing" for some time.

definition - the act, process, or result of moving ; the progress of events (

Movement can be seen in many mediums: physically or historically generally come to mind first. Movement is a continues progression that can be considered unavoidable. Design Theory & History revolve around different design movements throughout history. Currently, we have moved into the Arts and Crafts Movement of the nineteenth century. Starting in Britain, this movement can be considered the most important design reform to affect interior design. During the end of the eighteenth century, economically industrialization and urbanization were leading factors changing the way of life for the generation as a whole. The economy shifted to reflect the middle class, stepping down from the style of interiors dominated by the upper class. The Victorian age and Gothic Revival were inspired by social reform concerns and linking the notion of "good design" to a "good society". This vision of society reflected in interiors by taking pride in craftsmanship and skill. The rise of a consumer class meant that the worker could produce beautiful objects that exhibited the result of fine craftsmanship, as opposed to the shoddy products of mass production. Aesthetic ideals were borrowed from Medieval European and Islamic sources and Japanese ideas. Pieces of these cultures created a style that was very detailed with decoration being a main focus. As Anne Massey describes in her representations of "Interior Design since 1900", the Arts and Crafts Movement, specifically the Victorian taste, "cramming as much as possible into a room [was] to symbolize the owners wealth and status" (Massey, 10). This theory of "for the people by the people" was suppose to accomidate the thriving middle class, however, a realization came that the exquisitely made and decorated pieces could only be afforded by the very wealthy. Also, at first this fine craftsmanship and new economy provided for many jobs, until craft was not all that good. Leading writer on art and design of the nineteenth century Britain, John Ruskin saw "the ugliness which surrounded him as the unavoidable result of the miserable conditions for the majority brought by the Industrial Revolution" (Massey, 10). Only few craftsman were then employed to make such fine pieces, evolving the style to be known as the "aesthetic style". The Arts and Crafts ideal in America, however, was slightly different. America wanted to serve the market of the middle class consumers who wanted decent, affordable furniture that was achieved by factory methods.

this chair is an example of an everyday chair made by the craftsman of the Arts and Crafts Movement
Movement in time continued in our learning of Design Theory & Design as time moved to the Art Nouveau style that addressed the clutter and eclecticism of mid-19th century European taste. This movement advocated nature as the true source of all good design, which was encouraged by the Japanese approach.

definition - an image; representation ; the replacement of each point on one side of a plane by the symmetric point on the other side of the plane (

Reflection is a term that can be interpreted literally or more figuratively. Literal meaning an actual image is reflected through a device such as a mirror or a reflection meaning looking back to something that has happened. I decided to interpret both of these interpretations in my description, feeling they are both vital to the term.

Taking the more literal approach to reflection of seeing one's image exactly in front of them, I chose to relate my blog to one of my classes outside of IARC. In Nutrition, we are currently learning about energy balance, healthy body weight, dieting and exercise. Obesity has become an epidemic that America and the rest of the world has been suffering from for the past few centuries. There are many medical problems that are associated with obesity involving various chronic diseases and cancers. Something I found interesting was that someone who is extremely underweight has the same death risk of someone who is obese. With media being a large focus in the world today, especially to young adults, weight issues have become a large concern. In relation to this topic in nutrition, I felt it was appropriate to capture a girl who is skinny look at herself in the mirror thinking she is overweight. This issue with girls is upsetting, but completely normal, because of this body image that the media portrays. With health concerns becoming more popular, I feel this image will not change for decades, however, it could improve. Girls no longer will have to look at themselves and see their reflection displeasing.

A reflection of previous events is shown by the "Unit Summaries" writing assignment we are given in Design History & Theory at the conclusion of each learning unit. In this essay, we are to reflect upon overall themes and major design movements in the unit. In order to reflect on information such as this, I need to look through notes from class lectures and our class textbooks. Writing this reflection enables the writer to connect styles and concepts of that period and receive a better reasoning for them. It also enables the reader, who has no prior knowledge of the course, to learn in a more simple and straight forward manor, as the writing is not all formal, but instead includes facts and personal opinions.

definition - any thing or place from which something comes, arises, or is obtained ; origin (

To me, a source is a way of inspiration.

In Design Drawing, we were assigned a project that required us to design our own interior under circumstances of including a kitchen, dining and entertainment area all in one space. Designing a room demands research through online, design magazines or store catalogs. To compose my space, I looked mainly at designing a room all of IKEA products. IKEA is a large, well-known business with 300 stores in 35 countries. This amount of worldwide business definitely provides as a source to many individuals looking to redesign a space. A reason why I admire IKEA products is because they strive to "create a better everyday life for many people by offering a wide-range of well-designed, function home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them" ( IKEA fueled my mind. After choosing pieces that I felt worked together from IKEA's amazing website, I composed my room.

As we discussed in Design Theory & History, architecture and design styles change constantly around the world. How do different cultures witness or develop other countries designs? This means that continents use various sources to spread their ideas. Especially in this time, ideas of the east and west are blending and being incorporated into the others world. In the late 19th century, America began to be influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement of the Eastern world. Interior design in America became influenced by the "reforming ethics and naturalistic style of [William] Morris and his followers, which chimed with the frontier spirit and sense of individualism that were growing stronger as America began to establish a national identity in design" (Massey, 19). Various sources provide for style expansion to America specifically such as lecture tours held by leading theorists, the magazine The Studio, dominated in periodicals such as House Beautiful, trade of goods such as Morris & Co. exported to America, travel, and critic books. Through all these ways, styles and the appearances of American interiors can be the same style and appearance as those in Europe.

definition - a supply of light ; decoration (

When I think of the word illumination, I think of making something shine, stand out and "light up". Illumination is important for different aspects of life. It can refer to different meanings--
  • illumination : the use of light sources
  • illumination : the use of light and shadow in art
  • illumination : artistic decoration, for instance including gold or silver pen to manuscripts

Use of light and shadow in art . Starting with a narrative of a celebration I have experienced and a piece of nature from our nature hunt, I was to "design and create an expressive and beautiful three-dimensional 'light skin'". We were to look at the integrating patterns created by out natural element and design a model using 1/4" thick medium-density fiberboard, one other linear element and adhesive. In creating our designs, the major priority was to consider natural light and how it interacts and applies to our final models. For my inspiration of nature, I used a spherical, spiky object that falls from a certain kind of tree and a celebration that stuck out to my mind was a surprise birthday party that was given to me by a group of my friends at the age of 12. In my final design, I felt these two subjects worked very well together, keeping in mind with the concept of light. I wanted to use light in my capturing of the obscure triangular shapes to the nature element and the excitement of a party. I captured these ideas by creating a fairly abstract figure of random and obscure triangles cutting into each other or through pieces. My linear element was pieces of wood skewers also in a random order setting the illusion that you cannot figure out which ones, if any, are holding the structure together. Light most importantly, was shown successfully: for one, there are many areas that light can explore in my design (not a solid structure)---light can go over, between, or under certain triangles; in any way that natural light hits my structure, it will cast these great, interesting shadows on the plane it sits on and on parts of the model itself; the shadows that are created on certain parts or sides of the triangles creates this sense of a color palette, as lighter and darker shades of brown are created. I strongly felt that I achieved my goals in created a very busy, exciting figure incorporating both my story and natural element with keeping light as a very important factor. To capture my model best in drawing form, I felt a gesture style was appropriate.

use of light sources . Interior spaces are composed of many forms of light: natural, candlelight or electric light. It serves as a function in most spaces, either for tasks, decoration, accents, or the general purpose of needing light during the dark hours. While studying the interiors of the late 19th century and start of the 20th century in Design Theory & History, I have learned of lighting in each one of these forms being occupied. Architect-designer Victor Horta designed a house for himself that contains a "skylight that illuminates a centrally placed staircase of white Carrara marble which forms the centerpiece of the whole design, winding up through three floors" (Massey, 37). Horta's use of illumination serves as a sense of direction up the stairs, grand entrance and a decoration rather than being functional. The skylight can be providing light in these non-functional ways, serving more as a directional piece because anyone who walks into the house is "led by this impressive stair to the upper floor of the house which contains the dining and drawing rooms", which are both important rooms for visitors in any house from the Art Nouveau style (Massey, 37).

[IN SUMMARY]...each of the five words from this week's opus have taken effect in all of my interior architecture classes, and even beyond to nutrition. Each word can then be referred to under the title of "reactions" because each have something else that relates or goes along with the concept in order for it to happen. This then creates reactions -- elements having an effect on one another. Rotation needs to have a purpose to generate the idea, such as taking elements from previous eras and incorporating them into a certain time period. A reflection needs sources -- something to produce or expand off of, such as a literal reflection needing a mirror or figuratively a source to relate to. That then leads to a source, which is the physical piece that creates reactions. And finally, illumination or the reaction to light. All these words are important in the design world as they are staples to creation that can effect other people around them.

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