Tag Archives: Grids

Design of the Week: The New Yorker | Graphic Design | Agenda | Phaidon

Design of the Week: The New Yorker | Graphic Design | Agenda | Phaidon.

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Design and the Divine Proportion

 

Design and the Divine Proportion | Mark Boulton.

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Five simple steps to designing grid systems

 

Five simple steps to designing grid systems – Part 1 | Mark Boulton.
Five simple steps to designing grid systems – Part 2 | Mark Boulton.

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Braun logo

 

Braun logo.

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Cracks in the Pavement…

What a week… I’ve been trying all week to make some sense of my Structure and the City project and by yesterday was ready to climb into the nearest crack in the pavement as that’s where it seemed to be heading nowhere. However, after a good session with Scott in the printshop and some different analysis of my visual research material, I think I may have rescued it. I’m posting this here just because I need to record it somewhere. I don’t expect anyone to read it or comment – but feel free to do so if you wish! All feedback is appreciated.

So the visual analysis bit first… I tried classifying my images of the pavement into various typologies… What is it I was seeing?

I found grids…      I found dots…    I found rectangles…   I found arrows… 

and I found weird hieroglyphics that I had become somewhat obsessed with while out researching… 

But once I’d laid it all out on the table, I struggled to find a thread, a connection or something that would make a vaguely interesting publication…

Then it hit me… What I realised about the surface of our city is it’s a cesspit… Money and attention is lavished on the vertical – the buildings, the expensive advertising, signage etc – but when it comes to what’s under our feet it’s treated with no respect.

Paving slabs are cracked, we cover it gum… and those hieroglyphics I’d become obsessed about are an eyesore – while they serve some purpose (to notify those who dig up the roads where the pipes are – although that doesn’t seem to stop burst water mains) – they still seem to be there long after the work is done, or maybe the work just never gets done…

However, it’s not all gloomy… I found some bright spots in my research and this is what the publication will be about: that, while most of the city’s surface is a mess, there are some examples of where it is being used to enhance the environment in both an aesthetic and functional way. The two examples I will use are:

The new layouts of Exhibition Road  and Oxford Circus 

And Ben Wilson, the chewing gum artist who I was lucky enough to track working in a secret location yesterday….

And where did Tony in the printshop help? Well, I took a dummy to him yesterday that I’d made of the publication – the content was slightly different from how I know envisage it. I’d included colour images and a fancy throw-out (folding out centrefold) as a “big reveal”. I learned more about paper size, page layout and the economics of printing in half an hour with Tony than I could image I would. He also gave me some great ideas about the cover and how that would impact on the design.

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Westfield Shepherds Bush

Inspired by City Hall??

20120201-031921 PM.jpg    20120201-031947 PM.jpg

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Curves from Lines in Art…

… After a bowl of homemade lentil soup (Mrs Conrad is a great cook!) I remember these two artists (Gabo and Hepworth) who made curves from lines. More exploration to be done…

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Malevich to Kounellis…

Malevich was the founder of the Suprematist movement whose aim was the “lend supremacy to the basic means of art, colour and form, over the mere depiction of phenomena in the visible world” [Art of the 20th Century Ruhberg et al, Taschen]. The work Dynamic Suprematism at the Tate is dated “1915/1916” and is a clear use of basic visual grammar – squares, lines, rectangles, dots – the most extreme examples of which Malevich produced being Black Square on a White Ground (1913), Black Circle (1913) and White on White (1917)…

      

… which forms are reflected in the Kounellis piece, Untitled…

  

Malevich is also credited as being one of the first artists to appreciate the expressive nature of empty space, which is very clear in the Dynamic Suprematism piece…

And this becomes even clearer when you learn that he had been flying, not that common in the early 20th Century… A direct influence on Russian poster design on the 1920s…

A connection between Malevich and Calder also becomes clearer following this further research. You can see the influence of the pure forms of Malevich in the Calder piece, which is also reflected in this piece by Velzeley:

So where is this stream of consciousness leading… I’m not sure, other than it’s made me more aware of the open space and a greater appreciation of the visual language we have been studying that will inform some experimentation soon…

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Tate Modern Structure…

Everywhere you look at the Tate Modern there appears to be a grid or formal structure. As Susannah has very clearly shown on her blog the building itself is of a very simple, symmetrical design which can be reduced to rectangles and lines. This is then reflected throughout the building which appears to have no organic forms within it. It’s all straight lines… from the turbine hall, which is this vast tunnel that draws you into the building, to the flooring, the lighting and even the staircases. The are all arranged at right angles…

                

This structure gives the Tate its physical identity and so, not surprisingly, it has been carried through into the gallery itself in the signage, the cloakroom layout, the way the shop is laid out and the layout of posters, for example…

        

Clearly the architects worked with the structure of the building when they designed the conversion. Indeed, as it says on the Tate website (“The final choice [of architects] was Herzog and De Meuron, a relatively small and then little known Swiss firm. A key factor in this choice was that their proposal retained much of the essential character of the building.”).

I’ve not yet done the research around the City Hall area but I know the building at it has a very different form from Tate Modern. It’s a curvaceous building with a structure made from panes of triangular glass that the architects, Foster & Partners, have made somewhat a “house style”. They are also responsible for the Gherkin and the Great Court at the British Museum.

          

So maybe in the way that it has been possible to classify the pictures according to simple, complex and random structures it is possible to do the same with buildings… Some more “random” looking buildings might include the Guggenheim in Bilbao (Frank Gehry), or the works of Gaudi in Barcelona:

  

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Tate Pictures… Random (or no?) structure

And here are a few that I think have no formal structure… although the piece by Vezeley (top right) is reminiscent of Malevich where there is more research needed…

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