Archive for the 'Katey Rissi' Category

Visual Study 1 outcome (pattern)

February 17, 2011

The patterns were based on a 1 in modular grid on 8 inch squares. A simple triangle based on the 1 inch measurement serves as the basis for all of the patterns. The initial studies are very basic – binary repetition (on/off), and gradually become more complex. Eventually, line, value, and scale are all incorporated in different ways.

Realizations:

1. There is a pure and bold harshness to the simpler patterns. They have a kinetic quality to them, due in part to the strong contrast of negative/positive.

2. Complication can be subtle. It can also create texture. Using multiple elements in one pattern oftentimes forces some sort of hierarchy out, with solid forms overpowering line, large overpowering small, etc. Patterns with gradual changes in value and mostly line have a less clear hierarchy.

3. Variation in scale is visually interesting. Small components force the viewer to look closer, where more can be found. The idea that something is viewable from afar and close up, with both perspectives yielding different results implies richness, depth, and the element of surprise.

4. The subtlety of patterns with more delicate elements (line rather than solid form, gray rather than black or white) opens up the option for inclusion of more parts (typography, photography, other pattern, color)

5. Pattern that is too subtle and requires too much zoom in can read as texture.

6. The boldness of simple patterns forces them to be seen/observed/acknowledged.

Questions:

Are complex things easy to ignore because they take time to digest? Does this mean that less people receive the message, but in a more profound way? Is that valid or sacrilegious? Is it unrealistic to expect anything to reach everyone? Or ambitious and the duty of the designer as communicator?

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Case Studies

February 10, 2011

1. Pattern study

Thru repetition, typpography, graphic form, combination, photographic, 3-d, nature, inorganic objects, found materials, historical reference, difference between symmetry and asymmetry, color, value, line, fill. How does layering opposing patterns change a composition? How does scale complicate/simplify? What is wonderous pattern and what just takes up space? My goal is to create a series of patterns that address these questions, or apply these elements. How can I make pattern tell a story? How can pattern direct you through something, and communicate?

 

2.Typographic study

Work with a body of text, fill the space in the style of celtic manuscripts. Explore the style of Islamic and Judaic manuscripts as well. How much space can be filled? Where is the line between extreme detail and chaos? Does pattern occur throughout, or is the complexity random? What is the communication difference between specific letters being called out (initials) or entire words, or sentences? How does color play a role? Does heavy ornament kill readability?

 

3. Environment

Explore how ornament works in three dimensional space. Pattern in wallpaper, differnet levels of transparency, contrasting form/color/shape. How much is wonderous, how much is chaotic? Spatial elements can emphasize a specifc spot (think altar, prize) or entire space. Try and establish the difference. How can sculptural, tactile elements enhance a space? Create atmosphere? Emphasize content/meaning of space?

 

 

 

Updated Thesis

February 10, 2011

THESIS:

The use of ornament in design can enhance communication by connecting designer with viewer. The complexity of ornament reflects the richness and complexity of reality. Pattern is the language that ornament often expresses itself through. I am interested in the repetition, the layering, and the modes in which pattern and ornament are created.

 

 

Ornament in design addresses three things.

 

1. Complexity

Complexity forces an audience to sit with something, to figure it out, and that process of discovery is a process of decoding a mystery. Complexity slows the process of information absorption down, which creates a more lasting impression than thousands of microbits of easily digested data.

 

2. Preciousness

Intricacy produces awe and amazement because we know that a human created it, and we are astounded at what we can do. So many things can be made easily if we want to, making the painstaking, complicated, and intricate items of preciousness and value. This relates to notions of craft and the handmade, and how objects that are unique are inherently special.

 

3. The relationship between author, designer, and viewer

Mystery inspires intrigue, intrigue is a personal connection. Design communicates messages between people, and the place of the designer is to be the mediator. This relates back to the idea of preciousness, which makes us feel, even on a subconcious level, awe and amazement at what someone else can create. Complexity and intricacy makes an object special, and when the viewer feels like an object is special, they are paying homage to the person that made it special. That maker is the designer, who took the information from the author (in whatever form), and did that information justice.

 

Ornament DOESN’T:

distract, hide, falsify, confuse, contradict, mislead, antiquate, create chaos, lack purpose, meaning, or context, represent burgouis aesthetics and power structures, equate to gluttony, clutter space, stand in opposition to rationality, lack function

 

Ornament DOES:

enhance emotional connection with piece, create layers of visual interest, mystefy, intrigue, amaze, comfort, connect past to present, acknowledge reality, welcome different aesthetic perspectives, can be geometric, organic, delicate, angular, and strong, can emphasize complexity of content, reflect beauty, provides humor, is humanistic, provide dichotomy, create richness, repeat itself, employ hierarchy and balance, use narrative,

 

Ornamentation is defined as: a design element built on a rhythmic alternation and orderly arrangement of geometric or figurative elements, additive rather than reductive

Pattern is defined as: the repitition of geometric or figurative elements in a specific order

Embellishment is defined as: the process of something more fantastic or beautful than it originally was, to emphasize

 

Resource List

February 9, 2011


Here’s what I’ve been looking at/using (in approximately chronological order of when they were found) :

1. Marian Bantjes addresses the concept of ornament, wonder, awe, and creation in her book, I Wonder. The book is made up of a series of essays on her perspective of ornament’s role in design and communication.

2. Speak Up/Under Consideration interview with Martin Venezky about his book, his feelings about ornament/a “complicated aesthetic,” process (Speak Up, an archived blog in the Under Consideration network – Martin Venezky Speaks Up, Silas Munro. 2005.)

3. Alice Twemlow (design critic) essay on The Decriminalization of Ornament. One of the main legs of my thesis here. (Eye Magazine – No. 58 – The Decrimilization of Ornament, by Alice Twemlow. 2001.)

4. Eye essay exploring the idea of Authenticity in design, how that relates to the process of making things, what that means in the digital world. What, if it can be articulated, is the aesthetic style of something that is/isn’t authentic? How can you tell? Does it matter? (Eye Magazine -No. 70 – Make It Real, by Steve Hare.  2001.)

5. Zuzana Licko interview, because talks about ornament kept bringing up Postmodernism vs Modernism, putting ornament in the Postmodern category. To get a clearer idea as to why, searched for a frame of reference on the Postmodern side, since the ideas of Modernism I can already clearly explain/understand. (Etapes Magazine via Emigre -2010)

6. Profile of design studio Omnivore, who collaborated with 2×4 to create the space in the NYC Prada store, which is one of my case studies. Karen Hsu and Alice Chung talk about pattern, mathematical process, and how pattern/ornament “create a path for the viewer that includes discovery and suprise.” The influences of wallpaper, textiles, Asian culture’s relationship with pattern are discussed. (Eye Magazine – No. 58 – Omnivore: Perspective and Embellishment, Alice Twemlow. 2001.)

7. Article on Denise Gonzales Crisp, who, like Marian Bantjes, is a design educator currently exploring the notion of embellishment as valid design perspective. Crisp talks about “engaging in the discorse of ornament with that of rational design” and suggests that “function is completed by ornament.”

Great quote: “The rational aspect of the decorational is its capacity to tell, not only in a story-like way, but also in a metonymic way in the same way that icons do. If there’s a key or operative word to describe  what’s exciting about the best decorational work, then it’s complexity. Life is very complex and much of graphic design’s time gets spent on refining and organizing and making things clear [but] it can also be about establishing empathy or providing escape.” (Eye Magazine – No. 58 – Denise Gonzales Crisp: The Decorational. 2001.)

8. Various sections and chapters in Megg’s. (Megg’s History of Graphic Design – Chapter 4/Illuminated Manuscripts, Chapter 10/The Arts and Crafts Movement, Chapter 11/Art Nouveau, Chapter 23/Postmodern Design)

9. National Design Triennial Book, 2003. Info on “humanization in the new Millennium,” with bits on Geoff McFetridge, who makes fantastic patterns. (Design Now – National Design Triennial 2003 -Design to Desire, Mitchell Owens)

10. Dutch Design “best of” book, with profiles on Richard Niessen, who uses ornament both in print and in the environment. (Super Holland Design)

11. Toord Boontje, a Dutch (now living in the UK) designer who creates incredibly intricate compositions out of paper, sculpting them into lamps/lights, but also in the environment and on other products, as well as in print, and also in different materials.

12. Julien Vallee – the combination of ornament + authenticity in process (handmade?)


Katey Rissi

February 3, 2011

2nd Round – Try #2, More case studies, overall more awesome. 2/2/11

THESIS:

The use of ornament in design can enhance communication by connecting designer with viewer while reflecting the complexity of content. Pattern is the language that ornament often expresses itself through. I am interested in the repetition, the layering, and the modes in which pattern and ornament are created.

 

 

Ornament in design addresses three things. They are the ideas of complexity, “preciousness,” and the relationship between author, designer, and viewer. Complexity forces an audience to sit with something, to figure it out, and that process of discovery is a process of decoding a mystery. Mystery inspires intrigue, intrigue is a personal connection. Design communicates messages between people, and the place of the designer is to be the mediator. Intricacy produces awe and amazement because we know that a human created it, and we are astounded at what we can do. So many things can be made easily if we want to, making the painstaking, complicated, and intricate items of preciousness and value. I believe that these ideas all play off one another, that complexity and intricacy makes an object special, and when the viewer feels like an object is special, they are paying homage to the person that made it special. That maker is the designer, who took the information from the author (in whatever form), and did that information justice.

For example, a lovingly decorated, customized cupcake is more precious to the recipient of the cupcake than a plain one. The maker took time and effort to relay a message of care to whoever they were making the treat for. Adding, then, enhances rather than distracts.

 

Ornament does not always:

distract, hide, falsify, confuse, contradict, mislead, antiquate, create chaos

 

Ornamentation: design element built on a rhythmic alternation and orderly arrangement of geometric or figurative elements, additive rather than reductive

Pattern: the repitition of geometric or figurative elements in a specific order

Embellish: to make something more fantastic or beautful than it originally was, to emphasize

 

DESIGNERS:

Marian Bantjes

Denise Gonzales Crisp

Martin Venezky

Toord Boontje

Joshua Davis

William Morris

Hella Jongerius

Geoff McFetridge

Karen Hsu/Alice Chung (Omnivore)

Richard Niessen

Harmen Liemburg

Julien Valee

 

CASE STUDIES:

http://www.harmenliemburg.nl/subjects/jack/jack.html

http://tordboontje.com/projects/lights/garland/

http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=15668

http://www.niessendevries.nl/work/tm+city+exhibitions/mapping/

http://www.stepinsidedesign.com/STEPMagazine/Article/28729/0/page/2/index.html

 

Katey Rissi

February 1, 2011

http://tordboontje.com/news/interview-cranetv/

His fascination with ornament comes from the desire to exist in a world that has emotional presence, is intricate, is alive. I like that. He is an industrial designer that’s best known for these wonderful, delicate lamps made from paper. When the paper gets cut up, it loses its rigidity and becomes like paper. The cuts and swirls are so complex, special.

Katey Rissi

December 11, 2010

update 1/30:

THESIS:

The use of ornament in design can enhance communication by connecting designer with viewer while reflecting the complexity of content.

OBSERVATIONS:

Complexity forces an audience to sit with something, to figure it out, and that process of discovery is a process of decoding a mystery. Mystery inspires intrigue, intrigue is a personal connection. Design communicates messages between people, and the place of the designer is to be the mediator. In a world that is growing increasingly connected while the individual becomes more isolted, personal connection is more important than ever. The desire to interact can be satisfied if we are honest about the modes in which we create things. Intricacy produces awe and amazement because we know that a human created it, and we are astounded at what we can do. So many things can be made easily if we want to, making the painstaking, complicated, and intricate pieces of preciousness and value. Ornament and decoration have obvious connections with Postmodernism, which departs from Modernist ideals. This isn’t at all a this-vs-that exploration; I believe there is a constant play, discorse, and conversation between rationality and the emotional/subjective. Pattern is the language that ornament often expresses itself through. I am interested in the repetition, the layering, and the modes in which pattern is created.

DESIGNERS:

Marian Bantjes

Denise Gonzales Crisp

Martin Venezky

Toord Boontje

Hideki Inaba

Joshua Davis

William Morris

Hella Jongerius

Geoff McFetridge

Daniel van derVelden

Maureen Mooren

Karen Hsu/Alice Chung (Omnivore)

Diamond + Baratta

Richard Niessen

Machine

Harmen Liemburg

 

Misc. Thoughts and notes:

ORNAMENT – does not always confuse, distract, hide

can enhance communication of design by: connecting maker with viewer (thru viewer’s awe at what maker has made), complexity reflects complexity of content/the world, forces viewer to sit with things longer, remember things, complexity establishes mystery, which creates intrigue, complexity identifies the maker as someone with special skill, pieces become treasures, become valued (not in sense of $)

pattern, repetition, complexity with order is mystifying, effective, beautiful, atmospheric, can be used to code, technology makes impossible repetition possible

tension between rationality (science) and the emotional (nature) creates positive discord, a conversation

part of the past century’s dismay for ornament is a ramification of Industrialization. Mass produced factory goods made to look like they were handmade, or made out of a material that they weren’t, fundamentally false, Modernist aesthetic/abstraction/purity confronts mass production and is honest

that beauty and simplicity has dominated design, rightly so. But in an age where anything and everything can be rendered digitally, things made by humans are made to look like they aren’t, made to look perfect. Dishonesty with a different face.

Ornament connects us with eachother, maker and viewer

but also connects us with our history: SUPER RICH HISTORY OF ORNAMENT: arts and crafts, art nouveau, art deco, rennaissance, buroque, rococo, illuminated manuscripts, celtic design, chinese/japanese patternwork, african/indonesian batik

connection to postmodernism

kitchiness, campiness, sense of humor

response to anti-humanistic and sterile proliferation of all things manufactured

craft forces people to be good at something, to excel, to have skill in an age where everything has become incredibly, painfully, easy. everything can be automated, quick, and simple if you want it. do you want it?

complexity connotes quality?

process of making, process of labor, labor of love, giving love by sharing labor, showing labor, putting labor in for other people

modernism fundamentally masculine, is ornament its feminine counterpart? you have to have both, you know.

pattern/ornament has reputation of being superflous in both form and content. form is obvious. content references the notion of ultra flowered, ultra supple, beautiful things, visual arcadia. people in the 21st century don’t necessarily react well to that, unless it is from the perspective of escapism. Current ornament/pattern is often distopian – Geoff McFettridge/ “Red Dawn” “Stoner Forest” “All Yesterday’s Parties”

ornament/pattern can tell a story, languageless

“playfulness and layers, multiple narratives, embeding history/symbolism, seeking relations, political implications: all themes/elements that are better expressed with a more complex visual vocabulary than Modernism” – Daniel van der Velden

“Design and Art is about making the unimaginable imaginable. This can never happen if everybody climbs the same tree.” – John Maeda

Intense detail is magic, creates awe. this can be used to manipulate

“when we look at great works of art, we feel this power. we may be awed by the artist’s skill, or by luminescence, by balance and perfection, by an abundance of detail, a wealth of materials or incredible craft. whatever it is that captures us in this way, there is a feeling of something that is not ourselves”

do we have the attention span for mystery, complexity in 2011? if we don’t, what are we losing?

when someone invests time in something, when something is painstaking, it is precious

when you can’t tell if something is real, if someone made it, you kind of feel cheated. plus, the visual culture serves as an artifact for our time. what will the future misinterpret from our fakeness?

difference between “that is special” and “oh, that probably cost a lot to make”

when you solve the mystery you are suprised, that suprise creates memory

when everything looks effortless when it isn’t, isn’t that kind of sneaky? aren’t we selling ourselves short?

update: 01/20:

(ranked in order of interest)

Ornament as tool for communication in graphic design

Ornament’s place in design has been heavily debated since the advent of Modernism, but has a valid role in effectively communicating content and connecting the viewer to the designer. Ornament is complicated and often dichotomous, and it is the tension of dichotomy that lends to much of its merit. There are psychological effects generated by that which is visually overwhelming, and they are not necessarily negative. Ornament and heavy detail create a sense of wonder, amazement, awe, and astonishment. Humans love the idea of other humans making complex things, which is why visual complexity can be a connector of viewer/maker. I believe this relates to the current atmosphere of visual communication, which is entirely, unquestionably, overwhelming, but in a totally different sense. We are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what we interact with visually, which in turn causes us to become incredibly jaded (we would probably overload if we didn’t do this). It is not reasonable to try and reduce the clutter – it will only worsen as we head into the future, but creating things that force people to spend time and digest a message allows design to communicate on a personal, lasting level amidst the noise.

Analog Aesthetic – why do we crave it, what are the ramifications of falsifying it?

There is a prevalence of analog aesthetic in postmodern culture. The advent of digital technology in art and design has made most of the techniques used in the 20th century obsolete, and therefore seldom used. The aesthetic of these techniques is replicated through digital means, the results of which often lack a fundamental honesty. Through further research, it is quickly realized that this is a topic much larger than the digital recreation of an analog aesthetic. In the visual arena, a very obvious goal of many is to create the most realistic image possible, a realer than real life image, digitally. CGI creatures replace makeup in movies, video game interfaces are drenched in photographic looking pieces of shiny metal. I believe this also goes back to our desire to be impressed by the abilities of our fellow men, but the uber-rendered does a far better job at making the tools look impressive rather than the people who used them. This has sort of morphed into exploring the ultra-real-CGI aesthetic, its dominance in mainstream consumer design, and what sort of effects this aesthetic has on our perception of our world and the perception that future generations will have of our time.

Pattern as tool for coding, implications of  repetition

Pattern as repetitive form carries conceptual implications and addresses design principles such as hierarchy, balance, adherence to and deviation from grid systems, and uniformity in a way that is unique from typographic expression and graphic forms alone. I am interested in repetition’s relationship with mathematics and tessellations, which are figures that fill space with no gaps or overlaps. Conversely, I would also investigate how repetition can appear chaotic, no matter how structured its foundation is. Pattern’s application is broad reaching and incredibly varied, and includes textiles, packaging, books, architecture, and systems. Investigating pattern inevitably means exploring the modes in which pattern has historically been created, which brings to mind areas as varied as illuminated manuscripts, embroidery, batik, silk weaving, math sequences, and naturally occurring pattern. Pattern is very much a tool of ornament, decoration, and complexity. It can perhaps be combined with the first proposal to be used as a tool to explain ornament.