Identity and the terms: Pastiche, Parody, Homage & Bricolage.

Identity is the fact of being who or what a person or thing is. An individual often has qualities ,beliefs, looks, and expressions that are unique to them and identify as their personality. Each person shapes their identity based on their what they are exposed to; some of which could include music, movies, shows, and books. Cultural background, ethnicity and past or present experiences also help develop and shape a unique character or identity for a person (Dictionary, 2018). Four terms have come to challenge the definition of an individuals identity. Each term challenges the term of identity differently, and will be defined, addressed, and subjected to an example in this post. All four terms are examples of intertextuality. A term introduced by Julia Kristen in 1966. It is understood that two relationships occur when we read a text. A relationship known as the horizontal axis, which is the relationship between us and the author, and the vertical axis, a relationship between the text and other texts. Although its understood that the vertical axis provides us with the definition of intertextuality, both axes draw to our attention that no text exist as its own, and weened to recognise that previous works shape current texts and readings (schmoop, 2018).

The first term that challenges the term of identity is, pastiche. Pastiche is defined as a piece of art, music, literature, etc. that intentionally copies the style of someone else’s work or is intentionally in various styles, or the practice of making art in either of these ways (Dictionary, 2018). Pastiche commemorates the style of work copied as the identity of what is being replicated is not lost and understood with clarity due to obvious suggestions, phrases, or similarities seen in clothing, makeup, and accessories. An example of pastiche is the music video of the song “ Fancy by Iggy Azelea”. The genre and theme of the music video references the classic movie, Clueless, 1995. Seen throughout the music video, Iggy has replicated the “identity” of Cher Horowitz, the main character in the film, through her dress code, hair, make up and the plot of the movie.  The music video is filmed in a high school building and classroom, directly replicating a scene from the film. In addition to that, smaller details are replicated, like the technology of matching clothing together seen in the film is displayed at the beginning of the music video. Various scenes from the film are replicated and played out by Iggy throughout.

Another example of textuality is the term parody. A parody is the complete opposite of the term pastiche.  A parody is an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect (Oxford Dictionaries, 2018). Parody is seen very often as a form of comedy mocking a famous celebrity, movie, video, etc on youtube or in different forms of media. A great example of parody is the film “ Fifty shades of Black”, a prequel spoof of Fifty shades of Grey, the plot of the story in Fifty shades of Black is translated into a comedy by making the lead actor Christian Black the complete opposite of Christian Grey in the original film. The general plot of the story remained the same, an inexperienced college student undertakes an interview with the main character, a wealthy businessman who participates in a S&M sexual practice, later on developing a relationship. The parody contradicts how the lead character creates his wealth at the start of the film, and continues to demean the identity of the character in the original film, Fifty shades of Grey.

Homage is defined as respect shown towards someone or something you admire, or to a person in authority (Collinsdictionary.com, 2018). An example of the term is the music video “ Material Girl by Madonna” in 1995, referencing Marilyn Monroe performing ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best friend’ in the American musical comedy film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” from 1962. Various references have been made to the specific scene in the film, including the TV series, Gossip Girl, where one of the lead characters performs the scene in a dream in honour of Marilyn Monroe. The scene is replicated through various means, including the style of hair, makeup, jewellery, background and men in black tux.

The direct definition of bricolage (in art or literature) is construction or creation from a diverse range of available things (Oxford Dictionaries, 2018). The music video by Busta Rhymes – Gimme Some references several well known shows or famous “art work”, including Looney Tunes, Hannah Barbara, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Disney, Tim Burton & The Mask.

Dictionary, i. (2018). identity Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. [online] Dictionary.cambridge.org. Available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/identity [Accessed 10 Mar. 2018].

Dictionary, p. (2018). pastiche Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. [online] Dictionary.cambridge.org. Available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/pastiche [Accessed 10 Mar. 2018].

Collinsdictionary.com. (2018). Homage definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary. [online] Available at: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/homage [Accessed 10 Mar. 2018].

Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2018). parody | Definition of parody in English by Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/parody [Accessed 10 Mar. 2018].

Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2018). bricolage | Definition of bricolage in English by Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/bricolage [Accessed 10 Mar. 2018].

Compare & Contrast: Max Mara & Top Shop edition

As a fashion aficionado, understanding the difference between each brand is key to understanding “fashion” as a term. The definition of fashion is often dismissed and thought of as style. Fashion as a term is defined as the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration or behaviour. Each year, a trending colour, texture, pattern, silhouette ect. are predicted and in accordance to that, brands merge the latest trends into their designs for the season to create “fashion”. I chose to write my compare and contrast about a fast fashion brand and a luxury fashion brand. Frequently, fast fashion brands exploit the patterns or trends seen in luxury brand fashion shows and incorporate them in their designs to stay on the latest trends. Those garments are then sold to a wider customer base for a much cheaper price.

For the purpose of this blog post, I chose one of my favourite stores on Bond street, Max Mara to compare with Top Shop on Oxford Circus. Both stores are contradictory, as Max Mara is a luxury fashion brand and Top Shop’s a high street brand. The Italian brand, Max Mara boasts its reputation on being a sophisticated luxury brand, targeting minimalist sport chic woman, while Top Shop is a multinational fashion retailer of clothing, shoes, make-up and accessories. One of the most evident differences between the two stores are their target customers. A luxury fashion brand frequently targets working woman with a high yearly income, that are interested in sophisticated garments that has a long lasting durability, is chic and fashionable and mainly comprises of high end textiles. On the other hand, Top Shop targets woman of all age groups and incomes that show an interest in an edgy casual style.

The interior of the Max Mara flagship store on 19-21 Old Bond street highlights specific elements to create an elegant interior contributing to a superior shopping experience. Using our senses as a foundation to manipulate our experience of visiting the store, the colour palette is a replica of the neutral garments the brand is mostly popular for. Grey and its lighter notes is used as a dominant colour across the store with gold accents throughout. Natural elements like wooden floors and stone panels are incorporated within the interior to create an elegant, modern space. The lightweight garments are hung along the walls according to collection and coordinated to match colours discreetly in a spacious manner. Walking through the space as a spatial designer helps me notice the subconscious techniques the designers used to allow the customers to interact and move through a commodious reservoir of clothes and accessories to take part of a great shopping experience. Its also noticeable that the tone of the store in kept to a minimum; as light music is played in the background, customers are manipulated into speaking in a lower tone to allow the space more superiority and elegance, which contributes to the feeling of being in a luxurious atmosphere.

The Top shop flagship store on Oxford Circus covers five floors and is contradictory to Max Mara. The vast store was busy with people walking in and out through the 25 minutes I’ve spent analysing the space. The space is segregated into zones with semiotics and graphics to differentiate each zone. This depicts a more casual edgy approach as opposed to clothing hung seamlessly through the space. An evident difference between the two stores are their customers. Countable woman within the age range of 25-35 are seen throughout the entire store in Max Mara, while Top Shop has countless people of all ages walking through and out. The style of the garnets are laid out differently as is almost confusing to me to understand which garment goes with each collection. Patterns, textures and different styled silhouette are placed or hung inordinately. The interior of the space is designed to basic and minimal standard and doesn’t outline a specific relation to the garments displayed. Music and lights are manipulated throughout the space which interlinks the space to the clothing being sold.

Although my opinion about Top Shop may seem critical, visiting the space was a fun experience as it was my first time visiting the store and could be considered as a fun fashion experience, though the atmosphere and ambiance of Max Mara is my preferred shopping environment as I tend to prefer going to places that are spacious and quiet.

Branding & the aesthetics of subcultures

Addressing the meaning and purpose of a brand comprises of three parts. To begin creating an understanding of a brand, it is important to realise what the key features of the brand is, some of which include the consistency, passion, competitiveness, audience knowledge, and uniqueness. Consumers rely on brands to be consistent with the quality of their services, and always expect the brand to deliver with quality the way they did the first time, or risk consumers moving onto their competitors due to inconsistency. McDonalds could be used as an example in this case; their menu is consistent across the world, and deliver the same flavours a customer is used to. No matter where a customer is in the world, a Big Mac sandwich would taste the same (Forbes.com, 2018). The powerhouse of a brand is driven by passion. The enthusiasm and triumph put into the service or a product a brand produces helps businesses thrive. Without passion, it is impossible to set a brand to succeed. Audience knowledge is the most crucial part in creating a brand. Analysing the demographics of a brands target audience, their needs and interests helps tailor the brands identity by reaching the correct set of audience and customers, and creating a connection between the business and the consumer (Forbes.com, 2018).
The second part to understanding a business is what makes it successful. “ “Successful brands stand for something. They have a philosophy, a purpose, and values that not only excite their customers, but their staff too.”(Dawood, 2018). A successful brand is easily recognised through its logo, product form and consumer group. The third stage to creating a brand is advertisement. Advertising has changed in the past few years and have become widely spread across social media by sponsoring bloggers, media influencers or even celebrities. Putting a famous face to a brand becomes instantly recognisable, reaching a wide range of customers and target groups across the world. Advertising for a brand could also be found on TV, commercials and billboards.

Defining the key elements of a brand above brings us to the concept of “subcultures”. We can conclude that a brand tailors its identity, product or service to reach its set target audience. Without conducting research into who their product or service is for, a brand’s identity is lost. Finding the right target group for each brand creates individuality, and at the same time, speaks to their customers and creates a connection between the buyer and the seller.

A subculture is a “cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture”. (Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2018). “Ultimately subcultures and their dress is about displaying resistant and deviance to to the parental cultural i.e. dominant culture in a visual and outward way. It is their ways of denouncing the cultural hegemony agenda and displaying their disagreement with the set of conditions they attempt to place on them and society at larger.” ( Slide 26, Branding & the aesthetics of subcultures). For example, Punks could be described as a “subculture”. The aesthetic of the group or “community” were rebelling against the social norm at the time (Thomas, 2001-2014), choosing to include body piercings, tattoos, dyed hair, painted faces and a unisex fashion code which included leather, fishnet stockings, graffitied shirts ect. (Hebdige, 1979, p.108 cited in ibid). The subculture was due to the extremely high unemployment rate which impacted the youth leading them to rebel with such fashion orientation (Barker, 2010, p.435).

Instantly after the subculture of punk was seen, the aesthetics emerged across the fashion world and had become a trend. Brands began to take onto the fashion and dress celebrities in a manner the subculture could relate to. In a photograph of Liz Hurley, the actress is seen in a dress titled ‘that dress’ by Versace which was a reaction to the trend ( Slide 42, Branding & the aesthetics of subcultures). The bold and revealing style of the dress was inspired by the trend. More of the trend is later on seen in fashion shows.

Concluding the idea of branding and subcultures, it can be said that a brand and a subculture have influence on one another. A brand would analyse and then direct a product or service to a specific group, and the consumer group would purchase the product or service as the brand loyalty and trust is formed between the two.

Dawood, S. (2018). What makes a brand successful? – Design Week. [online] Design Week. Available at: https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/5-11-october-2015/what-makes-a-brand-successful/ [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

Forbes.com. (2018). Forbes. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/11/12/the-top-7-characteristics-of-successful-brands/#1a2361ba42f9 [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2018). subculture | Definition of subculture in English by Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/subculture [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

Thomas, P. (2001-14). ‘1970s Punk Fashion History,’ Fashion Era. Available at: http://www.fashion- era.com/punks_fashion_history1.htm [Accessed on: 04 February 2018]

The Forgotten Space

The subject of the film Forgotten Space is the spatial imagination of globalisation, the sea and containerisation. Globalisation as a term could be defined as the process by which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected as a result of massively increased trade and cultural exchange. Its understood that globalisation has increased the production of goods and services (Bbc.co.uk, 2017). The concept of globalisation has more than one aspect contributing to it; money, people, and commodities.

Forgotten space talks about sea trade as a fundamental component of the world-industrial system trade. Two myths are introduced in the film, the first addressing the idea about the sea being nothing more than the remains of mercantilist space: a reserve of cultural and economic anachronisms; theories of an outdated economy. The second is that we live in a post-industrial society, that cybernetic systems and the service economy have radically made the ‘old economy’ of heavy material fabrication and processing insignificant.

It can be thought of the ocean as a link with no physical barrier that connects the world together. The cargo containers, a metal box revolutionised the transportation, loading and uploading, making the transportation more efficient and helping global trade through sea as they are easily transferred from ship to truck to train, saving space and time.  “The cargo containers carry goods manufactured by invisible workers on the other side of the globe” (Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2011). The film shifts between four port cities: Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Rotterdam and Bilbao, three of them being the largest in the world which are also known as super ports. Super ports handle millions of tonnes of cargo every year, transporting a wide range of goods around the world (ASCO, 2017). Till this day, over 90% of the worlds trade is transported in cargos through the sea. Without the revolution of cargo sea trade that began in the mid 1950s as a modest American improvement, the global factory would not exist, nor the phenomenon of globalization itself.

As the transportation and distribution links become accessible to all, negative sides to these developed connections emerge, making it less equal to all as factories begin looking for cheaper labour to make the most out of it. For example, a garment factory in Los Angeles or Hong kong closes down, only to open a factor of sewing machines and benches in suburbs of Guangzhou or Dacca Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, 2011).

Despite the negative aspects of cargo sea trading, globalisation has allowed for stronger business and personal bonds throughout the world as we are all interlinked. In the fast paced media oriented modern day we live in, these strong bonds are efficient, held to a high value and appreciated by the majority. As mentioned earlier, the film The forgotten Space gives an insight about the different globalisation concepts and how things flow and migrate across borders and not just people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allan Sekula & Noël Burch. (2011). The Forgotten Space

 

Bbc.co.uk. (2017). BBC – GCSE Bitesize: What is globalisation?. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/globalisation/globalisation_rev1.shtml [Accessed 1 Dec. 2017].

ASCO. (2017). Super Ports. [online] Available at: http://www.ascoworld.com/services/offshore-supply-base-management/super-ports [Accessed 2 Dec. 2017].

Space of consumption

The journey to Westfield Shopping Centre Stratford city felt as though I was getting to the last point in London. The name of the area “Stratford city” implies as though the mall is somewhere secluded from the rest of London, which almost felt that way for me, considering I wouldn’t travel that far to visit a place. Despite the long commute, Westfield shopping centre was a great place to use as an example of space of consumption. A few ideas and vocabularies could be used to describe the spatial experience, some of which include feelings, senses, lifestyles, class energy, bodies, ect.

Westfield centre is similar to most shopping centres considering the aesthetics, the arrangement of international brands and the popup shops in-between the international shops contribute to the feeling and atmosphere of a shopping centre. The term time and space compression could be used to refer to the function of a mall, as it accelerates the activities you’d usually undertake in a shorter span of time. Considering a person visited the mall to catch a movie, he/she would engage in different activities in the mall afterwards, for instance by going shopping or having dinner, which demonstrates the idea of time and space compression as the activities are an example of the destruction of spatial barriers and distances.

Westfield centre is family friendly, suitable for all ages and classes. The centre has a wide range of activities that friends or family could engage in, some include the cinema, the bowling alley, restaurants, a biodiversity playground that was designed for toddlers and junior aged children where they can explore the pond and interact with the giant 12 metre long fish, the frog, dragonfly, water lilies, footbridge and folded paper boats. An aspect from the Disneyization theory, Hybrid Consumption could be used to describe the function of this mall. The combination of services and products in one space is an attempt to retain the customers for longer, in the case of Westfield centre, they offer more than one form of entertainment for their visitors to engage in.

The mall boasts itself with an all inclusive design. Manual wheelchairs and motorised scooters are for customers to hire from the “Shop Mobility”. Other services like personal shopping, click and collect, kids services: kiddy cars for parents to hire and Parent Rooms where parents could head to change their toddles where they’ll find baby-changing tables, child-sized toilets and sinks, private areas for feeding, and microwaves. In addition, the rooms have a play area and television for older children.

There are other elements that increase the ability for customers to spend more time in the centre that relate to the aesthetics rather than the stores or services. The centres spaciousness and high glass ceilings allows for natural sunlight to shine through the mall which gives a sense of openness. The centre also includes seating areas spread across the mall for friends of family to rest on for a short period of time during their visit. In conclusion, many theories could be used to describe Westfield Shopping Centre and only a few were mentioned above. Having those in mind while visiting the centre was an eye opening experience.

Feeling Space

Sensory branding relates to our spatial experience through our senses, where the coordination of the elements of a certain space maximises the experience, which usually would make the customers wanting to repeat the visit. Our senses could maximise our memory of a certain space, often a smell could ignite a memory or feeling buried deep inside of us we thought we had forgotten about.

A case study about Habitat, a store selling furniture and household goods talks about the sensory orchestration and spatial experiences of the stores as well as the objects bought from the store itself. A few of the concepts the case study referred to were: taste, bodily dispositions, objects, ‘energy’, feelings, patterns of feelings, ‘democratic feelings’, and. historical change.

The novelist Angela Carter writes in her article for the magazine New Society that the purchasers tend to “live with their furniture, not alongside it”(Angela Carter, 1976) , which was an update on how people of the previous generations treated furniture. The store Habitat opened the year 1964, where previously, people had to book to view furniture whereas Habitat had the experience of informality, where people could come in, feel and handle the furniture or objects displayed.

Angela Carter uses the term sensorial orchestration to describe Habitat’s store as a whole. Although Habitats merchandise is fashionably basic and could be found in a number of boutique shops, the store integrates different sensorial elements, like smells and sounds or experiences like cooking, living, parenting, socialising, inhabiting, and so on to draw their customers attention in order to have them wanting to come back and experience the store all over again.

The case study states many ideas about historical change in relation to the store itself and the people in general throughout the generations, The historian Raphael Samuel describes the change of “the new middle class” as ” outward-looking rather than inward-looking. They have opened up their homes to visitors, and exposed them to the public gaze. They have removed the net curtains from their windows, and taken down the shutters from their shops. They work in open-plan offices and establishments, with plate-glass windows and see through partitions and doors. In their houses they make a fetish of light and space, replacing rooms with open-access living areas and exposing the dark corners to view. They turn servants’ attics into penthouses and make basements into garden flats. Back yards blossom out as patios; kitchens are aestheticised; even the lavatory is turned into a miniature folly. ” ( Raphael Samuel, 1982)

Feeling a space, or in other terms sensory branding completely changes the experience and outlook a visitor or customer could have about the place. It resides in our memory and we are always reminded of the experience when our senses relate a certain object,   smell or sound to the experience we previously had. Our senses are strongly connected to our memory, therefore its likely for us to recall a visit to a store like Habitat.

1. Angela Carter, ‘What the Hell – It’s Home!’ in Shaking
a Leg: Collected Journalism and Writings, Vintage, London, 2013, p205. Originally published in New Society, 13 May 1976. Henceforth What the Hell.

 

2- Raphael Samuel, ‘The SDP and
the New Middle Classes’, New Society, 22 April 1982, reprinted in Island Stories: Unravelling Britain (Theatres of Memory, Volume II), Verso, London 1998, p258. Henceforth The SDP.

 

Sensory Design: An Architecture of the Seven Senses by Juhani Pallasmaa

Sight: ‘retinal architecture’
Hearing: ‘acoustic intimacy’
Smell: ‘space of scent’
Touch: ‘shape of touch’
Taste: ‘taste of architecture’
Movement (vestibular): ‘images of muscle and bone’
Bodily awareness (proprioception): ‘bodily identification’

 

Once again, Juhani Pallasmaa pushes our thought boundaries even higher when he came up with the seven senses of architecture. It almost seemed like it was a bizarre concept to accept at first, as we’re all used to just five senses; sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste which are updated with movement and bodily awareness when it comes to architecture. In this article, i will neither agree nor disagree with Juhani Pallasma, nonetheless, i’ll explain each of the 5 senses we’re familiar with briefly, then go in-depth about the two new senses we’ve now become aware about.

When it comes to the sense of smell, one of the strongest senses we have, for it is directly linked to our memory, humans are able to recall a place from a particular smell. Moving on to the sense of touch, “The door handle is the handshake of the building” was one of the lines that summed up the sense of touch in the architecture world. A person is able to feel the texture, weight, density and temperature of surfaces with a gentle stroke. With a quick gaze upon the surface a human can instantly identify the tactility of a surface, therefore the sense of sight and touch are very closely related (Pallasmaa, J.). Sight/Vision is associated to the sense of taste. Pallasmaa argues that you’re able to sense the gentle coldness of a delicately polished stone surface with your tongue by using your visual sense. When it comes to hearing, Pallasmaa suggests the idea that tranquility is the key experience of architecture. The experience of the hearing sense in architecture in theory is linked to time, silence and solitude. The commotion of building resolves in utter silence and solitude (Pallasmaa, J.).

Concept stimulate the mind, flat design

The sense of bodily awareness’ theory is that just as a bird frames its nest, our body reacts to the surrounding space genuinely, for instance, our body naturally has the ability to measure the steps we take before climbing a staircase, shift sideways as we go through a tight door, or feel spaciousness within when walking through an infinite park. Bodily identification in architecture is about the self-consciousness and awareness of a person within a space which consequently affects how we experience a building (Pasqualini, Llobera, and Blanke, 2013). Movement, balance, distance and scale are felt by architects unconsciously within their skeleton, muscular system and inner organs.

Pallasmaa’s seven senses idea truly gave a great insight on how architecture affects our senses, and his addition of the two senses truly only works in the world of architecture, but with that being said, his mythological theories always serve to a great knowledge on space.

Pallasmaa, J. (no date) An architecture of seven senses. Available at: https://marywoodthesisresearch.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/an-architecture-of-the-seven-senses_pallasmaa.pdf (Accessed: 24 February 2017)

Pasqualini, I., Llobera, J. and Blanke, O. (2013) ‘“Seeing” and “feeling” architecture: How bodily self-consciousness alters architectonic experience and affects the perception of interiors’, Frontiers in psychology., 4.

Exhibition Review: Do Ho Suh: Passage/s: Victoria Miro

Do Ho Suh: Passage/s: Victoria Miro

16 Wharf road, In North London seemed like it was the last point in London to me, as it took me almost an hour to get there because of the traffic and upsetting weather. When my impatient self finally found the 16 Wharf road, I was absolutely stumped because I had no clue which building it was, as they all looked alike and the entrance door was slightly hidden in between brick walls along with the sign.

img_7759

Entering the gallery, the spaciousness and silence of the visitors observing the signature architectural pieces compressed into 2D drawings of Do Ho Suh gave me a sense of calmness. In order to move on to the next section of the gallery, we had to walk out then into the patio with beautiful greenery along the path drawn with carpets. On the third floor, the one-to-one scale bright translucent fabric structures stood out. Being an interactive structure, walking through the translucent structures gave visualised Suh’s idea with more meaning. The one to one scale structures shapes ideas about migration, transience and shifting identities. Inspired by his nomadic life, Suh replicated the architectural characteristics of the places he lived or worked in, in order to form the idea of home being both a physical structure and a lived experience (Do ho Suh: Passage/s, 2016). The idea is then taken further where the transition and connection of spaces between rooms with corridors is a metaphor about movement between cultures and the blurred line of public and private, but also reflecting on Suh’s own life and the experience of living in several countries and developing roots(Do ho Suh: Passage/s, 2016).

img_7765

The gallery was worth visiting, mainly for being interactive. The passage between each structure was a new concept that’s not used very often and therefore it made Do Ho Suh’s work unique. Its a great place to take pictures for all the bright colours make wonderful photographs. Also, the details and effort that are put into each structure was captivating. Since I was in Victoria Miro anyway, I checked out the other gallery; Parasol unit, Tschabalala self. The portraits were contemporary and used Fabric, flashe, and acrylic paint.

 

Do ho Suh: Passage/s (2016) Available at: https://www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/501/ (Accessed: 26 February 2017).

IDEO

IDEO is known as a pioneer of human-centered design—putting people at the center of our work. This approach has come to be known as design thinking. Their methods continue to advance in response to new challenges, for instance by launching innovation labs, creating pop-up incubators, live-prototyping new businesses, and designing in code. (IDEO).

Participatory design is an approach taken by certain design groups that aim to actively involve the public in the design process to ensure that the results meet their needs. IDEO, a global design company is knows as a pioneer of human centred design. Their methods involve helping large organisations move quickly and small companies thrive by putting the needs of people first. They also link technology to everyday needs and design human centred products, services and organisations that empower communities, cities and countries.

A project that caught my attention was the Designing the Future Kitchen project. Undertaken with the help of IDEO, Ikea and a group of students from Lund and Eindhoven universities explored the   social, technological, and demographic forces that are expected to influence human behaviour around food in 2025. After months of analysing peoples notion and attitudes on cooking and eating, IDEO guided them as they built the concept kitchen products(Concept kitchen 2025, 2015).

After watching the tutorial video of how the kitchen table is used, I was captivated by the final outcome. The prototype worked magnificently and brought the counter top to life. A camera observes what happens on the table and graphics are projected back onto the surface. Not only is it a preparation surface and dining table, it would be used as a work bench and children’s play area. Suggestions are made based on the foods you have available at home, time and effort you’re willing to put in a recipe. With advice given on how to cut and prepare certain foods, this table should cut down prep time. Also equipped with a scale, baking batters where never this easy to prepare. Temperature settings could also be modified on the kitchen table, allowing you to boil, fry or sear with a set timer.

I truly found IDEO to be inspirational in many different forms, but creating a table for living for humans of the future based on our behaviours today seems like an exceptional idea only IDEO could undertake and succeed in assembling.

Concept kitchen 2025 (2015) Available at: http://conceptkitchen2025.ideo.london (Accessed: 8 February 2017).

Ideo Available at: https://www.ideo.com/eu/about (Accessed: 8 February 2017).

Dieter Rams- 10 Principles of Good Design

Dieter Rams, a German professor emeritus and industrial designer came up with 10 principles of good design. In a few words, most of his points made sense to our modern day products. Rams made a few good points on how a well curated product design would last longer, preserve our environment and would be innovative and powerful. I chose to talk about two of Dieter Rams’ points, both of which that i disagree with.

The first principle of a “good design is unobtrusive. Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression” (Dieter Rams). I disagree with Dieter Rams on this point. I believe that at times, a product is designed not only to service a purpose but to be used as a decorative tool. In our world today, we not only look for products to make our lives better, but to also have them around our home for decorative purposes. All products nowadays are made to look unique and to fit our high expectations of products, therefore all products are curated to fit that standard.  An example of a product designed not only to fit its purpose could be any kitchen appliance. A coffee machine in a kitchen would not only be used to freshly brew coffee but its design depicts modernness and gives the outlook of a reputation built for the purpose of prestige.

The second principle by Dieter Rams is a “good design is aesthetic. The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful” (Dieter Rams). In this principle, Dieter was going against what he said previously about a good design being unobtrusive, “ products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art” (Dieter Rams 10 Principles Of Good Design). Here, Rams was saying that only skilfully carried out objects could be beautiful, forgetting that he said that an object should neither be a decorative object or work of art. On another note, I believe that at times, objects don’t have to be beautiful in order to fulfil their purpose. For example, having an authentic piece of furniture in a modern place would give the place a fresher outlook.

In conclusion, some of the points Dieter said made sense and have good reasoning, but I chose to talk about two of the points i do not completely agree with because I believe that in our modern world, we do look for more than one thing in the products/objects we buy.

“Dieter Rams 10 Principles Of “Good Design””. ArchDaily. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 Jan. 2017. http://www.archdaily.com/198583/dieter-rams-10-principles-of-%25e2%2580%259cgood-design%25e2%2580%259d