- Tapa dura: 256 páginas
- Editor: Chronicle Books; Edición: 01 (1 de julio de 2005)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0811847659
- ISBN-13: 978-0811847650
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
Blobjects and Beyond: The New Fluidity in Design (Inglés) Tapa dura – 1 jul 2005
Descripción del producto
Reseña del editor
Published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name at the San Jose Museum in March 2005, Blobjects and Beyond is a survey and critical review of new designs in all categories, which celebrate and explore amorphic, organic, protoplasmic, and other 'blobby' forms. From the famed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to Karim Rashid's housewares and furniture, to the iMac, blobjects are not faddish items, they are the direction that products have been going in for more than a decade, and represent the future of design. Driven by the escalating creative power of software and the exponentially decreasing cost of hardware, advances in modeling technology and new abilities to mold and form plastics of myriad types, the blobject is enjoying a worldwide explosion. Featuring examples of industrial design, architecture, graphic design, digital media, furniture, and fashion design from the last 15 years, the book and exhibition focus on widely available consumer products, but also include limited-production goods, individually crafted and customized pieces, one-of-a-kind conceptual projects, and examples of fine art that straddle the line between art and design.
Biografía del autor
Steven Skov Holt is the distinguished professor of industrial design at California College of the Arts and former editor of I.D. magazine. Mara Holt Skov is an independent curator. She and Steven live in San Francisco. Phil Patton is a design critic and journalist for the New York Times, contributing editor to Esquire, Wired, and I.D., and the author of several books. Bruce Sterling is a celebrated science fiction novelist and technology writer, and a regular contributor to Wired magazine.
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My most memorable blobject moment was in 1991 and involved the new Mazda 121. I smiled. I softened. I succumbed. Having made my emotional choice I rationalised that this bubble-ish, bun-ish, egg-ish form was most logical for enclosing and perambulating human beings. From that moment all other car bodies in my price range looked uptight, try-hard and boringly predictable. I bought my Mazda 121 before they lost the plot by adding a spoiler to the bustle-like boot and soon noticed smiles on passing motorists and pedestrians as they too enjoyed a moment that lightened their day. Attempts to disparage my choice with references to Minnie Mouse shoes simply affirmed my feeling that the cuteness was laced with stroppy defiance.
Steven Skov Holt, former editor of I. D. magazine and now distinguished professor of industrial design at California College of the Arts, coined the term `blobject' in the late 1980s. While asserting that these fluid forms fulfil universal emotional and psychological needs, he admits to the possibility of a personal, tangible reason for his own gut response. Being a kidney transplant recipient since the age of twenty-one, now awaiting a second transplant while on dialysis, he is well positioned to contemplate elements of ephemeral desire and basic survival in our reaction to globular objects.
Skov Holt has worked with his wife Mara Holt Skov to create this impressive book which is itself an object to behold. Art director Gregory Holm and designer Fez Janssens are to be commended for honouring the accessible text with a visual feast that is engaging and digestible. It is surprisingly refreshing to read a book where designs referred to in the text are illustrated on the same page. The fact that the text gets me arguing various points with the authors is a big plus. Their ability to articulate the intangible, poetic issues that really interest designers enables a robust dialogue.
The authors imply that trends in architecture and directions in product design generate similar formal outcomes. While this may have been the case during the gothic period, and in more recent times when obsessive minimalism has delineated all in its path, there are many instances of compatible contrast. Post-war modernist designers like Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames designed both rational, straight-lined buildings and fluid, organic furniture to inhabit them (although Saarinen did design curvilinear buildings as well). In fact the pages of this book demonstrate a truth that made Reubens, Renoir and Hefner successful - curvaceous, voluptuous forms look great on rectangular canvasses and pages.
Although the book is about "the new fluidity in design" the authors acknowledge twentieth century precedents beginning with Jean Arp's 1916 exploration of `unreasoned order'. But the earliest mass produced blobject I have found (apart from teddy bears) is a c. 1913 Royal Winton Mecca Foot Warmer at the Matakohe Kauri Museum (New Zealand).
Examples of the "exuberance of postwar blobby form" showing up in biomorphic interior, swimming pool and garden designs are included along with Henry Moore sculptures, Mickey Mouse and the Muppets. But why only draw on twentieth century blobject heritage? A Renaissance cherubim, a neolithic zoo-morphic Chinese pot and the palaeolithic Venus of Willendorf (c. 20,000 - 22,000 BC) would have looked at home in this book.
The authors assert that the most recent blossoming of the blobject cycle began with Marc Newson's 1986 Lockhead Lounge and 1988 Embryo chair, and they present Karim Rashid as "the prolific leader of the international blobject phenomenon." Although Frog Design's form-follows-emotion `soft-tech' work of the late 1970s is mentioned, Newsom, Starck, Lovegrove and Rashid are promoted as the leaders. "Within a scant few years, their fluid message had already been received and absorbed by other designers, ..." But this does not explain how the Merryware Body Brush appeared in New Zealand in 1980 or Fane Flaws came to set up practice as No Straight Lines.
The idea that trends involve a few leaders inspiring many followers does not sit well with creative professionals. Parallel intuitive evolutions and revolutions creating the next logical phase in the continuum are more likely. Unless Rupert Sheldrake is right about morphic resonance.
In a chapter entitled The Kandy-Kolored Blobject Bruce Sterling suggests that designers were liberated from the "severe limitations of paper, T square, and mechanical pencil" by the "digital world of infinite `undos' [where] flights of fluid whimsy come cheap." Sterling is a science fiction writer, not a designer, so he has not enjoyed formative experiences with clay and rigid foam. The computer created, injection moulded examples he draws on, Newson's 1997 Titan soap dish for Alessi and the 1998 iMac, were preceded in New Zealand by Peter Tasker's 1994 SimcroTech vaccinator - a product that I credited in PRODESiGN magazine as "finding the fun in function".
Readers seeking academic discipline may be frustrated by rationale as fluid as the forms it attempts to analyse, but most designers will relish the ambiguity, contradiction and paradox. Having examined the blobject from all non-angles, including essays by Sterling on the `chromified' and Phil Patton on `cutensils', Skov Holt and Holt Skov suggest that the blobby bubble of optimism was burst by 9/11and replaced by a darker direction. Are they saying that the emergence of a designer-led perpetually plump, ripe-for-the-picking-cum-lava-lamp lifestyle was interrupted by terrorists?
Our hearts will always melt in the face of cute, cuddly-wuddly, chubby-chops innocence. Our spines will continue to tingle in response to luscious, liquid loquaciousness. This book is a very useful vehicle for exploring and contesting that field of form language to which Karim Rashid claims to have added the terms `sensual minimalism', `technorganics', `pleasurtronics' and `orgonomics'. But before we extrapolate the evidence to suggest that the soft and sensuous will rule the world, we should realise that it would be possible align designs from exactly the same period to support a book entitled Straight Line Rules.
[First pulished in PRODESiGN 81 Feb/Mar 2006]