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Bruno Munari and the invention of modern graphic design in Italy, – This research examines Bruno Munari's work as a graphic designer from the late. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site. PDF | On Jul 17, , Marnie Campagnaro and others published Chapter 8. Bruno Munari's visual mapping of the city of Milan: Landscapes.
For each of the fields, the term performs a different content. Within the framework of this paper, the word, design refers mainly to the discipline of industrial product design. Design is defined as the conscious decision making process by which information an idea is transformed into an outcome, be it tangible product or intangible service Von Stamm, Innovation however is mainly related to technology, innovative thinking keeps a closer link to the design discipline.
With the recognition of the increasing importance of innovation mainly for economic success, more attention is drawn towards the research to innovate. Today the core of the process of designing results as a core strategic tool for management and innovation.
Being a part of a whole creative process, designers are considered to be tolerant of ambiguity, ask questions, see possibilities, be divergent thinkers, risk takers and perceive the world differently Von Stamm, Since innovation is associated with accepting high levels of ambiguity and uncertainty, original thinking, passion to drive the idea through to conclusion, willingness to take risk and the ability to inspire others, the overlapping characteristics of both of the fields warrant the bare link.
Since when the input of design in business as an economic value has gained attention, the two fields both in professional and educational ground have come closer to establish new models for innovation. With reference to a recent research made on the teaching of innovation within the Product Design and Development education programmes in the US Fixson, , we see that majority of the design education programmes aim at educating inventors rather than conventional professional experts using educational methods less traditional, more explorative in nature and collaborative in style.
Innovation is not a one time action or activity; it is a mindset therefore the educational system that leads to nurture innovative mindset needs to be explored.
From this contemporary context, the situation offers a new vision towards design education. As innovative approach gains importance, we see the main problem arising as; can innovation be taught? The evidence of the bare relationship between creativity, design and innovation needs to be underlined.
Design education creates a mindset, a way of seeing and thinking. It is a process with a series of experiential exercises. The aim of the paper is to set out and to explore the inter-relations between innovation-creativity-design and design education. To be able to draw attention to this process, the purpose is to analyze the experiential creation methods of Bruno Munari as a reference case study.
In the first part of the paper will focus on the structure of design education with its interrelations in art. The learning model and the methods will be briefly set out. Then the second part of the paper will capture the analysis of the case of Bruno Munari; his methods towards art and design education, his works as examples of innovation, and his contribution in research of sustaining the relationship of creative education through experiential and experimental approaches.
Art and design education: Creative production; be it an art piece or a product, is a research process seeking a diverse way of seeing, interpreting or communicating. Creative mind does not always have an innate characteristic. Everyone can have the capacity to think creatively.
But the artistic background due to art education focuses on creativity that makes the field a unique creative resource.
As the learning experience gets more concrete towards the base of the cone, the learning outcomes such as; analyzing, designing, creating, evaluating demonstrate more permanent characteristics. The learner participates actively and the outcome is a concrete process: As the sources of creative activity are thinking, looking, doing Read, ; the link between experiential learning and creativity becomes more evident. Design elements used within the basic design syllabus are: Of all educational approaches, experiential learning methods offer the greatest hope for learning which is genuinely, personally meaningful.
And of all curriculum areas, it is surely art and design in which such methods sit most closely with its own goals and values Salmon, Design education: Munari Within the system of education we can draw that; designing is an action that is driven by the combination of aesthetic instincts and scientific instincts.
Design education has adopted itself to the changing function of design throughout history due to the changing consumption, production and competitiveness patterns. At the beginning of the century and especially during the post war period, design gained importance as an aesthetic element on objects. As the function shifted from pleasure to differentiation, the concern and the content of the design problem has been diversified. Product design and development is an inherently creative act: Research on product innovation indicates that high-performing firms make extensive use of experimentation.
The structure of design education is project based. After problem definition, experiential hand-on work is performed as a tacit learning process in a cooperation of the students and the instructor.
Bauhaus, being the first official design school, set the characteristics of the design education over the last century. The base of creative production is stressed with production.
As the founder of the first design school, Walter Gropius states: It is the prime source of all creative work. Product design is related to constructive education as crafts; it is related to thought Read, Bruno Munari: Munari 2. Munari was born in and died in in Milan, Italy. He has been very productive till his late ages. It is quiet complicated to sum-up his life-time production as artist, painter, sculptor, designer, illustrator, graphic designer, photographer, movie maker, writer, poet and educator.
At a very early age, he began his artistic work in the cultural area of Futurism under the influence of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the father of the Italian avant-garde movement.
Soon he moves away from the influence of Futurism to explore new fields within an extremely personal and singular research on the border of art, design and visual communication. After World War II, he began to get involved in the field of industrial products, lay-outs and prototypes for many important companies and started to investigate the field of education concerning children.
He published his first books for children. His collaboration as an art director with important companies like Olivetti, helped him to gain prominence in Italy and internationally. In the following years, he continued his researches and he started teaching a course in visual communication at Harvard University in His contribution to Italian Design can be observed well in the field of industrial design, during the period from to During these years, Munari designed various furniture and furnishing accessories like tables, chairs, bookcases, lamps, ashtrays, trolleys.
In the last years of his career, he was mostly involved in visual communication and artistic education, organizing and taking an active role in lectures, courses, seminars and workshops for children, teachers and adults as well. He collaborated with schools, institutions and museums all over the world, such as Venezuela, Israel, Spain, US, France, and especially Japan.
Throughout his career, he received many international awards. Some of the most important can be listed as: Compasso d'Oro, an important Italian design award which he received three times, the Honorable Mention from the New York Academy of Sciences, an award from the Japan Design Foundation for the intensely human value of his creations, and the Andersen Award for being the best author of children's books. Munari as an artist, designer and educator His approach towards art and design is characterized by a great sense of humor, which can be traced since the beginning of his activities.
Munari used a pedagogic method that inquires the development of creative processes in children, through learning, playing and having fun. After World War II, he launched the experiential, interactive books called the I Prelibri or the Books before Books, which were made to deconstruct the concept of a book. They were pre-reading experiences for children who haven't been taught to read yet, giving them the possibility to explore a book sometimes with only colored or blank pages, or with different materials and shapes.
Exploring these special books, page by page, the child could enjoy a book interacting through the five senses. He designed approximately forty illustrated books that are still in edition and translated in several languages. His artistic production aimed a criticism.
He charged the designer with a mission to re-establish the contact between art and the public, in his words; between living people and art as living Munari, Bruno Munari as a designer was able to move the design practice into the field of art or, better, to move the industrial process towards art, where he was able to give a more artistic touch to his design products. The creation of the lamp was a study of a spontaneous form which was achieved by an artificial material used for stockings.
He described the formal components of the lamp as; the elasticity of the material used, the tension provided by metal rings of various sizes and the weight Munari, Figure 1.
Falkland Lamp by Munari, Still in production as a design classic. With this intensive research on design and visual experimentations, he has had a constant and fertile writing activity.
The Munari Method For Munari, with his identity both as a designer and as an educator, the world of design represents a material aspect of a great amount of experimental investigations. His experimentations as games for children include keywords such as: Figure 2. Bruno Munari during a workshop with children Munari believed that anyone could produce objects of aesthetic value, given the proper technological advantages. A picture made by pouring on paint at random. For example. But what about the art critics whose job it is to explain these things and make them clear?
What have they got to say about it? They say that here we have a lyric poem in pure frontal visuality that avoids three-dimensional language in order to reinstate man in the field of semantic-entropic discourse so as to achieve a new dimension that is.
And yet the three-dimensional picture is behind glass in a gilt frame and the two-dimensional statue is on a pedestal. And in fact you only have to go to a proper museum to see what visual art really is. That painting is done with oil on canvas. A toothpaste tube twelve yards long. A blown-up detail of a strip-cartoon. Ten one pound tins of the same. How are they to come to terms with these contradictions? But this is nothing compared with what they might meet with later on.
How is it that our times are producing such works of art? A realistic monochrome picture of a lavatory seat. That the most beautiful art is that of the distant past. A postcard of Portsmouth twelve feet by six. Then perhaps these children happen to see an exhibition of modern sculpture. It will bear witness to how indulgent we solid men are towards the wicked artist.
It is not true to say that all posters today are the same. That is why young people are all in love with the Beatles and live in houses with good solid nineteenth-century pictures. Why have we become like gods as technologists and like devils as moral beings.
How is one to distinguish at a glance between a motor-tyre poster with female figure and one for a fizzy drink with ditto? There once was a company that always put lots of women in its advertisements.
We must introduce the notion of character. Now we have countless cameras clicking away and taking exactly the same sort of photo for every product. There are differences. And vice versa. And as this Rule is a General Rule. It therefore seems plain to me that we must add a footnote to the General Rules for making a good poster. He has a style of his own.
These Rules are arrived at by Research and Questionnaires which are then boiled down into Statistics. But the style should rather be that of the thing being advertised.
It has to be this way because the Public wishes it so. They depend on the taste of the artist. Only a knowledge of their experiments can provide the distinctive quality posters need if they are to be something more than general information aimed at everyone and no one. Looking at the techniques of the past we notice that a human face made in mosaic has a different structure from one painted on a wall.
They are not classical artists or romantic artists. The problem is therefore how to give individual character to images. How can we do this? We have. We may also look for all possible linear connections between the features. I mean living culture. There are products which already have strongly distinct characters of their own.
The features — eyes. In the same way if one is thinking of making a face out of glass. Look at a book of contemporary photographs and you will see for yourself. His experiments in the visual lead him to try out all possible combinations and methods in order to arrive at the precise image he needs for the job in hand. And by culture I do not mean what is taught in schools and can readily be found in books. There are thousands of ways of photographing or drawing the human face.
Or if we imagine seeing this face through a pane of glass with lettering on it. There must be coherence between the product and the forms and colours used. A poster recommending concentrated soups is designed to reach a different public from one announcing the call-up of conscripts into the armed forces.
But posters and advertising in general are nearly always totally divorced from culture. Visual characterization makes for directness and immediacy..
Communication must be instant and it must be exact. Variations on the Theme of the Human Face In how many ways and with what techniques can one produce variations on the human face seen from the front? The graphic designer works without set limits and without rejecting any possible technique. These we seize at a glance. They have what might be called sonic form. The lines straight or curved. A graphic symbol for a cosmetic cannot be the same as one for coal. Some words. For the sake of this exercise we must keep to full-face.
But this can only happen if we preserve the general shape of the word. Such an exercise as this helps a graphic designer to find the image best adapted to a given theme. That is. We are of course referring to printed. This is especially the case with words we are used to reading — or forced to read — every day: The Shape of Words Not only does each letter of a word have a shape of its own.
The graphic designer usually makes hundreds of small drawings and then picks one of them. Knowledge of the shape of words and the possibilities these offer for communication can be very useful to the graphic designer when he comes to make warning signs that have to be taken in quickly.
One can go even further. This gives a clearer idea of the shape of the word. An experiment anyone can make is to cut out the letters of a newspaper title. The graphic designer can also operate in this field. Klee once wrote a poem and filled the spaces between the letters with various colours. The reading time of posters is often varied by the use of. Quick legibility is the quality required most of all for roadsigns.
In this way our reading has been slowed down and the message retarded in the interests of a quite bogus aesthetic standard. Poems and Telegrams It is certainly quite wrong to read a poem in a hurry. The Futurists composed their tavole parolibere according to this principle. And I will go further and say that each text. When we are sitting in an armchair reading a good book we need to slow down our reading speed. For rapid reading the type must be simple and clear.
The result was that the words revealed themselves to the consciousness in slow motion. A poem only communicates if read slowly: Though some contemporary poems do in fact have as few words as the average telegram. Though it is commonly done. They are poems struck off at random. Not everyone sees pictures in the fire. The stains on old walls simply look like stains to him. Leonardo da Vinci saw trees. The shape of a cloud. Two in One Two images in one. But at the same time it is very tiring to the eye.
If you do not know what a Bunstable is you will never see one anywhere. The same thing happens with the grain of wood or marble. It depends on what they are looking at. This is done so as not to split the words and create time-gaps in the middle of them. On old walls. It depends on the person looking. Not a word of explanation is needed.
Shakespeare saw whales and camels in the clouds. Some posters and advertisements are read at two or three different speeds. In some publications that have artistic pretensions the printed text is lined up on the left while the right-hand margin is left ragged. The detailed outlines of the individual parts are so arranged as to make up a picture of a car.
Simple Simon looks at the clouds and just sees clouds. To a certain extent. In such a case the second image works on the subconscious and may well have a more lasting effect. We have a historical example in the paintings of Arcimboldi. To neglect the rules is dangerous. In this case no one may do as he wants to.
Roadsigns are the best known. Our movements on the roads are rigorously controlled: Simultaneous superimposed images may for example be useful in a poster showing a hand composed of cigarettes holding a cigarette. Even tramps use a sign language to tell each other if they can go to a certain place.
Each sign and each symbol has an exact meaning that is recognized the world over: And one can formulate fairly exact rules for it. Today there are trademarks. In the old days there were the symbols of heraldry. We are already conditioned to doing what these signs tell us to do. A Language of Signs and Symbols? Many of our activities today are conditioned by signs and symbols. These double images may either be obvious or concealed. But joking apart.
One can present an image with the merest suggestion of another image in it. Each of us is part of the larger organism of human society. A big triangle with three small ones alongside means that one should spin a really tear-jerking yarn I imagine that the big triangle is the wife and the little ones her starving children.
It might be put into words in this way: I am in a narrow place between rain and snow. In these ancient scripts the signs have one value as image or idea when they are alone. This principle.
Tell a tear-jerking tale. Everyone naturally knows road signs because you have to learn them if you want to drive a car. In a certain sense the plan of an electric circuit composed of symbols and connections is nothing less than a synthetic discourse of component parts. But when the signs used in other fields. If we suppose all these signs and symbols to be already known to the reader. The narrative should be clear enough.
We can express the weather with meteorological signs. We shall try to use the symbols as the words are used in a poem: Maybe it is not possible to tell them all apart. Will something like this be the international language of the near future? In limited ways perhaps it might. They exist in the catalogue of an American company which produces plastics.
Think of it. Or rather. Attempt at a poem: Rain on the firing switch end of precedence In meteorology and electronics it is already used.
Rood Red. Twelve thousand colours. But it has not yet been used to tell a story. In this case it is the roughness or smoothness of the surface which determines the variation. By the time we have finished we will be extremely tired and our strip of paper will be several miles long. On the same strip. Add one drop of black to the red and paint another disc. But try asking the waiter for yellow wine and all you will get is a pitying. Red silk is different from chalk of the same colour.
But in the first place we must distinguish black and white from the colours proper. I am sure that you are prepared to take my word for it and not insist on making the experiment for yourselves to test me out. If we take. We can then repeat the operation starting with another red. Jones is therefore attempting the impossible in trying to match the velvet of her sofa with her sitting-room walls. Brown is in fact the colour with the most variations because it can be nearly red.
Take this red. It is true that the list we gave at the beginning was very basic. There is another American catalogue with a modest 1. Every colour changes according to the material in which it is fixed. Then we start with a red with two drops of yellow added…. But even if we named all the colours we can think of we would still not reach This catalogue might be very useful for someone planning a large uniform edition of books. Unfortunately people talk of colours too loosely.
Each colour is reproduced and numbered. A smooth surface reflects the light and the colour is more intense. You will now realize that twelve thousand colours exist. Then let us take it towards a dark corner of the room. What colour is white wine? We could for example list all the various reds. So we may in theory set about obtaining a great number of colours in the following way: How does one arrive at such a vast number of colours?
There are various methods. But the story of colours does not end there. Then another drop. The same thing goes for all the other posters nearby. It usually happens that when someone cannot keep his end up in an argument he begins to shout. It is a way of getting information across to the average passer-by. You will find that some are yellow. A poster for soap. It must jump out at you. We already know that a certain detergent washes white. Any knowledge of the world we live in is useful. And the worst thing of all is that there are thousands of them all bellowing at you in satanic discord.
They probably meant that a poster must stand out a mile from the other posters displayed around it in the street. In this way he does not add anything new to his argument. Do you know what colour a sheet of white paper is? Would it be a good thing if people were taught to know their colours? I certainly think so.
Not having studied the exact techniques of visual communication. Many posters want to make themselves heard at all costs. A triangle offers three escape routes. Even today you will find this basic design used for countless posters. This is the Japanese flag.
Now his office is furnished with exquisite taste. The eye is in fact accustomed to making its escape at the points or corners of things.
A photo of a globe. The poster is accepted and printed. On the other hand one sometimes sees posters so jaded they seem to have been deliberately camouflaged. There is nothing in the least gaudy about it. The colours are muted. Basic pattern of a poster in the form of the Japanese flag. Why is such a simple design so effective? Because the white background isolates the disc from everything around it. There is one basic kind of poster that graphic designers often use.
The picture hanging on the wall beside it looks like a washed out photograph. The space around the disc isolates the image from any other near-by forms. A circle has no corners. It probably happens like this. This sketch is full size. It has to tear itself away. The eye is attracted by the dark disc and has no way of escaping. How is this basic pattern used in a poster? The disc may represent or become a tomato.
In these surroundings the poster. Posters are usually designed as single entities. Poster without End Is it possible to make a poster of unlimited dimensions. Besides this. These lead it out and away from the poster. Every figurative element of the poster that is cut by the right-or left-hand edge will inevitably combine in some unforeseen way with the poster next door. On the other hand it is a mistake to divide the surface of a poster into different blocks of colour or print.
Here the left hand side must know what the right hand is doing. A poster three foot by five. If as in a recent example two faces in profile are looking into the poster from right and left. If some form is cut in half by the right-hand margin. This never happens to posters with a central image.
Now it often happens that a poster is simply not designed to be displayed side by side with its twin. But there is a way of getting round this problem. The eye wanders over the surface and is continually forced to follow the dividing lines between the light and dark sections. Such a poster fades too easily into its surroundings. Basic pattern of a poster cut up into separate sections. The edges of a poster are therefore worthy of special consideration.
In any case one can never ignore them when one designs a poster. This poster gets across its message even if you just catch a glimpse of it. It is hard to say for sure whether it is one poster or many. The eye is attracted by this interplay of various combinations. The red background holds the whole thing together.
An Italian example of this — but of a product sufficiently well known to English readers — is the Campari advertisement displayed in underground stations. In this particular case the series can only run horizontally. They may serve as neutral areas to isolate one poster from the others around it. The motif which links one poster with its neighbour can also be quite distinct from the thing advertised.
It is therefore in certain cases possible to design posters on the same lines as wallpaper. The graphic form is contained within two squares. Such a mark must be legible even if reduced to the smallest proportions. Christian and Greek writing. Various working stages are visible in this sketch. It will then be the child who makes contact with you. Children generally regard such persons with the utmost severity. To enter the world of a child or a cat the least you must do is sit down on the ground without interrupting the child in whatever he is doing.
Children do not understand what on earth they want. Every day you see some old woman approach a child with terrible grimaces and babble idiocies in a language full of booes and cooes and peekiweekies. He is trying to understand the world he is living in. Then he will go on to read and understand things of ever increasing complexity. The great thing is to make a good impression.
Twenty-four hours make one whole day and one whole night. He will pretend to understand. In twelve hours the sun rises and sets. Put your hand on it and feel it. We must look at the calendar: A good book for children aged three to nine should have a very simple story and coloured illustrations showing whole figures drawn with clarity and precision. But what does the publisher think about all this? He thinks that it is not children who buy books. After this the clock is no good to us anymore.
They are bought by grown-ups who give them as presents not so much to amuse the child as to cut a sometimes coldly calculated dash with the parents. Your heart goes tick tock. Very amusing and instructive stories. Other things that a child will not understand are: Listen to it. Children are extraordinarily observant. A book must therefore be expensive. After sixty minutes an hour will have passed. Lots of grownups never noticed this curious fact.
It is obvious that there are certain events that a child knows nothing of because he has never experienced them. In a book of mine in which I tried out the possibilities of using different kinds of paper.
A two-year-old is already interested in the pictures in a story book. Count the beats: When you have counted sixty beats a minute will have passed. In one hour a plant grows a hundredth of an inch. Then there are those tales of terror in which enormous pairs of scissors snip off the fingers of a child who refuses to cut his nails. In some kinds of advertisement or in setting up stands at exhibitions.
In a year we have spring. A whole year of seconds and minutes has passed. Now twelve months have passed. After January come February. Will it still be recognized as such? In what ways can it be varied without essential change? At the bottom left is a photo of four books stood on edge and opened in such a way as to form the trademark. These sketches were made to see how far it can be changed and still remain recognizable.
Four weeks make one month: This idea was actually used in an advertisement. After a hundred years. Time never stops: Apart from things which have contact with our bodies chairs. A radio set ten years ago was an affair as big as a sofa. The archives in which documents are stored used to occupy vast. Exercises in altering and deforming a well-known brand name until it reaches the limits of legibility.
In a thousandth of a second it can store complex information running into several figures. The use of this system cuts down the space needed in archives by ninety per cent. Those great houses with their sky-high ceilings and broad dark corridors. The floor will be carpeted. A lot of single pieces of furniture will be replaced by built-in cupboards. One of the smallest electronic computer cells is one made in Germany. The film is specially made so as to last for many years without deterioration.
Does anyone nowa-days have the walls of his house frescoed? Just about no one. Today the whole lot are down on a microfilm that will fit into an ordinary desk drawer. Everything changes for reasons of economy: Today we have techniques whereby artists can make works to be projected. An orchestra in the drawing-room belongs to the age of frescoes.
I should think. In the house of the future. It is square in shape and each side is two millimeters long. Automatic microfilm can be made as fast as a thousand frames a minute. The living-room of our new house will perhaps have one wall made completely of glass. It contains 15 silicon transistors and 13 resistors with their relative connections.
But in the new house there is no longer any room for this kind of art. But how in the future is a collector going to find room for all his works of art? Will he keep them in a special storeroom? And when we come right down to it. And for the same reason attempts are being made to build houses that are smaller than in the past.
Each photograph can then be enlarged again on to paper in a few seconds and at very little expense. In the old-fashioned house there were countless walls hung with pictures. The private house of the future some are already lived in will be as compact and comfortable as possible. Can we not find other creative means? What happened in music when people realized that the times had changed and that no one any longer summoned orchestras to their houses to play them concerts? A picture is already but a portable version of a frescoed wall.
This is not so much on account of any technical difficulty. If the street is asphalt. A small tree rather higher than the bamboo wall throws a decorative pattern of leaves on the plastered wall. The street side of the forecourt sometimes has a low wooden gate. One day a man with nothing but a hammer in his hand presented himself to one of the great personages of the day and said: The entrance of this very ancient type of house is most discreet. There is a space. In modern Japan there are thousands of buildings and great office blocks made of cement.
The entrance hall is paved with rough grey stone. And I do not mean colour photographs. During a recent trip to Tokyo and Kyoto I stayed for three days in a traditional house and was able to poke around and notice every detail.
It may be six foot square. One opens the door and there one is. On a wooden step one finds a pair of slippers. Our equivalent would be the gutter that you see sticking out of the side of certain peasant houses.
It was Michelangelo. Art is not technique. One does not step straight from the street into the living-room. The actual door is hidden behind a screen of dry branches. If you go to. With these techniques visual art will survive even if the old techniques disappear. The room one enters next is raised above the level of the hall.
I should say. In some cases there is also a small trickle of water running in a groove or a square stone with a round hollow full of water in it.
The surface of these four square yards differs from that of the street. I was able to sniff around it inside and out. Then there is one wall made of bamboo. The floors are covered with these tatami from wall to wall. They are so light they can be moved with a fingertip. In comes the cool air and out goes the hot air. The proportions of the room are expressed in tatami. The sliding doors of the house itself and of the cupboards are made of paper mounted on a light wooden frame. Another Japanese discovery that we are now in the process of discovering is the moving wall and the continuous window.
When you want to go to bed you close one wall. According to the position of the sun or the direction of the wind. It is like being in a large four-poster. The tatami is a mat of fine and tightly woven straw. Even the bed that is. One puts the walls and windows where one wants them. But we of course have heavy doors with locks and handles. In winter they simply make their rooms small. It is edged with dark often black material and its size is about three foot by six.
Everything one needs is kept in the wall-cupboards. Air is circulated in a natural way. The module. Our custom. The character of the inside of the house is determined by the tatami on the horizontal plane. I should tell you at once. They are pleasantly soft underfoot. And how do you sleep? Very well indeed. The rooms are about eight feet high.
The floor is not hard or cold. All the inside walls of the Japanese house are movable except those devoted to built-in cupboards. All woods and other materials are thus used in their natural state. From the lavatory window one can see a branch of a tree. It has become bogus. The bathtub is made of wood. In such natural surroundings a person stands out and dominates. Each panel could equally well be thought of as either. In the part of the house which is most used there is a kind of square niche with a raised floor.
A layer of cypress bark of course. Windows and doors. This is the Tokonoma. Later on it will be a bedroom. Of course. Unlike us. One must learn not to lean against the walls. It is sufficient that in our new house we have an old wooden post. They do not put wood that has always been in the shade in a sunny part of the house. The building materials are used in their natural state and according to logical and natural rules. At the end of the meal the chopsticks are thrown away. In the Tokonoma is the only picture hanging in the house there are others rolled up in the cupboards.
Everything is of the simplest. One cannot bang doors and spill things. In using wood for the rest of the house it is always borne in mind that every tree-trunk has a back and a front: This serves as a kind of veranda. Painted material loses its paint.
But if by chance one does dirty a door. Their colour is neutral. There is no moving of furniture. A natural material ages well. They are protected by a roof that projects so far as to form a covered way along the outside. All these houses. The food is simple and abundant. We do not get rid of dirt.
Bamboo is almost like a vegetable extruded section. The straightness of bamboo fibers is probably the result of this phenomenal rate of growth. Especially interesting is the way that Japanese craftsmen. The Japanese have since time immemorial used bamboo to make tubes. What is Bamboo? It is very interesting to the designer to know what bamboo means to the Japanese. How lucky we are.
Anyone wishing to study this subject more closely is recommended to read the fine volume on Japanese architecture by Teiji Itoh.
Bamboo is a wood that is almost like bone. The knot is always placed in its logical position. They use it for the framework of houses. Nature provides bamboo in all sizes. Especially in Italy where our floors are made of marble. These vases are excellent examples of the skill and inventiveness of Japanese craftsmen. There is always a perfect balance between the inside and outside of the vase. A few of the many kinds of vases made of bamboo. It is just over thirteen inches high.
If one splits a six-foot-long green bamboo cane lengthwise. The one on the left. They use these threads to make rolling shutters. The knife is guided by the fibers. It can be used like a normal bristle brush.
I have seen a moneybox made of a single piece of bamboo closed by a knot at either end and a slot for coins. One can go on repeating this until one has dozens of bamboo threads six feet long and perhaps only a millimeter thick.
I need hardly mention fishing-rods. I have even bought paintbrushes made entirely of bamboo: Nature in fact creates her forms according to a particular material.
Larger strips are used for other kinds of mats. He does not use iron where wood would suit better. A Spontaneous Form Or perhaps I might say a natural form. The things they make are immediately comprehensible because the material has been used according to its inherent nature. Simple forms such as a drop of water or more complicated ones such as the praying mantis are all made according to laws of structural economy. Of course there are also those who ape Western styles.
In this way the Japanese make walls. I will not say that all Japanese craftsmen are good. In a bamboo cane the thickness of the material. One sees how many different imitations are made of a spontaneous.
Each country excels in some things. When one studies something characteristic of a people it is wise to look at its best side. Only the best can teach us. Errors of construction do not arise from the aesthetic aspects of a thing. There are limits of how far simplicity of structure can be taken. Such workmen simply show their lack of intelligence. Japanese craftsmen cut and work bamboo completely naturally and almost without the use of special tools.
Ugly things are ugly in much the same way the world over. The designer of course does not operate in nature. If a cane were more rigid it would break. It would be all wrong if it were bigger at the top than at the bottom. They have tradition behind them. It therefore seems that a thing made with precision is also beautiful. They impose limitations on themselves. The factory gave me all the necessary information about the maximum and minimum elasticity of stocking materials. An example of a spontaneous form is the lamp illustrated here.
For a long time I had been thinking about elasticity as a formal component of things. Basically it is a simple tube of artificial fabric as used for stockings. The spontaneous form is born from these three factors. The formal components of the lamp are as follows: They think that their product can only be used for one particular type of goods. I told them to wait and see.
The object literally makes itself by creating a balance between these forces. But with experiment and good will one can think of new things to make. Manufacturers sometimes have fixations. So it was in this case. Only stockings.
The ideal would be for objects to assemble themselves automatically the moment they are unpacked. Its form is obtained with the help of gravity. An old-fashioned chandelier without its frame at once becomes a pile of rubbish. There are no struts or other fittings to hold the rings in place. The form really does emerge spontaneously. To obtain the form. The luminous prism illustrated here is designed on these principles. The rings are so placed that the light from the bulb at the top reaches to the very bottom.
By saving on storage and delivery costs he is cutting the eventual sales price of the product. A Prismatic Lamp From the moment he sets about a job a good designer must bear in mind that an object that takes up quite a lot of room when in working order must not be bulky for storage or delivery.
It is enough to count the force of gravity as one of the components of an object. Storage and postage are therefore no problem. These loops made it easy to find the right place for the rings when it came to putting the thing together.
When hung up the lamp is about five foot high. One problem that arose was how to attach the metal rings.