As I was coming of age as a designer I witnessed and was influenced by Emigre Magazine. Therefore, the only places design students were able to look at new work were books and magazines.
Sentient beings perceive pattern to make sense of otherwise random stimuli. Survival depends upon the ability to weave the threads of perception into some semblance of order, no matter how fleeting or fragile.
Moreover, as pattern-seeking creatures, we humans may have a more fundamental relationship to ornament. Neuropsychologist Oliver Sacks suggests that we could be hard wired to see it. He speculates that optical migraine hallucinations—frequently patterned like oriental carpets—offer a window on the dynamics of our nerve cells.
Pattern recognition may be innate; it may be necessary for coping with complexity. But we demand more of existence than mere survival.
When we recognize relationships among things, we interpret what we see, and add other layers of meaning that embellish and corroborate our encounters. In a sense, we add layers of ornament. And when artists and designers use ornament to translate their perceptions into artifacts or places, that ornament becomes an extension of their worlds; as the philosopher Gianni Vattimo suggests, an extension into other possible worlds.
Its hybrid languages are Jeffery keedy aesthetic equivalent of our fast-paced and complex exchanges. Contemporary designers, who use ornament as their Jeffery keedy of exchange, offer us tales about objects—tales woven from their own experiences, made even stronger by their openness to outside influences.
Ornament and pattern, then, tell stories. They need to be read. Whether carved on the walls of the Alhambra in Spain or stitched into the pattern of an American quilt, traditional ornament was meant to engage the mind through the eye.
This is no less true today. In dialects that merge the new and the familiar, contemporary ornament communicates histories, customs, lore, and a shared appreciation of craft.
Just as words, punctuation, prose style, grammar, and usage influence how we read, the shape, color, line, structure, and iteration of ornament shape our apprehension, and increase our appreciation, of things we often take for granted.
Ornament and pattern are form-based languages — the visual articulation of ideas. When successful, it offers a good read. And when the stories it tells are compelling, ornament and pattern go further.
They show us something new.
Arabic, African, and European patterns say that those identities are part of the Netherlands today. Coming to terms with such a monumental subject—ornament—requires a bit of pattern-seeking itself.
A very short history of love and hate. The Latin root of the ornament—orno—means to equip, to adorn, and by extension, to honor. As a metaphor, ornament was meant to confer dignity, as in the decorated soldier.
As artifact, ornament conveyed meaning: Yet, for all its auspicious qualities, ornament has also been the object of skepticism and scorn. As far back as the 1st century BCECicero warned his fellow Romans about the deceptive nature of florid speech.
In addition to being maligned as a disguise, ornament also took on pejorative associations with Eastern decadence and feminine weakness. Both prejudices can be seen operating at full tilt in 16th-century Spain when Holy Roman Emperor Charles V inserted his muscular palace into the delicate fabric of the Alhambra.
Despite all the name-calling—dishonest, decadent, weak—ornament survived and even thrived through the pendulum swings of spirit and style. However, with the advent of mass production, and the technologies that drove it, ornament took on new liabilities.
Handcrafted decoration became too expensive: Work suffers because no one is willing to pay for it at its true value. According to Loos, this kind of inferior ornament was only suitable for the lower classes. A true aristocrat would scorn it. They would arrive in the form and forms of modernism.
Though originally intended as economical and classless, the products of the Bauhaus and its kindred schools of thought made such a sharp break with the past that they became the acquired taste of a new elite. Beyond the declining social value of ornament, the values of design itself were shifting.Tag: Jeffery Keedy CalArts Graphic Design Program Featured in Idea Magazine.
CalArts is the focus of Idea Magazine’s feature “Suburban Lawns—A Look at CalArts Past and Present,” published in August. Emigre, Inc. is a digital type foundry based in Berkeley, California.
Founded in , coinciding with the birth of the Macintosh computer, the Emigre team, consisting of Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko, were among the early adaptors to the new technology.
design matters 13 — Jeffery Keedy»I LIKE THE VERNACULAR NOT«expression. The so designated dominant culture, on the other hand, is a va-. John Maury Keedy Battle Creek John Maury Keedy, 87, of Battle Creek died peacefully on Monday, August 29, , after a long battle with heart disease and dementia.
John was born August 16, Design Culture: An Anthology of Writing from the AIGA Journal of Graphic Design [Steven Heller, Marie Finamore] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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