Postmodernism: Decoration and appropriation, the return of the narrative and content
New Expressionist Architecture & Design
New Expressionism is a term used to describe an aeclectic and individualistic trend in Postmodern Architecture.
Tsui Design & Research Inc
Some elements of the work of this architectural design company are biomorphic, but some seem to have come from outer space, so I'd classify their work as New Expressionist. There are also strong elements of environmental design in their work too. tdrinc.com/architecture.html
Jean Nouvel (1945-still living)
of the architects of this ground-breaking 1980's Nemausus
1 public housing development in the French city of Nimes
was Jean Nouvel. He also designs products, such as
this seat designed for the Lyon Opera in 1994.
Frank Gehry (1929-still living)
Canadian-born Frank Gehry is probably the most famous living architect in the US. He shuns 'isms' such as Postmodernism and follows his own path. So of course the rest of us need to slot that into a little box, so he's become an example of "New Expressionism".
The most conspicuously missing influence in the documentary for me personally was the work of Gaudi. The organic forms, the unique and fantastical style.
is also a successful furniture maker, and in the 1970's was better known
for his furniture than his architecture. His Easy Edges
range of cardboard furniture was very popular. It was followed up with
his Experimental Edges range.
Although Gehry's work is creative and artistic, his ethos is about as far from the poor, suffering artist as you can get. He created a bit of a stir in the Twin Towers debate over refusing to even enter a submission for what would be rebuilt on the site as the paycheck of $40,000 was 'demeaning'. This commercial focus definitely divides "New" Expressionism from ("Old"?) Expressionism. users.cloud9.net/~bradmcc/quotes3.html#Q140
best known building is probably the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao,
Spain (1997). Sheathed in titanium scales, it's startling appearance
is as good an example of Postmodern art as any of the works contained
within it. guggenheim-bilbao.es/ingles/home.htm
fascinating building by Gehry is the Vitra Design Museum
at Weil am Rhein:
A number of Gehry's other significant buildings are listed with links at: fact-index.com/f/fr/frank_gehry.html
The Fremantle Maritime Museum (2003/4) by Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland
A local building that shows features of this new expressionism is the new Maritime Musuem:
The Perth Convention Exhibition Centre (2004) by Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland
a "barn" and a "shed" by it's critics, the new
Convention Centre set to open on our foreshore this month was designed
by the same architects as the Fremantle Maritime Museum. Personally,
I really like it, although I agree with the criticism that not much
use of the spectacular view of the river seems to have been made from
the majority of the building. Check out the fly-though at the link
below, or jump on a CAT bus and pop over there for a look around.
Marc Newson (1963-still living)
wunderkind industrial designer who uses simplified biomorphic and futuristic
elements in his readily identifiable style. Newson went to Art School,
studying sculpture and jewellery before becoming interested in chair
design. Some of his early designs for chairs received international
attention, but his career only really became established when he moved
overseas - to Japan, Italy, Paris and now, London. He has designed pieces
for Alessi, Flos, Nike, Magis, Ford, Tefal, Qantas and many more - including
everything from a private jet to a sex toy.
Philippe Starck (1949-still living)
You've got to love a designer who has pasta shapes in his repertoire. Starck worked as the artistic director of Pierre Cardin before starting his own company XO Design in 1984. xo-design.com
"We have to replace beauty, which is a cultural concept, with goodness, which is a humanist concept." philippe-starck.com
one of the world’s most celebrated and prestigious designers,
Phillippe Starck has spent a lifetime animating environments with a
distinct flair for what is fashionable yet also timeless. With the Axor
Starck collection by Hansgrohe, Starck exhibits the type of elemental
elegance that personifies his work and has earned him such honors as
the Oscar du Luminaire and the distinguished IF Design awards. Starck’s
simple yet striking designs for Axor Starck emphasize streamlined functionality
while exploring the mosaic of everyday life that helps sculpt his perception
of the world".
Tom Dixon (1959-still living)
"Works of Art that Work". Graves has a fun, whimsical take on Postmodern Design. His Team Disney Headquarters, built in 1984 is a classic example (if one can use the term 'classic' at all in regards to a building that involves giant dwarf pillars!). bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/gravesdisney/disney.html
An interesting fact I came upon while surfing the net was that Graves suffered a spinal infection in 2003 which drastically reduced his mobility. Due to his illness (which may involve some degree of ongoing disability) the issue of Universal Design may become more of a consideration in his work in the future. sph-planning-consulting.ca/documents/An Architects World Turned Upside Down.pdf
Along with grand fantastical buildings, Graves business also designs everyday household objects for Target.
whose work is usually quite minimalist, although in 1987 he designed
the popular and quirky Thinking Man's Chair. In his
early days as a designer, he was best known for his knobs. Or "Door
Furniture" as no doubt he prefers them to be called.
Craft & Design
With all of these tales of the world's best designers aiming for mass production as their main goal, you may well wonder if traditional craftsmanship is dead? I think not!
Australian Woodcraft Gallery
A wide range of works from Western Australian timber artists. australianwoodcraft.com.au
I have a bit of a soft spot for the Southwest of WA. There are some talented, world-class craftsmen tucked away in those beautiful forests.
Handcrafted furniture made from local fine timbers in Boranup, a scenic are in the Southwest of WA on the edge of the Karri forests between Margaret River and Busselton. boranupgallery.com
Peter Kovacsy Studio
Beautiful work, and a really nice guy. If you're ever touring the Southwest, visit his studio tucked away on the edge of the town of Pemberton. peterkovacsy.com
Fine Woodcraft Gallery, Pemberton
If you're going to Pemberton, also be sure to visit the Fine Woodcraft Gallery. Works by a wide range of artists and craftmen are on display.
Craftsmanship for the Corporate market - eg High-end Olympic Memorabilia etc. Located in my former hometown of Bridgetown, a beautiful place to visit. glenholst.com.au
The Jam Factory
Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design is a unique centre for the design, production, exhibition and sale of work by leading and emerging Australian designer / makers. jamfactory.com.au
Central Design Centre
Like the Jam Factory, Central TAFE's CDC is an "incubator" for recent design graduates. They don't have their own website yet, but I'll try to arrange for the Manager, Cheryl Wood, to come in and have a talk to us about what goes on there.
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