The distinctive features of Italy, Switzerland and Germany may have spilled into their art, but they still retained several similarities owing to their background. For the Germans, owing to the fact that the country has not always been unified as it currently is, it carries along with it the evidence of the different states that it previously was divided into. This can be seen in the case of Wolfgang Weingarten, Typographic experiments, 1969-1971. Its furniture, used very rich hardwood, most especially mahogany, and was very simple without the excess carvings, except for the chairs that may have had a few carvings on the armrests. Their storage cupboards doubled as storage for clothes too which eventually gave rise to the clothes wardrobe with drawers at the bottom or at the middle.
According the article by Aatto Rogers, Italy brings out the best “partnership” of the three arts for instance the Allvar Aalto, “Paimio” Chair, ca. 1929. This is sculpting, painting and architecture; this maybe because there is usually an element of each, in each of the others. For instance, their architecture is largely dominated by the sculptures both on the inside and exterior. Their festivals and regionally backed cuisine are also part of their traditions that bring out the partnership of the coming together of their varied aspects.
Switzerland, on the other hand, had its culture wrapped, more or less around its music. An example is Josef Muller-Brockmann, Poster for the Swiss Automobile Club, 1955. Specifically, folk music and rustic dances (Switzerland tourism website). It should be noted that Switzerland has had its culture influenced by Italy, Germany, and France too which is very evident from the areas that are French speaking, Italian speaking or their music which is characteristic of German classical music. Its architectural design has some Italian nature though not on an extensive scale.
2nd April 2013
As the name might suggest, it was no planned outcome that gave rise to pop culture. It, sort of, just “popped” in a designer’s mind, due to the trend that gained popularity during a period. In the article “Throw-Away Aesthetics”, Reyner Banhams takes us back to 1905 when Adolf Loos, an extremist in this line of thought, refused to admit that all ornaments should be left to survive because they could not find any meaning to the ornaments, and instead turned to his taste of “pure form”. The article he mentions that the “pure form” idea was misconceived by misinterpreting the three items; objectivity, simplicity and standardization, which, in fact are fallacies, and also subjective.
The origin of this culture is thus based on the fact that the designers and most importantly, people may see things differently and that even mathematically and/ or scientifically, there is no solutions for all the problems or one for the same problems, all the time. Things keep changing and as a popular saying goes, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Some of the items or works that attempts to demonstrate the efforts of designers to adopt the pop culture techniques and materials would be the exterior of cars. The case in point being Ettore Bugatti, whose vehicles emerged at a time when there was no much variance in general vehicle design. The second aspect was the engine design which, in the aim of being efficient and/ or better looking, varied in size, motor power and shapes. Lastly, clothes have seen, possibly, the biggest changes in history. This is seen beginning by the plain dull clothes for the general public and only brightly colors reserved for the rich folks, to the now differing materials, flowery patterns and the most variant design.
Charles and ray Eames, brochure for Herman miller, ca. 1954
Wolfgang Weingart, typographic experiments, 1969-1971
Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron, and Mike Webb, Spread From Archigram 1(May 1961)
Alison and peter Smithson, “the house of the future,” “ideal home” exhibition, London, England, 1955-1956.
Richard Hamilton, just what is it that makes today’s home so different, so appealing?, 1995.
Paul rand, logos for IBM (international business machines), 1956-1961
Xanti schawinsky, advertisement for Olivetti, 1938
Allvar Aalto, “Paimio” Chair, ca. 1929
wolfgang weingart, Typhographic experiments, 1969-1971
Josef Muller-Brockmann, Poster for the Swiss Automobile Club, 1955