Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Visiting the White Cube Gallery [Bermondsey]

Very unsure as to why this has been my first time visiting the White Cube Gallery [Bermondsey]? I do however remember visiting one of the older sites when I was at college.

The building itself designed by Casper Mueller Kneer Architects is surrounded by an extended frame of slotted grills, almost imprisoned from the a far, but it did make me question [Referencing back to the theory lecture on the courtyard] about if this was intentional as if to give you a sense of cover away from the street or an entrance before entering? a moment where one could compose themselves and become prepared before the industrial brick facade opened its doors and let you into the white light. Does it also prevent the courtyard landscape being inhabited by those who are using it as a travel zone rather than an extend entrance of the White Cube?

Purpose of my visit was not to see the Antony Gormley "Fit" exhibition [However this is a huge bonus as I have become over the last two years very interested in his processes and his work whose scale deals with the human body and its relationship to space. There is something very fitting about this particularly exhbition being on in this space that I am visiting as I am also interested in this relationship between us [Human figure] and space within the context of the gallery/museum. As  Antony Gormleys sculptures start to question my position of scale and measurement, I am on my very own personal adventure and mission to navigate through, along and around the gallery space without physically documenting any of the art work on show. 

This is the first part of my active research, looking at the architectural material/components that make up a gallery space as well as questioning my movement and how one moves through the gallery space [obviously the movements I take around the space are consciously governed by the artwork on display] at this moment in time I am purely looking at spatial sequences form the view point of myself and I am not interested in how other view works of art or position themselves within and around the gallery space

Selecting the white cube has come out of reading Brian O'Dohertys "Inside the white cube" and has provided me with a theoretical context and body of ideas about the gallery space as we have come to recognize and know it. The White Cube is at the forefront for displaying works of contemporary art [and it is the contemporary art gallery/museum that I am interested in] and the traditional/iconic outlook of the gallery consisting of white walls and concrete floors is the architectural fabric that makes up the White Cube Gallery

What next? My step count will be developed into a linear map that will then be developed into an orthographic drawing [This has become the basis of my initial work that I wish to present and receive feedback on] I would also like to make a low-fi publication of each of the gallery experiences I have showcasing the spatial sequences in relationship to my own movement and experiences of the space.

Need to now visit the White Cube Gallery [Masons Yard]

Monday, 24 October 2016

Open Lecture Series 03: Simon Jones Studio

Notes from lecture: 
Simon Jones Studio is a London based Inter-disciplinary studio encompassing architectural furniture. Interested in the idea of "making things" and the typology of the "the trestle" "the bench" "the stool". Explored making using timber and pro typing how the furniture could collapse, be transportable, stack, fold and how they nested when in storage.

Questioned the flexibility of the bench as an object. Material was light and easy t experiment with. 

Was appointed to design the architectural display systems for an exhibition [graphic design showcasing posters, prints, books and type] Used B-sizes to inform scale of display units and modules ensuring that the work was always framed with white space. the display tables almost looked like folded sheets of paper [playing on the idea of the content being displayed].

Has definitely made me consider timber and plywood as a valuable material to use in model making.
Reference to Enzo Mari "Do it yourself" furniture designer

Theory Lecture 01: Rem Koolhaas

Lecture discussing the work of Rem Koolhaas [OMA] and the context of the court and the pavilion. The lecture examined Koolhaus's "Kunsthal" [1992] and then related this back to the early work of modernism, De Stijl, and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies Van Der Rohe.

Koolhaas known for his punk attributes and notion into looking at contradictory forces and provocative architecture saw late modernism as being redundant, safe and not acknowledging a move forwards. The "Kunsthal" is a case study for the recognition of assemblage type architecture that used "off the shelf" products and materials that were both industrial by way of production and by way of process. The building has a combination of anti-detail and isn't obsessed over [something that was a key factor within traditional modernism]. The unresolved state of the architecture by way plays some part in giving this building a voice, creating a dialogue/statement between the way the building interacts with the landscape and the interaction between building and user. 

The orientation of the building acts on a slope or two slopes that move centrally through the building and up/down. This central passage sets up a series of cuts that makes the viewer uncomfortable [Something that Koolhaas was conscious of driving]. There is a complex disturbance within the navigation of the space, how you enter into the main [auditorium space] of the building instead of some smaller reception space. 

To fully comprehend/appreciate Rem Koolhaas's design decision for the "Kunsthal" one must acknowledge the drives of modernism:

1. Political Revolution / late 19th century academic was a point to react against
2. New industrial led processes and technologies 
3. Low cost "off shelf" materials including concrete, steel, glass 

Also understanding the history and precedents allows you to identify architectural details and make some form of acknowledge in the decisions undertaken. After discussing the following references [Below] you start to consider Koolhaas paying a semi "homage" to his predecessors.


The above references create a conversation about space and showcase the existence of "the plane" as being a element that could extend beyond [This was also seen in the work of other De Stijl artists including mondrian/Van Dosburg]. The grid is also a clear reference that is acknowledged in both painting, furniture and architecture. Within the architectural references the extension of the plane creates this connection between interior and exterior and a dialogue of "The open". When you consider these references in relation to the"Kunsthal" there is a clear mapping and almost architectural collection that has gone on. As if Rem has taken these formulated and found architectonic elements and assembled them together [also capitalizing on the opportunity to question them, modify where possible and integrate them into a piece of architecture that moves forward]

Bringing this into the context of court and pavilion, each of the references including the "Kunsthal" have this commonality of pavilion based architecture [in particular Lloyd Wright and Van der rohe] where the pavilion is perhaps often set within the boundaries of a courtyard, here we see the court yard framed within the pavilion, where exterior architecture positions itself to relate to the external space and surrounding area.

Narrative Spaces Lecture 03: Garden Design

Notes from lecture:

Dow Jones Architects and the garden museum competition [2008] the insertion of a new interior structure within an existing church.

"Belvedere" within the existing building - A viewing platform that immerses yourself within the original structure. There is this subtle and gentle acknowledgement of what is existing and a negotiation between past and present yet looking to the future is the outcome of the new interior space.
There becomes a complicated narrative in how two architectural frames connect without disruption. How does a contemporary gallery insert itself into a Gothic church without piercing, physically connecting and compromising the existing? The result of Dow Jones proposal is a neat and tidy approach where there is an appreciation of the surrounding landscape that brings into play the new prefabricated interior structure. The use of texture, palette and material reinforces this connection between old and new and from a viewers perspective doesn't harness or become this "ugly" dropped in element. The prefabricated structure is minimal in detail where architectural elements are concerned [hand rails, step risers, fixings etc] and the structure upstairs provides a whiteness [as needed to provide a consistent use of light within the gallery context]. Downstairs is a more artificially lit space that mindfully concentrates on the products being exhibited and viewed and also reminds the audience of the existing purpose of the architecture. Original features remain intact and in sight to create a layered narrative [arch ways, windows etc]

Exemplified for its use of sustainable practice where new architecture does not interfere with old, it provides a clear legible design proposition that has since seen a front court yard sign inserted by Dow Jones alongside a current development of a new wing [extension] that will connect to the original church via a glass walkway. The new extension creates a dialogue and extended narrative between:

Space 1: Front court Garden [including signage]
Space 2: Existing church with new interior
Space 3: Extension within back grounds


The material used ensures the inter-connectivity between both spaces is recognized. All three spaces create a narrative of spatial sequences and the use of glass plays its role to the viewer in not only a journey between space 2 and space 3 but to view the surrounding gardens and space 1. The project as a whole is extremely innovative in the role of the architect designing for the existing

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Friday, 21 October 2016

Writting workshop: Introduction to

Notes from workshop:
There are various models of writing - the model selected should relate to the conduct and context of your practice. The CRP [Critical Research Paper] is a combination of theoretical research and writing on practice [But not diary like] and should/could contain imagery to support subject.

- The structure of the document should indicate and meet the demands of the project.
- There is a co-relation between theory and practice
- Critical engagement with contemporary ISD [Interior Spatial Design] Knowledge [This should take
   the form of a critical debate]
- Demonstrate the importance of research questions [Relating to your practice]
- Sources must be relevant - there should be evidence of these sources throughout the text via
- Text should be analytical/Critical - formulating arguments and taking on others opinions. Ensure you use expertise and support this with your own comments.

Consider the individual position of your practice "Construct" write about your own/self as you would someone else. remember that your practice should be linked and influenced by your theoretical research findings

The design and visual aesthetics of the CRP is supportive of the content and in communicating the intention. Structure - Content - Design

Good/Bad examples:
- Describing the intentions - introduction should provide clear knowledge of the subject and should
  read with confidence.
- Bringing in fluent language that isn't safe - it provides a strong basis for a concern/argument/context
- Use of case studies can support chapter sequencing.
- Avoid over generalization - comments that become grand statements - statements need to be
  supported/critically engaged with.

The introduction should bring the reader within 2 paragraphs what the context is and what the field of knowledge is *Do not describe the project intentions [e.g: My project is about . . . .]

1. Introduction
2. Theoretical Context
3. Case study [artists/architects] each raise an issue that support context but should in their own right 
    be different from one another
4. My practice - development - referring to theory
5. Conclude

Quick go at producing a sentence or paragraph about the context of my work:

With the ever increasing use of digital technologies used by the "contemporary artist" within their practice, the art gallery as a space is now having to take into consideration and accommodate this acclimatization of immersive, industrial scaled and multi-disciplinary/experiential works.

New word: Morphology

The form or structure of anything.
The study of the form or structure of anything.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Unit 01: Research & Reflection PT2

Back to research . . .  Sources of information that will inform unit 01:

"Radical Museology" [Claire Bishop]
Museums that create multi-temporal remapping of history and artistic production outside of national and disciplinary frameworks, rather than pulling all into one narrative.

Constellation/ Contemporary/ Temporal disjunction

"Contemporariness" is that relationship with time that adheres to it through a disjunction and anachronism. A dialectal contemporary - navigating multiple temporalities.

Research about: To understand a context or history from different perspectives

Research into: Exploration of methods including visual testing - understanding the process

Research through: Development of new artifacts - goal is to communicate new knowledge
[Practice is not at the centre of this methodology]

Look at the following book for further research:
Inside the white cube: The ideology of the gallery space [Brian O'Doherty]

Monday, 17 October 2016

Open Lecture Series 02: Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad

This evenings lecture was presented by London based designer Bahabak Hashemi-Nezhad and looked at the correlation between spaces and narrations through research led practice. Most of Bahbak's work Incorporated photography that was then exhibited or developed into a form of publication. 

Case study 01: [Orderly conduct] Become the personal study of repeated human behavior, which was showcased as a collection of visual images [London/Tokyo/Amsterdam] that correlated the space surrounding one type of human behavior creating a dialogue between the physical action (replicated) by multiple persons and that of the narrative which is created through the surrounding space.

Case study 02: [Public self-portraits] is a sequence of photographs where the subject is in complete control of the photograph identifying and selecting when the photograph was taken. You may consider this to have an element of staged presence within photography however the series showed isolated moments of natural human behaviors in their most genuine state. The images; because of the context create a heavy engagement with the viewer and the subject, with activities including social, domestic, industry and mundane across a set context/environment, one can relate to them on a personal level and start to almost fixate on that moment in time.

One key thing that Bahbak repeated throughout the lecture was the use of people to support research. Although his work clearly has this common characteristic of sequence and narrative [with its users] all of the work showcased identified the importance of work with people to support the engagement and richness of the research so that the project could become relatable to the subject/s

 Relating this to my own field of research:
Q: How does one move through a gallery space?
Q: what are the human behaviors that arise within the context of the gallery
[Observation of people not observation of artwork]
Q: How does one act within the gallery? or better still how should one act within the gallery
"Gallery etiquette"

Narrative Spaces Lecture 02: Projection

Notes from this weeks narratives lecture focusing on the notion of narrative through projection and projected image, looking at how artists have used and developed the use of film and sound as a part of their practice. This also takes into consideration those who were known as the precursors of film and information regarding expanded cinema.

Projection: A mental image viewed as a reality / the projection of the voice/sound / to extend/project outwards [The project plane]

Through projected works the viewer becomes part of the work [this creates a third wall] reference Paul Sharits

There is this geometrical vs literal throwing where the plane of projection can be altered to shift viewpoint and the immersive factor of film on the viewer and space. Projection enables interaction. There are a series of case studies that surround artists using audience participation within film studying the active vs passive notion of the audience.

What is this relationship between image and space where one takes over an environment [goes beyond the framework of a screen?] what about projecting space within space?

Hiroshi Sugimoto

How do we ensure that film within the gallery context enages the viewer? What are the challenges with cinematic approaches? How do we create/design the strongest engagement between viewer/space/context

Unit 01: Research & Reflection PT1

What is research?
the sourcing of new information
the expansion on prior knowledge [reinforcement]
the application of uncovering
the answer to all

Generate / Investigate / Collect / Select / Edit / review

Research consists of Primary [Active] and Secondary [Sourced] - Tertiary is the consolidation of both

Why is research important?

Precedents: It is essential that you look at those who already working within the same context/field. What has gone on before? "Always acknowledge your precedents". Through this discussion about identifying and being aware of what has arrived been research/done before you made me think of the following TEDx talk by Austin Kleon:

Contexts of Research:

Political/ Historical/ Geographical/ Cultural/ Sociological;/ Environmental/ Technical/ Theoretical/

What is next:
Begin a context map
Begin a field of study
Begin a list of theortical articles
Begin a list of research methods
Begin to respond to research through practice

Friday, 14 October 2016

Unit 01: The exercise

After sourcing my five spatial sequences we were placed into mixed critique groups to enable and start some form of dialogue about the relationship between our sources, our concern and to start defining 'words' that would initiate our research. There was a large emphases on attempting to identify words that would direct and narrow the type of research your would get form perhaps doing a "google search" or "library search". As I first group presentation having known each other for a few days there was still some confusion over the nature of the task and I have to realise how confident and natural presenting is to me having been a lecturer myself, however within our group of four we managed to have a conversation about each others interests, what our initial topic was [yet in many instance this wasn't defined] and was "in-part" able to feedback to one another. 

I personally didn't receive much feedback [unsure why and it could have been a pitch, language or general lack of understanding]. I had already started to play about with words and create a semi-mind map that connected my sources [that I felt I could communicate clear connection and relevance to my overarching topic] and perhaps the group felt that there wasn't anything else to add?

Below is an image that showcase the first set of presentation pages that were later remodeled for another critique [unfortunately I was unable to attend the second critique and so the feedback I received on my pinned up work was dis-connected] 

The next stage of this is to start developing a spatial sequence of my own that is somehow capable of communicating my research concerns [it is this word "concern" that I myself have a concern with] and to explore this through the juxtaposition of the following:

Object/Film, Model/Drawing, Object/Drawing, Film/Drawing, Painting/Object, Painting/Film.

This will take me through to the end of Unit 01 where I should be able to have reflected on my body of work and supported my spatial sequential practice with a 300 word extract that will formulate part of my project proposal.  I suppose it is time to start thinking through making and go and see some gallery spaces.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Unit 01: Exploring and Understanding Research-Led Practice

Unit 1 introduces us into exploring and identifying our initial 'Spatial Concern' this is the overarching area that we arrived onto the course we as was discussed within our initial proposal at the interview. My proposed area or 'concern' was the future of the art gallery/museum which since presenting this at the interview has already explained and opened up multiple dialogues about these as spaces, how these are designed, interacted, engaged with and what will the future art museum need to look like in order to keep it alive? For me this area of research has a broad range of questions and potential models of practice to investigate yet; at this stage when I think about the term 'spatial concern' I feel split as to what that term means into the relationship between art gallery's, museology and the currational aspect . . . I suppose in many ways the sense of confusion is why I am undertaking the MA.  

A key feature and one of the defining reasons why I applied for the MA ISD is the integration and entwined focus on exploring both theory and practice and using both to inform one another. One of my main aims was to become much more practical in my exploration process and yet here I find myself with stacks of critical papers and books that start to engage me with my subject.

In order to engage our brains with a subject form a reference point of view and to help support us in communicating our area of research to our peers we were charged with the task of sourcing five examples of spatial sequences [how one navigates through space] found/connected to a range of mediums. The examples sourced had to not only provide and showcase your understanding of spatial relationship but to form a common connection and framework that would support your research concerns (Again in relation to my own 'The future art gallery') below is the list of mediums and my examples sourced that would be put together on e presentation sheet:

1: Film - 'Over your Cities grass will grow' [Sophie Fiennes]

2: Book - 'Kissing Architecture' [Sylvia Lavin]
3: Building/Space - 'Memorial to the murdered Jews' [Peter Eisenmann]

4: Painting - 'Composition series' [Mondrian]

5: Sculpture - '20:50' [Richard Wilson]

Monday, 10 October 2016

Open Lecture Series 01: K.Wilder - Scale and presence

The first of the evening lecture series was hosted by Dr. Ken Wilder (Programme Director for the MA ISD course) I had previously researched into Dr.Wilders practice as I knew he would be involved in the course and was going to be interview me, but it was a great opportunity to get a further contextualization and understanding about his practice and recent works and his area of research that has come about since the completion of his PHD that looks at the distinct relationship between space and the beholder and area often know as "reception aesthetics.

The lecture discussed a number of projects completed by Dr.Wilder but had a particular focus on two that were more recent bodies of work. The commonality and distinctive quality in the work outlined architecture that discusses perception, scale and how one views the work [a question also rose about the space between work and audience]. In many of the projects the end result was showcased through video that allowed further opportunities to consider scale, speed, use of audio and the location in which the film was shown/projected. The use of film certainly supports this notion of perception and relationship of space and the beholder.

The idea of using film within my own practice [experimental by way of recording and presenting] has definitely started to become a less a question and more of a proposition and with Dr.Wilder being part of my course he will no doubt become a vital support mechanism in challenging and concentrating on the relevance of this within my area of research. 

Narrative Spaces Lecture 01: Exhibitions/Architects/Spaces

The first of our Narrative Spaces Lectures hosted by Colin Priest focused on exhibition design and in particular an exhibition hosted at the Barbican Art Gallery entitled Bauhaus: Art as Life. The architect group Carmody Groake were responsible for the design and currational process building a relationship that connected the spatial organization and juxtaposition of graphics and product in order to bring the notion of 'Bauhaus' into the context of the gallery space. 

Context of the Bauhaus: School of Design (classical Modernism) known as the 'think tank' creating an exhaustive relationship between designer and design through a process of testing and exploring within emphasis on the basic fundamentals and use of material, form and colour.

Carmody Groakes practice focuses of the design for everyday life with many currational and exhibition design projects within their portfolio. They create a dialogue between Architect/Designer/Archive.

Within the exhibition the use of narrow lines were used to create a narrative link between the products on show and the show they were displayed in, providing the audience with a natural subconscious view point (Inter-connectivity driving the connection between viewer and product). throughout the exhibition colour and tone was incorporated into the space again to drive not just a navigational sense of how to navigate through the exhibition, but to create a harmonious relationship between the colours palette used within the products. With the use of the shifting view points of line and colour the actual presentation displays remained minimal and simple which allows the viewer a multitude of views whilst navigating around.

The use of colour/object/plane creates this notion of space contracting and expanding where images of the products original environment were produce at 1:1 scale to give bring in the identity of being and belonging within the space. The architectural furniture and walls designed within the space create a transgression fold able/movable space that involves the viewer in understanding the context and thought process of the "Bauhaus". The one link throughout the exhibition is the use of black lines that creates an continuity and a dialogue that frames, guides and discusses.

The exhibition publication and the exhibition itself form a strong resemblance, as if the exhibition if a 3Dimensional presentation of the book. The exhibition has visual performative elements that make the viewer feel like they are walking through the book. Both have significantly interesting design layouts in order to support the nature of clean simplicity in both view, thought and understanding.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

From South Essex to South London, from staff to student

All blogs must start with something right . . . so after three years of looking, deciding, discussing and finally applying to undertake an MA, I am pleased to have been accepted onto the MA ISD course at Chelsea College of Arts. 

Having been a lecturer for the past six years and looking back at all that I have achieved within this time frame, I feel ready for the next adventure, that opportunity to become engrossed within my subject, my research and have time to explore and identify what the next educational chapter is going to entail. The above image is a reminder of my last year as a full time lecturer on the UAL FAD course . . . it is also a little reminder that I am going to be a student, one must then think, act, write and do things like a student. . . .this means no more alarms to be set on Sunday to produce lesson plans.