Design And Architecture
Design and architecture has always been an ever changing form of art, which was birthed with a strongly established rules and principles in the ancient history. A vast extent of those artists humbly follow the rules set out for them by their predecessors, following the principles laid out for them in the past. However, a small fraction decided not to follow the set trend of the past and instead, broke the rules, creating a brand new and fresh outlook on design. The 20th century was a century of many changes. From the functional purity which corporate Modermism presented, to later become a complete disillusionment of Modernism which was called the Post-Modernism. Some of the late 20th century architects who rejected the norm was Zaha Hadid, who saw the flaws in the previous design principles. Zaha Hadid followed her own style, which later went on to greatly inspire contemporary design. All considered, I propose to show how Zaha Hadid was successful in battling the rules of Post-Modernist architecture. I will briefly discuss the main principles of the modernism and its progression from the early beginning in the Bauhaus, to later modern model dwellings, with the new pared-down approach, which later became known as the International Style, which transformed into the Post-Modernism. I will also demonstrate how Zaha Hadid can be considered a revolutionary at the forefront of the contemporary design, who embraced her distinctive sculptural organic presence that was derived from a sophisticated and clear understanding of special form and its manipulation.
It was in the 20th century that many of the modernistic movements known today were born. It was from the year 1910 onwards that the De Stijl movement took place in Holland, promoting aesthetic and functional purity, it was a means of ‘affecting a new universalism in art'(Fiell, C., Fiell, P. and Sudjic, D. (2016).”A-Z of design et designers. 1st ed. London: Goodman Fill, pp.378-390). At the same time in Italy the Futurists and the Constructivist in Russia both celebrated the new industrial material and the machine age. It was believed that the ornamentation of the everyday house objects was morally repugnant. ‘Ornamentation is wasted manpower and therefore wasted health. It has always been like this. But today it also means wasted material, and both means wasted capital’1 said Adolf Loos. Only after the First World War the Modernist movement was properly joined into an international movement mainly ‘because of the foundation of the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919’1. Which bonded the links with the Constructivists and De Stijl. There was no other style in design and architecture that managed to influence the modern design such as the Bauhaus style and its world wide known credo ‘less is more’2. The transition between the styles represents on a culture at the time and the culture was entering the industrial age where the production was a key to success and wealth.
Bauhaus had a very rational approach to design with its revolutionary ideas with the ‘focus to unite all art disciplines as one and free the world of art from it isolation’.3 They aimed to recreate craftsmanship by uniting the barrier between ”noble’ artists and ‘working’ craftsmen’3 as ‘creativity and manufacturing was drifting apart’.3 The next rule of the Bauhaus was ‘functionality discards form’3 it was mainly about the designed products being functional and unique as well as for the design to be durable and economical. As the mass use of the machines began, the makers were forced to re-create their vision and future. Mass industrial production had a very drastic influence on the creativity but managed to lead to positive results regarding money and save time. The following idea was the ‘smart use of space, materials and money’3. Bauhaus had a very economic way of thinking, with this they wanted to achieve a ‘controlled finance, productive time-consuming projects, precise material use, and spare space’3. It was mainly about ‘smart use of resource’3 with the most possible zero-waste idea in mind. It was all about newest technologies, newest techniques of construction, newest materials and most of new attitude towards design. That symbolized moving forward and continuas design and architectural evolution. Their believe that there is no need for the unecessary decorations and making the design more and more beautiful and luxurious, ‘they are just fine as there are’ was a very commonly used phrase as they were determent to clear the form of the design, while still keeping the artistic side to it only much more simpler then before.
This movement was a huge cultural shock for the people of the 1920s. It was meat with mixed feelings from the general public with some people that despised the ‘radical ideas and application’2 of the Bauhaus designers. Since the beginning the opinions of people were differed strongly in regard to the buildings and furniture, which were completely bizarre to the society at the time. The Conservative circles were always irritated by ‘leftis and international members of Bauhause’.2 Then the National Socialists took over in 1933 the Bauhaus was closed in an instant. Many of the artists emigrated to US, France and Britain.
After an international exhibition in Yew York in 1932 it became known as the International Style which a bland and unappealing with its design. It was not well received by the Scandinavia as much more humane materials were desired in this country instead of the cold industrial materials like glass aluminium and tubular steel. Throughout Europe architects-designers created new dwellings with this pare-down approach which looked bare and unpleasing to the eye. Following the Second World War this less hard edged style was taken up by designers in the US. As the British Modernist Berthold Lubetkin said after the war in 1947 that ‘the Modern Movement, rather than being a definable group was a statement of the social aims of the age’.
Zaha Hadid started her studies at London’s AA in the early 1970s during the beginning of the Post’Modernism area. It emerged as a movement in the arts, architecture and design and cultural discourse by marking a complete disillusionment with Modernism and was predicated on a deep questioning of its principles. Modernism centered on ’empiricism of rationality, and lauded high culture’.1 Post-Modernism was an abandonment of political advocacy for a singular ideology. The movement was viewed as the agent of a social change that ‘helped to shape many political movements in the 20th century’4. Most of the political ideas at the time fuelled the movements, just like the futurism promoted the Italian fascism by presenting society with its ‘aesthetic of the machine’.4 Post-Modernism artist began to use their unique artistic styles discarding their political agendas and started to advance their ‘own singular ideologys’.4 Post-Modernist architects believed that there was a growing sense that Modern architecture had failed and that the main reason for its failure had been its adherent’s ideological devotion to functionalism and the disregard of the important role that symbols play in culture.
Regardless the architectural movement that took place during Hadid’s education she took her main architectural inspiration from the Russian Supremacists and Constructivists and added her great understanding of organic shapes to create her own ideology of architecture, which was very unique and futuristiq. The period that Hadid spend in the AA was a very special period as it had to do with her personality as well as not following the system. She was surrounded by rows of beautiful Georgian architecture and imagining entirely new scararios for cities and what role architecture could play in that. She tried to change how people view the interior space. Her very distinctive architectural drawings were a completely new approach to looking at the city and plans. They were very influenced by her preference in art and expanded on what people tought about architectural drawing and what they could be and how they might influence the final form of the building. The appreciation of her ideology started in Hong Kong with her first big exhibition of her original work. It got international coverage that revealed a vision and a way of communicating architecture which had never been seen before. The overall culture at the time was seduced by the drawings but could not really understand them. The architecture which was less confined by gravity which is more to do with slippage and the dynamics of geology and the earth like rock moving was something that inspired Hadid.
Before her first commission Hadid created furniture which reflected her architectural ideas, albeit on a small scale, with exited in its originality. The best know pieces where her lighting fixtures which very completly untraditional with an exotic organic shape which made a very dramatic piece of art. A perfect example is The Sawaya Vortexx Chandelier, its whole design concept is based on the exploration of a vortex with the collaboration of fluidity and seamlessness. ‘Its complex curvilinearity follows a double helix connecting its beginning to its end and therefore forming an endless ribbon of light.”In plan the object resembles a star with its protrusions pointing outwards from the centre, emphasizing an imaginary centrifugal force’.5 Two translucent acrylic lights are also included at the inside the vortex with a recessed LED light cord that provides and amazing light effect. Another iconic peace was the Z-chair, its design was a pure essence of the considering Hadid as the revolutionary forefront of contemporary architecture