Perfect in an Imperfect World
In the world of the perfect, attention is drawn to the imperfect.
When I showed my partner David a new elegant and ultra simplistic design which glorified the tension between two simple elements of different scale his eye was immediately drawn to the smallest imperfection in its right angle connection. Therein lies the difficulty and the challenge of making the perfect in an imperfect world.
Simplicity is difficult to make perfectly. That is the challenge of the Modern Idiom. Modernism struggles to sustain its minimal vision and execute its demands in the real world.
Building a form with perfect seamless transitions often requires complex
contrivance to be concealed, which is counterintuitive to the vision of simplicity.
With no trims or moldings to hide connections and seams, building the perfect wall, that sustains its perfection over time is nearly impossible or at least incredibly expensive. So too is the challenge of fabricating functional products of simplicity in appearance. We are constantly confronted with difficult engineering solutions to conceal the mechanical or structural elements. There is simply no place to hide. Unlike ornamental design which elaborates and glorifies elements and their unions.
Modernism emerged from the notion that simplified forms made from industrial processes would make products less expensive and more available to the masses. In fact the iterations of the original modernists such as Mies Vender Roe, Marcel Brauer, Corbusier, and others became the art objects of the elite.
Our vision grows from the modern experience to an extended language of design that makes superb products relevant and available. In so doing we are challenged to reconcile the technical with the practical and the ideology with the reality.
Modernism and its social ideals was in fact a place to start and not a conclusion. What we make of its origins is a continuing journey of investigation and discovery.