Monday, February 7, 2011

Loos or Secession?

I am definitely on the Loos side. Well, don’t think of me as a plain, unfashionable or ‘anti-ornaments/deco’ sort of person, trust me I am not, but I always believed that function comes first before everything else. And practicality does count. As an interior design student (previously), I must say that Loos has his own ways of interpreting design into living space that really caught my attention whereby he mentioned, “The work of art is brought into the world without there being a need for it. The house satisfies a requirement. The work of art is responsible to none; the house is responsible to everyone. The work of art wants to draw people out of their state of comfort.” He believed that what more important is the direct truthfullness in exerting design and outcomes as well as the idea of putting comfortability and necessity as priority more than anything else. The living space has to be able to please everyone and be habitable. Well, somehow it is true, isn’t it? I couldn’t agree more.

Adolf Loos (1870-1933) is an Austrian architect and author of the article Ornament and Crime (1908), in which this anti-secession rejected the ornamentation and curved lines in Viennese jugendstil movement. In my own words, Loos stressed the idea of conveying idealistic in the most minimalistic way and this attitude of disregarding and removal of ornamentation is somehow a movement of civility.

The Müller House
“The house does not have to tell anything to the exterior; instead, all its richness must be manifest in the interior.” Adolf Loos.
The Müller House
In the Müller House that he designed, I could say that he designed it not only considering the materials but also refers to the experience of the interior. Comfort is produced by two seemingly opposing conditions, intimacy and control. In this assertation intimacy is structural, control is visual, and the effect of both is comfort. There is a direct connection between the design of the interior, the flows, the materials and the function of the space. The richness is still there, although it may seem lack of luxurious element and details. I can conclude that, for Loos, the representation of the interior was the world without the mask.

Pn.Suzy asked us to relate our practice field with the either two ideologies which is from Loos or Secessionist. I’d go for the Loos. Why waste so much things that are unnecesssary and not useful when you can contribute them to more important things such as comfortness, cost and labours minimization and perhaps for better living?
Interior design space
These are two randomly selected examples of current design of interior space for residential. I guess you can tell which one is referring the influence from the seccessionists’ ideology and which one is Loos’. The left image shows stairways fill with excessive sculptural elements and decorative features especially at the handrails and wall panels. The right image, in the other hand shows the composition of materials and surfaces plays their role and sort of showing that the beauty of the space lies in the materials and functions itself. And again, I am definitely on the Loos side.

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