What is the appeal of minimalism? For me, it seems to represent a state that is the opposite of CLUTTER, which is a form of ENTROPY. Nature naturally tends towards entropy so the minimal is in fact opposing nature, and actually represents a higher energy state. This can also be equated with a spiritual state. To live in a minimal way is in some ways an unattainable goal, which is precisely the appeal. Minimalism is equated with order itself.
(Rem Koolhaas decides he wants to make some real money)
Shoe brand United Nude, which was founded by architect Rem Koolhaas and Galahad JD Clark, opened a flagship store in Amsterdam on Oct. 22. Designed by brand creative director and architect Rem Koolhaas, the interior design of the flagship store reflects characteristics of the brand’s products and DNA.
From injection-moulded shoes to high-end carbon fiber heels, United Nude is “founded on conceptual design, elegance, and innovation.” The store is a “dark-shop” concept, which means it is completely dark in all areas other than those where the products are showcased and literally highlighted. The most important and prominent element of the store design is the Wall of Light, a computer-controlled LED wall that displays the United Nude products as works of art encapsulated in geometric frames.
United Nude also plans to open flagship stores in Shanghai and New York in early 2010.
The early modernist architects believed that modern architecture could solve all of society’s problems, inspiring mankind to be better. Architecture schools such as UC Berkeley, have espoused an interest in PLACE over SPACE, eschewing the art for art’s sake attitude of high modernism, and emphasizing the social aspects of architectural design.
A study involving architecture in several of the world’s trouble spots, including Belfast, Beirut and (former trouble spot) Berlin shows that buildings are partly to blame for a hardening in some people’s bitter sectarian attitudes.
Fences, parks, footbridges and even a playground can influence intense and bitter conflict between Catholics and Protestants, Dr Ralf Brand, a lecturer from the University of Manchester, has found. Article from BBC News is HERE.
But he also uncovered examples of architecture that could help heal the wounds of the Troubles.
(From YAHOO news) “In this handout photo provided by photographer Gregory Holm, architect Matthew Radune is seen holding a mockup of the Ice House Detroit project in downtown Detroit on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009. Radune and Holm plan to freeze one of the city’s thousands of abandoned homes to draw attention to the foreclosure crisis that’s battered the Detroit area.”
ICE At least they are doing something artistic in Detroit – although the artist is now a resident of NYC.
Architecture = Integral Phenomena
At the beginning of the 21st century, architecture can be the most effective instrument for reconstructing the relations between our species and the earth. There is no better tool with which to redesign the link between mind-body and environment. The mind cannot be separated from its phenomenal senses via the body, which in turn should not be separated from the phenomenal aspects of architecture. The study of architecture is subjective, intuitive, psychological, and scientific.
Today’s new knowledge connects the psychological pressures of modern life with chronic stress-provoking illness. The link between mind-body and environment is now a territory of focus, and we can scientifically argue the timely importance of architecture as an integral phenomenon.
A mind-body environment focus might integrate organisms in structure or volume with complex geometric relationships. This new three-pronged vision will identify several lines of disruption of the given order. Each straight line, each curved line, each twisted line, when integral to a new order of mind-body environment linkages, becomes an active element catalysing the reformation of one reality into another. The urgent need for this new architecture can readily be felt in any reading of the Science Times (as can the urgent need to displace a corrupt fossil-fuel obsessed national leadership). Man belongs to a category of thinking and reflecting species whose behavior affects all non-reflecting species. The crucial tool, architecture, must be put in futuristic service of the new dynamic linkage of mind-body-environment.