The relation between Thoughts and Art:
“If your alone and bored, then you’re in bad company” – Sadhguru. (Indian Yogi)

But who is this bad company? Your surroundings? Your body? Your Mind? Or your thoughts?

What Architects can learn from Graphic Design - sheet1

Thoughts are human’s constant and faithful companion since birth to their time of death (and here I thought that dogs were man’s best friends!) We think good thoughts, bad thoughts, lazy, crazy, weird, inspiring and various other thoughts every minute of every day and feel its impact shape our lives, either for the good or bad.

But very few individuals exist, who have the special gift, that allows them to share their thoughts and its impact with the world at large. These individuals are called Artists.

Artists through a virtual medium can transform intangible thoughts into tangible truths, that form parts of our realities. They introduce us to the idea of what could be.

What Architects can learn from Graphic Design - sheet2

Hence a great definition of Art is given by renowned French Artist Edgar Degas, who stated,

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”

Defining Architecture and Graphic Design:

When art starts flowing beyond the confines of the canvas and spreads out onto the surrounding, to create designs in space, that is when Architecture comes into being.

However, this is a very broad and loose definition of Architecture. The truth is that Architecture is a complex combination of design, functionality, aesthetics, macro and microclimate, geometry, services, civil acumen, etc. Once the Artist, in this context, the Architect thinks of a design, in accordance with the client’s requirements, a long journey begins for the said design, which first gets drafted onto paper and then constructed on-site.

Sometimes though, it becomes a bit difficult for the client to understand the design due to its various complexities, in the initial stages. This is when the use of Graphic Design comes in.

Graphic Design in its essence involves breaking down large complex ideas, into smaller innovative and pictorial images, which help catch people’s enthusiasm and work towards explaining the larger picture in a simpler manner.

Their Present Role:

In present times, however, the role of an Architect and Graphic Designer have been very rigidly spelled out by an age-old curriculum, which states that Architects build structures and Graphic Designers create logos and designs for brand marketing. The possibility that the two could be linked, is a possibility that is yet to be explored by the academic and job market.

The Link between Architecture and Graphic Design:

Architecture and Graphic Design together have a far more literal presence and effect upon our everyday lives than probably most people are aware of. Like the written word, they provoke and communicate information that challenges a response and reaction. Different forms and functions will inevitably create various reactions from the user, observer or passersby.

What Architects can learn from Graphic Design - sheet3What Architects can learn from Graphic Design - sheet4What Architects can learn from Graphic Design - sheet5

Our cities, walls, and corridors have become overpowered by visual clutter that is now part of the fabric of the modern urban environment. On a daily basis, we navigate the complexities of our three-dimensional world. The information systems that guide our journeys, however, are trapped within an infinite world of two-dimensional flatlands, namely paper and screen. Parallel to architecture, graphic design or the design of information can evoke emotion, response and meaning to the recipient, without the knowledge that he/ she is observing an item of designed, contextualized and conceptual artwork.

A simple e.g. of the following: The signs that we come across on railway stations, that determine on which side is east and west. These simple signs, designed with some thought that went behind the size and style of font, color, etc., hold utmost importance within the railway structure and yet most of the time we pass by it without realizing the work that went into its conceptualization.

Unlike Architecture, information is always not so apparent but of dire importance to the core design of a structure. So how can Architecture incorporate the design of information into its structure in a more responsible and inclusive way, to further enrich the function to be served by the built environment, is the basic knowledge that can be achieved by realizing and acknowledging the relationship between the two fields?

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. is an example of architecture and graphic design collaborating to create a space of information. From a distance, a collection of 58,000 names of perished soldiers appear, etched on black granite. As the viewer approaches closer, from the blurry grey, appear each individual name. The designer, Maya Ying Lin proposed that the names should appear in chronological order according to the date of death rather than by name. This structure is an example of how information design can be well integrated into structural design, to capture the spirit and purpose of its being.

What Architects can learn from Graphic Design - sheet6What Architects can learn from Graphic Design - sheet7 sheet8 sheet9

Thus, architectural design, through the way it represents written information held within its environment, can elevate the aesthetical value and can promote the sharing of information within its premises.

 

Niyatin Ubhayakar
Author

Niyatin Ubhayakar relates to the Philosophy of Architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, which states that “If it is not a love affair with Mother Earth, it is not   Architecture.” There should be as many original styles of Architecture as there are individuals.

1 Comment

Write A Comment