Reduction & design
Reduction & Design explores the global drive to achieve sustainability by contrasting it with what design has achieved so far, examining the lessons we have (or should have) learned along the way.
Austrian architect Adolf Loos said in 1910 that "The evolution of culture is synonymous with the removal of ornament from utilitarian objects."
Reduction & Design looks into the history of design and architecture to analyse sustainability in relation to reduction. By further removing ornament from our lives, can we continue to evolve our culture?
Focussing on a case study, the city of Vienna, I examine the replacement of classically decorated architecture with clean, bold, new buildings, which perfectly captures the change of attitude in art & culture at the start of the 20th century.
I explored the evolution of modernism, in both the organic and inorganic sense. What were the ideals of this movement in design, and why exactly did some of the brightest minds of a generation fail to appeal to the general public?
Crossing cultures, I analysed traditional Japanese culture, where modesty, imperfection and emptiness are all well appreciated in design. I also research the spiritual world-view of Wabi-Sabi where beauty can be found in unconventional places.
Each of these histories can teach us lessons about how we could be designing more sustainably today. Through comparative analysis, I engage 'Green design' strategies used in designing modern products, whilst also exploring the politics of design, and asking, who carries the blame for unsustainable design? The consumer, the designer, or those in positions of greater power?