Archive for December, 2010

Gregg Fleishman is an architect, designer, artist and inventor whose work I’m sure would appeal to all because of its geometry and functionality. Largely influenced by his early work experience in the construction industry, Fleishman’s mission is to continue developing ways to make building easier. His eye catching innovative architectural structures speak volumes of this ingenious artist.

1. When did you decide to pursue design as a career and how did you go about it?

Gregg: USC Architecture 1965-70, my own studio since 1972. I also worked in commercial concrete construction until 1988 to help support my studio activities.

2. How are you able to amalgamate modern and futuristic aesthetics together in your works of art?

Gregg: The method is the modernistic component. It allows decorative elements as desired.

3. Gregg, please make our readers aware of the term ‘Rhombicube‘ coined by you?

Gregg: I use “Rhombicube” to describe the ‘rhombic dodecahedron’ which has 12 diamond shaped faces instead of 12 pentagonal faces in the more common pentagonal dodecahedron. The Rhombicube distinguishes itself by packing space. Six vertices include four acute diamond angles similar to an octahedron and eight vertices include three obtuse angles sort of similar to a cube. When we cut the vertices off we arrive at the Fully Truncated Rhombicube or FTR which is a small rhombicubeoctahedron, and when we cut deeper, the Great Truncated Rhombicube or GTR which is a great rhombicubeoctahedron. Those words are way too long. The other orthogonal Archimedean solids which come into play (fill spaces left when we cut these corners) like the truncated cube or the truncated octahedron remain as originally named.

4. Is there any form of evolution in your work?

Gregg: It’s all evolution.

5. Do you feel that product design and architecture are related if so, why?

Gregg: In this case they are I guess, because I am designing product to be used to create architecture.

6. If you had to point to the most impressive feature about the new product design, what would it be?

Gregg: The new product design being my work? If so, it’s potential.

7. What all materials do you employ other than European birch plywood and plastics?

Gregg: It’s primarily those materials, though I do some digital prints and banners and collaborate with an artist who paints on puzzles pieces and scrap.

8. May we have the honor of knowing your future plans with respect to your designs? And presently, what are the interesting things that have hooked your attention?

Gregg: I have a new chair design based on the cube, my car body design has been coming along, I have very exciting developments in light weight plastic boxes that connect in 3D, and it’s possible I will demonstrate a full sized new cube again soon.

I am intrigued with the notion of an open license environment and expect to set something up to that effect for download and distribution of digital files. I have out of necessity been somewhat aloof from the retail environment while I have been involved in what we have to call this basic research, but I have been trying to accept the notion that I have finished the most difficult parts of these projects and would now like to get more people and resources involved in developing them further.

9. Any parting words of wisdom?

Gregg: Don’t give up.

10. Finally, we would like to have your thoughts on

Gregg: Everyone is much younger than I am.

A few questions in quick succession:
Describe yourself in one word?

Your wildest dream would be?
Outer Space.

Which one is the most spectacular place you’ve ever been?
Gregg: Not there yet.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve done to gain better access for a shot?
I’m pretty good with heights.

If you were a historical person, who’d you want to be and why?
Leonardo, I like the breadth of his work and the (relative to his time) radical nature of his solutions.

Thank you Gregg for sparing out time in doing an interview with us, it is greatly appreciated.
I’d also like to wish you luck for all your future endeavors.

[The Design Blog]




Fashion identity

Exhibition: Aware: Art Fashion Identity, Royal Academy of Arts, London, until January 30 2011

The start of 2010 shook the fashion world when British designer Alexander McQueen took his own life. An expert in tailoring, McQueen’s collections showed a chilling fascination with the afterlife, religion and Medieval times.

Designers may create something interesting to look at and wear, but there is an undertone to what that garment can represent. McQueen, for instance, mixed female strength with fragility into his emotional yet provocative pieces.

The Royal Academy of Arts’ latest exhibition has chosen 30 artists and designers from all over the world – including McQueen and his red lace dress from Joan A/W 1998 – to share their visions of social identity.

Having split the exhibition into four major themes – story-telling, building, belonging and performing through clothes – each of the artists’ pieces reflects their own individual situation.

Across the first room stands an eye-catching gold dress that shines in natural daylight. The ballgown looks seductively beautiful, but is actually constructed from menacing, spiked dressmaker pins.

Susie MacMurray’s piece, Widow, 2009, juxtaposes her emotions of sensitivity and beauty with aggression. It seems that fixing each pin together was perhaps a ritual for MacMurray to protect her femininity.

Andrea Zittel tells her story, A-Z Fibre Form Uniforms, 2003-6, through a series of mannequins in dresses. Zittel lives in a remote part of the Californian desert where a lot of refugees hide.

Video projection Sixty Minute Silence, 1996, by Gillian Wearing, shows 26 people in police uniform and has a sense of collective identity on the surface. Looking closer, though, we can see hidden individuality in these characters. They may all be dressed the same but as they blink, yawn and fidget we can see how personal movements separates them.

Installation piece Son of Sonzai Suni, 2010 by Hussein Chalayan, shows a contemporary dress inspired by the ancient Japanese tradition of Bunraku puppet theatre. The dress has Asian characters stitched into it, and is on a statue walking down a runway.

Three black figures surround the dress, each grasping at it, as if it is a puppet on their strings. It feels as though Chalayan is trying to manipulate the fashion industry – an industry that controls and dictates what we as consumers should be interested in.

There is no better way to end an exhibition on art fashion than with the subject of nudity. Marina Abramovic’s film Imponderabilla, 1977, comprises footage of everyday people walking through a doorway of a gallery in Bologna, squeezing past naked bodies.

Abramovic catches their reactions and reveals society’s relationship with clothing and the taboos surrounding nudity.

These works highlight how we use clothing as a way of communicating elements of our identity. To most of us clothes are practical and functional, but these artists and designers have explored that subconsciously we use this material to express our aspirations and desires.