For book binding options, I resorted to Pinterest. I found inumerous interesting examples, which I then tried to gather in a folder, saving at least one picture of each single idea/technique. You can click the video below to watch me navigate through this folder and zoom in on some of the images.
- French fold
I was particularly interested in french folding. Although I quite like sewn bindings, such as the japanese binding and the saddle stitch, I wanted to try something I hadn’t done before.
As a result of the colour limitations for our publication – only three allowed, excluding the colour of the paper -, colour suddenly became a very important factor to consider.
At first, I could only find information on colour theory relating to marketing and product design (included in my sketchbook); however, I have since then found some useful and very helpful content on triadic colour schemes and the role of colour in architecture.
I shall first explain what are triad colours: triad colours combine every fourth colour on the basic colour wheel.
This gives us 4 different palette choices of 3 colours each.
- 3 primary colours – yellow + red + blue
- 3 secondary colours – orange + violet + green
- 3 tertiary colours – yellow/green + red/orange + blue/violet
- 3 tertiary colours – yellow/orange + red/violet + blue/green
There are other versions of triadic colour schemes, such as the complementary triad, the split-complementary, and the modified triad.
A complementary triadic colour scheme, for instance, just as the name implies, starts with any two complementary hues directly across from each other. The third colour is found halfway between the two, either in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. An example would be: yellow + violet + blue/gree OR yellow + violet + red/orange.
Note: At this point, I was already inclined to the primary colours in the simple triad (yellow + red + blue), as they were brighter, more authentic and pure. As I was working with photography that would have to be black & white, these characteristics were important, to make the colours stand out.They were also the same colours used by the artists I had previously researched.
‘The use of colour in architecture’ explains how technology has enabled a much wider colour palette to choose from, when it comes to architecture, and how this is having exciting repercussions in buildings’ design.
“Most crucially, more projects are viewing colour as a key component of design, as opposed to a finishing touch. For the architect, colour is becoming another tool with which to carve out the correct ambience of a building, whether it is used simply for dramatic effect, or for something deeper, such as forging ties with local culture or altering perceptions of a building’s form.”
‘Color in Architecture – More Than Just Decoration’ is another interesting article exploring the psychologic aspects of colour and how they influence our mood. The author defends different ways in which colours should be considered when applied to different buildings with specific purposes.
“The impression of a color and the message it conveys is of utmost importance in creating the psychological mood or ambiance that supports the function of a space. A classroom has a different function than a hospital patient room; an office space is not a production line, etc.”
‘The role of colour in architecture’ draws on the power colour has in affecting a community and how people relate to their surroundings.
“Colour is an expressive element in architectural design and can be used to emphasise the character of a building and create harmony and unity, or it can be deliberately contrasting to enliven or emphasise. It may affect the way in which people respond to their surroundings and can enhance a mood of calm or elation.”
‘How architecture uses space, light and material to affect your mood’ ponders the relationship between space and mood, focusing on examples of libraries along the United States.
“No longer silent, fusty and reserved for solitary study, libraries are now bright and buzzing spaces where people can also engage with their local community and new technologies. (…) What unites them, aside from being striking buildings, is how they demonstrate the powerful effect that architecture, through elements like space, light, geometry and materials, can have on our mood.”
Note: These articles reminded me of my own experience with colours in buildings. For instance, in my hometown, they’ve re-painted the local hospital a few years ago. The chosen shade for the outside walls – pastel yellow.
They chose it over white to make it look more cheerful, less empty, and more inviting, I guess. However, it didn’t work. Not for me, at least. Especially over time, with the paint fading away due to the sunlight, I’ve grown to hate that colour. It seems pale and dead, which emphasizes my emotions towards the building and makes me look away whenever I drive by.
Even though I was planning on making drawings at first, I soon became uninspired. I wanted to try something I had never done for a project.
The idea of making a children’s book did not seem as exciting as I had thought; and the theme – gentrification – was asking for a more serious way of conveying a message. After looking at David Hockney’s polaroids and Christine Erhard’s collages, I decided I wanted to experiment with photography, rather than using illustration once more.
As a result of changing my mind, I had to ‘re-write’ my narrative. The presence of my original main character seemed pointless now. What I wanted was to tell a story of gentrification, of transformation, from the perspective of the most obvious ‘victims’ – not the humans, the buildings.
Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy originated in Russia, 1913, by Vladimir Tatlin. It consisted in the rejection of the idea of autonomous art; for Tatlin defended that art should be ‘constructed’.
This philosophy became extremely popular, influencing the major modern art movements and trends of the 20th century, such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements. Its influence was pervasive, greatly affecting the architecture, graphic design, industrial design, theatre, film, dance, fashion and even music of that time.
- Photography & photomontage
Constructivists were early developers of the techniques of photomontage. Gustav Klutsis’ ‘Dynamic City’ and ‘Lenin and Electrification’ (1919–20) are the first examples of this method of montage which, much as in Dadaism, consisted of the collaging together of news, photographs and painted sections. Still, Constructivist montages were less ‘destructive’ than those of Dadaism.
László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), Hungarian painter and photograher, as well as professor in the Bauhaus school; highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.
Note: I was particularly interested in his constructivist montages and his use of shapes and colours.
Christine Erhard (christineerhard.de) is a German artist who’s primary motive in making her work is to reproduce a new reality, something that looks real but cannot actually exist, except when viewed through the lens of a camera.
“Trying to move away from the conventions of linear perspective, she brings together disparate viewpoints in her constructed spaces. For her, the most interesting part of the image is where the fragments of the model overlap and how the intentional confusing of perspective allows the viewer to simultaneously recognise the architectural landscape while also understanding that something is not quite true.”
Note: Erhard’s works were extremely influential in my own practice during this project. I was fascinated not only by her play with perspective but also with her unique collages and use of colours.
Postmodern Architecture is a style or movement which emerged in the 1960s as a reaction against the austerity, formality, and lack of variety of modern architecture, particularly in the international style advocated by Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The style flourished from the 1980s through the 1990s and, in the late 1990s, it divided itself into a multitude of new tendencies, including high-tech architecture, neo-classicism and deconstructivism.
Colour was an important element in many postmodern buildings. To give the façades variety and personality, sometimes coloured glass, ceramic tiles or even stones were used.
Richard Rogers is a British architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs in high-tech architecture. Rogers’ best known works include the Pompidou Centre in Paris; the Lloyd’s building and Millennium Dome, both in London; the Senedd in Cardiff, among others.
Note: Again, the use of colour in Rogers’ buildings was something that captivated my attention. He seemed to use colour as a complimentary detail to the architecture of his buildings; however, when looking at the whole picture, we can see how colour really does stand out and gives life to the buildings.