Art In Motion: The Story Behind Mobiles

  Alexander Calder mobile at the Hemmens Auditorium (Photo by   The Elginite  ).

Alexander Calder mobile at the Hemmens Auditorium (Photo by The Elginite).

Most people are familiar with baby mobiles. Fewer know them as an interior decorating accessory. And even fewer know them as a fine-art form. What are mobiles? Who invented them? To start, mobiles are a type of suspended sculpture based on balance and characterized by the ability to move. They range in size from a few inches to more than 100 feet and can cost anywhere from $10 to almost $26 million.

Guest post by Marco Mahler - written for Houzz.

Click below to open-up full length article with fabulous photos of this floating art form.

 

Black & Gold Office - James Bond 007 Style!

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Sexy Meeting Rooms

Sexy and investments are not two words normally found in the same sentence.  These rooms look more like James Bond 007's bachelor pad than investment firm.

i29 Architects created a meeting & lounge areas for All Capital Investment Group,  that are prestigious and opulent without being pretentious or stuffy.

The meeting rooms are black and gold, whilst the lounge areas are simpler in various tones of greys, black and white.

Clever Design

The captivating features of the meeting rooms are the shapely elliptical gold features that are inset into the black wall unit and furniture accents.

The egg-shape motif is also inset into the black office furniture and pattern of the carpet.  The space is punctuated with large half moon pendant black light fixtures with a gold interior.  

The room's success with the black and gold wall unit is dependant upon the counterposition of the white walls, ceiling and full width window wall.  Also, aided by the light grey carpet oval cut into the dark grey strié carpet. Texture is further enhanced with the linear vertical striping go the painted black rift cut oak.

Upon first viewing, the meeting rooms looks sultry and powerful.  But, upon further review I feel that the use of black can become morose and depressing.  Especially during the long grey winter with lack of natural sunshine. A lot would depend on lighting.

These rooms are appropriate for short meetings versus a long-term work environment. 

Scientifically Speaking

William Lidwell, PhD, who is an acquaintance of mine and has a video lecture series called How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals, gave his thoughts on this office: 

"There is no intrinsic problem with predominantly black interiors, assuming proper lighting, etc. However, when black is matched with high-contrast colors like red or yellow, you start to run into threat combinations that are hardwired in the brain—i.e., the kinds of color combinations you typically find in poisonous snakes, insects, and plants that we have evolved to identify as potential threats. The result can be an environment that produces stress and fatigue at a subconscious level, and correspondingly impairs performance. And I think your comment about short meetings versus a long-term work environment is dead on—darker environments generally result in lower productivity and emotional wellbeing vs lighter environments. So, to the extent that productivity and happiness are factors, you would not want to spend a lot of time in that office."

It's always gratifying to have my professional opinion validated.

Black - Tips & Tricks

Although black can dramatic in its appeal, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing black:

  • Black can be depressing to live and work in.  An all black room is difficult to live and work in. It must be counter balanced with a bright colour or white.  Mix-up your walls.
  • Black sucks all the light in a room.  Install dimmer switches so that you can control lighting levels to suit your needs.
  • Black ceilings - NO!  Painting a ceiling black will make it look lower and can be very claustrophobic.  Even if it's a very high ceiling.  (See William Lidwell's comments above.)
  • Black shows dirt. Dust and dirt will show up on black as a white haze. And scuff marks dull streaks. Dust and clean regularly.
  • Black paint quality and coats.  To achieve hide and coverage, tint primer black.  Or… your black walls may require 3 to 4 coats of paint to get proper saturation, make sure you buy a good quality paint such as Benjamin Moore's Aura, which allows you to paint fewer coats. And, remember, painting can be labour intensive. 
  • Black high gloss - beware of glare.  Shiny black gloss produces glare and have high reflectivity.  You may notice it acts like a mirror and start reflecting the light fixtures above.
  • Black matte is the best. The glossier the paint, the more imperfections show. This is true for paint of all colors, but imperfections are especially noticeable on a black surface.

Black - exiting - yes!

But -  manage the location and the quantity.  

Black is fickle.  What's dramatic and wonderful on a whim, might be depressing in truth.

Design to enhance your personal power and your happiness.

Dolores

Acknowledgments and Useful Websites:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated. 

Rainbows: Part III - The Culture Of The Rainbow

Part II Introduced us to the many scientific discoviries as a result of studying the rainbow.

3. Culture – How do we express culture through rainbows? And why is it important?

While science has explained why and how we see the rainbow, our souls have sought to understand and explain it’s mystery and find a place in our lives.

Rainbows are seen in every culture through every era in many forms: mythology, art, literature, film, music, flags, fashion, logos, current events .... and even gaming. The list goes on and on.

Culture

Here are just are a few cultural examples grounded in mythology and displayed in many forms of art and literature:

  • Greece: The rainbow is a path made by the messenger IRIS between heaven and the sea, so that the goddess cold replenish the rain-clouds with water from the sea.
  • Chinese: The rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by goddess NuWa. In the Chinese myth, the goddess NuWa once mended the broken sky with seven coloured stones... which we’ve come to know as the seven colours of the rainbow.
  • India: Hindus believe, the rainbow is the bow of Rama, the incarnation of Vishnu. And represents the seven charkas of the body. from the first charka (red) to the seventh charka (violet).
  • Christian & Jewish religions: The rainbow is a covenant with God. Where God promised Noah that life on Earth would never again be destroyed by a flood, visually depicted in a painting by Joseph Anton Koch "Noah's Thank Offering".
  • Ireland: The the leprechaun's secret hiding place for his pot-o-gold lies at the end of the rainbow.
  • Today’s modern world: Rainbows are used as a guide to eating healthy fruits and vegetables.

Branding

As a branding exercise the Rainbow Flag made famous in the 70’s by the USA’s gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender community, strategically designed to reflect the diversity of the community. Proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity. A new era of hope and social change.

Film & Music

In American entertainment music, song writers have used the concept of the rainbow in many of their films:

  • “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from the Wizard Of Oz – seen as a symbol of hope, where dreams come true. Dorothy’s Aunt Em tells her to find a place where she won’t get into any trouble. And, Dorothy wonders if there is such a place.

  • Sesame Street – Kermit the Frog sings his famous “Rainbow Connection”, a connection between people and their dreams.

Architecture & Interior Design

Even interior architecture has seen the rainbow’s influence. The Rainbow Room is one of New York City’s most famous dining and party rooms located in the Rockefeller Plaza. The name chosen was to be “distinctive” and “not sound like an ordinary Eighth Avenue food joint.” It was inspired by the installation of new technology – an RCA color organ “that automatically converts music into changing colors in harmony with the moods expressed by the music.” This interior architectural space is now historically designated.

Phantom As An Obsession

So you can see how nature’s gift of the rainbow, has shaped our minds, hearts and soul from the beginning of time.

And, why this phantom is a small obsession with me. I could never exhaust its inspiration. I look for every opportunity I can to employ all seven colours of the rainbow in some form or fashion in one of my interior projects. Sometimes boldly but often times more subtly – whispering its magic.

As the song says:

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
(Over The Rainbow, The Wizard of Oz movie song sung by Judy Garland 1939d)

 7 Chakras Of The Body

7 Chakras Of The Body

 "Noah's Thank Offering" (c.1803) by Joseph Anton Koch

"Noah's Thank Offering" (c.1803) by Joseph Anton Koch

 Irish Leprechaun's Pot-O-Gold at the end of the Rainbow.

Irish Leprechaun's Pot-O-Gold at the end of the Rainbow.

 Sesame Street "The Rainbow Connection" 

Sesame Street "The Rainbow Connection" 

 Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza in New York City USA.

Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza in New York City USA.

Thank-you to all the photographers who have made this 3rd and final posting more lively with great illustrations and photos. For photo credits please click on the photo.  This will take you directly to the website from where the photo originated.

Disclaimer:   The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated. 

Thanks to Wikipedia for supplying some of  the research and many of the images. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow

 

Rainbows - Part II - The History Of The Rainbow

Part I introduced us to rainbow and the science behind the phenomenon.

2. History - What has science discovered by studying the rainbow?

The observations and calculations of the rainbow have lead to important theories of light and vision. (we take these things for granted)

Here are a just a few high-lights:

  • Aristotle was the first to observe the geometric relationships of the sun, the observer and the rainbow.
  • Throughout the centuries many attempts we made to offer a scientific explaination but Aristotle's observations ruled in the Western world.
  • 13th century, Roger Bacon discovered that a person had to be 42 degrees in front of the rainbow in order to see it.
  • Early 17th century - Descartes found that the primary bow was caused by a single internal reflection inside the raindrop and that could be caused by two internal reflections.
  • 17th century Sir Isaac Newton saw that droplets act as a prism. And that the sun’s white light was composed of 7 colours, where a glass prism could separate into the full spectrum of colours.
  • 19th century, Thomas Young discovered that our eyes have 3 cone receptors that see red, green and blue. And that the eye mixes these colours according to the wavelengths of light.
  • Also in the 19th century, George Airy, developed the mathematical model to calculate all of the colours of the rainbow, their strength and proportion.
  • A few decades later, the theory of light scattering and physically describing the rainbow was developed by Gustave Mie.
  • It is only well into the mid 20th century that computers helped us use all this information and apply it to other scientific discoveries such as computer graphics, lighting and cancer research.

Next-up: 3. Culture – How do we express culture through rainbows? And why is it important?

 An illustration of Aristotle's rainbow theory. Clouds on a hemisphere resting on the circle of the horizon reflect sunlight to the observer where the angle is equal (to some constant angle). 

An illustration of Aristotle's rainbow theory. Clouds on a hemisphere resting on the circle of the horizon reflect sunlight to the observer where the angle is equal (to some constant angle). 

 Rene Descartes' sketch of how primary and secondary rainbows are formed. 

Rene Descartes' sketch of how primary and secondary rainbows are formed. 

 Roger Bacon's optic studies - White light separates into different colours on entering the raindrop to dispersion, causing red light to be refracted less than blue light.

Roger Bacon's optic studies - White light separates into different colours on entering the raindrop to dispersion, causing red light to be refracted less than blue light.

 Roger Bacon - A triangular prism, dispersing light; waves shown to illustrate the differing wavelengths of light. 

Roger Bacon - A triangular prism, dispersing light; waves shown to illustrate the differing wavelengths of light. 

Thank-you to all the photographers who have made this humble 2nd posting more lively with great illustrations and photos. For photo credits please click on the photo.  This will take you directly to the website from where the photo originated.

Disclaimer:   The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated.

Thanks to Wikipedia for supplying some of

the research and many of the images. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow