Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

Share this Page URL

Chapter 5: Bridging Synthetic and Organi... > MATERIAL CONNECTIONS - Pg. 82

Bridging Synthetic and Organic Materiality and subsequent mass production. The nature of mass production is such that it creates unifor- mity, which became a dominant aesthetic trend: Functionalism. Adolf Loos (1908/1998) claimed in his essay `Ornament and Crime' (1908) "the evolution of culture is synonymous with the re- moval of ornamentation from objects of everyday use," and expressed his "passion for smooth and precious surface" (Rykwert, 1973). In part, due to new materials and tectonics, Functionalism could create a dialogue that questioned standard perceptions of the built environment. Although the means of standardization have evolved, there has been continuous criticism to this process by organizations such as the Ludites in early 19th century and the Arts and Crafts Movement. This criticism of anti-machine trends is today continued in the form of organic fluid shapes enabled by recent digital tools, resulting in `blobby' reforms. "The biomorphic structures and organic designs function into parts and components ultimately built with mono-materials. They specify materials to fulfill assigned requirements taking advantage of material properties; for example a window com- ponent with a transparent sheet glass and a well insulated frame. As long as man-made structures are fabricated as complex assemblies of parts and components, whether mass-produced or digitally mass customized or one-off hand crafted, connec- tions between components are inevitable. "From a philosophical and practical stance we can see that where materials or building components meet each other - at the points, at the lines or at the planes or surfaces ­ there is nothing" (Emmitt et al., 2004). Thus, assembled objects typically have pronounced seams between parts and components. Designers and architects do not have many choices to deal with these seams: to accentuate the contrast between components by using parting lines as graphical elements, disguise them from the eye