Albrecht Durer, St. Jerome in his Study, 1514. This famous engraving perfectly encapsulates the notion that the interior is an intrinsic reflection of our inner selves projected into the immediate space around us. Every element in the room allows for reflective study – St. Jerome is reading at a desk – and also functions as an extension of St. Jerome’s self into the physical accoutrements that support him.
Rimini Convention Center, designed by GMP Studio, Rimini, Italy. Designed to showcase, house, Architectural designs and facilitate the movement of hundreds of people, this easily accessible and differently detailed void space provides a change of shape, form, materials, and experience. When standing in the middle and below the rotunda with its contemporary wood detailing, the quality of light and sound envelope the body in a starkly different manner to when moving through the wide (yet low-ceilinged) corridors or the extra tall major arteries which form the primary circulation axis. This kind of intentional change of experience is essential for sustained human attention and sensory satisfaction part of a balance of opposites: we can only understand it by experiencing its absence in any form.
Human nature exhibits consistent duality. For us to survive, the state of opposites – such as the private and the public – is a necessity. The element of contrast is rarely seen in terms of stabilizing counterparts, and within most foundational art and design education it is commonly and fundamentally discussed only in the context of visual balance; this needs to be expanded to include a broader range of experiences.
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