Chapter 9, The Principles of Design, deals with the manner in which designers and artists put together virtually everything they create! The word design is both a verb and a noun, a process and a product. To design something is to organize its parts into a unified whole. We are able to see, in that totality, something we call its "design." Chapter 9 also provides a rationale that unifies designers and artistsdesigners are creative artists, and artists are problem solving designers! Both groups end up with different results, but they employ the same principles when creating their products, regardless if they're canvases, chairs, sculptures, or buildings.
After reading this chapter you should:
Contemporary artists (such as Elizabeth Murray) and architects (Robert Venturi or Frank Gehry) have begun to explore the notion of a new set of principles, based upon the eclectic sum of our modern, complex, visual world of neon signs and fast sound bites. This sense of disjunction, that the parts can never form a unified whole, is what we have come to identify as Postmodernism. In his book, Learning from Las Vegas, Robert Venturi asserts that the collision of signs, styles and symbols that mark the "American Strip," in particular Las Vegas, could be seen as a new form of unity. "Disorder," Venturi writes "[is] an order we cannot see..."
Chapter 9 ends with The Critical Process,an analysis of Claude Monets Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil. In this analysis, the author has identified how the artist employed all of the principles of design. As you continue on through this chapter and this book, pick some works to analyze on your own, and see if the process doesn't extend your understanding of the work.