Here, among the periodicals stacks, we have a new name. We are now formally known as the Periodicals and Electronic Resource Services unit. But we still are the place you can come find all kinds of magazines with great images. And we’re the place that organizes and pays for most of the fancy electronic stuff on the FIT Library’s website. And if you have questions about the stuff we keep here, you can check out our materials listings here:
Now that it’s March, the days are getting longer, and there’s more energy in the air for re-thinking creative landscapes and workspaces. I am thinking a lot lately about redesigning these spaces. We just reworked our office to be a bit more attractive, a bit more functional, and less regimented. I’m finishing a new studio space in my home as well, so that has me looking at some of our shelter-related titles here, pondering spaces. This sketch of a shoe shop, “Solo Yo” in Barcelona, is from the magazine Apartamento, issue no. 10. Doesn’t the line quality have a lot of character?
In the following article, the set designer Claudette Didul, who designed sets such as Mad Men, commented on her reaction to these at home… “By working on sets where I’m surrounded by clutter, recently I haven’t been able to stand my own clutter. Where I used to have coloured sheets, now I only want white sheets and towels.” (Claudette Didul, set decorator). This is a purely modernist point of view. In the nineteenth century, so many of the things that went into home decoration were new commodities, that people tended to enjoy a lot more *things* around them:
If you’re interested in the aesthetics of *thing-ness*, this blog has some great images of historic images and homes in the empire state:
Another title we have that is full of gorgeous images of other people’s homes is Anthology. I guess magazine editors spend all their time traveling with photographers and asking strangers if they can take pictures of their homes?
The Fall 2012 issue has some quirky rooms, like this one here…
And this one here…(I love the fact that none of the dishes or glasses match and they’re all brightly colored!)
But whenever I look at any of these (and I’m attached to magazines of this sort), I just have to wonder, where are these people’s books? And all their stuff?
My question about this one on the left, also from Apartamento, is how can you do research or any kind of writing and not have more places or stacks of books that you’re working from? Is it just that I’m a crazy lady working on a PhD? Or that, as one friend put it, I’m a “spreader, not a stacker”?
I know, I know that editors and stylists visit these rooms before they are photographed, and what you see probably involved some tidying and editing on the part of the owners, but I know in *my* house, the kitchen table is more likely to have a basket of onions and apples, the recent vitamin stash, several pens, my current favorite tin of tea, and some mail on it. I’m impressed by the control these homeowners show by their restraint. And that *someone* remembered to buy flowers for them.
Now I know that we are all children of the Bauhaus. Once having seen the Modernist aesthetic, it’s difficult to un-see the square, chrome edges and blank surfaces of the ideal apartment.
This one belonged to Laszlo Moholy-Nagy while he taught at the Bauhaus (Dessau) in 1927. But again, Moholy-Nagy was always working on 15 things at once, then would come home from his studio and paint all night. Or photograph shadows and the like. So where are all his tools? There’s not even any place under this sofa (mid-frame on the left) to tuck canvases. Yet we know Moholy-Nagy was a workaholic who came home from his teaching work and painted late into the night.
What kinds of spaces inspire you to the best creative work?