,There is nothing truly beautiful but that which can never be of any use whatsoever; everything useful is ugly.‘
– said Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier (1811 –1872) – a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, art and literary critic.
This is universal truth! I understood that once again, being deeply touched by an amazing, quite unique and original collection of avant-garde pieces of art, brought together in the 107RIVOLI boutique, that complements the museum of Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
The boutique displayed the selected objects, all filled with charm and poetry, beauty and divine! Besides, they were related to the current exhibitions. The focus of the selection, proposed by 107RIVOLI, was based on the design, ranging from jewellery, fashion accessories and decorative objects to the world graphic design and stationery.
It is a pure fascination! The purses made of frogs, the bracelets, looking like horse hooves, the porte-monnaies, made of some ocean creatures… These amazing pieces hypnotized me and I immediately fell in love with them from the very first moment, I saw them. However, in these moments the rational part of me starts the endless dispute with my emotional part. I want to have it but I can‘t acquit the reason, to buy it for… I am in a fever! I feel like an inveterate collector, who found a very unique piece! I get it and return so proud, like a hunter with a booty on his shoulder. I try to understand: ,What is it, talking so loud inside? Is it a simple ancient instinct of gathering or is there an inner demand of art, that lives in every one of us?‘
We bring those trophies home, and so our homes get their own identity. They tell the stories about their owners and they show their characters. All those details weave the special atmosphere of the place. But all these beautiful details don‘t talk so loud, they could be recognizable only by those, who is willing to observe. That is their practical side. Isn’t it? But why are we still looking for a practical use?! What makes us guilty? Why can‘t we just enjoy them? I guess, this is just an eternal dialogue between the beautiful and the useful, that will never end. To get into this problem deeper, let‘s try to figure out, what purpose was already planned by a creator?
First of all, was a design a method of projecting a dream, or is it more an improvisation, led just by a not quite conscious intuition?
There exist two basic and fundamentally different ways of design. The prevailing view has been called „The Rational Model“. The alternative view has been called „Evolutionary Design“.
The ,Rational Model‘ is based on the idea, that a design process is a well planned activity, having it‘s goal and optimized problem solving. Following this method, a designer makes a problem statement, then makes an analysis and research, conceptualizes it and solves the problem. Then he produces a product with a certain implementation properties. In this case everything is clear and the product of design has its concrete application.
But what happens, when a designer comes from another perspective and is guided by „Evolutionary Design“? In this case, starting a project, the creator doesn’t know, what exactly will come in the end. He will improvise, and ,plan‘ step by step, looking in the process, what comes out of his hands. This method has been criticized. First, because it is not quite practical for the industrial purposes, second, – it is not easy to teach to create, using this method.
The rational method is logical, thus, it is easy to control the process of production. However, the problem of the rational method is that no artist is actually using it. Usually, the creation goes unconsciously, ruled by the hidden (from the mind) forces. Exactly the same way, the artworks speak to us: unconsciously we’ve been attracted by them and do all we can do to possess them. However, the practical application is not quite clear… They just hypnotize us. They fill our mind and speak to our souls avoiding our rational minds.
So, what is their mysterious power? May be we are always ready to buy new emotions? We take an art object in our hands and feel something beautiful. Is it not practical enough? With these gorgeous pieces we buy feelings: excitement and admiration. Those feelings couldn’t be touched, hardly could be shown or described. We go into detail… We try to find the hidden secret ingredient… But we will never manage to do it. Because, the artist didn’t. This is the reason, why people say ,God is in the detail.‘ We just can feel the power of beauty, but will never be able to catch it by the tail.