Ceramic Design Tecno.logical Implements

By Bauman, Shlomit | Ceramics Art & Perception, March 2012 | Go to article overview

Ceramic Design Tecno.logical Implements


Bauman, Shlomit, Ceramics Art & Perception


No matter nor space nor time has been what it was from time immemorial. ~ Paul Valery (1)

Vitruvius' book, de architectura libri decem (ten books on architecture) is one of the first known texts that formulate the principles of design and planning. (2) Vitruvius outlines the basic principles of the act of designing/planning and consolidates them into three objectives: strength, utility and beauty. It appears that today these three principles are still relevant to architecture, craft and design. Nonetheless, numerous changes that characterise our age derive from technological changes which we are constantly experiencing. The term 'technological revolution', which became widespread after the industrial revolution, is not new and was given diverse interpretations in the past. (3) After this revolution, it denotes a systemic change in numerous spheres of life (technological, demographic, economic and cultural changes), which occurs within a relatively short period. (4)

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Following the industrial revolution the importance of technology increased and was manifested in culture drawing its authority from it. (5) Technological inventions and innovations gained a great deal of attention, to the extent that inventive skills were appreciated more than the quality of the invention itself. The assimilation of technology into daily life reinforced concepts that became, in turn, cultural values; such as innovation, change, industry, automation and dynamics. Due to their magnitude they were identified with progress and success in a way that created a need for reexamination.

The common basic assumption is that technology is a neutral means whose objective is to resolve technical problems and does not necessarily have a world-view. This assumption thwarts the ethical and critical examination of technological tools, whose implications on society have still not been properly understood. (6) Despite all of this, the absence of an ethical and critical examination of these changes is striking. Technological revolutions, which affect all spheres of life, create a new language of design and planning (7) derived from new tools that develop within them. (8) This language is the focal point of this exhibition.

We are now at a juncture when it is important to examine the reciprocal relations between technology and other fields of craft, design and art. The velocity of exponential acceleration (9) in technological changes, brought about the development of new, composite, smart, micro-and nanotechnological materials (10) which will bear significant impact on these reciprocal relationships. In addition, economic and social changes (such as the establishment of capitalism and globalization) affect the politics of products and relationships between the producer and user and means of production. The changing meanings of concepts such as 'craft' and 'design', which have become deeply rooted in our consciousness as well as in the syllabi of design and art academies, constitute a platform for this exhibition, which reexamines the repertoire of real, ethical and metaphoric tools that deal with their offshoots in Israeli design and ceramics.

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CRAFT, DESIGN, AND CERAMICS DESIGN

The broad scope of professional and design knowledge in the post-modern era runs from broad social generalisations to individual cases. Designers and artists are required to bridge over the multiple languages of various professionals who participate in the design process and function like agents of utility, technology, material and culture. (11) This exhibition deals with some of these aspects and seeks to examine them vis-a-vis Israeli ceramics design. On the one hand, ceramics design is a sensuous and layered sphere that enables personal expression, comprises cultural and historical depth and formulates a contemporary language. On the other, it is a field in which advanced research and development processes exist constantly, integrating into an ever-growing number of spheres of daily life and innovative technologies. …

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