Less is More
As Dr. Kavanagh discusses in the Summer newsletter, sometimes a single word can have an outsize impact.
In celebration, Foray Fit is taking a look at some examples from culture where simplicity has resulted in triumph!
The Architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
A discussion of "less is more" could never be complete without examining the man who popularized the phrase. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) revolutionized the field of architecture and is regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture. After scandalizing the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition with his design for the German Pavilion (photo in the banner above), he emigrated to the United States. There, his perspective brought simplicity and starkness of form to the Chicagoland area as the head of the architecture school and in numerous building projects, including his seminal design of high rise apartments at 860-880 Lake Shore Drive (1949). It would be those domiciles that would lead to the popularization of the glass and steel architecture epitomized in New York's iconic Seagram Building (1952), revolutionized the aesthetics of city skylines around the world and continues to inspire architects to this day. It's no wonder that he is most commonly referred to simply as "Mies."
Go on a tour of Mies designed buildings on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus with GQ below.
The Product Design of Dieter Rams
When Dieter Rams started designing products for the legendary German manufacturer Braun in the 1950's, he revolutionized what machines could look like with the concept of "less but better." By the time he became the company's chief design officer in 1955 (a position he held for the next 40 years!), his work on the SK4 record player had shuttled product design into a new era where machines gained their own visual identities and came to be seen as beautiful. Often credited as the "most influential product design of the 20th century," Rams' work was of particular inspiration to a young designer named Jony Ive, lead product designer at Apple throughout the 2000's. Rams' fingerprints are hard to miss on many of the devices we now hold every day.
Learn more about Dieter Rams' work with the curators of London's Victoria & Albert Museum.
The Music of John Cage
In 1952, composer John Cage brought something revolutionary to the Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, New York–silence. 4'33" is Cage's iconic masterpiece, a three-movement composition in which the sounds of the environment, rather than any created by the performer, are on display. At its premier, pianist David Tudor embarked on the stage and closed the lid to mark the beginning of the piece, opening and closing it again a few more times over the course of the next four minutes and thirty-three seconds to mark the movements of the composition. Cage brought his audience into a state of tension as what had previously been considered "noise" was elevated to "music." Concert halls around the world still reverberate with the piece's impact.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
For more than 20 years the message has been developed that even a modest increase in activity can have meaningful health benefits.
Foray Design believes in a different approach not only to walkers but in communicating their benefits. Sometimes, to become active what is needed is not another news article but just an anchor word.
In our Summer newsletter, Dr. Kavanagh examines the words that have been written on the subject and those she finds most impactful in her own practice.
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