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    Good design – what could it be…

    January 31, 2010

    Why good design is so much more…

     A detour through a downtown mall today spurred a conversation between Ines and myself about the intrinsic value of objects.

    Ines mused about the fact that most of the items on display, although at first glance interest evoking, are upon further investigation simply flashy and fake, without substance, and only an extremely minute amount of other items, often priced at a comparable monetary value, seem to carry in them an innate value that transcedes the mere cash factor.

    The shopper 

    As an artist good design for me is so much more than combining colours, shapes, textures and objects in a pleasing or -worse- merely fashionable manner.

    Good design must be embedded into a cultural and historical context to have meaning.

    Good design must speak about, and address, true universal values, wishes, desires, fears and objections.

    Good design expresses in three dimensional space nothing less than ageless philosophical concepts, it speaks of what is thoroughly valuable, and connects you to your greater and better self. 

    In my opinion things that are ‘cheap’ were created simply to make a quick buck, and most of the time the actual price of those items is being paid by the exploitation of natural resources and human labour.

    Think of those infamous ‘happy meals’, of the nowadays so quickly thrown- together condos, of jewelry (and not necessarily only the costume ones) and clothing…

    For me this mindset is best expressed by this awful slogan “We won’t be undersold”.

    Good things have their price – if you think you are getting a deal on something, you are most definitely wrong.

    In the same way ‘cheap’ fast food weakens your body and affects your health in a detrimental way, the owner of ‘cheap’ things surrounds him/herself with stuff that doesn’t speak to the soul.

    Be it design, food or tangible objects – truly good products and services draw upon a wealth of value, history, skill, knowledge, empathy, wonder and inspiration, and embody what is beautiful about life.

    Good design, like a good life, is NEVER fun and easy – it is a constant struggle for excellence.

    THE SKY IS THE LIMIT DESIGN is a national and international award winning, full service architectural and interior design firm. We service Vancouver, Kelowna and the BC Mainland, Victoria and Vancouver Island, Seattle and the Gulf Islands as well as international clients. Principal Ines Hanl and her team specialize in the creation of artful, bespoke interiors in any style for their discerning clientele.

     

     

    Fortuna – The Painting

    January 18, 2010

    Klaus’ Blogs will delft into the philosophical and historical background of his artistic work.

    His oeuvre is incredibly varied, and spans everything from elegant fine art painting to Folk Art, from socio-political illustrations to designs for Amusement parks and Dark Rides, from theme store design, animated displays for trade shows and store windows to beautiful works of sculpture.

    You will find that his mind is able to make visible the very best, and the very worst, in human nature.

     

     

     

    FORTUNA

    FortunaWhen Ines, after much self doubt and soul searching, decided to launch THE SKY IS THE LIMIT DESIGN I was inspired to create a painting for her new showroom.

     

    I wanted the image to purvey the concept of accepting the unknown with grace, dignity and courage.

    That concept for me is symbolized best by the figure of FORTUNA.

    This Greco-Roman Goddess of Fate and Fortune (‘Tyche’ in the Greek mythology) approaches individuals with the Gift of Opportunity. Should the person blessed with such an offer reject it nevertheless, punishment results – in general terms – in living in obscurity and perpetually having to deal with the question ‘What if…’.

     

    My particular interpretation of this classical theme shows FORTUNA in a contemporary version of an ‘Ikona’, those works of art so typical for Eastern Orthodox Christianity. An Icon brings the viewer face to face with a symbol, which represents something of greater significance, and I have admired the graphic purity and unpretentiousness of this style of art for as long as I can remember.

     

    FORTUNA is shown in 18th century attire, which symbolizes the rise of a new kind of sophisticated, energetic and powerful woman, who is ready and able to take charge of her own destiny (like Ines).

    The bird represents the Gift of Choice itself – it comes at its own will, and if not acted upon quickly it will fly away, never to return again.

    He holds in his beak the key to possible success, and brings with him a medallion, in which HIERONYMUS FISH is engraved, the mascot of THE SKY IS THE LIMIT DESIGN (see also the ‘About us’ section for a brief story on Hieronymus).

    The tiles, light and dark, stand for the possibility of failure and success – life can always go either way, and FORTUNA’s sentiment is written as a poetic note to the reader on one of them.

     

    My special Thanks and Acknowledgment belong to the late English novelist Mary Renault, who speaks to me through her wonderful and impressive books, as well as to the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, whose books I only recently discovered, but who already had a huge intellectual influence on me.

     

     

    Fortuna, 2007

    Latex, spray painted on wood

    42”x 80”

     

     

    THE SKY IS THE LIMIT DESIGN is a national and international award winning, full service architectural and interior design firm. We service Vancouver, Kelowna and the BC Mainland, Victoria and Vancouver Island, Seattle and the Gulf Islands as well as international clients. Principal Ines Hanl and her team specialize in the creation of artful, bespoke interiors in any style for their discerning clientele.

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