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Monday, January 31, 2011

JOY OF WORK concept

How does concept of JOY OF WORK relate to modern thinking?
Arts & Crafts | Art NOUVEAU.
by mohd hafiz drahman

As a human we do best when it is something that we like most and the outcomes shall reflect our true characters. The sense of sincerity could be seen in product(s) that have been made by a joyful craftmans. It will deliver the message and communicate with potential users. INTERACTION between product and users is important in order to retain its popularity.

I think that the contribution of Arts & Crafts has laid out the roots on modern thinking. In addition Art Nouveau refine its characteristics in going towards modern thinking.

How does this concept of JOY of WORK started?
Some said its the devil who did it... HAHAHA.

Lets go back to the time of industrialization era in England. In the needs of producing more goods in fast speed (mass productioning goods) a lot of workers (Mens, Womens and young childrens) were "absorb" to work in a big factories in the cities. The working hours could be extend till late night just to finish up an amount of workloads.

The factories interiors is full with dust and people are handling dangerous chemicals without a proper attires. The wages earned by these people is too little and hardly can... The bojour is making more money with is capitalism method. During this era, there is no laws that protect the labours from the extreme way of working condition.

Heaps of garbage and ashes lie in all directions, and the foul liquids emptied before the door gather stinking pools. Here live the poorest of the poor, the worst paid workers with thieves and the victims of prostitution indiscriminately huddled together, the majority Irish, or of Irish ectraction, and those who have not yet sunk in the whirlpool of moral ruin which surrounds them, sinking daily deeper, losing daily more and more of thier power to resist the demoralising influence of want, filth, and surroundings. (stated by Friedrich Engels; writing in The Condition of the Working Class in England). (source: Adams, Steven The Arts & Crafts Movement 1996 Quintet Publishing Limited London)

It is common for people conducting protests in the first half 19th century against the horror of the Industrial Revolution. The protestors tone is often ineffectual, the wind of change is needed before social ills destroy Englands Economy.


This is where arts and crafts movement evolved and developed during the second half of the 19th century. In general, this movement emphasized on the welldesigned environment -fashioned with beautiful and well-crafted buildings, furniture, tapistries and ceramics. The main person behind this idea was expressed by William Morris.

In his Lectures on Socialism, Morris wrote that 'Art is Man's expression of his joy in Labour', an expression that the pressure of industrialized factory work had rendered impossible. Morris continues: 'Since all persons... must produce in some form or another it follows that under our present system most honest men must lead unhappy lives since their work... is devoid of pleasure'. (source: Adams, Steven The Arts & Crafts Movement 1996 Quintet Publishing Limited London)

As stated above, Morris is concerned with the current situation of working condition for the labours in factory. The improvement on both aesthethic standards and working condition should be not neglected.

'You must make either a tool of the creature or a man of him. You cannot make both. Men were not intended to work with accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions. If you will have that precision out of them, and make their fingers measure degrees like cog-wheels, and their arms strike curves like compasses, you must unhumanize them.' by Ruskin (source: Adams, Steven The Arts & Crafts Movement 1996 Quintet Publishing Limited London)

As stated above, Inspired from the medieval era, Ruskin strongly believed that men and women can produce more creative and beautiful works by retaining the sense of humanity.

Here are some of the visuals from arts & crafts movement:

(pictures and links)

Hence from the visuals above, one can clearly see the difference on the workmanship.
1) The detailing on each products is truely came from the craftmens individual aesthethic values. 2) The inspiration on nature were greatly captured to symbolized the appreciation of beautiful
mother nature back in the village.
3) It is one of a kind product which solely made for the upper class who is the target market at
that time.
4) Craftmens generate their own individual ideas and execute it well into the final products.

This movement has led people to appreciate the aesthethics and also brings more creative exploration on producing arts & crafts. The thinking process creates new beginning of new movement in the next chapter of design history. This is where the continution of Joy of Work concept on another movement and help to flourish more great ideas and philosophies. The birth of ART NOUVEAU.

How does Art Nouveau play its role in creating modern thinking?

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau (french) means NEW ART.

Ornamental style of art that flourished between about 1890and 1910 throughout Europe and the United States. Art Nouveau (AN) is characterized by its use of a long, sinuous, organic line and was employed most often in architecture, interior design, jewellery and glass design, posters, and illustration. It was a deliberate attempt to create a new style, free of the imitative historicism that dominated much of 19th-century art and design.

It was called Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, Stile Floreale (or Stile Liberty) in Italy, and Modernismo (or Modernista) in Spain.
(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

In AN movement, a new style starts to develop and flourish. It is considered as a TOTAL STYLE (whole environment) of a design. Nature inspired designs were simplified into a simple form.

Here are some of the artists associated with AN movement:

1)Hector Guimard.
2) Victor Horta.
3) Antonio Gaudi.
4) Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

most of the artist in AN movement tended to avoid the intricate design in their works. The were more attracted to organic shapes and plantlike motifs. It emphasized on form which used different kind of materials (mix medias). In other words, AN movement more interested on questioning artistic creation.

example of artworks: updating.

The artwork above shows that this movement starting to moving on minimal style. As most of the elements were stylized in simple forms. The continuity of each element on a product can be seen repeated in a one space or as holistic.

After 1910 Art Nouveau starts to lost it charms and appeared to be out of style. However, the declining of AN will reveal the modern style in the later development of design movement. Both of the movements has "pengaruh" the thinking process in order to develop an idea. In the context of design history, AN act like a bridge which connects the aesthetics with modern style.


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