Eliel Saarinen: Search for Form
Let's stand on the hill and look at the landscape benaeth our eyes. We see fileds surrounded by woodlands and groves. We discern groups of trees and bushes bordering lakes and reflecting their verdant masses into the watery mirrors. Our eyes follow the rhythmic outline of hills and forests against the sky, the playful contour of the meadow, th eplastic display of light and shadow. We observe flowers spreading color, animals and birds bringing in movement and life.
In starting my understanding and response to the reading of Eliel Saarinen, I'm going to break up my response into three parts:
--Form as a part of Art
--Form as a part of Nature
---Form as a part of Man
I'm going to talk about the relationship of form and art, of form and nature, lastly, of form and man. The simple dictionary definition of form is;
1. basic structure: the nature, structure, or essence of a thing, considered apart from its content, color, texture, or composition
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
That is our basic understanding of form. But form in my understanding is much more than that, its expression, its art, its whatever a primitive man needs it o be, not want it o be. Form is both purposeful and accidental, both ways it constructs "FORM". There is no exact way of explaining the true meaning of form for their is many different definitions according tot eh topic that you research. I will be talking about form in perspective of architecture and nature, how both interacts and correlates with each other to build what we call "FORM".
Form as Art
When I think of form, the first thing that pops into my mind is everything. Why everything? Because in our world everything is translated through a man's "instrument of apprehension"(Eliel). "[M]an is able to see, to hear, to taste to smell, to feel, to know, to understand, to think, to sense-mentally, intuitively, instinctively and imaginatively-and to be influenced by what he sees, hears, et cetera"(Eliel Saarinen p. 24). Eliel explains that only through these senses do we understand what 'form' is and that we understand the world around us only through our senses. So I ask, What if 'form' is of something that can not be detected by the senses of man, then how do we know what that 'form' is? Our senses gives us oppurtunities to the outside world but also they limit the ability of man (Eliel Saarinen p.24).
Art in 2006 is still considered a 'form' of expression and man is free to express themselves through it. But its not what it use to be anymore. When an artist paints, draw, design, they have to take into account regulations and laws, fundamentals of art and form. Many things add up to the production of a single piece of art. What happened to expression? How about art as an expression of one's feelings and not of one's must? What I'm saying is that, man should build and form expression instead of doing art for the 'price' of it. 'Form' in art is expression, technique, brush strokes, material, everything that is a neccessity to make art. Art itself is way to broad of a topic to cover but we can analyze the form of it. We can look at the types and ways people use art to express themselves. Eliel explains that primitive man; equivalent to a caveman; uises 'form of art' to survive and get by in life. But in return the primitive man obtains a piece of art in a form that if man were to recreate, man would not be able to recreate the spiritual quality of the art but just the object itself.
Form as Nature
As soon as I thought og 'Form as Nature' Biomimicry shot into my head. Biomimicry is a fantastic example of 'form' in nature. Man uses natures law's and fundamentals to better survive everydaylife. Nowadays its less common for man to actually follow nature law's accordingly because now there is knowledge, and for that comes man's desire. Like in the article Essential Texts by Louis Kahn. Kahn says "[d]esires bring the new need" and thats true, the more man wants and desire , man will seek a way to find and accomplish.
Biomimicry is the imitation of nature's life to still life structures for man. When one takes the design from mother nature, one only does so much as to keep the design of the object itself but lack to understand the consequences. By consequences I mean that man wants to build an opera house that has the fundamentals and construction like a flower(lotus, rose)the layering upon layer. But does one take into account the price of building a structure like that? Where will this building stand to not interfere with natures course? Some people have managed to do Biomimicy and envelop the surroundings greatly, but what of those whom do poorly of it? What price does mother nature have to pay by the construction of this structure, what 'form' or part of nature needs to change in order to still be correlated like it use to be before the structure?
An example of Biomimicry (good)..
Form as Man
Man is 'form' at its best. Menaing that, a MAN is part of nature, and that A MAN is the most complicated form on earth, well at least I think so. Because part of a 'man' is not just the formation of his body but, the form of his brain, form od his lofe, his form of expression, form of love etc...the list can go on. Man has personality and characteristics, the human mind itself is more colplicatd than the stem of a plant because man can feel and be heard. The language we speak the things we hear are what man can do. Man is expressive thus a complicated formation of knowledge. I think the most complex and confusing form is the form of emotions that man can show. Sad, happy, angry...and so on, not definite ever, always a changing rythm to every feeling.