Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Hierarchy and juxtaposition, part of Design Foundation 3D: Shape and Form.
- Hey, we're here at Emmerson College in glamorous Hollywood, California. This is a art and communication school. And, we've chosen it because there's hierarchy and juxtaposition everywhere you look. Now, this building was designed by Morphosis Architects, also based here in LA. And, a lot of people ask about the style. So, it is in the modernist vein, but it's as far away from modernist minimalism as you can get. Some people have labeled it deconstructivist, so we'll leave it at that. So, let's define these two terms.
Hierarchy is the relationship between two forms with one being more important than the other. Juxtaposition is more about the interaction, how close or how far with no regard to importance. There's a better term I like to use personally, it's called dialogue. And that's kind of this non-verbal communication between elements when they get close. So as you might imagine, if things are really far apart, there's no relationship. Up close, you start to see an interplay between the shapes and forms. For product design example, let's check out this aerial candle holder.
This was designed by me, Dave, and was inspired by antennas and towers. So, one of the primary explorations was this dialogue between forms. At some point, you have two candles just minding their own business on opposite side of the rooms, but when you bring them closer, suddenly at some point, there's a pair. So, that's how I established kind of the relationship between the two elements being held up, and also kind of as a free bonus, it kind of defined a little frame or void space in between. Another great example of these terms we've been talking about is right down the 101 about six miles from here, Walt Disney Concert Hall by Frank Gehry, the world's greatest living architect, in my opinion.
Let's start with the inside. We have a world class concert hall obviously, but there's also a lot of juxtaposition happening internally. There's a lot of walls and angles, and forms and collisions happening internally with materials as well always creating a dynamic environment. But, the real highlight is on the outside. So, here we have stainless steel panels of forms that are juxtapose and colliding, floating some people say, looking like clouds or sails. Other people say they kind of remind them of pillows.
Although made of stainless steel, that would not be very comfortable. And, that's one of the problems that's come up. So, these beautiful stainless steel panels, they were polished to a high degree really look amazing with the light and reflections kind of animating the facade even more so than the shapes themselves. However, that was one of the problems that they experienced early on. In fact, some of the neighbors complained a little bit bitterly about bright blinding light coming into their residence. So of course, Frank Gehry wasn't buying any of it. But after a lot of protest, he finally came to check it out.
And then later, he had to agree. So, some of the areas were sanded and etched a bit to make everyone happy. So, we came here because there is hierarchy and juxtaposition everywhere I look. And some of these examples, you can see the forms getting close, colliding, or not colliding. But also, a lot of interplay between materials and textures. Also, what's really interesting to me, is the juxtaposition is not just the spaces externally, but the spaces internally. We've got a lot going on with residential and classrooms and some other functions here.
So, there's a dynamic environment. And that's really what juxtaposition is all about.
First, see how the same idea can be applied in a smaller 2D scale—like graphics and print, fine art, and advertising. Dave then blows it up in 3D, and showcases examples from product design, furniture, architecture, and urban planning.
Projects and concepts are presented in an engaging and sometimes irreverent manner with images, videos, and personal and professional stories from Dave. Check out this fast-paced tour as it covers topics ranging from grids and axes to designing with humor.
- Design exploration with sketching
- 3D exploration with organic forms
- Grids and axes
- Defining space
- Color and contrast
- Texture and patterns
- Minimalism. Less is more.
- Retro. It's back!