The two chapters this week were a lot about typography again and the images didn’t really catch my eye; however, they were easy to draw personal relations to. I think that it’s because we have reached the point in time that contains art that people of my generation consider “old” and “outdated”. To me this stuff looks likemagazines and art my grandma would have around her house stashed away in a drawer or hanging in her living room. And it’s kind of true. My grandma was in her teens through thirties when this art was being made. She even to this day has an extensive collection of designer furniture including about 5 or 6 large designer chairs that she kept when she sold her house and moved into a small two bedroom apartment. She calls them “classics” and designs that never go out of style. The other day I was having a conversation with her armed with the knowledge of the design sensibilities of the modern movement era from chapter 17. I tried to explain to her that these pieces of furniture were really “of their time” since they lost mass appeal after the 1940’s and 1950’s, that her pieces inspired mass-produced versions, and that when that died off in popularity, the era of that type of design was over, and the appeal is now reserved to a few art and designer furniture enthusiasts. She countered that she had “bought these pieces from Scandinavian countries overseas 10 or 20 years before they became popular in the states.” She was born in the 1920’s, so she had to have bought them in the 40’s and 50’s. Yes grandma, you’re such a hipster.
Another thing I found interesting out of the reading this week was the first map for
the London Underground system, drawn by Henry C. Beck in 1933. This was the first map of its kind, to sue a diagram type map that was not to scale, but instead made so that complex interchanges would be legible. The different lines were represented by their own colors, with each stop labeled and facing the same way for easy reading. This map design is something that I personally, and ‘m sure many people today, take for granted. We expect this. How could we get around transportation systems without one? For example, take he current map of the metro rail lines in Los Angeles. You can click to get a larger view.
Don’t the two maps looks extremely similar? The is no denying that this map was inspired by Beck’s map of the London Underground. The lines are even names after the colors they are on the map- The Red Line, The Orange Line, The Blue Line. This whole transportation system is paying homage to Beck’s creation.