Certain artists are destined to conceive a single work of extraordinary relevance and immense success, only to spend the rest of their life chasing after the same elusive inspiration that only once graced them. The embarrassment barely concealed between the lines of some of the writings on the architecture Rietveld designed in the Fifties and Sixties suggests, without explicitly stating it, that this might be the case of our creator: a designer who lost, or at least heavily diluted his creative vein after an extremely brilliant debut, yet enough to consolidate his architectural reputation. Numerous factors might be listed as causes of this loss of inspiration: the shock, the cruelty of World War II and the German invasion of a country known for its tolerance; Rietveld natural disposition toward the new and his scarce inclination to humour the taste of his ordinary middle class patrons; the loss of his muse with Truus Schröder’s discreet departure from the scene; Rietveld’s retreat into an architectural vision based on details, rather than on the play of volumes, to the point that he became a master of understatement. The key to a reading of Rietveld’s creative research as put forward by this essay takes its cue from the apparent discontinuity in the professional itinerary in design as well as in the building practice of this architect /craftsman. My intention is to offer a different interpretation of this discontinuity: namely, to consider the whole of the Dutch designer’s production as a consistent process centred on the theme of the home. This subject provided Rietveld with the opportunity to develop a mature and truly authentic workshop practice, one allowing him to experiment with different approaches in different phases of his fertile career, in the course of which he was also influenced by changing home and lifestyle trends produced by the media. It is also worth noting that the one-family house, the most common subject of Rietveld’s production, represents the pivotal point of the majority of Modernism’s design practice experiments – besides embodying the preferred and most successful propaganda tool of any program of home modernization at least in magazines and printed materials.

Dutch 'Case Study' Houses. Rietveld's Contribution to Modern living in perspective

CASCIATO, MARISTELLA
2010

Abstract

Certain artists are destined to conceive a single work of extraordinary relevance and immense success, only to spend the rest of their life chasing after the same elusive inspiration that only once graced them. The embarrassment barely concealed between the lines of some of the writings on the architecture Rietveld designed in the Fifties and Sixties suggests, without explicitly stating it, that this might be the case of our creator: a designer who lost, or at least heavily diluted his creative vein after an extremely brilliant debut, yet enough to consolidate his architectural reputation. Numerous factors might be listed as causes of this loss of inspiration: the shock, the cruelty of World War II and the German invasion of a country known for its tolerance; Rietveld natural disposition toward the new and his scarce inclination to humour the taste of his ordinary middle class patrons; the loss of his muse with Truus Schröder’s discreet departure from the scene; Rietveld’s retreat into an architectural vision based on details, rather than on the play of volumes, to the point that he became a master of understatement. The key to a reading of Rietveld’s creative research as put forward by this essay takes its cue from the apparent discontinuity in the professional itinerary in design as well as in the building practice of this architect /craftsman. My intention is to offer a different interpretation of this discontinuity: namely, to consider the whole of the Dutch designer’s production as a consistent process centred on the theme of the home. This subject provided Rietveld with the opportunity to develop a mature and truly authentic workshop practice, one allowing him to experiment with different approaches in different phases of his fertile career, in the course of which he was also influenced by changing home and lifestyle trends produced by the media. It is also worth noting that the one-family house, the most common subject of Rietveld’s production, represents the pivotal point of the majority of Modernism’s design practice experiments – besides embodying the preferred and most successful propaganda tool of any program of home modernization at least in magazines and printed materials.
Rietveld's Universe
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M.Casciato
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/98678
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