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Inside Outside in by Garry Emery

Inside Outside in by Garry Emery

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A key idea of modernist architecture is that space should flow, uninterrupted, between inside and outside. An apocryphal story has Frank Lloyd Wright, at the threshold of Philip Johnson's Glass House, asking "Should I leave my hat on, or take it off?".
Spatial relationships are central to all design. And increasingly today's graphic designer wears more than one hat, since the two-dimensional space of the printed page is no longer the only - or even the primary-focus of graphic design. Three- and four-dimensional physical and also virtual spatial environments now figure large in much contemporary design practice. This means that time and motion, as much as composition and proportion, are elements that the graphic designer needs to interpret, order and deploy.
The art and writings of Barnett Newman, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Richard Serra and Robert Smithson have all expanded my own understanding of space, abstraction, place, time and motion, and of how we engage with and experience space as we move through physical and virtual environments. Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), said back in the 1970s: "Basically, my thing is based within the context of a dialectic that goes from the indoors to the outdoors, and back from the outdoors to the indoors". And in referring to one of his works, Richard Serra explained: 'torqued by the Ellipse, the viewer is inside and outside at once, so that the subject-turned-inside-out now also seems to be space-turned-outside-in, made a function of the subject. In this way, just as the rational and the perverse are forced together, so private and public seem confused as well.'