Monday Jun 02, 2008

Beautiful Design - Sculptural Objects and Functional Art (SOFA)

One of my biggest interests outside work (yes, I do have interests other than cars), is in three-dimensional art. This includes functional pieces like furniture, bowls for serving food, lighting, etc. and also pieces which are just beautiful to gaze at. In fact, the primary thing I do when on trips is to seek out galleries which have such artwork (usually called Crafts) to look at and possibly buy.

It is much harder to find such stores, though, than the multitude of galleries which have only paintings and photographs (two-dimensional art). I also look for museums that have such work, but they can be similarly hard to find. My favorite is the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in Manhattan, which has one floor of such work, usually even including at least one particularly inspired automobile.

One trip which my wife Laurie and I took specifically to see such art was the SOFA show in New York City a couple of years ago. SOFA stands for Sculptural Objects and Functional Art, which is just the sort of thing I enjoy. Most of the pieces shown were for sale, but at prices out of my reach. So I settled for taking photos (with permission) which I have now as screen savers and wallpaper on my PC, so I can still at least enjoy them that way. I hope you enjoy them as well.

<< Photos taken down -- see Chip Alexander to view them.  To protect the artists' work, I only wanted to have them up long enough for the blog viewers to see them.  >>

My wife and I enjoyed the show so much that we will be going to the Chicago version of it this November. Yes, November is not the nicest time of year to go to Chicago, but I am told this is an even bigger version of the show we saw in New York City, and is in fact the main show, so we have to go check it out. I'll try to take pictures at it and post them when I get back. If there is interest, I can also post photos of the 3D artwork which my wife and I own and love.

While it is hard to directly apply a lot of the beauty and design in these forms to software design, they are certainly highly inspirational, and at least the creativity and overall beauty can stimulate one to do better virtual-world design as well.

For those of you who find the photos in this blog intriguing, but don't want to travel to Chicago in the winter to see it, I would also strongly recommend the Palo Alto Clay and Glass show July 12 and 13 at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Rd. off Embarcadero.

Chip

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