My thesis work is intended to be part of an ongoing polemic concerning the value of modernism. Modernism occurred at a time in history when craft, industrial design and architectural design were enjoying reciprocal influences. Many architects were translating their architectural value systems into object designs, many of which became landmarks of twentieth century design. This crossover between the fields, which is evidenced still today, produced a rich theoretic tradition from which to draw. I am convinced that architectural design and object design are invariably linked and this is reflected in my thesis works as well as in my thesis paper. My thesis work was created within the framework of surface versus point. Three neckpieces (illus. 1, 2 ,3), two of which I completed the year preceding the thesis year, focused my attention on how powerful an object can be when viewed against a neutral palate and convinced me of the appropriateness of minimalism as a response to the chaos of our daily reality. The pieces strive for a severe elegance and purity of form which not only contrasts the "messy of our daily lives, but is neutral enough to allow for individual idiosyncrasies. The kind of restraint this requires is challenging. There is a piece within my thesis work, the third spoon of the spoon series (illus. 4), which cannot be defined in the reductive framework I have chosen to work in. I was affected by an article in which the author suggested that minimalist designers reduced design to such a degree that it was non-descript. He posed the question of whether they were designing at all. It was an intimidating notion at the time, but having reflected on my work, I am convinced that restraint is difficult but not limiting. I am steadfast in my belief that my work will be stronger by maintaining the stringent parameters I have established for myself.
Department, Program, or Center
School for American Crafts (CIAS)
Stickell, Angela, "Simplicity" (1996). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus