Line, Plane, Volume: “Proun”
(NOTE: This exercise is based on a problem and a method developed by Rowena Reed Kostellow, who taught industrial design at the Pratt Institute.)
Create a proportionally elegant form using only three elements: line, plane, and volume. Combine these three elements in a compelling manner to establish a series of relationships between sets three volumes.
In so doing, consider the following:
proportion (contrasting, comparative, inherent)
relationship (dominant, subdominant, subordinate)
space (X, Y, Z axis)
connections (piercing, wedging, cradling)
Foam core prototype
HOW MIGHT WE...
invoke the optimism that characterized Russian Suprematism through an abstract form?
Based on a formal analysis of one of El Lissitzky’s abstract compositions, “Proun” positions the three relational forms in a state of delicate, precarious balance. Through the suspension of the linear, planar, and volumetric elements, the abstract form invokes the optimism of Russian Suprematism while reflecting on the failure of the October Revolution to create a progressive social society.
Lazar Markovich Lissitzky, known as El Lissitzky, was a Russian artist. He was an important figure of the Russian avant garde, helping develop Suprematism with his mentor, Kazmir Malevich. His work greatly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements. He experimented with production techniques and stylistic devices that would go on to dominate 20th-century design.
Rowena Reed Kostellow
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe