ZIKAI CHEN-October 28

“Medium is the message” McLuhan’s summary of the status and role of the media in the development of human society. McLuhan elaborated on the role of the media from a social perspective: that is, in the long run, the truly meaningful message is not the content that the media of each era prompts people, but the media itself. The content delivered by the media of each era is generated according to the communication tools of each era.

McLuhan believes that the media is an “extension of human”, The media allows people to cross the gap between time and space, and the medium is an extension of human beings. Broadcasting allows us to hear farther, newspapers let us see farther, and television is all-round that allows us to maximize our perceptions at multiple levels of audiovisual. and this extension of the media, in turn, shapes and controls the scale and form of human relations and human actions.

The technological progress does not necessarily cause hazards in its current age, in fact, it pushes the society forward, For society, the medium is the fundamental driving force for social development or the symbol that distinguishes different social forms. McLuhan divided human civilization into three stages: the era of oral communication, the era of print communication, and the era of electronic communication. The characteristics of the times of each era are determined by the media. McLuhan made the Franch Revolution as an example, The background of the French Revolution, in addition to the historical factors we know, There are media forms change factors, That is, the transition period from the oral to printing, The saturated publication helped France achieved national identity. Therefore, new technology or medium plays a crucial part in society.

The emergence of new media in each era has had a great impact on the emergence of relevant information and media organizations, and changes in human thinking. Many new media people have emerged as the times have come, to get rid of the traditional working model, escaped from 9-5 jobs, creating their own identity through the Internet, creating their own platform to publish their knowledge and network teaching. These are the new channels that the Internet has brought us. What we can do is to grasp every opportunity to achieve ourselves, find every vent, and ride the wind and waves.

ZIKAI CHEN-September 9

Communication is an indispensable part of the evolution of human civilization. From ancient Mesopotamian‘s clay tablets writing to the modern English alphabet, we can find how our communication has evolved throughout time. We can all agree that the rudimentary communication methods relevant to contemporary information systems, language evolve, through our communication also evolves, we can see a trace of ancient communication methods in our modern communication methods, therefore, ancient rudimentary communication methods are relevant to our contemporary information systems.


There are also some writing, counting, or printing techniques that have been very popular in the past, but now it seems surprisingly obsoleted, advertisements, trademarks and illustrations from the late eighteenth century to the 1920s were all focused on the details. But various phenomena The indicate that this trend has been, or is being, replaced by more rigorous and simple typesetting. These obsoleted techniques have laid down a solid foundation for the development of modern world design, It has important enlightenment and reference significance to contemporary designers, therefore, we should be very concerned with it.

ZIKAI CHEN -October 7th

From all of the reading, I can see defining the aesthetics and ideas form Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, and Herbert Bayer. The key elements lacking in the art of the past are productive forces, Herbert Bayer pointed out “the manual skill and approach of the craftsman were seen to be inevitably replaced by mechanical techniques. ” which mean previous artwork was limit form hand made. Right now, we can print that artwork simply.
The necessary for making art in the future is creativity and adaptability because people live in modern society, there is tons of information bombing your mind every day, you ou have to adapt to it and basic on those information to Go beyond these creations to making art. Herbert Bayer also says “the aesthetic restraint that limits the development of the book must finally be overcome, and new ideas must logically be deduced from the function of typography and its carriers.” which means we have to improve our ability to accept new things.
Walter Gropius believed that these schools were too conventional and never let the designer experience true design. The school has the responsibility to teach students how to express themselves individually. the step to be a successful designer is to create the art of your style.
The form, the rendering, is constructed out of the optical and associative relationships: into a visual, associative, conceptual, synthetic continuity: into the typophoto as an unambiguous rendering in an optically valid form. The typophoto governs the new tempo of the new visual literature. So, the visual impact will be one of the most important artistic ways in the future.

ZIKAI CHEN- September 23

After the industrial revolution, the development of large-scale production, division of labor and commerce appeared, and the old way of life began to collapse. But people have not made new rational thinking about this new way of life. However, it has also inspired some avant-garde artists.  Like Marinetti has summed up in his “Futurist Manifesto” , the basic principles of futurism, including an aversion to old ideas, especially aversion to old political and artistic traditions. Marinetti expressed their enthusiasm for futurists in the eyes of speed, technology, and violence, such as cars, airplanes, industrial cities, because these are the symbols that symbolize the advancement of human technology and human conquering nature. After reading These authors manifestos, I realized Art as a cultural phenomenon, its changes reflect the material production and scientific and technological level of the times, and also reflect the status of certain social ideology, and have a close relationship with the political economy, culture, art and other aspects of society.


From these manifestos, I got a sense of these artist’s visions of how they anticipate the art and design that would follow. It seems to me that they expect to establish a new alliance of design and art. From the beginning of industrial civilization, industrial design and artistic creation have been artificially divided into independent professions and fields. However, they want to merge the two, They wanted Art to be no longer an abstract philosophy but as a concrete feeling. It is no longer just a kind of repetition, but a kind of creation. This is a new alliance of technology and art in design.


I feel the only place where these artists ideology intersects is futurism and constructivism in this period tried to define the form and function of aesthetics under the conditions of industrial culture. There is no direct connection between these two developments, but the terms and concepts used in both are strikingly similar. Industrial design and art have come together in many ways. Emphasizing the social role of art, eager for an ideal form that reflects the rapidly changing external world spirit. Industrial products that were not previously elegant have become the subject of painting and sculpture. The design gradually freed from the imprisonment of classical art and reflected the characteristics of industrial products. This period, futurism, etc. have all contributed to the development of modern design. Art is given to their own rationality. People no longer regard industrial design as a rude force that must be controlled but as a port of the ideal world.

The artist’s idea does diverge, in their manifestos, Marinetti denied the classical art, He thinks it is pedantic and should be Totally negated. They advocating speed, technology, movement, and violence. It feels to me that Marinetti is denying classical art for the sake of denying. However, El Lissitzky and the authors of “Manifesto of the Constructivist Group” think that art and design should serve the public and society, rather than fulfilling one’s spiritual satisfaction, as classical art has no practical function.

Zikai Chen (Week Two, 9/16)

After to reading this article, I found semiology and linguistics is very related to each other, I think linguistics part of the semiology because the linguistics is about speaking, people have to spend time and speak out to others, then the semiology about shows, a sign gives all the information to someone, they get meaning by themselves, and base on the reading, they talk about someone lost their voice, they can’t speak anymore. So the linguistics is a kind of limitation, is not applicable for everyone, but there is no such disadvantage from semiology.

The sign still very useful today, just like street sign (Stop, school, cation, slow, etc), every drive will understand immediately and follow the street rule, also people will see that traffic light for cross the road safely, the sign of ( ABCFD123etc) trains on New York City Subway also prove it. There are so many things that explain sometimes the sign is much better than speaking or word.