2009. Anya Domine -“Systems Within A System”
When I was first approached by Chris Walker (Christopher Developments) about designing the art glass panel railing for Mondrian House, the building was still in frame-up stage, although there were CAD renderings to help visualize its completed form. Clearly though, the house was to be an uncluttered and open concept design. Other than an off-angle roof line, the shape was comprised primarily of rectilinear planes positioned at ninety degree vertices to one another. This absence of any curvature provided my first design cue. Second to considering the space itself, I was also interested in referencing the technology being housed within the building. I felt any design should appear to originate below the floor – underneath which were hidden several incredible systems. Thirdly, as the house was a bespoke build, I aimed to personalize the design for the clients themselves. My intent was to reference their interests in both the mathematical accuracy of computer science, and the wonder and excitement of travel.
The design began as a series of concentric rings representing lives or orbits. Transect lines connected the various center points to each other and occasional overlaps of the ring patterns occurred – the way everyday lives overlap and intersect . I then populated the surrounding field area with shapes – representing markers or milestones throughout these metaphoric journeys. Each set of rings included different design elements indicating their unique and individual natures. As the layout developed, the composition as a whole became more apparent and balanced, eventually taking on a life of its own. The title is a play on the street name and the 1967 Pink Floyd song, which I felt fit with the design that now almost resembled an astral chart of some kind. The subtext, “Systems Within A System”, relates to both the layered technology within this amazing building, and the way in which our own lives are in no way a simple concept, but rather a complex layer-cake result of chemicals, happenstance and countless variables too discrete not to be unique in every single instance.
We are layers of systems, operating within concentric patterns of ever greater systems…