Dawn from Decorated Shed talks about small but perfectly formed garden buildings:
A new exhibition called Architects Build Small Spaces has opened in the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Architecture as an art form is showcased in pieces that range from the flamboyant to the quirky. Because architecture defines the space we occupy, be it inside and out; its scale in comparison to other buildings and ourselves can invite curiosity, inspire awe or instil affection. The pieces that form the exhibition demonstrate various designs that focus upon the idea of refuge and retreat. Decorated Shed garden building’s scaled-down design allows for an individual to occupy a space more fully, as opposed to a cold, hollow-like area of lofty space; a garden studio construction is almost a cosy burrow. Instead the small scale allows room that can serve as a leisure, office or living area, without drowning in empty space that can amplify the feeling of loneliness. Garden studios that are nestled neatly into an outdoor setting, serve as a precious gem that houses a genial atmosphere.
Architecture is responsible for exhibiting art on a grand scale. When the tradition of buildings, as large scale murals is compressed, fascination seems to gather to inspect the new dimensions. The affect is similar to opening Russian dolls, as the size decreases, the anticipation increases until you are left with the smallest doll which seems to possess an almost revered status. The same applies to objects, especially ones that are ordinarily large. It seems that the innate desire to nurture small objects comes into play, making the Decorated Shed garden buildings a prized possession that will enliven a desire to pay it special care and attention.
Scale can also affect feeling. This is true in art exhibitions, as an enlarged portrait may insight fear or unease compared to a smaller counterpart. The way we respond to objects is dependent partly upon scale. Emotion or feeling can be directly associated with scale, as our own size is measured to an object, as well as our affinity or relationship to it. Decorated Shed garden buildings provide an instant connection as their affable size and shapes lull the viewer into an appreciative state.
The Inside/Outside Tree that appears within the exhibition examines the idea of thresholds. The Japanese piece explores the idea of the ‘engawa’, which refers to the platform that separates the house from the garden, focusing on in-between states. Decorated Shed garden buildings manage to exist upon the threshold of indoor and outdoor living, which almost acts to grant a sense of escapism, where in-between environments act as a separate portal of existence. The idea that each room or threshold you enter can create a new feeling is central to architecture’s interactive characteristics that promote exploration. Being under, inside or outside a building’s structure can produce a range of feelings through the angles, light and proportions that are experienced.
Although large artworks are often first to be visited in a gallery, it is usually the smaller ones that many notice as a hidden treasure amongst other bolder works, taking the most time to examine its engineered beauty. By examining each detail thoroughly, the small scale artwork inspires the most intrigue.
The idea that detail and quality seem to be more apparent on small scale objects is confirmed by the old adage ‘small but perfectly formed’. Instant impact is certainly coupled with grand scale displays that quickly lose their initial appeal, while instant intrigue is a response associated with smaller creations, which is quickly replaced by increasing affection.
For more information about Decorated Shed buildings visit their website.
Copyright photo @ 2010 http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/architecture/smallspaces/exhibition