The Art of Arranging Things

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In this age of Instagram and the flat lay, it seems that arranging things has indeed become an art form – I have to admit that one of my Pinterest boards is even dedicated to ‘display’.  But what may seem like a recent obsession was actually discussed by artist and architect Leonard Koren in his 2003 book, ‘Arranging Things: A Rhetoric of Object Placement’.

What began as an attempt to understand what made the arrangements he saw so extraordinary, and what it was that gave certain displays their “imaginative vitality” resulted in his eight principles of object placement…

1. Hierarchy: Establishing variations in height, shape and depth as they relate to their surroundings. The more conspicuous the object, the more important it is in the arrangement’s context. 

2. Alignment: Orientation of objects relative to each other, such as perpendicular and parallel lines, symmetry and stacking.

3. Sensorality: Qualities that appeal to the senses, including colour, texture, pattern and tactility.

4. Metaphor: Abstract connotations connecting the objects to a place or mood. For example, “When a smooth rock, a shell, a bottle of sunscreen and a large towel sitting on a beige surface cease to be merely four objects on the floor, but instead are transformed into a symbol for the seashore.”

5. Mystification: A wild card, be it purposeful or absentmindedness that pairs unexpected objects. “When aspects of an arrangement don’t make sense, but seem like they should.”

6. Narrative: What story the combination of objects communicates, whether linear, abstract, or just the description of a scene.

7. Coherence: How physicality and story come together, forming a unified idea, shape or palette.

8. Resonance: Personal meaning, unique significance; how the objects together “reverberate the mind.”

Some great pointers to bear in mind when creating your next social media masterpiece!

Source: The Line

Image Credit: pinterest


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