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A closer look around your house, room, office or the surroundings, will display a trail of belongings that one call his or hers. These belongings range from small personal effects like combs or toothbrush to big acquired assets like furniture, motor vehicles and built structures or buildings. A critical examination of these belongings portrays a great artistic professionalism that was employed in the creation of the same. The artwork creativity dominant in these items simply impress on one’s feelings and imaginations. This paper examinates a documentary movie Handmade Nation (2009) and seeks to evaluate the ways or an extent to which the aesthetics and functions of an object or environment`s design can show the feelings and imaginations of the producer or the owner of the items. Artworks or items can articulate the principles and elements of design and evaluation of the effects of design`s aesthetics on the quality imaginations that reflects one’s feelings in the perspective of ergonomics, architecture, interior and landscape design and planned communities.

Handmade Nation documentary movie was first screened in March 2009 in San Francisco, USA. Directed by Faythe Lavine, it explores the up-and-coming art of crafters community fueled by creativity, fortitude and net working. It is full of scenes of the author travelling across USA with the aim to interview American tight knit community and filming the works of noted and independent artists at either their workplace or appointed places such as improvised studios and homes. Majority of the crafters are women although there are few male crafts who are quilters and print makers. The crafters have varied knowledge and skills; some are university graduates, others are from craft colleges and the rest have mastered the art by observation through experience. As the movie unfolds, some of the crafters are seen sewing clothes or binding books while others are seen focusing on the printing of some rock band posters and bottle cap jewels.  The movie explores the ways in which these crafters have become business owners with the autonomy of artistic exploration through combination of modern and traditional methods. However, the main theme expressed in these items suggests a categorical sense of expressions.

In an effort to bring out the theme of the movie, the producer has combined artistic skills to bring out or evaluate ways in which the aesthetic and the function of an object or an environment’s design can enhance the quality of life. Even though the emergence of revolution alerts the capitalist and the many do-it-yourself efforts in the crafts movement, the artists exudes a fighting back spirit that builds the image of what others people want to express to viewers and buyers. There are also claims that there exist strong traditions of folk craft in the USA with relentless efforts to bring out the reflection of knitting, embroidery and quilting to be a much respected domestic amusement discrete from the fashionable civilization. This is well demonstrated in the movie at the scene where a young woman is seen selling kits used for making colorful hook-knot rugs but the template she is using for the stretch out is a nude portion from pornography rather than a renaissance painting as expected. This stylistic portrayal by the producer fully exhibits the ways in which aesthetic skills alters an environment and people, and expresses the changes in the modern times as well as expressions the past.

The movie articulates principals and elements of design. According to Cindy Kovalik and Peggy King in their article Visual literacy (2010), design principles and elements are the fundamental description of ideas on good visual design which in most cases are based on intentional visual design strategies. The elements which form the vocabulary of the design include line, color, and texture among others, while the principles, which are the structural aspects, combine them together to give a well design. In this movie, the producer has shown some varied attitude through his design principles; as the movie unfolds, we are taken through some shaky cinematography that exhibits well the design vocabulary. The various arts that we are introduced into various scenes differ in color, shape, texture and form but the overall results portray a traditional art and skills on the display with a degree of adherence to unity, emphasis, balance, contrast, movement, variety and harmony. This attests to the producer`s adherence to the principles and elements of design as an a form of expression.

Throughout the plot of this movie, it can be noted that the design has an effect on the aesthetic of the objects portrayed and the environment. The film has also made an effort to effectively capture the passionate approach by the people involved in crafts, where connection to the spirit of pioneering on art as a way of life rather than an innovation. This has resulted into author’s use of shaky cinematography in order to reflect the subject matter. The movie is dotted with zoom-out sequences and blown out shapes which have affected the beauty of aesthetic value. Though the intended design of traditional crafts has been achieved, it has allowed some technical slackness to express the fact that imperfection is part of creativity.

The producer has shown that aesthetics and functions of the design can give room for expression, with either the artists showing his or her experience with the environment or express the desire to have fun with that particular product. This has been achieved through several ways: considering ergonomics as the science of adapting a job, equipment and a person to each other for optimal safety and productivity. This item to some extent has been exaggerated in the movie. For instance at a point in the plot, a group try to organize a late public art mission in which they are seen carrying knitted craftworks, which they fix to trees, buildings or anything they find suitable. This is outrageous since it is not safe and efficient for grown up women to jump out of the car at night or jump on each other’s shoulders to place a hand-made craft on a particular object. Considering architecture as a purposeful decision the designer, the producer has decided to exaggerate ergonomics deliberately in a scene just described above so as to bring out a point. In that scene, the producer is to fend off the accusations related to vandalism by rebranding it to a lesser destructive image. Considering interior and landscape design, the producer has achieved the seamless harmony of engineering systems and architecture. This is portrayed in the scene, where some crafters are seen demonstrating the way their articles function or are being used (for instance how to make a latch hook rug) so as to erase elements of doubts or confusion on the users. Finally, the producer has put into consideration the element of planned community. This comes out well in the plot as the author tries to bring out a well organized craft community from the discussion on its key philosophies in the plot of expressing the imaginations in the film.

When judging the current market, it is impossible to find original commodity on the market. All these creative pieces show a hub of expressions, depicting the artists’ perception of their environment.  The movie homemade is an invaluable tool for advocating originality and illustrate artworks as a show of people’s feelings as well as perceptions of what happens in people’s daily life. Through aesthetic attributes the producer has shown the uniqueness and value of art as a form of expressions. The movie has evaluated the ways in which aesthetics and functions of an object or environment`s design enhances creativity. This is presented in the articulated principles and elements of design and evaluation of the effects of design`s aesthetics on the quality of life in the perspective of ergonomics, architecture, interior and landscape design and planned communities.

Code: Sample20

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