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The Grotesque

PennDesign | Arch 741 | Ali Rahim | Fall 2016


Innovation within design is an interesting topic of study because of its completely unpredictable and ever changing direction. Trends always shift and move depending on technology and popular demand of the time. Everything in the sphere of design in linked through many different aspects of society. similar to what Bruno Latour spoke about in We Have Never Been Modern, the individual factions we have created are fabrications because everything is interconnected and overlapping.

In this course, the study of trends was less important but the study of movement in other spheres outside of Architecture proved to show quicker adaptations to the time than we ever could. So to move forward and innovate through design, we need to look away from architecture and into the world of art as inspiration.

Being inspired and taking from the artist Anish Kapoor, I looked into what makes his sculptures interestings and aesthetic, specifically in the newest addition to the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, Under the Skin. Here I took the main concept and overall feel of the painting and abstracted it into a technique for design. Similar to other techniques such as deconstruction or elegance, the grotesque is an achievable aesthetic that has its own validity in the design world for evoking new sensations in its creation.

Below is my interpretation of the grotesque as an architectural form, reaching for concepts such as interiority, exteriority, layering, and multi-material.

Villa Lante
Villa Lante_02
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