Meaning of Identity and Culture Identity

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1.2 Meaning of Identity and Culture Identity:

The term identity has been used in various meanings as well as in multidisciplinary fields of expertise. The ambiguous nature is highlighted by a number of overlapping terms such as character, personality, profile, image and positioning which are used in diverse manner depending on the user. In addition, an identity at global, national or local level is treated as a matter in contemporary societies and political issues. It is particular important that the term identity has become significant marker in contemporary conflicts over cultural, ethical, religion, racial and national difference where an idea of collective identity has emerged as an object of political thinking. This is one of the reason why identity is treated as important. In traditional societies, identity was fixed, solid and stable. However, modern societies, identity becomes more mobile, multiple, personal, self-reflexive and subject to change and innovate. To specific meaning of identity to understand the research questions and results, this report provides definitions of identity through locality, cultural identity and cooperate identity that is clarified from multifaceted perspectives. In addition, regarding culture as a combined relation between Interior Design and identities, this report also discussion general meaning of culture.

Culture denotes everything that humans have created contrary to nature which came about without any human involvement. Each nation or each period of time produces its own culture. This refers to the traditions and values that influence our daily life. These could relate to food and clothing, technical inventions like sophiscated irrigation systems or theater and art. Museums a showcase the cultural diversity by displaying the creations of different people and their culture. The view of cultural identity recognizes that there are also critical point of deep and significant difference that constitute ‘what we really are’ or ‘what we have become’ since history has intervened. Cultural identity is a matter of becoming as well as being. It belongs to the future as much as to the past. It is something which is already exits, transcending place, time, history and culture. Cultural identities come from somewhere have history. However, something historical, they undergo constant transformation. Cultural Identities are the points of identification or the unstable points of identification or suture which are made within the discourses of history and culture. Not and essence, but a positioning said by Hall, 1900.

Relating to above Hall’s concept, identity in Cartesian philosophy had been discussed based on the dualism of mind and material. To simplify the dualism, it is psychoanalysis and sociology and to simplify it more it could be said that the mind is a theory of subjectivity and the material is theory of society. On the psychoanalysis and the sociology which is interpreted as social position such s frame work of race, gender, class, religion, generation has been emphasized. Theses social positions are the fixed and stable role of identity. Recently, however, has been spreading the importance of “Cultural” significance rather than the social ones.

Furthermore, it defined as general meaning of Culture, for instance patterns of human behavior, customary beliefs or social forms, is what geographically historically social happens in a particular place. In a sense, Culture can be treated as locality as well as values that is social physical world and the history in a particular place.

1.3 Discussion of two culture Japanese and Scandinavia:

In this report study is selecting two differentiating Culture: the Scandinavia and Japanese Design Culture.

How is Scandinavia place named as, when and why Christian religion formed in Scandinavia?

Scandinavia encompass the modern countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. They were never under the part of the Roman Empire earlier. In the Fifth Century CE, It was the land of small independent agricultural and fishing communities. Most of its inhabitant spoke variants of a language called Norse and shared a rich methodology with other Germanic peoples. Among other Gods, they worshipped Odin, chief of the gods, who protected the courageous in battle and rewarded the fallen by allowing them entrance into Valhalla, the great hall where warriors were received. Numerous Gods, their ancestors, mythical places and attendant animals figured important in pre-Christian legends in Scandinavia. The most well-known were the Odin, Frigg, Thor, Frey and Freya, Loki, Balder, Valkyries, Yggdrasil and Norns. In the late Eighth century sea fearing bands of Scandinavians known as Vikings. Vikings raided, colonized and explored large parts of Europe, The Middle East, North Africa and North America more specifically the modern area identified as Newfoundland. Viking religious beliefs were heavily connected to Norse mythology. Their targets were hidden but wealthy Christian monasteries. The earliest recorded Viking incursions were two devasting attacks one in 793, on the religious community on Lindisfarne, an island off the northeast coast of England and another in 795 at Iona off Scotland west coast. In France, they destroyed Centula and besieged Paris in 845 and harried the northern and western coasts of Europe for the rest of the century. In Vikings placed heavy emphasis on battle

honor and focused on the idea of Valhalla, a mythical home with the gods for fallen warriors. The Danish King Harold Bluetooth brought Christianity from Europe to Scandinavia in the middle of the ninth century. In Norway, Olaf Haraldsson (995-1030 later canonized Saint Olaf) is credited with converting his people. Olaf accepted Christianity in Rouen, France while on a Viking expedition. During the eleventh century the religion spread through the rest of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The Viking raids and the Vikings era came to an end.

Scandinavia Design Furniture and Decorative:

Scandinavia design of furniture and decorating are famous internationally for their modern, innovative and clean lined qualities. Typical to Scandinavia design is functionality and utility of the products. Use of modern technology with materials like teak wood and metal are also typical to Scandinavian design. Scandinavian glassware and pottery design uses naturalistic forms and in fabrics the main theme are clear and simple patterns. Scandinavia designs has also emerged in the 20th century. There are designers who design products for industrial manufacturing. Large glass works and ceramic factories such as Iittala are globally famous for their functional integrity, restrained aesthetics, good durability and excellent quality. It is the Scandinavian designers’ advancement of Organic Design and that has had the biggest influence on the development of Modernism over the last fifty years.

Modernism in Scandinavia:

For most of the Scandinavian people, design is known not only as an essential part of everyday life but also as a means of efficient social change. There has been a historical quest to seek an optimum balance between handmade and natural worlds in their work. Scandinavian climate is nine months of dark winter and cold along with three nice months of bright and glamorous summer, which has also meant that designers have got their inspiration from the delightful natural world as well as from the concept of a warm and cheerful home. The Scandinavian people have always relied on design insight for their survival and have become professionals at the skillful handling of limited material resources. And specifically the lack of material has made Scandinavian designers think about how to use their materials as efficiently as possible. This dependence on design as a way of to survive has led Scandinavian people to give attention to important element of their culture, social and economic welfare.

Theme of Scandinavia Interiors:

Colour: In Scandinavian Countries the dominate colour palette were white and blue. The other natural colors such as green, shades of grey, turquoise, yellow and cherry red as an accent. The general colour of the Interior bright with lots of warm colors such as yellow, milk white, beige, brown and light terracotta were the other best colour in Scandinavian Interior.

Material: Wood is the most common of the natural materials. The floor in the Modern Scandinavian Style is made from wood, laminate, limestone, tiles or white glossy boards covered with transparent Lacquer.

Lighting: In Scandinavian Design special attention is paid to lighting. Preference to natural lights, the windows are simplified, the curtains are light and transparent enabling maximum flow of light. But Natural light in the Nordic countries is less so it is used a vast number of Interior Lights such as in table lamps with fabrics, ceiling lamps in different forms and sizes. The main emphasis is on the beauty and conciseness of form, natural materials, functionality and comfort.

Furniture: Typical Scandinavian Furniture style is a mixture of straight lines with gently curved detailing. Legs are generally thin and tapered. Benches and Sofas are a staple of Scandinavian Style Interior Design. The Ant, Egg and Swan Chair by Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto furniture, Hans.J. Wegner Chairs were the popular furniture’s in 1950s and still it is more trendy.

Soft Furnishing: Everything from a basic bed bolster to a gathered round plump pillow, drapes and blinds are ranging from a simple no sew drape to a more technique contrast lined with roman blind, bed linens are filled with fun bedspread ideas, Table linen which includes cute gingham napkins with velvet edging and seating which is filled with ideas from a simple loose cover to a fitted chair cover with box pleats. The fabrics used are natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wool and silk. Fabrics designs in Scandinavian Modern Style were the plain colors, designs floral and patterns. The common curtain colour were white in mid-1930 and after 1940s it changes to more on vintage style. The Scandinavians are very fond of mixing old and new, welcoming antiques types of designs style into their homes.

Japan consists of a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean that stretches from northeast to southeast. There were more than 3000 islands in the archipelago four islands account for 97 percent of the land. The narrow Korea straits separate it from South Korea. The country ids divided by two major faults, resulting in faults resulting in frequent moderate to severe earthquake and volcanic eruptions. Most of Japan is covered by rugged mountainous terrain with deep gorges that run in a north south direction although there are few board plains. Large quantities of timber grow readily in many parts of Japan. Japanese history has been characterized by long periods of isolation alternating with periods in which outside influences were welcomed. Japan has a paucity of land for settlement. Crowded together in relatively small areas beside the mountains, its population must make the best use of available land. To provide privacy and a place for contemplation, most structures are set within at least a small garden.

Japan was populated by hunter gathers who lived in pit dwellings and evidentially did not practice agriculture. Between 400 and 300 BC, immigrants of Mongoloid stock brought with them iron, bronze and rice culture. This culture was dominant from 300bc until 300 ad this is known as Yayoi period. During this period, the Japanese emperor was said to have descended from the sun goddess who was the primary god. The Shinto religion dominated the area. This religion has no established moral code and stressed ancestor worship and the worship of nature. No temples were needed, nor were images or statues. Japan was to be influenced by a number of foreign cultures. The Japanese embraced the new ideas and copied many of the forms that were introduced. In each instance Japanese eventually discarded influence that were suitable to their culture and assimilated those made a positive contribution or that expressed Japanese ideas of beauty.

The historic period of Japan began late and is dated from the introduction of Buddhism in the mid sixth century. The religion was brought through nearby Korea along with the Chinese language, a new form of government and different construction techniques and building styles. Buddhism has never replaced the Shinto religion in Japan but established itself alongside the older religion. Buddhism brought with it from China the idea of grand scale buildings. In 794, the capital was moved to Kyoto, beginning the Heian period. This period was characterized by less contact with China and a process of selecting only the parts of Chinese culture that the Japanese found to their taste. The bureaucratic government was even replaced with an aristocratic government headed by an emperor, who often retired to a monastery at an early age. It was also during this period that Japanese aesthetic ideas were formulated with beauty the primary concern. In Kyoto, Buddhist monks acquired sufficient power to force the aristocracy to meet some of their demands.

Beyond the Modern Qualities of Japanese Society and Culture:

While Western architects did express a recognition of the spiritual and historical aspects of Japanese design, this was almost always articulated in terms of the honesty and rationality inherent in it, often to the detriment of its other qualities. These qualities include those described by Junichiro Tanizaki who refuted the Enlightenment in literal terms in his work “In Praise of Shadows”, lauding the dimness, darkness, vagueness and opacity of traditional culture. The cultural obverse of these qualities are those praised by Kisho Kurokawa and almost always denigrated by early Modern observers, manifested in works such as Nikko Mausoleum and in art forms such as kabuki: exaggeration, spectacle and polychrome. Mainstream104 ACSA Northeast Regional Meeting October 4-6, 2002 McGill University, Montréal Western appreciation of these other aspects of traditional Japanese design, even to this day, tends to emphasize their pre-Modern qualities of ritual, handicraft and tradition. These same qualities, however, have an aspect which is arguably Post-Modern. Likewise Japanese society has many characteristics, arising out of indigenous social traditions, which arguably exemplify the condition of Post-Modernity. To make such an argument is complicated by the fact that commentators cannot quite agree on what are Post-Modern qualities, but they debatably include non-logo centrism, eclecticism, the privileging of play over efficiency, culture over science, aesthetic over function, surface over depth, commoditization raised to high art, nature as artifice, intermingling of subject and object, the equivalence of high and mass culture, a sense of continuity with the past if only as a source of visual mirage and an interest in irony, pastiche, allusion, ephemerality, spectacle and parody.

Japanese Interiors are simple and their arrangement is based on ma or it also says the balance between space and objects. Colors are muted and accents are in red, black, yellow or gold and green. There is little furniture as traditionally were people sit on the floor. Most furniture is low to allow seated individuals to see over the pieces. The interiors are flexible boundaries and is divided by sliding doors or also known as fusuma and by sliding paper shoji screens facilitating their use for different purposes. Fusuma is made of opaque materials such as wood slats, bamboo opaque but they may also have paper panels that are translucent, reducing glare while allowing diffused light to enter the room. The papers on these movable partitions can be changes although traditional examples had painted scenes. The exterior finishes wall opens up allowing individual to commune with nature and to feel a part of the environment.

Natural materials are preferred with paper, wood, bamboo and straw common. Floors are completely covered with formally arranged tatami mats made of rice straw or rush and edged with fabric. The size of the room is measured by the number of tatami mats required to cover its floor surface. The tatami is used as a basis of measurement and doors are one mat wide and two mats tall. There are a number of rules concerning the arrangement of tatami mats. Grid patterns and arrangements where corners of three or four mats intersect are thought to result in bad fortune. Shoes are removed before entering the room, keeping the tatami clean. In the hot humid summer months, tatami absorb some of moisture and heat and allow absorb some of the moisture and heat and allow for some air to circulate beneath individuals seated on the floor. Lighting is typically provided by paper lanterns. The lanterns are similar to Chinese Examples Japanese Lanterns are plainer and lack the tassels and calligraphy of Chinese examples.

Japanese Furniture has simple, clean lines and decorative brass or copper mounts. Screens and chest were the basic pieces were used in most homes. Tables are very low less than 12 inches in height and were supported either on four short legs or on two sided panels. Japanese Furniture’s are made of solid wood and designed to stack. The influences of Arts and Crafts designers copied the straight simple lines of Japanese furniture. Japanese furniture was imported to Europe during the Renaissance after the 1868 opening of Japan to foreign trade, Japanese’s forms were combines with western examples would suit western tastes. The bracket foot was often used on these hybrid forms

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