Can anyone tell me about figure/ground relationships?

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Can anyone tell me about figure/ground relationships?

Postby MichaelWalsh » Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:39 am

Howdy, I have been set an essay question involving Le Corbusier's project at the WiessenhofSiedlung, and how prospect-refuge theory and figure/ground relationships have relevance/significance with respect to it.

I have made a good deal of headway withe the prospect-refuge bit, but i think i have somehow have missed the point of figure/ground relationships. Im not asking for anyone to answer my assignment for me, obviously - that information was just added for contextual purposes - but i would be very greatful to anyone who can give me any information about figure/ground that will lead me to see how it can possibly fit in with the question i have been asked.

I know that the basis of the subject is that you will always focus on one thing or group of things and that everything else will "fade into" the background, and that this is nothing very new to me, im well used to using the idea of figure/ground in artistic projects..but beyond writing that Le Corb seems to have made the relationship between "figure" and "ground" more interesting by deconstructing sections of the building/s to create more interplay between figure and ground, which is i *think* one of the goals of the modernist movemnet anyway to create a sort of "blurred yet clear" seperation between inside and outside, man and nature (by way of example - erm..the farnsworth house seems to fit - the glass walls providing a great deal of interplay between inside and outside, but also providing a very real barrier and the hosue being lifted off the ground and so on create a tangible sepeation)...sorry im going off on a tangent and i have probably made at least one completely false statement, but anyway, back to the point:

any information on the actual implications of figure/ground relationships would be very much appreciated...i have been trying to get this doen with for a week now but our lecturer never explained this particularly well and the book i was recommended to read was equally wooley about the implicatons of f/g in architecture.

Thanks for your time, sorry if the message is a bit incoherrant.

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