In meeting with John van Hage today I sense a direction for a book I am intending to write. Which in this instance the title was to be ” I can’t find the right words” which was better than “there’s nothing inside” which arguably could work also as a second book. My proposition was that all design and all things beautiful ought to give expression and create emotion which in ideal world be happiness. So that all meaningful work would be beautiful. In this instance it would prove useful to demarcate a logic to all design in that without emotive function there cannot be derived any usefulness or purpose. And then I suddenly thought of the book Fernando Andrade gave me which was titled the architecture of happiness and then the book by florentine sack which was titled the open house. Was there a current theme that talked about his all design must and can only be gauged by their measure of happiness they can bring. Altogether we (John and I) both agreed that any work must stir emotion, and that when they do, they succeed. And any work must have engagement (of people) in it, as proof of its worth.

Which brings to mind another topic which Judd wanted to express and discuss in his unfinished book called “it’s hard to find a good lamp”. He begs to compare design and art, and seek out to find the difference between them, and points out the ugly role of the middle man who interprets furniture as art and makes money out of design, and how Judd puts a claim that a chair cannot be art and that art is an idea in which a chair is not therefore art. Essay is published by the Judd foundation.

We also talked about the idea of gate. Or doorway. I proposed the concept of waiting outside a temple as if in earnest to enter a body or realm of intelligence. Whether this could be proven as a necessary experience before truth or true knowledge can be obtained or contemplated fully. Breaking in or initiation into expertise or departing a skill or an intelligence requires transition from outside into inside. This transition is accommodated through dialogues, or discourse, design.

We both agreed the importance to read Judd’s apparently unfinished essay and treatise on furniture and the fabrication industry.


One thought on “conversations with john van hage (on happiness)

  1. Second perhaps only to Carl Andre, Judd is the most revered of minimalist artists. The Judd foundation has a short section on his essays, the most recent before he died was “its hard to find a good lamp”.

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