Surf Craft

Un libro in lingua di Richard Kenvin Knoke Christine (EDT) Field Ryan (PHT) edito da Mit Pr, 2014

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Surfboards were once made of wood and shaped by hand, objects of both cultural andrecreational significance. Today most surfboards are mass-produced with fiberglass and a stew ofpetrochemicals, moving (or floating) billboards for athletes and their brands, emphasizing thecommercial rather than the cultural. Surf Craft maps this evolution, examiningsurfboard design and craft with 150 color images and an insightful text. From the ancient Hawaiianalaia, the traditional board of the common people, to the unadorned boardsdesigned with mathematical precision (but built by hand) by Bob Simmons, to the store-boughtlongboards popularized by the 1959 surf-exploitation movie Gidget, board designreflects both aesthetics and history. The decline of traditional alaia boardriding is not only an example of a lost art but also a metaphor for the disintegration oftraditional culture after the Republic of Hawaii was overthrown and annexed in the 1890s. In histext, Richard Kenvin looks at the craft and design of surfboards from a historical and culturalperspective. He views board design as an exemplary model of mingei, or art of thepeople, and the craft philosophy of Soetsu Yanagi. Yanagi believed that a design's true beauty andpurpose are revealed when it is put to its intended use. In its purest form, the craft of boardbuilding, along with the act of surfing itself, exemplifies mingei. Surf Craftpays particular attention to Bob Simmons's boards, which are striking examples of this kind offunctional design, mirroring the work of postwar modern California designers. Surf Craftis published in conjunction with an exhibition at San Diego's Mingei InternationalMuseum.

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