IS GOD STILL IN THE DETAILS?

Point of View

STORY – THAMATOUCH W.
PHOTOGRAPHY ― LUDWIG MIES VAN DE ROHE, CHICAGO ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

ON TUESDAY 19TH AUGUST 1969 — THE NEW YORK TIMES PUBLISHED AN OBITUARY TRIBUTING TO THE DEATH OF THE LEADER OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE — LUDWIG MIES VAN DE ROHE. BESIDES AN ACCLAIM FOR THE GREATEST OF HIS WORKS, A SIMPLE PHRASE “GOD IS IN THE DETAILS” HAS EMERGED TO OUR HISTORY. THE QUOTE CONCISELY REFERS TO THE IDEA THAT DETAILS MATTER, DEFINING DESIGNS SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS. BUT FOR NOW IN 2018 OR ALMOST 49 YEARS LATER. IS GOD STILL IN THE DETAILS?

Firstly, let us take a step back and see the big picture of design world nowadays. When people heard the word “art” or “design,” the images translated into their minds could be beautiful architects, exquisite paintings, or aspiring sculptures. But it likely seems we slightly unaware that art and designs are actually surround our lives. A smartphone―for example―the device has continually developed from the very first design to the latest version. Now we can take it everywhere with its handy size, screen with super retina display for a clear and full view, and minimal rectangular designed with beautiful rounded corners. You will see, in the details, this little device is designed not only for beauty but functional. Well, It’s not only smartphone, but everything we touch are also art-and-designs: laptop, notebook, bag, even a pair of sneakers or a hat you wear. All items have developed with complicated processes in every single detail before its manufactured to serve our better quality of life. And it is “the details” that play an important part as a significant tool integrating practical design and emotional functions together. Comment on this idea by Rom Sangkavatana, the managing director of bespoke

ROM DESIGN studio has made a great impact on Thailand art and design circle. “We created products based on creativity and meaning. Our production consisted of timeless pieces, which fulfil the need of today but communicating a lasting message for the future. In other words, we cultivated identities without an expiry date as this is what we believe a great design should do. So that we greatly paid an attention on the details to respond our concerns reach out for the people, surrounding space and course of actions, and that’s how values are created. Despite the clean and simple appearance, each design communicated meaning, life and connections through the details.”

IN THE DETAILS — THAT’S WHERE YOU’LL FIND GOD.

And yes, finally, for now in 2018 or 49 year later. God is still in the details!

The idiom, “God is in the details” has most notably been attributed to German― born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe by The New York Times in Mies’s 1969 obituary. However, the expression also appears to have been a favourite of German art historian Aby Warburg. Or earlier form, “Le bon Dieu est dans le détail”― the good God is in the detail — is generally attributed to French Realism novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880).