Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Man as Industrial Palace
Vintage German artwork on digital steroids, or why you house a factory.
In 1926, German writer and artist Fritz Kahn created his famous Der Mensch als Industriepalast (Man as Industrial Palace) poster. Kahn’s illustrations compartmentalized the body’s functions in great detail, brilliantly depicting human physiology through analogies with an industrial factory.His work was a visual commentary on industrial modernity and an intersection of two timeless fascinations — with machines and with the human body.
In 2006, German visual communication and animation student Henning Lederer discovered Kahn’s poster and decided to resurrect this complex and unusual way of explaining the body, growing on the original work and translating it into motion graphics. He made himself a cabinet with a mix of analog and digital objects and technologies, and set to creating Industriepalast — an interactive application based on the poster.
Lederer explores human physiology in six cycles — five representing the five main biological systems, and one melding them together into the complex human factory Kahn had envisioned.- By Maria Popova