Where Geometry Meets Organic
21st Century Loudspeaker Cabinet Product Design by modifying Modernism with
Pre-Moderism's Styling Details

using Self-Similar Designs or Fractals

Fractilizing or using a Self-Similar design can make excellent sense.  From the perspective of loudspeaker cabinets, the curved shapes lend themselves to a striking design having low diffraction. Fractials can be applied to either the cabinet shape or to finish details on the cabinet surface.  US Enclosure can manufacture these loudspeaker cabinets with the same or higher control of wall vibration than found in MDF, Plywood or Metals.

For general products, fractal surfaces create a great gripping surface.  When considering structural design, the postmodern, neo-furturist and deconstructionist design methods can use fractionalization as a tool which allows a meeting of the concepts of modernism's logical basis with detailed beauty.  From loudspeaker cabinet to skyscrapers, products can be fractialized or self-similarized to the limits of the wall material's resolution.

US Enclosure concept for a Fractal-based low diffracting loudspeaker cabinet
manufacturable in our plant from 10 units to 1,000,000 units per year.

Self-Similar and Fractal concepts have been utilized in Music.  Click here for a short listen.

After this introduction concludes, the design style comments begin with Rome 300AD and address construction techniques, design styles, and Rome's material technology. Then this page travels forward through the history of design having very detailed surface features until the advent of Modernism.  Certain design schools are not addressed on this page as they did not utilize appreciable exterior design shapes which could translate for moving today's product design into interesting offramps.  Other US Enclosure design pages focus on Modernism, especially related to Loudspeaker Cabinet design; US Enclosure Design endorses no specific designs.

Nonetheless, a detailed exterior cabinet style has positive attributes which can be found when using fractals in product or even architecture design work.  Except during design "revivals" the historical curve has been to less expressively detailed designs.  Pre-Modernism design's used a style readily adaptable to fractals which now can be inexpensively manufactured for product construction having a new detailed and modern 21st Century feel.

This page examines some of the highest detailed design styles during the period from the fall of Rome until the birth of Modernist design and shows where fractals can be used in place of the flourishes. The goal is to manufacture for OEM's completely fresh-looking designs for Loudspeaker cabinets, as well as for other products' designs.

  Specific Fractals have non diffracting effects and their curved shape strengthens the cabinet

Fractal Definition refresher:

A fractal, mathematically first described discovered in 1978, is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. It is also known as expanding symmetry or evolving symmetry. If the replication is exactly the same at every scale, it is called a Self-Similar Pattern, of which an example is the Menger Sponge. Fractals can also be nearly the same at different levels. This latter pattern is illustrated in the magnifications of the Mandelbrot set. Fractals also include the idea of a detailed pattern that repeats itself.  Fractals are different from other geometric figures because of the way in which they scale.  From a far distance, you see a shape that happens to be a fractal.  When any portion of the shape you see at a distance is examined under a microscope, the shape you saw at a distance is in the microscopes eyepiece.

Modern Examples using Very Old Design Schools

In the early 1980s, Philip Johnson designed a Post-Modernist addition to the Cleveland Play House which reflects Byzantine influences, and could be termed Neo-Byzantine. 

The Dancing House in Prague, by Vlado Milunic  and Frank Gehry, who described the structure as "New Baroque". 

Modernisme-  Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família  2010
Arcosanti  in progress since 1959

Gare do Oriente Gothic-Modernist

Gare do Oriente the Lisbon Oriente Station is one of the main Portuguese intermodal transport hubs, and is situated in Lisbon. The concept was originally designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in 1995.

With some influence from Gothic architecture, the station bears considerable resemblance to Santiago Calatrava's earlier Allen Lambert Galleria within Toronto's Brookfield Place. Calatrava's objective was to realize a new space with ample room and functionality providing multiple connections between various zones in the metropolitan area of Lisbon.
Brookfield Place (Toronto 1992)  Gothic Modernist

1981 Postmodern Gothic (Cleveland)

Rayonnant Design

Examples of Rayonnant Details that lend themselves to Modern Design Fractal Interpretation

In the 11th Century, repeated formalized designs ( fractal-like ) took hold in the West and created highly detailed project designs using repeated and mirror image styling's.

Rayonnant (French word meaning "radiating") specifically describes the radiating spokes of the rose windows in French and other Gothic architecture between c. 1240 and 1350, characterized by a shift in focus away from the High Gothic mode of utilizing great scale and spatial rationalism towards a greater concern for two dimensional surfaces and the repetition of decorative motifs at different scales. After the mid-14th century, Rayonnant gradually evolved into the Flamboyant style, though as usual with such arbitrary stylistic labels, the transition point is not clearly defined.
The transition (in France) from Rayonnant to Flamboyant Gothic was gradual and evolutionary in form, marked primarily by a shift towards new tracery patterns based on S-shaped curves (these curves resemble flickering flames, from which the new style got its name). However, amidst the chaos of the Hundred Years War and the various other misfortunes experienced by Europe during the 14th century, relatively little large scale construction occurred and certain elements of the Rayonnant style remained in vogue well into the next century.

  Cologne Cathedral (1248–1322)
The various decorative elements employed in the Rayonnant style (bar tracery, blind and open tracery, gables and pinnacles) could also be applied on a much smaller scale, both for the micro-architectural fixtures and fittings within a church (tombs, shrines, pulpits, sacrament houses, etc.) and also for small portable objects like reliquaries, liturgical equipment, ivory diptychs, etc. This combination of flexibility and portability may have been a key factor in the dissemination of Rayonnant and its various offshoots across Europe in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

Rayonnant takes the appearance of structural lightness to the extreme. More of the wall surface than ever before was pierced by windows and buildings were often given lace-like tracery screens on the exterior to hide the bulk of load bearing wall elements and buttresses. Blind tracery use (decorating an otherwise blank wall) and of open tracery, typically all using the same decorative motifs as the adjoining areas.  English Decorated Gothic has been characterized by some design historians as "French design with an English accent".

Flamboyant Design

Examples of Flamboyant Details that lend themselves to Modern Design Fractal Interpretation

Flamboyant style (from French flamboyant, "flaming") is the name given to a florid style of late Gothic architecture beginning about 1350 in France and Spain evolved out of the Rayonnant style’s increasing emphasis on decoration. Its most conspicuous feature is the dominance in stone window tracery of a flamelike S-shaped curve and the dramatic lengthening of gables and the tops of arches. . Structural logic was obscured by covering buildings with elaborate tracery. Attractive French examples include Notre-Dame d’Épine near Châlons-sur-Marne, Saint-Maclou in Rouen (c. 1500–14), and the northern spire of Chartres Cathedral. Spanish Flamboyant architects developed their own intricate forms of vaulting with curvilinear patterns; the Capilla del Condestable in Burgos Cathedral (1482–94) and Segovia Cathedral (begun 1525) provide examples. Flamboyant Gothic, which became increasingly ornate, gave way in France to Renaissance forms in the 16th century.

The term is sometimes used of the early period of English Gothic architecture called the Decorated Style A key feature is the ogee arch, originating in Beverley Minster, England around 1320. 

In the past the Flamboyant style, along with its antecedent Rayonnant, has frequently been disparaged by critics. More recently some have sought to rehabilitate it. William W Clark commented:

The Flamboyant is the most neglected period of Gothic design because of the prejudices of past generations; but the neglect of these highly original
and inventive design fantasies  is unwarranted. The time has come to discard old conceptions and look anew at Late Gothic design.

Baroque Design

Examples of Baroque Details that lend themselves to Modern Design Fractal Interpretation

Baroque Design is the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late 16th-century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and the absolutist state. It was characterized by new explorations of form, light and shadow, and dramatic intensity.

Whereas the Renaissance drew on the wealth and power of the Italian courts and was a blend of secular and religious forces, the Baroque was, initially at least, directly linked to the Counter-Reformation, a movement within the Catholic Church to reform itself in response to the Protestant Reformation. Baroque architecture and its embellishments were on the one hand more accessible to the emotions and on the other hand, a visible statement of the wealth and power of the Church. The new style manifested itself in particular in the context of the new religious orders, like the Theatines and the Jesuits who aimed to improve popular piety.

By the middle of the 17th century, the Baroque style had found its secular expression in the form of grand palaces, first in France and then throughout Europe.  During the 17th century, Baroque design spread through Europe and Latin America, where it was particularly promoted by the Jesuits.

Features of Baroque Design

Michelangelo's late Roman buildings, particularly St. Peter's Basilica, may be considered precursors to Baroque design. His pupil Giacomo della Porta continued this work in Rome, particularly in the facade of the Jesuit church Il Gesù, which leads directly to the most important church facade of the early Baroque, Santa Susanna (1603), by Carlo Maderno.

Distinctive features of Baroque architecture can include: In churches, oval interiors at times. Fragmentary or deliberately incomplete architectural elements. Dramatic use of light; either strong light-and-shade contrasts (chiaroscuro effects) as at the church of Weltenburg Abbey, or uniform lighting by means of several windows (e.g. church of Weingarten Abbey). Opulent use of color and ornaments. An external façade often characterized by a dramatic central projection. Illusory effects like trompe l'oeil (an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions.) and the blending of painting and design.  Pear-shaped domes in the Bavarian, Czech, Polish and Ukrainian areas.

Beaux-Arts Design

Examples of Beaux-Arts Design Details that lend themselves to Modern Design Fractal Interpretation

Beaux-Arts Architecture (/ˌbˈzɑːr/) heavily influenced the architecture of the United States in the period from 1880 to 1920.

The style expresses the academic neoclassical architectural style taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.  The style of instruction that produced Beaux-Arts architecture continued without major interruption until 1968. 
On the eve of World War I ( 1910) the Beaux-Arts style competitors roots were occurring and by 1915 - 1925 major competitors among the architects of Modernism and the nascent International Style had designs under construction .

The Beaux-Arts training emphasized the mainstream examples of Imperial Roman architecture between Augustus and the Severan emperors, Italian Renaissance, and French and Italian Baroque models especially, but the training could then be applied to a broader range of models: Quattrocento Florentine palace fronts or French late Gothic. American architects of the Beaux-Arts generation often returned to Greek models, which had a strong local history in the American Greek Revival of the early 19th century. For the first time, repertories of photographs supplemented meticulous scale drawings and on-site renderings of details.

Some aspects of Beaux-Arts approach could degenerate into mannerisms. Beaux-Arts training made great use of agrafes, clasps that links one architectural detail to another; to interpenetration of forms which is a habit of the Baroque style; and, of symbolism taken to literal-minded extremes.  Beaux-Arts sculptural decoration is along conservative modern lines, employing French and Italian Baroque and Rococo formulas combined with an impressionistic finish and realism.  Beaux-Arts style:  Principal characteristics of Slightly overscaled details, bold sculptural supporting consoles (a structural piece jutting from a wall to carry a superincumbent weight, a type of bracket., rich deep cornices, and other sculptural enrichment's. Examples include: a Textured Base with smooth outside walls above the base, Arched and Gabled openings, classical details with an eclectic mixing of various styles.  Symmetry.  Sculpture ( panels, figural sculptures, sculptural groups), murals, mosaics, and other artwork, all coordinated in theme to assert the identity of the design.  Classical design details: Spindle Shapes, Pilasters (the appearance of a supporting column and to articulate an extent of wall, with only an ornamental function.) , Festoons- in architecture typically a carved ornament depicting conventional arrangement of garland bound together and suspended by ribbons.  Cartouchs-- an oval or oblong design with a slightly convex surface, typically edged with ornamental scroll work.  Acroteria-- a design ornament placed on a flat base called the plinth, and mounted at the apex of the Arched and or Gabled openings-in the classical style., with a prominent display of richly detailed clasps (agrafes), brackets and supporting consoles, and Subtle Finishes using Polychromy.

The final three images (below) follow the Beaux-Arts approach:
classical details with an eclectic mixing of various styles.
These examples are Richardson Romanesque.


Bristol Byzantine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Byzantine Revival Design


The Byzantine Revival or Neo-Byzantine movement was an architectural revival movement most frequently seen in religious, institutional and public buildings. It emerged in the 1840s in Western Europe and peaked in the last quarter of 19th century in the Russian Empire; an isolated Neo-Byzantine school was active in Yugoslavia between World War I and World War II.

Neo-Byzantine architecture incorporates elements of the Byzantine style associated with Eastern and Orthodox Christian architecture dating from the 5th through 11th centuries, notably that of Constantinople and the Exarchate of Ravenna. The style is characterized by round arches, vaults and domes, brick and stucco surfaces, symbolic ornamentation, and the use of decorative mosaics.

Bristol Byzantine
is a variety of Byzantine Revival architecture that was popular in the city of Bristol, England from about 1850 to 1880. 

Neo-Byzantine Design in Russia

Byzantine architecture, like Russian Revival, had the least chance to survive the Socialist anti-religious campaign of the 1920s. Destruction peaked in 1930, targeting large downtown cathedrals with no apparent logic: Kharkov Cathedral of Saint Nicholas ( Santa Claus ) was demolished "to streamline tram lines".  Most of remaining churches were  converted to warehouses, cinemas or offices, and left to rot without proper maintenance. Nevertheless, majority of Byzantine churches survived past the fall of the Soviet Union.



     Russian Neo-Byzantine Style defined:

  • Hemispherical domes
  • Blending of arches and domes. The supporting arcade blends directly into dome roof; tin roofing flows smoothly around the arches. Arches were designed for maximum insolation via wide window openings. A few designs (Sevastopol Cathedral, 1862–1888, Livadia church, 1872–1876) also had wooden window shutters with circular cutouts, as used in medieval Byzantium. In the 20th century this pattern was reproduced in stone (Kuntsevo church, 1911), actually reducing insolation.
  • Exposed masonry. The Neoclassical canon enforced by Alexander I required masonry surfaces to be finished in flush stucco. Byzantine and Russian revival architects radically departed from this rule; instead, they relied on exposing exterior brickwork. While exposed brickwork dominated the scene, it was not universal; exterior stucco remained in use, especially in the first decade of Alexander II's reign.
  • Two-tone, striped masonry. Russian architects borrowed the Byzantine tradition of adorning flat wall surfaces with horizontal striped patterns. Usually, wide bands of dark red base brickwork were interleaved with narrow stripes of yellow of grey brick, slightly set back into the wall. Reverse (dark red stripes over grey background) was rare, usually associated with Georgian variety of churches built in Nicholas II period. The importance of color pattern increased with building size: it was nearly universal in large cathedrals but unnecessary in small parish churches.
Sretenia Gospodnya Church-  built 1998 in St. Petersburg


Gare do Oriente - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

First published 02/29/2016
Using the posted images as a loudspeaker cabinet design concept without informing US Enclosure to obtain permission is illegal per US Code.