Design Research

In Design Theory on February 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Group E: Kristi, Sylvia, Duncan, Nick
Topic: Cross Tensions, Bridging Devices

Our subjects for this little in-class research project were Cross Tensions and Bridging Devices. The definitions for these terms were a bit difficult to nail down during our library research but, by looking at various images in books and on the internet, we were able to piece together a rough estimation of what each of them means.

Cross tensions could have multiple definitions.
• Criss-crossing or interweaving lines causing tension
• Architectural design element using criss-crossing beams as designs

boxer and lines

One example is from "Design Basics"

Cross tension is an element utilized in design to create, well, tension. Under normal circumstances, horizontal lines imply stability, while vertical lines imply strength. When overlapped in such a jarring fashion, or tilted to form crossing diagonal lines, tension is naturally created.

Here are some examples of Cross Tension in art/print:

Red in the Net by Kandinsky

Red In the Net — Wassily Kandinsky from ARTStor

Suprematism by Malevich

Suprematism — Kazimir Malevich from ARTStor

Donkey Kong

Video Game Example: Donkey Kong

Nick MacMichael's Cross Tension example

Nick MacMichael’s Cross Tension Example

Mondrian as a child

Kristi Walker’s Cross Tension Example

Next up we have Bridge Devices. They can be roughly defined as:
• An element used in painting or design to bridge an idea or theme
• A horizontal element in an image that connects or bridges multiple vertical elements
• Carrying across elements


One example of architecture is this image, which uses crossing arches to bridge two different buildings: (from Design Basics)

And…more Bridging Device examples:

Red Cross on Block Circle by Malevich

Red Cross on Block Circle— Kazimir Malevich from ARTStor

Suprematism no. 50 by Malevich

Suprematism No. 50 — Kazimir Malevich from ARTStor

Sylvia Yu's Cross Tension and Bridging Device example

Sylvia Yu’s Bridging Device Example (also has Cross Tensions going on here)

Duncan's Shark and some buildings

Duncan MacMichael's Bridging Device Example

Bridging Device example from World of Goo

Video Game Bridging Device Example: World of Goo


• Design Basics — by David A. Lauer/Stephen Pentak
• Design Basics — by David A. Lauer
• Making and Breaking the Grid — by Timothy Samara
• Principles of Two-Dimensional Design — by Wucius Wong

Art.com (http://www.art.com/products/p10329573-sa-i775354/wassily-kandinsky-circles-in-circle.htm)
The Guggenheim Museum (http://web.guggenheim.org/exhibitions/exhibition_pages/kandinsky/index.html)


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