I found this website/tool recently, its only been around for a couple of months so i feel I’m riding a new typographic wave. It is seriously kicking my ass. You can make modular fonts rapidly in a web browser and share and download them. It’s a great piece of equipment for a designer who’s had loads of font ideas hanging around waiting to be made. I’m not sure as to it’s true potential- at worst it’s the best procrastination device ever- at best it enables designers to effectively, creatively and cheaply create fonts that can be used. I can see it being a fantastic thing for schools: it is so simple and quick that it could help inspire a passion for type in ‘the next generation’ of designers. Overall you should check it out- it’s something a bit special.
I came back from the Berlin ‘DMY’ Design Festival with a few of realisations: helvetica is beautiful, German words- i.e. lösswasserspeisung are fantastic- so long and so much fun to say- i might start joining words up more often, and the notion of celebrity design, and designers is whack: Tom Dixon exhibited and Karim Rashid spoke at the Bombay Sapphire Gallery and both made me shiver in a bad way.
Berlin is different to any other city I’ve been to. It doesn’t seem to have a distinctive heart, there were some roads that had more stuff on than others but still it was easy to walk miles without much happening. It did however, make for a very relaxed atmosphere and the space itself was really open, wide roads and spaced out buildings etc.
The design festival was a bit underwhelming to be honest but the each bars, sweet book/print shop, tiny galleries and cheap tasty falafel made up for it. It was nice to be out and about but it made me glad that i was in London- design wise it doesn’t get much better.
I attended a talk at the ICA about collecting- something I’m pretty interested in and fancy doing a project around, especially after this talk. It started out with a film – ‘possessed’- by an ex- Goldsmiths guy about hoarding which was fascinating and thought provoking. There were loads of interesting thoughts and quotes which could start projects off. My favourite however were as follows: Mike Presdee, a cultural criminologist and lecturer spoke about how rather that being pathological, collecting was ore transgressive. A collector abstracts an object from it ‘s intended purpose and almost fetishises it: a stamp collector does not intend to post letters. A collector interrupts the consume, throw, buy cycle by hanging on to the item of collection.
Another interesting thought was raised by John Sellers, a philosophy lecture. He put the collector in a Venn diagram – between the hoarder, who harboured an uncontrollable need and desire to have and keep items, and the museum curator who orders, arranges, organizes and acquires through an intellectual interest.
Something else which interests me is the criteria and conditions for something joining a collection.
I hope to do more with this so watch this space i guess.
I’ve finished the first installment of my time with [re]design. It was great- i picked up my pace i think and it was great to get out some ‘real’ projects.
This is a link to their website which shows parts of the identity i created for their upcoming exhibition ‘lighten up’.
So i was watching Ray Mears, as you do, but it was different to normal- he pretty much spent the entire time making this canoe from scratch with this first generation Canadian guy. They took about 5 days to make the canoe out of bark, split cedar and spruce roots. Apart from getting some cool ideas about using bark and laminating wood without a former i was interested in the emotional connection which got established with the thing. Every piece was hand crafted and- every notch and split was done by the guy who was going to use it. Every aspect was custom to the makers body, the height, width and all the measurements were deliberated over, checked against what the paddlers oar strokes would be and then decided upon by eye and hand measured templates.
The process meant that if any part broke or needed repair then the paddler could maintain his canoe. Another couple of interesting things that Ray talked about were that hand crafting everything meant that nothing was wasted, and that because it he’d made it he felt an immense satisfaction paddling it and it felt right. One of the old ‘canoe masters’ said ‘you end up loving your canoe’.
At a [re]design interview i was given the book from their award winning exhibition ‘sit-up’ which was nice of them. It had loads of sweet sustainable chairs- everyone should check out grownup stool by Chris Cattle http://www.grown-furniture.co.uk/- but a piece by Lou Rota (http://www.lourota.com/) reminded me of the spare maps i had stashed and the polypropolene chairs which were hanging around outside.
Old Vs. New