Thursday, 31 December 2009
Monday, 28 December 2009
How to listen
How to frame and carry out inquiry and research
How to interpret information and develop critical insights
How to present
How to make mistakes
How to bravely walk away from good ideas
How to design effective communication
How to visualize invisible concepts
How to find relevance in obscure detail
How to use design software
How to facilitate creative change
How to link business capacity with social interests
How to develop and manage projects
How to lead and allow others to lead
How to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
“The Bather of Valpincon”
The Louvre Museum is a bit big and intimidating, I've been there many times for days at a time.
When you have a few moments to spare, sometimes it is just possible to see one thing . . . . and yesterday, that one thing was this . . . . another touchstone, and enough to keep me going 'till the next time.
Monday, 14 December 2009
It's been a few years since I used Charles De Gaulle airport, but one of the nicest things about it, is the startling modernity and purity of the Frutiger typeface.
Beautifully weighted and spaced, clear and modern, it stands out in a sea of dated concrete.
The signage system is unexpected in the way it uses colour . . . . turquoise, cobalt, navy, touches of orange and yellow, it's a homage to the Swiss style, and a work of art.
But, it is the ever reliable, perfect Frutiger that draws your eye, specially designed by Adrian Frutiger for the airport when it was built in 1968, and still a bit of a gem.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
The first order of meaning is the obvious. The second order is symbolic, and the third meaning is not wholly divorced from them. It is difficult to name because, as Barthes states " The third meaning, or obtuse meaning is a signifier without a signified".
So, in relation to the Kaleidoscope banknotes:
First meaning; obvious, RBS logo, though this is not as obvious as it could be, due to the interesting and complex use within the visual treatment, it is not the first thing we see, we are in my opinion taken directly to the third meaning.
Second meaning; symbolic, identifiable symbolism, kaleidoscope, snowflake . . . intruiging, but
there is still a communication beyond that.
Third meaning; obtuse/significant. No tangible signifiers are there . . . . but, they are there . . . optimism, multiculturalism, inclusion, diversity, a far reaching influence, and more . . . all the things a modern nation and a bank trying to re-build itself need to say . . . with no words involved whatsoever.
Whether you meant it or not, it is a striking example of this communication/ semiotics theory.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Monday, 7 December 2009
Sunday, 6 December 2009
They attempt to present a slice of reality as they found it at the moment of selection, and as the world is always changing, so their work will never be a permanent and accurate representation of the world in which we live…but it was true at the time. . . . . no words, yet supergraphics nonetheless.
Find out more here
If you are looking for a diary, and would like something original, I will be posting more info about them here soon, and we will be having a little exhibition when we have all the published copies back. Useful, original and delightful . . . well done guys, I'm kinda proud of you . . .
This has always been one of my favourite places, The Rothko room at Tate Modern.
It used to be in Tate Britain, and when a student in London, I used to sit in it .. . . . a lot.
The paintings seep into your soul, their power brings out different feelings in the viewer, according to your mood . . . but the experience is always special, it's kind of like Supergraphics without any type or words, a communication which relies totally on mood.
There is a lot going on in that room, but you are always singled out for attention by each canvas.
Read more here
Robert Rauschenberg 1925-2008.
Once in New York, I visited a friend who moved art for a living. He was really busy that day, and said I should come with him to pick up a painting, so we could talk in the van.
The painting was one by Robert Rauschenberg, and we turned up at his studio to get it.
His work has influenced me greatly, he has been one of the most important figures in my education and life, needless to say, those few unexpected moments in his studio remain one of the highlights.
Now I'm not one for German Romanticism, god forbid . . give me a great big slab of modern painting any day, Rauschenberg in particular, but the two paintings above have always been a kind of touchstone for me. The first . . The Abbey in the Oakwood was painted in Dresden in 1810, and in many ways visually predicts the terrible fate of that city in World War 2. Look at photographs after the bombing and see what I mean, I include one here above, but there are many more.
The second, The Monk by the Sea, is just simple and calming, and offers a certain solace to all who see it.
Find them in the National gallery in Berlin.
Saturday, 5 December 2009
This is not always a good thing, and can, in fact, be annoying. Designers obsess so much about their work that it’s a wonder they ever let any finished project out the door. And they’re just as tough on everyone else’s work. As I discovered, if you let designers read what you’ve written about them in advance, they will try to finesse every word. They can’t help but notice all the imperfections in the world around them, even when they ought to have other things on their minds. (Once, when Michael Graves was in the midst of a medical crisis, he reportedly said from his hospital gurney, “I don’t want to die here—it’s too ugly!”)
But if it’s true that designers sometimes care about things that don’t matter, it’s also true they care about things that do: sustainability, homeless shelters, better hospital rooms, better voting ballots, mortgages that can be understood, prisons that actually might be livable, social services that actually might work. Designers are tackling all of these challenges and more, and they’re not doing it for the money—because the money is in making the next iPhone. They’re doing it, I think, because they can’t help noticing that things around them are more imperfect than ever these days. And because they can’t stop themselves from stupidly asking, “Why?” and “What if?”
Living in an Urban World: how do designers and architects collaborate?
I have many thoughts as to what this will be, but at the moment, will simply present my ideas as a series of stimulating thoughts, inspirational work, places, people and discourse.
I will post things from time to time, and you are welcome to comment on, and discuss the material.
In fourth year, students work in groups of about eight people with an atelier leader, who will set the agenda and themes for an area of study which will lead to a major project and dissertation.
In Graphic Design we will aim at the moment to have three such groups.
I will introduce the theme I wish to explore with a series of posts, which over the next six months will become more focused.
Not everything will be in relation to the atelier, some things will be . . . just because I like them.
I hope all students on the course find something of interest here.