In the spring of 2009, Samira Bouabana and Angela Tillman Sperandio founded the blog Hall of Femmes, the very starting point of the project. Over the next three years, the readers could follow their meetings with some of the world’s most prominent female designers, as well as exploring some of the lesser known sides of the industry. The blog entries range from the beaches of Coney Island in the 1940’s to contemporary Stockholm – they are humorous, moving and insightful. The personal and initiated tone is always present. When they post the last entry, in February 2013, the circle of readers has grown swiftly alongside with the project.
Sweden : Oyster Press, 2013 8 vol. 23 cm
Photos: ECAL / Leonoor Knulst, assisted by Lena Nyffenegger
The Blind Corner - Fame and Drama - Issue 1 by Lisa Guedel-Dolle
The Blind Corner — Fame and drama, vous immerge au coeur des destins sombres et tragiques de célébrités dont les vies ont pris un mauvais tournant. Jalousie, désir, folie… ont conduit les protagonistes de ces mésaventures dans les abysses de la démence. Trahison, sexe, meurtre… sont monnaies courantes dans ce milieu où les frontières entre réalité et fantasme sont inexistantes. The Blind Corner — Fame and drama, dépoussière le passé en redonnant vie aux histoires marquantes de l’actualité people de ces 50 dernières années, il éclaire des documents d’archives sous un nouveau jour au travers d’enquêtes visuelles denses et y apporte un regard singulier et exclusif. The Blind Corner — Fame and drama, vous propose chaque mois 5 histoires à (re)découvrir. Mystères, rebondissements, intrigues… vous tiendront en haleine jusqu’au dénouement final, qu’il soit heureux ou tragique. Voici leurs histoires.
Travail de diplôme 2014 ECAL, Communication visuelle (Design graphique)
The Blind Corner — Fame and Drama immerses you deep in the dark and tragic fates of celebrities whose lives have taken a turn for the worse. Jealousy, desire, madness… have driven the protagonists of these misadventures into the depths of insanity. Betrayal, sex, murder… are commonplace in this world where the boundaries between fantasy and reality are inexistent. The Blind Corner — Fame and Drama, shakes the dust off the past by reviving remarkable celebrity news stories of the past 50 years, bringing archival documents to new light through dense visual investigations that provide a unique and exclusive vision. The Blind Corner — Fame and Drama, offers monthly 5 stories to (re)discover. Mysteries, twists, intrigue… will keep you breathless until the very end, whether happy or tragic. Here are their stories.
Diploma Project 2014 ECAL, Visual Communication (Graphic Design)
Holidays After The Fall : Seaside Architecture and Urbanism in Bulgaria and Croatia
Editor: Michael Zinganel, Elke Beyer, Anke Hagemann (eds.) Authors: Elke Beyer, Anke Hagemann, Norbert Mappes-Niediek, Maroje Mrduljaš und Michael Zinganel With photographs by Nikola Mihov, ccn-images Zagreb, et al.; Graphic design: Studio Katja Gretzinger
Publisher: Jovis (Berlin, 2013) English 272 Pages 17 x 24 cm
Every summer season, the sun-drenched coasts of Bulgaria and Croatia turn into densely inhabited, intensively exploited tourism industry hotspots. This book traces the various architectural and urban planning strategies pursued there since the mid 1950s, in order first to create then to further develop modern holiday destinations. It portrays (late-) modern tourism architecture and resorts of a remarkable quality and typological diversity, which have persisted both as a playground for the domestic labour force and as a viable product on the international market. Yet the authors focus above all on how, in the wake of political change and the privatization of business, individual resorts and outstanding buildings have been economically and physically restructured, in a myriad of ways, leaving a legacy of deserted ruins, cautious renovations, exorbitant conversions and on-going public protest. (Jovis)
Franco Grignani’s path through Italian visual culture in the twentieth century was like the passage of a meteor. He transformed this culture without being transformed in the process. He began as a futurist and ended up “optical”. Between these two extremes is the creation of one of the most famous of all marks, worldwide – the Woolmark. The year was 1963. Italy was experiencing a period of economic boom. Grignani’s work as a graphic artist was central to the world, just as Milan was central to the system of production both in Italy and Europe. Grignani’s work as a painter was known about, but the art system failed to provide the recognition which he deserved. The community of graphic designers, however, praised him internationally. The struggle against the old bogus distinction between visual and applied arts would provide a stimulus for him in his research, which lasted until his death in Milan in 1999, when the great challenge of sociall-oriented design work also came to an end. His workremains with us. It represents the crystallised part of a greater project and an attempt to provide a demonstration of human perception and its alterations.
Abstract: In her essay “cortex cast”, published on the design-blog of Maharam textile company, the internationally recognized design-journalist Alice Rawsthorn highlights the advantages of 3D printing. Briefly she describes the influence of the 3D-printing technology on product design: “The first affordable 3D printers have churned out an awful lot of decorative knickknacks but some useful things too.”(1)
As an example she mentions the “Cortex Cast”-project by the design-student Jake Evill. Suffering more from his itching cast, than from his broken arm, he developed a 3D printed cast, that is not only “lighter, cleaner, and more comfortable than traditional plaster ones, but also helps the healing process by providing support for the limb where it is needed the most.”(2)
To show the other side of he medal, she names a negative example of a 3d printed, fully “functional” gun. Accentuated and critical, Alice Rawsthorn concludes, broaching general questions about beauty and relevance of design projects. The technology and the designer – they can be a wonderful and extremely powerful team, but very often a well-balanced relationship between both, seems to be the exception. How often, do designer have to hear the short and crushing answer of the technicians: “Impossible!” In this cases the technology is behind the progressive ideas of designers, but sometimes it is the other way around: There is a innovative technology like 3D printing and designers have problems finding a proper way of using it. Exited by the new possibilities, they play around with the aesthetical effects, do lighting or vases, or even worse, they construct an artificial problem in order to solve it. It is quite rare that a good design concept and an innovative technology fit together and form a strong and adequate product. Jake Evill’s Cortex Cast, is an example like that. Instead of creating a new problem he explored a “new way to solve an old problem” (3).
Abstract: Kate Cullinane’s graduate thesis project explores the role of copying in design and its impact on the idea of originality. A short version of the topic was published on design blog Design observer. In her text she shares thoughts about what is new and original design or does such things exist at all? She describes that originality is impossible, that everything has a traceable past but still a new design is very possible to create. She says that if designers isolate themselves in the hope of producing work that is unlike anything else (or in the fear of being claimed as plagiarists), they are likely to produce only what they have already done. “In reality”, she says, ”the most brilliant creations are the result of a lineage of references, repetitions and well-established representations”.
The article brings up interesting point of views like, how being good is more important than being original, which I agree with. I think this is very relevant topic that designers often struggle with. How to make original design? There is always someone who has a similar idea. And where does this admiration of originality come from? Does it serve our customers and the consumers? Or is it just a type of style that dwells among us, designers, and which has become a greater value for us than it should? Kate Cullinane has a good point reminding us that building upon what already exists is more productive than starting from scratch.
Title: DESIGN IN AN AGE OF NOT KNOWING Author: Pete Maxwell Publisher: Disegno, no 5 (Winter 2013), p.30-32
Abstract: A design and architecture critic Pete Maxwell (based in London) writes about the challenge of design education today. He describes how today’s designers are perceived less as experts in a specific field and more as professionalized pupils, privileged for their adaptability. In his writing he says how the fast change of technology and increasingly mutable working conditions is making the challenge of ‘reskilling’ to play a big role in a designer’s working life. Referring to these dilemmas he explains about a few concepts that are discussing and trying to answer to the challenge of designers’ life-long learning. It is both a privilege and a burden for today’s designers that the evolving world around us is requiring our characters as designers to change alongside. Having have to be adaptable and having a vivid and changing surroundings in the working field offers designers exciting projects, without a worry of repeating old habits over and over again following in the worst case with the lack interest towards your work, one can think of it as a privilege and blessed to be chosen this working industry. On the other hand, it indeed creates a pressure and especially a challenge for both, designers and the design education system, to answer the difficulty of keeping the old and the new designers on the top of the changing surroundings. Sometimes all these challenges and ‘multiskilling’ do make me wonder, if the lives of the past generations’ designers were easier, more simple and less under pressure? And it also draws me to think, whether I would prefer to be a designer in today or in the previous century.
Title: SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL: ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF AN IDEA Author: Detlev Schöttker Publisher: Mak/Zine, 1/2012, pp. 58-72
Abstract: This article summarizes the origin of the simplicity as esthetic concept and its evolution through history.
Its origin was the classical Greek rhetoric. Focusing on a comprehensive public speech, they created a standard of clarity and simplicity. This principle has been revised by thinkers during centuries. At the beginning used by architects, during the Enlightenment in the 18th century it started to be applied into all the arts, including the crafts.
During the 20th century it was a renewal interested in art without ornament. Figures as Adolf Loos started a series of movements that advocated for simplicity as Modernism and Bauhaus. Including other areas as science with Albert Einstein’s work.
After the WWII there were attempts to go back to simplicity but fast the idea was critized. Even there were aesthetic movement as the “minimal art” during the 1960s, it has never fully recovered in the theorectical domain.
In my opinion it is an interesting article because contextualizes the well-known slogan of Mies van der Rohe “less is more” in history. I have the impresion that sometimes we tend to oversimplify and forget millennial aesthetic background.
Title: THE ART OF CRAFT: THE RISE OF THE DESIGNER-MAKER Author: Justin McGuirk Publisher: The Guardian, 1 August 2011 (consulted on January 2014)
Abstract: This article by the Guardian’s design critique Justin McGuirk defines a new trend in design that focuses on designing and making one own objects. The author explains the various reasons for the return of craft in the lifestyle landscape and this comes partly by the lack of opportunities of work within large manufacturing companies. Young designers take it upon themselves to produce their own work to get them on the market and by using a mix of ready made and hand made components, they create a new visual language. Through a few examples such as a partly hand made kettle and hair dryer exhibited at Villa Noailles, this principle is made attractive as a viable new type of product.
This article, although lacking depth of example, begins to touch on a larger issues such as the ethical implication of craft production vs mass production, the cultural implications of wanting to (or simply being able to) choose one over the other, and how craftsmanship in the romantic interpretation is coming back in the picture due to the ever increasing popularity of Design studies.