Commonplaces, Design Theory, Form Design Magazine, Graphic Design, Hans Ulrich Reck, Linda Asher, Michael Rock, Peter Biľak, Quotes, Translation
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Translate, Translator and Translation

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Designer as translator

…the act of design is, in essence, the clarification of material or the remaking of content from one form to another. The ultimate goal is the expression of a given content rendered in a form that reaches a new audience. …

The translation becomes a second art. Translation is neither scientific nor ahistorical. Every translation reflects both the character of the original and the spirit of the contemporary as well as the individuality of the translator…

Like the poetic translator, the designer transforms not only the literal meaning of the elements but the spirit, too. …

The designer is intermediary.

Michael Rock, Multiple Signatures

Translation is a kind of impersonation, … As a translator … I am keen to observe the world consciously, and notice dialogue, notice dialect, notice personal styles of speech, notice tics. …

A book is not only a text, and I don’t see translation as an exclusively literary activity, but as a human exchange. …

Translation is primarily performance, interpretation, more than it is “creation”…

Peter Biľak in conversation with Linda Asher, Works That Work, No. 1

…the designer transforms and expresses content through graphic devices. The score or script is enhanced and made whole by the performance. And so the designer likewise becomes the physical manifestation of the content, not author but performer, the one who gives life to, who speaks the content, contextualising it and bringing it into the frame of the present.

Michael Rock, Multiple Signatures

Connect, Shift, Translate: Appropriate and Manipulate

Without sticking one’s neck out too far, one may predict that things of vital importance depend on the practical testing of theories, on the unfolding of experiments, on tentative, searching behaviour, on heuristic, makeshift solutions. …

Design is the repetition of attempts… Even when attempts prove successful, design is and remains… always re-design. This never rules out a pre-existing solution. … But it, too, will be subjected to an ongoing, far-reaching play of displacement. It remains subversive and disconcerting. The object of design theory can never be clearly or rigidly fixed. It calls for a capability that cannot be regulated in advance, but that must prove its excellence and validity within a process.

Hans Ulrich Reck, On the State of Design Theory, Form, No. 250

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