Irma Boom, Hella Jongerius, Alice Rawsthorn, Beat Wyss and Aaron Betsky

Interesting design doesn’t exist to serve the purpose of a device but to exceed it by pure representation. In borderline case, the purpose becomes pure form. A designed object is successful when its daily use becomes a cultivated habit. Habit, unlike purpose-driven assistance, is an end in itself.

About Authorship, Beat Wyss, Some Book: Graphic Expressions between Design and Art

We are living at a time when once-familiar objects are disappearing from our lives. Any product is at risk if its function can be fulfilled as effectively by the software or a digital device like a smart phone or tablet that can do numerous other things too. Those imperilled objects will only survive if they offer us something enticing that eludes their digital equivalents, whether it is aesthetic, sensual or functional.

Life in Design (Irma Boom’s books) by Alice Rawsthorn, Frieze Magazine

Innovation is the highest priority. You have to have a reason to make a new piece. You have to look at a product from another angle, give something to the design profession, or innovate on a material level, or innovate on expression.

Hella Jongerius and a perfect misfit

Design and art can meet at the working level by turning the act of observing or using beautiful things into an act of sense-making. …

… Works of art tend to be unique; the design object has the largest possible circulation. … The work of art personifies absolute exchange value, like money, while its utility value is restricted to being decorative and making us think. Compared to that, the design object claims to have practical utility, even if it remains unused, …

About Authorship by Beat Wyss from Some Book: Graphic Expressions between Design and Art

Seeing is Knowing is Making

The artist’s work consists of organising, crafting, and framing the information in such a way that it gives back to the viewer or reader reality in an altered form. …

One might say that it reveals the true nature of things by exhibiting the relationship between things.

False Flat: Why Dutch Design Is So Good (about Irma Boom’s work) by Aaron Betsky

 

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