Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things I'd Like to Design

In interviews, I am often asked what I would like to design next:  a strange inquiry, considering that we designers are rarely given a choice in these matters.

Last evening, I was re-reading old texts by Alessandro Mendini, a visionary Italian master and my one-time mentor, who himself often marveled at design’s limits and possibilities. In homage to Mendini, I have compiled my own partial list of things I’d like to design, if I had a chance. Here it is:

Tools, cast in bronze, for cultural work

Trays and cabinets where to put those tools

Objects to relieve spiritual pain

Objects to provoke thought

Objects glimpsed in a dream

Hilarious objects

Timeless objects


Objects my parents could understand

Objects that carry message

Objects that hold memories

Objects that keep a secret

Buried objects

Unconscious objects

Objects to throw into the sea

Objects to leave on top of the mountain

Things to keep in the attic

Briefcase for the ultimate journey

Blogger RWordplay said...

Very funny and amusing, too. Apropos of "tools." I knew an artists—I think his name was Jim and he was married to a very beautiful woman—who made lacquered screens. He applied hundreds of layers of lacquer to create an effect, the vertical equivalent of a landscape seen from a plane. (He also piloted a small plane.) In addition to his screens he also took ordinary hammers and applied hundreds of layers of lacquer to them, rendering them quite beautiful objects, if entirely useless as anything but objects of contemplation.
I particularly like the Briefcase for the Ultimate Journey. (We'll take two.)
As a set well done, but I'll do my best to come up with another, perhaps an object invisible to the naked eye (or is that too obvious.) I'll give it some more thought.
Finally, I would like to see you replace Sol LeWit's, rather rude remark, with Robert Sawyer's more relevant: "There are exits but no escape." One, because I think it aligns more closely to the work here, and two, because Mr. LeWitt's quote is rather old-fashioned. People have been saying "Fuck you," to the world with a stupifying regularity since the 1960s. Mr. Sawyer's quote is far more terrible, because if so terribly true.

June 18, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

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