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Guest rnds

Is 'design-art' Relevant To The Design Industry?

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Guest rnds

'Design-Art'

 

'Design-art' is not entirely new but in recent times the market for limited production or one-off design objects has grown enormously (as have the prices).

 

The phenomenon is very much being pushed by galleries and auction houses and has attracted some very wealthy collectors. Some designers have been critical of it whereas others have embraced it. In recent times some furniture/objects have made record prices at auction, reaching several hundred thousand dollars.

 

Ultimately, this is very much a commercial phenomenon, the objects are not really experimental, ideological, academic, or intellectual ...and have little to do with the advancement of design or the desire to improve the quality (both functionally and aesthetically) of the man-made world.

 

 

 

Here are some examples:

 

Studio Job

RB.jpg

 

Fernando and Humberto Campana

BANQUET.jpg

 

Alessandro Mendini

fo_mendini_meble_l.jpg

 

A limited edition ghost corksrew by Alessandro Mendini

AM23_19-1.jpg

 

Arek Levy

30931.jpg

 

Jeroen Verhoeven

JeroenVerhoevenCinderellaTable.jpg

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Guest rnds

Maarten Baas

MaartenBaas.jpg

 

Francois Arnal

FranoisArnalchaise-longue-full.jpg

 

Zaha Hadid

206.jpg

 

Ron Arad

RonArad691.jpg

 

Marc Newson

Lot145_Newson_Desk.jpg

 

Ettore Sottsass

ca6db4a4.jpg

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Guest rnds

Fabio Novembre

SOS2-1.jpg

 

Aranda Lasch

aranda_lasch_quasi-table1.jpg

 

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

bouroullec05.jpg

 

Jurgen Bey

KokonfurniturefordroogbyJurgenBey.jpg

 

Wendel Castle

Castle15641.jpg

 

Hella Jongerius

rhjpsg.jpg

 

Hella Jongerius

333cnr8.jpg

24b1dau.jpg

 

Jaime Hayon

wgvyn6.jpg

 

Marcel Wanders

20zoh7b.jpg

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Guest CheckMate

some of those pieces i really like, most of them i dislike. i wouldn't consider the marc newson piece 'design art' and i really like the ron arad chair and the table made from cube like pieces. i definately think there is a market for bespoke elaborate 'design art' pieces the economics of manufacture and demand impose restrictions on creative freedom and there will always be people who are willing to pay to have something unique and exclusive. owning a one off is a really good thing especially in this age of mass production and uniformity, one size fits all culture. unique pieces give an environment ideosyncracies which creates room for charactor. i once read in a book there is only a small difference in a cookie pot and an urn but that small aesthetic difference but that leeway creates room for culture and that is an awful lot of leeway (or along those line). so in conclusion yes 'design art' is good and as it pushes the boundaryies and is highly experimental it can hugely influence industrial design. if we didn't have the highly experimental art world and 'design art' to rub off on industrial design would industrial design be the same?

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Guest posty

I agree. It seems that some aspects of design are reserved for design-art / critical-design and other forms of practice at the fuzzy front end. It would be interesting to find examples of objects that have inspired or been reflected in pieces in mass production - there you will find its true relevance. An example that comes to mind is Crispin Jones, who designed the following critical watch design, this was then watered down to create a series of watches.

 

http://www.mr-jones.org/

 

Artisan designers create 'designed objects' and wither they are mass produced, or not, the object will reflect in design culture through precedent or the inspiration of other designers. If high profile it will add to design knowledge in general, appear in books and blogs and reflect in others work...

 

Intereseting topic...

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Guest Austin Brown

At first pass, I think design art is nearly useless. Unless it is useful. That means, if it is different for a reason - visual interest, new archetypes, a new way to store objects, etc. - it means a lot more than a piece that is different for the sake of being different. Most of what I saw in your photos seems to be different for the sake of looking strange, I guess that fits into the visual interest segment, but some of them are just weird as opposed to interesting.

 

When a piece poses a useful question to the user, or makes them think about a situation critically, it has caused them to break out of a daily grind/habit, which is good for the mind. It's good to have to think about things. I agree that some of these have the ability to forward the design field and profession, but they also have the capacity to hinder it. The pieces that use interesting manufacturing techniques or materials introduce a new concept to the design field. This never hurts. See the Jeroen Verhoeven Table and Ron Arad Chair. If these were produced by some means other than tedious handwork, they can teach designers about new manufacturing opportunities.

 

I guess, I am just more interested in Art remaining Art and Design remaining Design. Sometimes the two are attached, but generally there is a clear distinction. This makes it easier, as a designer, to consider an object. If we are evaluating a piece of art, we use terminology and criteria related to art to do so. And the same goes for design. Yes these pieces are interesting. They make us think - as art should - about interesting questions. The fact that you can rest a book on it or sit in it seems to be a minor consideration. As a designer, usability is always at the forefront of my consideration. I think this is what makes me so confused when I see such works.

 

So...to answer the question...

 

'Design art' is indeed relevant to the design industry, but not in the way that one would expect.

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Guest rnds

Thanks for your replies guys ...you have made some valuable points.

 

 

Modern design is at a strange point right now .

 

Never before have designers been so concerned about expressing the zeitgeist in their objects -- we also live in a time virtually obsessed with 'icons' -- every designer wants to create the next design icon.

 

Wieki Somers tea pot

qqeqyv.jpg

 

Nobody ever talked about 'Modern Design Classics' or 'Design Icons' 40 years ago. This is a thoroughly Postmodern (and commercial) context in which to view Modern design of the 20th century.

 

In the '60s and '70s, some designers sought to find new directions for design beyond the purely functionalist tenets of high Modernism.

 

Alessandro Mendini rejected Modernism and the all the accepted notions of 'good design'.

 

Alessandro Mendini 'Proust' chair from 1978.

10f812f.jpg

 

 

Unlike Mendini, Ettore Sottsass never rejected Modernism, but he sought to reinvigorate it with much of the 'humanity' it had lost in its pursuit for absolute rationalism.

 

Ettore Sottsass Table

ev1ezt.jpg

 

 

Jasper Morrison talks about a need for 'Super Normal' design -- he believes the design industry has become a major source of visual pollution.

 

'Super Normal' design is the term used to describe objects that are almost archetypal in their appearance: at first glance they are obvious and 'normal' ...but through exceptional attention to aesthetics and disciplined approach have an aura of specialness -- they are 'Super Normal'.

 

Naoto Fukasawa

1zqeb0p.jpg

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Guest Austin Brown

I love the idea of "Super Normalcy". It is a strange thing to think about because for something to appear normal today, it has to be super-normal. I mean, there are so many things that are "out there" and "innovative" that they've become the norm. Strangely shaped products and frightening-looking furniture hardly raise eyebrows any more.

 

Super normalcy is what I think designers should strive for, at least until they know what they're doing. I am still young, and impressionable - and thus, I will latch onto design methodologies and archetypes that please or interest me. Fortunately, I am more interested in the User and the User's experience with a product than with the product's appearance. To me, this means that when I finally figure out what my style really is, I'll have already learned to instill aspects of the User and past archetypes in my design, and the styling or surfacing (whatever it is) can follow along as a secondary consideration.

 

Super normal is one thing I'd like to see brought into the realm of design art. I think it might show those rock star designers a new way to think. Maybe they would even start producing objects that were *gasp* useful, useable, attractive, intuitive, obtainable, or any combination of these. One can always hope, I guess.

 

-austin brown

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Guest rnds

Great post Austin :thumbsup:

 

It is an excellent approach to design for the end user.

 

This is precisely the approach that my design hero, Ettore Sottsass, took.

 

Many Modernists focused primarily on the 'function' of an object but forgot the end user in the process. The designers from the Bauhaus were taught to design objects predominantly for the machine-made manufacturing process (which was far less complex than today).

 

Sottsass was also concerned with the 'human' aspect of an object -- why should a computer or office chair be made of black or gray metal and plastic? ....colour was one way of improving the 'humanity' of the Modern office environment.

 

Olivetti Elia 9003 computer 1958

21njdc8.jpg

 

Valentine Typewriter 1969.

qzeptf.jpg

 

Typist chair, 1973.

w7o3v7.jpg

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Guest Austin Brown

Thanks. It feels good to look back on what I've learned only to realize that I really did LEARN it. I've surprised myself with this. I understand the terms, concepts, and overall meaning of most of what's being discussed. I really hope this topic keeps chugging along. Thinking is a refreshing break from reading and researching. Great Idea rnds. Keep it up!!

 

Austin

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Guest rnds

Great.

 

I did get a little off topic with my last 2 posts ;) .....here is a link to a short essay about "Super Normal" from Jasper Morrison's website.

 

http://www.jaspermorrison.com/html/8851725.html

 

'Super Normal' objects (from the exhibition)

k0lydg.jpg

 

I think Morrison is an outstanding designer -- his designs remind me of the work of Dieter Rams in many respects.

 

It is interesting to note that these designs pre-date the iPod by that other famous British designer, Jonathan Ive.

 

Sony TV, 1998 by Jasper Morrison

electric_tv.jpg

 

 

Sony Hi-Fi, 1998 by Jasper Morrison

electric_hifi.jpg

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Guest Austin Brown

That's just funny. My design hero goes by the name of Rams. There's something about doing rounded rectangles before apple was even an idea that makes him seem like a savant. "If it fits in a box, then put it in a box" If it requires a cylinder, guess what?

 

Good stuff.

 

It's nice to hear names like Jasper Morrison and Rams. I am one of the only people I know who actually pays any attention to their designs. many of my peers simply look past them to things that they find "more interesting". Different strokes I guess.

 

austin

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Guest rnds

Things get a bit blurry when art and design become interwined ....the traditional yardsticks by which we measure good/bad design no longer apply.

 

'Family Lamp' by Atelier Van Lieshout

vrvfco.jpg

 

Vase/object by Andrea Branzi

2dm4id.jpg

 

Jeff Koons Sculpture

2dgq5bl.jpg

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