Strange Design

October 17th, 2014

Depuis quelques années ont fait leur apparition dans le monde du design des objets étranges : des objets dysfonctionnels, énigmatiques, compliqués. Ces objets relévent d’une posture que les designers anglais Anthony Dunne et Fiona Raby ont défini Critical Design (design critique) : un design spéculatif, réflexif, qui ne veut pas proposer des solutions, mais plutôt poser des questions, qui veut défier les affirmations rapides, les préjugés et lieux communs sur le rôle des produits dans la vie de tous les jours. Un design qui ne se veut pas affirmatif, c’est-à-dire soumis aux impératifs des systèmes de pouvoir, mais au contraire critique. Cette “attitude” n’est pas nouvelle, mais a, au contraire, une histoire, qui longe la frontière entre art et design.
L’objectif de Strange Design — du design des objets au design des comportements n’est pas de reparcourir cette histoire de manière exhaustive ou linéaire, mais plutôt d’en envisager quelques épisodes afin de dégager les outils critiques dont ils sont porteurs pour l’histoire du design ­— comme une sismographie qui indique les résurgences de la crise d’un modèle.
Rencontre et signature le 21 octobre, dès 18h30, au Lieu du design à Paris.

Posted in Books, Design

Azimuts 40-41 – Design Research Journals. A Panorama

September 30th, 2014

Despite the impression given by its format and density, the central dossier of the bilingual Azimuts 40-41 – Design Research Journals. A Panorama has a quite modest objective: the provision of an initial survey of journals devoted to design research. Rather than approaching design research frontally, the editorial team has investigated one of the modes of expression favoured by research: the periodical, the supposed paragon and yardstick of academic excellence. However, as could be expected, this castling alone were insufficient to avoid all danger; fundamental issues concerning research made a rapid return to the surface. What place should be given to theory in an activity in which practice predominates in fact and by rights? Why in the field of research should writing replace actual practice? Can design research be solely descriptive or meta-descriptive and thus be reduced to a more or less scholarly commentary of practice? This led to the question: why should design research adopt the paradigm of scientific discourse when design can also be considered as being an artistic, technical, political, ethical or critical project?

Journals involved: AA Files, Ark & Arc, Back Cover, Collection, Communication & langages, Design et Culture, Design Issues, The Design Journal, Design Studies, Design Philosophy Papers, Digital Creativity, Dot Dot Dot, Emigre, Graphic, International Journal of Design, Information Design Journal, Journal of Design History, Mode de recherche, Oase, Terrain, Typography Papers, Visible Language, Wildproject.

ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950-1978

June 10th, 2014

During its fifty-four issue run, spanning nearly three decades, ARK was an influential presence in British cultural life. A magazine created by students at the Royal College of Art in London, ARK attracted international attention for its often bold and fast-changing design as well as the extraordinary cast of writers and artists who contributed to its pages, including Ralph Rumney, Lucio Fontana, Alison and Peter Smithson, Toni del Renzio and Reyner Banham, as well as college students and staff.

ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950-1978 is an anthology the magazine ARK. It includes original material from the magazine, selected and introduced by students on the Critical Writing in Art and Design MA programme at the RCA today. Also featured, in full colour, are all the covers of ARK and an index of the magazine’s contents. This new publication will offer a vivid overview of changing attitudes and approaches to art and design in Britain in an age of considerable flux.
Symposium & Book launch, June 25, Royal College of Art, London.

New issues: The Exhibitionist #9- E.R.O.S. issue 4 – Apartamento issue #13 – The Travel Almanac no. 7 – TOO MUCH Issue 5 – May n° 12

May 20th, 2014

The Exhibitionist is as a journal by curators, for curators, in which the most pertinent questions on exhibition making today would be considered and assessed. Modeled after the iconic French film journal Cahiers du cinéma, the journal is meant to serve a critical role in understanding current curatorial practices through a number of editorial formats focused specifically on the critical and historical importance of exhibitions.
The Exhibitionist #9, featuring Christopher Lee on the cover, introduces, among others, a new long-form section titled “Rigorous Research”; for this first installment, Italian curator and writer Germano Celant addresses the evolution of exhibition spaces in the 19th and 20th centuries, and certain seminal exhibitions that established new standards by reacting to the existing models of design and display.


E.R.O.S. is dedicated to the subject of desire. It covers a wide range of fields, drawing together often disparate disciplines under the auspices of each issue’s theme. Alongside newly commissioned work, E.R.O.S. contains excerpts, reproductions and reappraisals.
E.R.O.S. issue 4 contributors are John Baldessari, Sami Jalili, Federico Campagna, Emma Jones, Mark Fisher, Sharon Kivland, Ed Atkins, Patrick Staff, Andrew Calimach, Saul Newman, Simon Critchley, AA Bronson, Jamie Sutcliffe, Dan Walwin, Luke Burton, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Richard Wentworth.


Apartamento is an everyday life interiors magazine. A place in print about people, not just objects. Apartamento features the homes and lives of creative people, both established and emerging, from all over the world. It understands interior design as a means of personal expression, showing how people arrange their homes and the solutions they find to the same problems that everyone has. Apartamento puts forward a fresh and simply crafted aesthetic. It cares about the way people live and their relationships to the places they live.
Apartamento issue #13 features Wes Anderson, Anissa Helou, Joel Chen, Rafael Horzon, Jack Pierson, Faye Toogood, Marie Honda, Richard McConkey, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Adel Husni Bey & Mirella Clemencigh, Arturo Rhodes, Fabiola Alondra, Bernhard Willhelm, Andy Rementer & Margherita Urbani, Oscar Tusquets Blanca, Peter Shire. With The Girards, a special supplement about the legacy of Alexander Girard & Humor Furniture Graphic a portfolio by Luciano Consigli.


The Travel Almanac is a Berlin- and New York- based print publication focusing on traveling & temporary habitation, addressing an increasingly mobilized creative community, it is the first publication of its kind to speak to this sophisticated generation of travelers.
Contributors for The Travel Almanac Issue no. 7 are Gia Coppola, Ryan McGinley, Christophe Lemaire, David Chipperfield, Cordula Reyer, Phil Collins.


TOO MUCH gathers thoughts about cities, the people who live in them, and the changes affecting our society and our environment. It’s a magazine about romantic geography.
TOO MUCH Issue 5 is about looking at the body in space, and ways in which we have biologically and socially entered into the built environment, and how we are then changed into the process. With contributions by Francis Upritchard, Hidemasa Yatabe, Manabe Daito, Cara Phillips, Naoki Ishikawa, Shinya Aota, Madeline Gins, Ari Marcopoulos, Fala, Yayako Uchida, Takashi Homma, Fumihiko Maki, Arata Isozaki, Hiroshi Hara, Kengo Kuma and Nagao Nishikawa.


May is a bilingual (French/English) quarterly publication conceived as an experimental platform for new forms of criticism. May proposes to examine matters pertaining to the field of contemporary cultural production through the publication of essays, exhibition reviews and interviews with international contributors varying from scholars to critics, artists, writers and curators.
May n° 12 is the third and final section devoted to the 1990s in France, with contributions by Georges Rey, Florence Bonnefous, Éric Troncy, Yves Aupetitallot, Elein Fleiss, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Bernard Joisten, Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Olivier Zahm, Nicolas Bourriaud, Renaud Jerez, Roy Genty, Annie Godfrey Larmon, Nick Mauss, Neil Beloufa, Jacob King, Vincent Normand, Damon Sfetsios, Elise Duryee-Browner, Jana Euler.

Justifiable Versions of Events

April 21st, 2014

The Jan Van Eyck Academy Alumni Association is an open platform for theory, art and design built from the assembly of former researchers and participants of the Jan Van Eyck Academy, who are dissatisfied with the debilitating nature of the institutional field, and who reject the prevailing norms of commerce. The idea is to form a mobile framework for collaboration between designers, artists and theorists, one which will bring about a radical probing of disciplines by suspending their borders and provoking their mutual subversions, affirming the need for collective work and engaging in projects which open the possibilities of different domains, whether aesthetic, scientific, or political. They understand the Association as a project continually ‘in the making’: open-ended and multifaceted.
The Association invite you to join in Justifiable Versions of Events, July 20 to 26 in Berlin. They seek experimental proposals for exhibitions, symposia, interventions, actions, workshops, papers and performances, any of which can be used as nuclei for future collaborative work.

Rietveld Berlin – THESE ARE OUR STUDIOS

April 7th, 2014

Rietveld Berlin is a temporary school, organized by the Graphic Design program of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. Since the beginning of March, the students of Rietveld Berlin have discussed, evaluated and defined what their workspace could and should be, and have set it up accordingly. To present these accumulated thoughts and results, they will open up their studio to host an evening themed around the designer’s/artist’s workspace this coming Tuesday, April 8, 2014.
To go along with the presentation of their studio, and to open up the discourse, they have invited several designer’s/artist’s to participate with “studio-selfies”—small videos of their studios.

Posted in Art, Design, Graphic Design

Source Material

April 7th, 2014


Our material world is made up of a succession of layers; generation by generation, work by work, each new layer is informed by and created in dialogue with the existing material strata. The food we eat, the spaces we occupy, the written and visual media we engage with, the songs we listen to, the art we spend time with, the films we watch, and the objects we live with were all informed by past material culture and, in turn, will influence future creative decisions. The objects presented in Source Material exemplify the material foundation from which creative work is made today.
Source Material – April 8 to 12, Kaleidoscope Project Space, Milano – presents the objects, keepsakes, and references that have had a pivotal effect on the work of fifty-four creative minds from the fields of architecture, art, cuisine, design, fashion, film, and music, such as Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec, Thomas Demand, Konstantin Grcic, Jürg Lehni, Mike Meiré, Mike Mills, Harsh Patel, Benjamin Sommerhalder, Wendy Yao, etc… Found within the contributors’ everyday working or living environments, these objects are stepping-stones for the creative process.

Images: Massimo Torrigiani, Leggio; Marco Velardi, Disegnare Colorare Costruire, book series curated by Bruno Munari; Jürg Lehni, A Guide to Architecture in Southern California by David Gebhard, Robert Winter; Andrew Stafford, Scale furniture.

Trix and Robert Haussmann

March 17th, 2014

Since 1967, designers and architects Trix and Robert Haussmann have built an idiosyncratic oeuvre that has continuously challenged architectural, design and aesthetic conventions. In the 1960?s they began to elaborate a complex language that can be viewed as an early post-modern or Radical Design position. Throughout their fifty year long career they have explored many creative perspectives, such as poetry composed by chance, drawings, collages and texts.

Disrupting or “destroying” spaces and forms could be one of the Haussman?s mottos. For instance, their drawer, shaped in the form of a Greek column, is literally “destroyed” by its function (the opened drawers). This work in particular is a direct, deadpan nod to Sullivan?s famous statement “form follows function”. It?s not surprising that the Haussman?s 1981 manifesto was published under the title of “Manierismo Critico”. In contrast to other designers and architects, Trix and Robert Haussmann are acutely conscious that an object can be more a vector of meaning than a functional or aesthetic item. This relationship to the object opened them up to a broader vision of what it means to be an architect today.

The exhibition, from April 26 to June 15, 2014, at Fri Art, Fribourg, entirely conceived in close collaboration with the architects over a long period of time, examines every aspect of their research. Nevertheless, far from being a classical retrospective, it will weave together different bodies of works.

IT’S A BOOK

February 2nd, 2014

A School for Design Fiction – Book

January 24th, 2014

A school for design fiction, a project by James Langdon, employs the curious genre of ‘design fiction’ to assert storytelling as the primary function of design, assuming that every artefact has the potential to express the character of the culture that produced it.
The publication A School for Design Fiction documents and expands on the founding of the school through a series of imagined scenarios. These include a drama at the printer for architect Augustus Pugin in 1836, the history of the universe as observed on an English hillside in 1937, the first human trial of split brain surgery in California in 1961, and a Scottish speech synthesis studio in 2013.
Book presentation, January 24, 7pm, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig.

Mecca 6 – L’Esprit des formes

January 17th, 2014

Mecca – designed by Mathias Schweizer – is a free edition available at the Contemporary Art Center of Ivry – Crédac. Mecca gives indications on the stakes of the program the Crédac, it provides reviews, analyzes and comments on the work of the artists featured. It offers additional means: those of rereading and memory.
Mecca 6 is a non-exhaustive visual journey through ten years of Crédac programming (2003-2013). It is primarily a game based on iconography and memory, exhibition and collection. It is a visual promenade for the reader to make his way and build their own matches.

All Possible Futures

December 16th, 2013

Curated by Jon Sueda, All Possible Futures – January 14 to February 13, 2014, SOMArts, San Francisco – explores the potential of graphic design and celebrates a questioning of boundaries regarding concepts, processes, technologies, and form.
What happens when graphic designers extend the boundaries of their discipline and initiate creative explorations built on risk and uncertain ground? Exhibited conceptual proposals, critical provocations, and experimental works that exist on the margins of graphic design or in parallel to professional projects, as well as proposals that were initially rejected by a client and remain unrealized, position All Possible Futures at the intersection of design and fine art.
Exhibiting designers includes, among others, Abake, Ludovic Balland, Daniel Eatock, Dexter Sinister, Jaan Evart, Experimental Jetset, Ed Fella, Jürg Lehni, Karel Martens, Metahaven, Mevis van Deursen, Radim Pesko, Project Projects, ResearchCenteredDesign, Sulki and Min, etc… To accompany the exhibition, the book All Possible Futures will be published by Bedford Press.

The Fox, Issue 4

November 21st, 2013

The Fox issue 4 is loosely a continuation of the 1970′s journal The Fox produced by the artist’s collective Art & Language, however this regenerated version deviates from the concerns of the past publication, instead holding a closer link to the ‘natural world’, particularly the urban fox as a medium through which to explore attitudes towards the city, culture, nature, labour, architecture and design.
Designed by Mathew Whittington and with contributions by Daniel Arsham, Federico Campagna, Mike Davis, Mabli Elliman, Paul Elliman, Kristen Gallerneaux Brooks, Valentijn Goethals, Bill Hutchison, Esther Leslie & Ben Watson, Tetsuo Mukai, Leonard van Munster, Melissa Pilon, and Hermione Spriggs, as well as a selection of re-published material from the 19th and 20th century. Launch December 14, 3-5pm, Wysing Art Centre, Cambridge, as part of X Marks the Bökship’s X-Operative.

F.R.DAVID – All distinctions are mind, by mind, of mind

November 20th, 2013


©Idea Books

The eleventh issue of F.R.DAVID, All distinctions are mind, by mind, of mind will be launched November 24, 4pm, Dexter Sinister, New York, with readings by Kendra Sullivan, David Reinfurt and Will Holder.
“All distinctions are mind, by mind, of mind” is comparative — making divisions and splits in order to read the design of rhetoric in the stories we tell about our fictional and professional selves. With Abra Ancliffe, Robert Ashley, Ricardo Basbaum, Michael Gazzaniga, Ken Jacobs, Shane Krepakevich, John Latham, Ezra Pound, Kendra Sullivan, Sergei Tret’iakov, Marina Vishmidt, Rebecca Wilcox & Sarah Rose and many more.

The Letter E is Everywhere – catalogue

November 16th, 2013

The publication The Letter E is Everywhere is published in conjunction with the same name exhibition which consists of display structures and furniture pieces as well as books, prints, objects and textiles designed by Studio Manuel Raeder, juxtaposed with other objects found during an exploration of local handcraft production in Oaxaca. The exhibition also features furniture pieces developed as a result from this research, in collaboration with Oaxacan artisans, and objects whose production converses between craft and design practice: industrial, mass-produced popular objects, handicrafts, and furniture pieces from popular design.
The exhibition and catalogue propose an open narrative through the objects on display and question the position contemporary design plays in the dialogue between people and every day objects. At the same time, it reflects the approach that Manuel Raeder and his studio have about their practice, where design is used as a tool that is constantly reconsidered and customized.

Offprint Paris 2013

November 12th, 2013

Offprint Paris is an art publishing fair for emerging practices in art. Over four days, it gathers institutional and independent publishers from all over the world featuring publications by contemporary artists, graphic designers, photographers, publishers, bookdealers, museums, art schools, curators and antiquarians.

La Dérive during Offprint Paris 2013

November 3rd, 2013

LA DÉRIVE – Chapter I, November 17, 2013 – during Offprint, an Art Publishing fair – November 14-17, Beaux-Arts de Paris – invites the visitors to take various paths within the large and rich landscape of independent publishing in art and design. As advocated by La Dérive (in English Drift) of Guy Debord, the program is built around several specific ambiances, highlighted: the main idea being to let go of expectations and habits and to just wander among pleasant encounters… With contributions by Ramaya Tegegne, Erik van der Weijde, Jan Wenzel, Postdocument, De Stihl, and Etienne Robial.

Slide Shows at X Marks the Bökship

October 15th, 2013

Released in conjunction with Issue 18 of Fillip magazine, the booklet Slide Shows documents the specially commissioned Web video project on the landscape of international art publishing and design, curated by Charlotte Cheetham and produced by Fillip. Originally taking the form of a series of video presentations by publishers, designers, and artists, Slide Shows offers one possible cross section of a newly emergent field of book production. This publication documents the project, serving as a pocket reference to each of the profiles included in the series. After the pocket guide, the project will culminate in a printed volume that will document each slideshow, available in 2014.

Slide Shows booklet includes contributions by 4478zine, And publishing, Xavier Antin, Booklet, Cambridge Books, Cannon Magazine, Charlotte Cheetham, An Endless Supply, David Horvitz, Int. Typo. Union, James Langdon, mono.kultur, Samuel Nyholm, Occasional Papers, Oslo Editions, Precinct, Michalis Pichler, Elias Redstone, David Senior, split/fountain, Eva Weinmayr, Wendy Yao; and two new slideshows by Erik Kessels and Grotto are now available on the Slide Shows tumblr.

Launch and screening, saturday 19, 2013, 7-9pm, X Marks the Bökship, London.

School for Design Fiction

October 14th, 2013


K.N.W., from ‘Two Eyes, Ears, Nostrils, Brains’ (2013)

The School for Design Fiction – organized by James Langdon, introduced November 8, 3-8pm, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig – offers a short course in reading objects, environments and messages. Stimulated by the curious genre of design fiction, the programme asserts storytelling as the primary function of design.
A design fiction (to be read in the same register as science fiction) represents a designed object that — materially, functionally, or conceptually — cannot presently be realised. More speculative than a prototype, a design fiction does not necessarily require the potential ever to exist. It is a suggestive form that prompts us to reconsider our assumptions about — or operates as a critique of — existing objects. It may do this by projecting into the future, or into a parallel reality.
Lectures at the school will be centred around a collection of such narrative objects, each a newly commissioned artwork realised by a member of the faculty. These objects will be employed performatively, to visualise subjects including the discovery of the human brain’s innate mechanism for narrating experience; the legibility of the built environment; and strategies for continuing unfinished stories.

Public School – Pax Israeliana

October 10th, 2013



Public School started in September 2007 as a non-profit project aiming to make public recordings of live events in the Israeli scene, and became a blog, Pax Israeliana, that documented forgotten books about design, art and architecture.

The Pax Israeliana Index of Israeli Modernism is a reference index of modernist works and terms from the golden age of Israel, found online, quoted and scanned from a variety of books, catalogs and magazines. The collection aims to define a time period when the young state of Israel was shaping its identity, trying to free itself from the Levant, and artists, architects, musicians, filmmakers and designers helped establish Israel’s perception in the eyes of the western world as a peace-seeking modern country by studying and showcasing their work abroad and embracing European Modernism.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Books, Design

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