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The future of sustainable fashion and the personal experiences of the new generation of bright hopes of fashion together in the third volume of Hiatus agosto 28, 2013

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Hiatus III · Prologue

The third edition of the collection of books about design and creativity, Hiatus, tackles the future of the introduction of sustainability in the creative and productive processes of fashion through the personal opinions and reflections of some of the international references of the sector, complemented by the texts of promising young fashion designers already present in international catwalks. They all narrate their path through the difficult world of the fashion industry.

A non-profit book which aim is to gather the opinions and viewpoints of the designers from the fashion world about the changes happening in the production process and the distribution, the effect of new materials and the nature of the selection of suppliers and raw materials, or the difficulties of launching a new fashion company capable of entering the market and accessing the public of such a competitive sector as fashion is, according to the coordinator of the publication, José Antonio Giménez.

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Hiatus III · Future of ecofashion

This volume compiles articles that explain from the creative process of projects such as A Costura do Invisible by Jum Nakao, where paper was the raw material used for an experimental prêt-a-porter and ecologic collection; to the experiences of Vivienne Westwood with the Maasai tribes or the creation of platforms like EcoLuxe or companies like Under the Cannopy, global models of nowadays social fashion

All these, in addition to more than twenty texts from ten different countries, trying to through light on a trend –the introduction of sustainability into fashion- that has become established during the last decade and which aims to be an alternative to the FastFasion and the idea of the short-term expiration date, which has taken over the industry since the 80’s.

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Hiatus III · Johana Riplinguer’s article

The third volume of Hiatus counts on the collaboration of four Spanish representatives, who bring their own vision of different aspects of the sector. From Roberto Verino’s defence of brand identity, to Francis Montesino’s Mediterranean excess, or the view of the photographer Eduardo Peris and the director of Sanserif Creatius, Ana Yago, about the importance of a photo to transmit the consumer the message of the creator of a collection.

This book gathers, for the first time, fashion designers that have oriented their work to the sphere of culture and show business, like Tim Van Steenbergen, together with important icons of eco-fashion, like Marci Zaroff or John Patrick; critics like Marion Hume, or accessories designers like the couture milliner Leah Chalfen or the illustrator Tobie Giddio, among others.

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Hiatus III · Index

Typography and craftsmanship. Furthermore, the coordinator of Hiatus has announced that in 2014, the collection will include a new volume about typography and an approach to craftsmanship with design. The collaboration of international graphic designers and editors like Erick Spiekerman has already been confirmed, also professionals like Sara Sorribes, who has crossed the frontier of craftsmanship in order to establish projects with designers all around the world.

Hiatus was created as a continuation of a project started by José Antonio Giménez together with the creative director of Sanserif Creatius, Ana Yago, called Articulado, a book that gathered together more than 60 professionals all around the world, from Milton Glasser or Karim Rashid to Alberto Corazón or Ewan Bouroullec. The impossibility of publishing the next instalments, took Gimenez to devise a new non-profit alternative, able to give voice to designers from different fields and regions under the same premise: texts about topics related to economy, design and sustainability.

After the edition of the first three volumes, the number of collaborators has increased with designers like Jasper Morrison, Jorge Pensi or Matali Crasset, design theorists like Pierre Bernard or Ken Garland, and the managers of international organisations like Mariana Armatullo, vice-president of Designmatters or Enzio Manzini, founder of the DESIS (Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability) network.

Furthermore, the edition numbered Hiatus III is part of the project Esencia by Sanserif Creatius, finalist of the 2012 National Crafts Awards of Spain. A book printed on recycled materials distributed by Torraspapel. In addition to helping the preservation of forests, it helps to reduce the use of natural resources –water, energy, etc.- and the CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. More precisely, the paper used was Cyclus Print 115 g/m for the inside and Falconboard 6mm for the covers. More info: Hiatus book blog

Design Week: Hiatus, thoughts on innovation and sustainability agosto 5, 2013

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DesignWeek 2-8-13

Design Week · 02/08/2013

Advance: (···)Each article comes with a QR code, that will link out to further information and writing by the author, as well as references in the text. Sanserif Creatius says, ‘The aim is to make this book a documentary source book, and not just a text. (···) More info at Design Week or Hiatus book

A Book that gathers together the reflections of twenty international designers and thinkers about innovations in the manofacturing process and sustainable development agosto 1, 2013

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Matali Crasset contribution to Hiatus vol.II

The second volume of Hiatus gathers together a score of personal opinions and reflections from the main international designers, who talk about the new way of understanding the innovations in the manufacturing process and sustainable development.

Ideas and thoughts from acclaimed creatives like Jorge Pensi or Matari Casset, design thinkers like Pierre Bernard or Ken Garland and people in charge of international organisations like Maria Amatullo, deputy chairwoman of Designmatters and Enzio Manzini, instigator of the Interdepartmental Centre for Research on Innovation for Sustainability, fill the pages of this book with unpublished texts and revised and updated manifestos. They tackle form the influence of social design in countries like Lebanon or Palestine to projects in developing regions; even the concept “social design” is questioned.

In fact, Hiatus is an object-book, conceived as an example of eco-design, which aim is to make society know the personal motivations of the designers and analysts that will define the spaces and products we will live with in the future; as explained by Ana Yago, director of Sanserif Creatius and coordinator of the publication.

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Hiatus vol.II · Sanserif Creatius

Altogether, 24 professionals from 10 different countries tackle questions such us the election between autonomous or systematic designs, the importance of the bicycles in a new social-technological ecosystem, or the evolution of the Palestinian scarf (Keffiyeh) and its social connotations.

The professionals from the first volume, Jasper Morrison, Li Edelkoot and Nacho Carbonell among others, get together with –in addition to the aforementioned- Aart van Bezooyen, Keiko Hirano, Jamie Derringuer or the Valencians Sanserif Creatius and Paco Bascuñán, whose collaboration has taken the shape of a posthumous article about the ways of understanding the creative process through the knowledge of the everyday things and the cultural references.

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Paco bascuñán contribution to Hiatus vol.II

Repair before recycling. Another of the outstanding aspects of this volume is the presentation of the updating of some of the manifestos that have ruled the evolution of design in the last decades: the First Thing First Manifesto (1964), by Ken Garnald, and its review in 2002; or the Hannover Principles (2000), by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, that gather together some assertions about design and its environmental impact, its effect on the sustainable growth and its global impact on society.

Furthermore, it includes new ways of understanding social design, like that defended by Joanna van der Zanden and Platform21, which is to say, the Repair Manifesto, a compilation of proposals to reduce the substitution of objects in order to promote reuse, for the same use or a similar one. A declaration of intent that includes unpublished notes from Gabriel Oropallo, that try to develop this manifesto and adapt it to the designer’s process.

This way, in the second volume of Hiatus, we highlight the collaboration of the president of the Associacione Italiana Design della Comunicazione Visiva (AIAP), Daniela Piscitelli, who makes a revision of sensitive communication; or the profile made by the professor and analyst of New York School of Interior Design, Daniela Ohad Smith, about Yaron Elyasi, as the referent of the new eco-design. Without forgetting the criticism brought by Gabriele Pezzini and Jaime Derringer, executive editor of the online magazine Design Milk; and different approaches of the influence of design in society and the environment by Patty Johnson, Warren berger, Hala A.Malak, Paula Raché and the professor of design history at the University of Illinois Chicago, Victor Margolin, that complete the line-up of Hiatus II.

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Daniella Ohad Smith contributiob to vol.II

All the articles come with a BIDI code that allows the reader to have additional information about the authors, their work and all the references in the text, from literature to monuments, studies, projects or pieces that explain the content. The aim is to make this book a documentary source book, and not just a text. Thus, regardless the place where you are reading the text, the information it contains can be set in a context by using a mobile phone or a tablet, according to the creative director of Sanserif Creatius.

In addition, Ana Yago has told us that this collection will have a sequel, a third volume exclusively about fashion design and accessories, where we will find Spanish fashion designers such us Roberto Verino or Francis Montesinos, international needles such us Lie Sang Bong, Jum Nakao and Tim Van Steenbergen, among others; in addition to pioneers in eco-fashion like Marci Zaroff or John Patrick, and critics like Marion Hume.

Both publications are part of the Essencia project by Sanserif Creatius, finalists of the 2012 National Crafts Awards, and has been printed on recycled paper distributed by Torraspapel Distribución, which, in addition to preserve the forests, it helps to reduce the use of natural resources –water, energy, etc.- and the CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. More precisely, the paper used was Cyclus Print 115 g/m for the inside and Falconboard 6mm for the covers.

More info at @Hiatusbookblog or http://hiatusbookblog.wordpress.com

José Antonio Giménez: When shoes explain the world we live in febrero 16, 2013

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Jose A GimenezShoes and feet say much about the economy and moral health of this world. There are only two types of countries in the world we live in: those where there are more feet than shoes and those where there are more shoes than feet.

We cannot put the blame on shoemakers, neither can we forget that, some way or another, we all have some responsibility. Actually, fashion designers and all actors involved on clothes and accessories creation that dress our nakedness are one of the most aware groups.

The aim of this book is to print this actions in black on white, most of them invisible for the society, which allow a more equitable relationship among design, economy and sustainability. Or, which is to say, to establish more equal balance between feet and shoes in a near future.

As well as, at the beginning, we have borrowed a Luis Piedrahita’s thought -if my memory serves me correctly- we have also borrowed the personal opinions and reflections of the authors that have accepted to take part in this second volume of Hiatus, exclusively dedicated to fashion.

We are not only talking about eco-design or responsible practice, but also about the constant reinvention of the supply, the creative process and the devotion for a profession without which we will not have shoes or anything to dress our nakedness. Actually, I would not make us more similar, but would make our differences more acute, and would culturally impoverish a society which owes fashion more than we think. More info en Sanserif.es

*Este texto es un avance de Hiatus II · Black on white book, publicación que reune la opinión de una veintena de representante de la moda sostenible de una docena de países.

Marci Zaroff, Hana Havelková y John Patrick en la edición monográfica de Hiatus sobre el diseño de moda junio 27, 2012

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De izq. a dcha: Marci Zaroff, Hana Havelková, John Patrick, Tim Van Steenbergen y Tobie Giddio

La promotora del eco-style, Marci Zaroff; y los diseñadores John Patrick y Hana Havelková forman parte de las veinte firmas seleccionadas por Sanserif Creatius para la segunda edición de Hiatus, un libro de reflexiones y artículos de opinión de profesionales que, en esta ocasión, estará dedicado al sector de la moda, con especial atención a los nuevos modelos de negocio y las prácticas de sostenibles y de RSC.

Junto a ellos, periodistas especializadas como Marion Hume, ilustradores como Tobie Giddio o promesas ya confirmadas en las pasarelas como Tim Van Steenbergen conforman un compendio de opiniones internacionales que pretende aportar algo diferente a lo que hasta la fecha se lee sobre moda. Más info en Articulado.

Xénia Viladàs: Applying Service Design to the Design Service Industry mayo 1, 2012

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The days in which design was a topic to be avoided are long gone. Today, design schools are crowded, design departments flourish in all sorts of companies and design promotional bodies are being set up or retained, both in affluent countries and in the less developed ones, as a means to foster economic growth and social welfare. The design discipline is expanding fast and barging into new and unknown territories of practice: user experience, disabilities, ecology, interaction, and, of course, services. At the same time, designers are reaching much higher positions within all types of organisations and finally sitting in the boardrooms, where they actually influence decision-making processes.

Just as it climbs to those new positions, the design profession is undergoing many changes: on the one hand, designers are now made liable for what they do or what they do not do. In the early days, their artistic penchant would exempt them of any responsibility, whereas today they have to endure the consequences of their higher commitment[1]. Another range of changes affecting design lies in its very structures, due, among other things, to the economic downturn: firms are downsizing and networked freelancers take over where large and well-oiled teams used to be.

Squeezed between an ever more demanding market and a shaky organisational pattern, designers need to reflect on the nature of design services and how to manage them.

A service is a service is a service…

… and design is a service. Let’s check whether the main characteristics of services apply in the case of design:

-Intangibility: that means that the rendering of a service does not lead to the transference of ownership of any good or asset. The actual representation of the design is nothing but the evidence of the service. What is turned into an asset and becomes part of the client’s equity are the rights of commercial exploitation of the product that has been designed: intangible indeed!

-Inseparability: because services can only be rendered when contracted, they cannot be enacted separately from the client. The principles of the discipline say that the designer provides a bespoke reply to each and every problem he is faced with, and that no two problems are exactly the same: inseparable it is, therefore.

-Perishability: services cannot be stored, precisely because they are inseparable. Although some designers are suspected of piling up logotypes in their hard drives and distributing them randomly among their clients, this is not (yet?) common practice.

-Variability: being so that they are rendered and decided upon by persons, each time the service is rendered it ends up in something different, even when facing similar briefs. (This is why we have so many chairs…) Such variability can be further increased when the team is not a stable one[2] because more—and diverse—people are involved in the rendering of the service.

The consequence of variability is uncertainty. Now, uncertainty does affect the attitude of clients towards design because they see their resources at stake and doubt whether to go ahead with the investment or not. Variability, in general, can be managed through the standardisation of processes, tools and methods. Now, can this be applied also to design without diminishing its values?

The management of uncertainty in design.

If we are coherent, the improvement of design services should be achieved with the use of service design. To make it short, this would consist in observing, documenting, prototyping and processing the way a design is conceived and developed, wrapping it up in some sort of visual that would convey “the way we do things around here” so as to be able to communicate and share it. This is what allows design practices to grow and to aim for larger clients and their complex commissions, and ultimately what leads to a polarised industry, in which artisan designers compete against design services companies, to put it boldly. The clients choose depending on the nature of the project, the local design market, the specialisation, etc, but also, to a certain extent, in terms of risk aversion: some companies can allow a higher degree of uncertainty, while some others, or some particular commissions, need to be more tightly managed.

If we take it for granted that design methodology applies and make it a regular exercise, does stabilising processes mean that all design practices will end up looking alike and doing the same? Not really: standardisation of processes does not kill creativity, provided service design is properly and efficiently used. On the contrary, it leads to a lean process, almost invisible in its use but efficient in its delivery.

Conclusion. That design is a service may seem obvious, but it is key to understanding how it works and why it fails to meet some market requests. Using service design to redefine and to improve design services may prove a great move towards risk management and, therefore, towards a better future for the sector. After all, if designers don’t trust design, who should? More at Hiatus.


[1] This has been extensively discussed in texts like, among others, “Diseño rentable”, X. Viladàs, Index Book, 2008, translated as: “Managing Design for Profits”, Index Book 2010, and more recently, Tennyson Pinheiro en DMI News and Views, Nov. 4, 2010 or at the 2010 DMI European Conference held in London last fall.

[2] In my book on service design (“El diseño a su servicio”, Index Book 2010, “Design at your service”, Index Book, 2011), I comment on this being a problem for any company having to outsource part of its services.

Tony Hunter: In Search of Characterful Products abril 24, 2012

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Since childhood, and undoubtedly much to the frustration of my parents, I’ve been one of those individuals who spurned things needed until I was able to get what I really wanted. Be it pens, sofas, shoes, or cars, I was always fussy and this inevitably resulted in much saving of weekly pocket money, or later of monthly salary, for something that was for me “The Good One”. It would be beautiful, hand crafted, plastic free, and (predictably) the most expensive. It would be the one with character.

It wasn’t, I should point out, anything to do with the recent trend of showing off the right brand name, or having to prove (or fake) my fiscal worth in the local pub to impress the ladies. This was simply because I believed, and still do, that you should have nothing in your life that you don’t absolutely love, and sadly love has its price!

What is it though that makes us fall in love with a product? A million-dollar question, get this right and you have a good chance of “raking it in”, but I don’t necessarily think it’s such a difficult one.

“Love is your soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another” I heard rather cheesily in a film. Another way of putting it might be to say it’s simply finding a character that perfectly complements your own, and this I believe can relate also to design. Subconsciously, sometimes very consciously, we pick a mate, or that which is around us for the ability to enhance our positive qualities, or counteract negative ones. Most of us love company which is fun, stimulates us, from whom we can learn, and that challenges our view of the world. With them we are happy, and though often difficult we are attracted, and fall in love with these characters, and I think act similarly with products. Perhaps it’s an attempt to separate ourselves from the mediocrity of the masses, but we seek and are drawn by that which is a little different, stands out from the crowd, and believe our choice of company or ownership reflects well on ourselves and renders us also a little bit more special.

Products with real character are becoming harder to find though. They are being wiped out. The tedious efficiency of mass production teamed with never-ending customer clinics and global marketing are an effective way of ensuring goods are as palatable as is feasible, in the theory that the market for them will be as wide as possible. Great for turnover perhaps, but such products are almost always inevitably tainted or ruined as a result by the dreaded “committee design”. Emotion, quirkiness, excitement, original thoughts, are all averaged out of proposals by cost downs and consumer research, resulting in objects easily used and fulfilling basic needs, but soon discarded for the next model when the customer gets bored. Regardless of how recyclable a product is, this surely isn’t a very environmentally friendly way to be? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to create objects that last, with which one forms bonds for life, items cherished and passed on to offspring rather than ending their days pushing up daisies in landfill sites, or sapping energy whilst recycled into bargain store welcome mats?

It’s true that character can be polarising, but only the most optimistic marketing director expects his stock to sell to 100% of the market. Isn’t it better to create something loved utterly by half the people, even if hated by the other half, as the former will purchase, repurchase, accept a premium price, and link forever to the brand?

Alec Issagonis, designer of the original Mini said “The people don’t know what they want, it’s my job to show them”. Perhaps then we should hold back from the marketing clinics, not attempt to pacify the multitude’s opinions, and instead allow a designers spirit to remain in the design, let it retain their quintessence and character in the way the tool marks of a craftsman bestow his personality to an artwork. The finished product may be quirky, odd, challenging to use, but it’s these rough edges that allow us to bond with it and establish a relationship. Life as they say is not a spectator sport, it’s very much something to take part in and every item in our life should be there to enrich the experience.

I recently purchase a Morgan for a three month road trip around the Mediterranean, prompting many to ask why? Aren’t they bumpy, uncomfortable, an old design, unreliable? Wouldn’t I be better with a Boxster, a MX5, or Z4? Perhaps, but in the Morgan it will be more than just a journey, the experience of a car like this, character filled, will enhance the adventure and attract positive attention. People will smile, want photographs and be interested. A BMW might be more comfortable, I could step from the other end freshly air conditioned and with my linen suit unscathed, but what would I have learnt about myself in the process? How would I have stretched my mind, where would the spirit of adventure be?

We all need things in life to master, learn how to control and challenge ourselves to constantly improve our handling of them, whether it be a smooth gear change in a Morgan or a perfect espresso from a Pavoni.

We all need products with character, because without them we lose ours. More at Hiatus.

Samantha Sanella: Designers as Superheroes. More Powerful than a Speeding Locomotive abril 17, 2012

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All designers can tap into their inner strength, tenacity and knowledge to make huge differences in our world. Design, at its most powerful, is a public service. Many leaders, however, and the citizens they represent, are at a loss. They have no idea how design impacts the greater good and no idea how to reinvent themselves, and they perceive municipal—and societal—decline as inevitable. Imagine if federal governments worked with municipal leaders and teams of designers to re-imagine cities that have deteriorated over the years. We could reinvent Detroit! Imagine if we re-invented the road? The train? Our entire way of transporting goods and services? Our healthcare system? Our education system? Imagine if a Mayor called together a design team to re-imagine the skyline or the abandoned industrial lands of a city? As designers, we are educated to create vision. Perhaps it’s not the X-ray vision of Superman, but it’s still our super power. We need to put it to use for the greater good.

After years of observing our general lack of value for our knowledge (evidenced by low-wages and commodity servicing), I became President and CEO of Design Exchange, Canada’s National Design Centre. At the DX, we place great emphasis on design’s value and its contribution to our economy, environment and quality of life. In fact, we believe that design is a driver of our economy, preserver of our environment and essential to our quality of life. Design is in “every experience, every product and every environment.” Getting our audience to understand the ways in which design is utilized to develop and implement ideas is difficult. I often say, ‘does a fish know that it’s swimming in water’? Likely not. Do people know that they are surrounded by ‘design’? Likely not. We must converse with the public as if we are starting at the very beginning of the ABC book.

I work with diverse audiences to teach them how to ‘connect the dots’ and see the bigger picture of our world. Designers hold great responsibility, but they often do not take time to understand how their choices affect every aspect of our lives. Whether materials, fonts, heights or structures—these choices all have significant implications; it is the ripple effect. An interior designer from Alberta can make a choice that affects an entire stone plant in Mexico. A graphic designer can make a choice about lighting signage that affects the safety of an elderly person with low vision. An architect can make a choice about a building façade that reinvents a business’ entire image. As designers, we have a tremendous amount of power, but fail to recognize it and fail to verbalise it to others. Educators and professional associations should focus on the strategic nature of design and its broader impact on our society. However, it is not their responsibility alone.

Design Policy is critical to our profession. It is absolutely integrated with innovation, economic development, public safety, culture and heritage. For policy to be most effective it must be embraced by leaders at the federal level and translated downstream into provincial/state/regional and municipal levels. Many countries have embarked on policies and programs that have stellar results, including Korea, Denmark and the UK. Countries around the world have linked manufacturing to design innovation, but in North America and in many countries in South America, we struggle to make our case to the leaders of our countries. In Canada, I have spent countless hours in rooms with bureaucrats and politicians who stare blankly at me as I explain the power of design. One particular amusing moment, was in Ottawa with a Senior Advisor to the Minister of Industry. After spending forty-five minutes extolling the power of design as a driver for our economy, he looked at his watch and said, ‘I’m too busy to worry about design, I have to focus on General Motors and Canada’s role in the auto industry bail-out.” It seems that my elementary explanation of the value of design was still not enough for this bureaucrat. Convincing as I am, reaching the government in Canada remains elusive.

For the design profession to advance, we must also approach this problem from the ‘bottom up’. This begins with teaching our children creativity. Creativity has been socialized (or institutionalized) out of many of our schools—especially in North America. It is rare that children participate in a significant amount of art, drama or music instruction. Pushed aside for math, science and computer training—children have been taught to exercise the left side of the brain, but not the right side. Whole brain thinking is required for creative problem solving and it is critical to our society and its survival. This should be emphasized in elementary school and strengthened as a child grows. The easiest way to change the world is to begin with children.

Design is a holistic process that begins with the conception of an idea. It is strategic by nature of the process. We should approach the larger issue of undervaluing design in a holistic manner—by revolution or by evolution. This challenge does not belong to one design discipline alone, it belongs to all of them. As well, this challenge belongs to our entire education system, not just primary education. And it belongs to the world, our global economy—not just one country alone. As we struggle to sustain our population, grow economies and raise the standard of living for developing countries, I ask, how can we put the ‘superpower of design’ to good use? Think about it. You will be in good company. More at Hiatus.

Pamela El Azzi: Design as a Philosophy abril 10, 2012

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Though we blossom from past experiences and we are living in the present, we were asked to give our opinion about the future of design. In itself, this already seems to reflect an essence of what design is. A continuous evolution, developing by looking at the past, indulging in the now and growing into the future.

Current design is both commercial and creative and attracts great attention amongst all sorts of people worldwide. Designers have come a long way and have worked hard to attract this remarkable and widespread interest in design, which has proven to have many positive effects on the design world. But being overly dependent on commercial sponsorships and great amounts of attention also carries the danger of casting a shadow on blooming creativity, cultural relevance and conceptual thinking.

The world seems hungry for a more daring focus on creative processes, substance and the content of design, and that is what we want to put forward and what challenges us as a base for our selection processes. In recent history, design tended to be about bling-bling and big, bigger, biggest. There was little focus on the background behind the pieces, the roots, how the pieces matured to their final destinations, and what their cultural relevance was. We are interested in bringing things back down to earth a bit, and telling stories of how works end up the way they do, or don’t. But this doesn’t mean that we find more commercial works less relevant. This is perfectly illustrated by Maarten Baas’ Real Time series that has proven its cultural relevance; some pieces of the most expensive, limited editions of this series can only be found in important museums, like for example the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and major private collections. While another, unlimited, piece from this same series can be downloaded, in a down to earth, commercial version; as an iPhone application, by almost everybody in the world for only €0.79.

For us the future of design lies not only in challenging the beholder by presenting strong examples of commercial and cultural design side by side, but also in continuously searching for challenging design. Like we noticed that process is now a priority for many of today’s designers, we try to keep recognising new priorities in designers’ works, and finding new perspectives and challenges in the world of design. More at Hiatus.

Nacho Carbonell: The Environment and its Adaptation in a Mutating World abril 3, 2012

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Adaptation is something that every living being has to do in order to survive in the environment he, she or it lives in. If designers are, as we presume, a species sensitive to environmental changes, then it is crucial for us to be experienced in adaptive techniques. Personally speaking, I believe that design and designers could be taken as barometers or a statistical measure for what is currently happening around us. In this ever-changing society, in our modern life or mutating age, designers are influenced by the past, present and future of their surroundings, and that is what makes them so sensitive to change.

Analysing our environment and our society should be an everyday task. Searching is the way to come up with answers. Self-criticism and the notion of betterment are essential tools if we want our ideas to progress; and observation is a powerful ally in helping us to understand changes. An astute insight into our environment and its history will point us in the right direction towards a more coherent future. Rather than with the aid of magic, the future is forecast through the understanding that comes to us by means of analysis, and that is what allows us to anticipate what is coming, thus making us participants in that change while it is still in progress. Our input and our perspective can help to enrich the process and to make suggestions pertinent to that change.

In my view, the actual process is absolutely essential for the development of new media, taking media to be those objects or projects a designer may create. A process is something malleable, something abstract that takes place before reaching a solution. Very often, the moment of change lies precisely during the process. Bringing the right elements or taking the proper decisions during the process will lead us to optimum results. And not just to the best of goals: it will be a result that will take us by surprise, something pre-programmed by a previous idea yet at once unexpected thanks to the mutations undergone during the process of creation. The possibility of intervening in those projects will lend us a chance to contribute highly personal and/or key elements for the evolution of the objects.

Long and painstaking processes may provide us enough time for rethinking, re-questioning and interacting in ways not planned in advance. They give us a chance to observe. And that observation should be coupled with analysis. An analysis that will hopefully dig down to the root of a project and thus help us to understand its existence, its drive or need to be—the real reason for an object to be born or created that way.

The word design is coloured by many contextual ramifications, thus making any definition highly fraught and liquid. New meanings are continuously being added to the term, as it adapts in consonance with new elements emerging in our environment.

At this very moment, I would personally define design as a potential tool to be used in the processes of adaptation to the new environments we live in, and to be conceived as a channel for communication that conveys messages for a better understanding of our surroundings. More at Hiatus.

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