DesignThinkers 2016, Day 1

Paola Antonelli
“Are We There, Yet? A Road Trip Through Utopia”

Obama quote: “this is the best time to be alive”
“utopia” is within reach
idea of utopia - perfect, in balance, harmony - keeps us alive

reference to Garden City Movement
-clean, perfect world (a bit fascist)

reference to 1960s
-cellular processes in architecture
-drugs, psychadelics
-desire for a better future

Torre David
-unfinished skyscraper in Caracas, Venezula

Robert Venturi essay “Complexity And Contradiction In Architecture”
-interested in contradictions - hybrid, distorted, ambiguous, perverse

Quantum design - future of design with mechanics, computers

ambivalence and ambiguity = collaborators
quirks and unpredicability

cat which is simultaneously dead and alive - tension

-3D printing of viruses which can treat cancer (good) and hack DNA (bad)
-Design and Violence project (MoMA)

interaction between human and machine - tension
Japanese robotics - Hiroshi Ishiguro

Slow And Steady Wins the Race - NYC fashion design - white t-shirt project

Stefan Sagmeister - Casa da Musica / OMA
-building = logo = building 

bean bag chair - object with infinite shape combinations

Alex Schweder - Counterweight Roommate

Elemental - social housing
“half a home” - starter homes for middles class
building doesn’t exist until occupied

Kinematics dress - 3D printed in folded form, modelled off nervous system
art, science, design and engineering applied to a problem

SymbioticA - pig wings project
design by growth / growth by design

Brand and Phelan - bringing back passenger pigeon using DNA

Agapakis and Tolaas - human cheese

MIT Media lab - silk pavilion created by silk worms
also, bees create vase from honeycomb
“self-assembly” - provide environment for growth, natural cycles

Minecraft - spacial trading in physical and digital world

Tobias Frere-Jones
“Punch-Cutting for Pixels”

“Why make more typefaces?”
typefaces are an engine, typefaces are solutions
“I love problems”
pixelized type = “fruit salad gone wrong”
problems with rendering Helvetica on screens - screens didn’t exist when it was made
CBS News 36 - first instance of type created for screens
metal type - each size is reproportioned correctly - “optical scaling trends”
hypothesis: screen text can be treated as an optical size

Mallory typeface - Std Book + MicroPlus
*typefaces should have equal relevance on page and screen - “what our eyes need”

Retina typeface - created for Wall Street Journal stock listings
difference kind of language - data-based
“duplexed text” (stacked), therefore, bold could not be wider

type is an engine which can have problems

the goal is always to make things better than they were

curator, MUJI art director
“Visualize and Awaken”

Projects discussed:
Architecture for Dogs
Neo-Preistoria and 100 verbs
-Plants (edible vs non-edible, shadows, uncontrollable + geometric diakon!)
-Nakedness (bums, tiny panties…)
-Woman (diverse possibilities of gender
-Tokyo (mask made of 200 faces, camouflage fashion)

“make things known / make things unknown”

“Visualize and Awaken” - laws of the designer

Fredrik Ös and Erik Kockum
“Make Enemies & Gain Friends”

Snask = branding and film company
get fans!
brand yourself, dammit
create a good quote
how do YOU show change through design?
dare to be BOLD
stand up for your opinions - it’s not f*cking hard

Campaigns discussed:



North Korea rebrand
nicer to love than hate




Erin Sarofsky
“Sarofsky’s Top 10 Design Philosophies”

designer, animator and collaborator
“design-driven production”
stay informed and educated about the process - it’s the only thing you own

Philosophies (and portfolio examples)
1) It’s all about the concept.
Captain America: Civil War

2) Less is always more. - process of reduction
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Aleve ads

3) Typography! Hell yeah!
Guardians of the Galaxy

4) Set the tone.
Absolute Vodka
Animal Kingdom

5) Just because it’s called Ant-Man doesn’t mean it will have ants. - obvious solution is not always the answer

6) It’s okay to have an agenda. -do projects that feed your soul

7) Work clean.

8) Designers need producers. -importance of collaboration

9) Client is not always a moron. -nurture relationships, teach them the language

10) Design is an opinion, SO HAVE ONE.

Rod MacDonald
“Positively Grotesque”

-discussion of Classic Grotesque / Monotype

Leland Maschmeyer
“Into the Dark”

always trying to push the ball forward
always thinking “what’s next?”

“dragons” =
things that protect, enslave, threaten progress
metaphor for life-denying problem
moral of every fairy tale: ten times as big doesn’t mean ten times as hard

designers are creating, enabling new life
acting with courage, confronting what is scary, slaying the dragons

influenced by John Ruskin
“Stories of Venice / Nature of Gothic” - lead to William Morris, Arts & Crafts Movement
looked at nature vs. cities (capitalism)
“Unto this Last” - study of art and economics - use tools of art and industry to UPLIFT HUMANKIND

embrace the agony of personal growth

projects discussed (i.e. dragons he’s played):

1) EOS lipbalm
took on Chapstick (by Pzifer)
adopted Method’s design approach: “live with me” (vs. “buy me”)
lesson: avoid where dragon is strong, attack where dragon is weak

2) Solid Gold dog food
tasked with rebranding natural dog food with weird mystical packaging
influenced by Emilio Pucci - 60s fashion design
had to work with company’s existing illustrator - had to learn to work with him, not against
lesson: don’t slay your dragon; train it

3) Chobani = Modern Food Company
interested in real, natural food=
simple, natural, healthy, social, ritualistic, flavourful, traditional, rich in meaning, diverse, emotional (not purely functional), honest
current food system established by Napoleon - found a way to get “fresh” food to front line of war - design “contest” lead to invention of CANNED FOOD
canned food - functional food = 
pleasure speed
fresh preserved
natural imitation
flavour additives
diverse uniformity
taste shelf life
communal self-serve
Napoleon’s technique applied to world wars - post-WWII USA had extra canned food, so army rations were marketed to public as fast, easy - we are eating modern army rations
dragon = tyranny of FOOD AS FUEL

food will be next great movement / revolution - convergence of public health, politics and economics
unlike elections, we are casting our votes 3 times/day with the food we buy

Chobani is putting design at the heart of the food movement

Day 2 here.