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Letter from Greece

Dear Editor, I really think that you have many articles in order to make a book about design. I think that a book with clear thoughts will be very useful for young designers as they grow up in the life style period. For you and me design is a part of social actions and not only for design festivals and fake prices.

A Stylist’s View On Design

An article about graphic design on the cover of the New York Times? It sounds far fetched but it happens nowadays. Well, it happens on the internet version of the NYT. And it doesn't stay there for long, a few hours or so. But it grabs maximum attention for a while. I do not know of any other quality newspaper that pays so much attention to (graphic) design. Also the internet site itself of the NYT is a high quality example of today's possibilities of presenting news on the internet.

Trends in Typography

Using only capital letters, preferably in combination with a calligraphic script font, seems to be the latest typographic fad. Once you noticed the new trend, you see it everywhere. Or is this trend already old hat? (I'm a spectator from the sidelines). Are we stylistically still moving back to the future?

A Paperful Society

The times that folding an origami crane was considered a noticeable achievement are behind us. The current top level of origami is folding a Chinese dragon that takes about one and a half day to fold. You can follow all the travails of these origami masters on YouTube if you wish.

The Pitcheritis

The pitcher is the player throwing the ball to the player holding the bat in a baseball game. Pitching is also the name for making a bet in order to get business. When the baseball pitcher is overstraining his abilities he will suffer from 'pitcheritis'. It seems that the design world is also suffering a pitching disease of late. Apparently, the suffering has reached a level of severity that even the Belgian advertising agencies have started a short campaign to try to change clients habits. The pain must be really hard to bear.

Missing Something

The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing.

The Artification of Design

On 12 November 2009, the MAXXI museum in Rome opened its doors while completely empty of art. The museum is designed by the London based Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid who is the only female architect ever awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture. Hadid is famous for designing visually exuberant structures. So her museum in Rome didn't feel empty even without one piece of art in it. The museum itself could easily be seen as a piece of art; a massive, airconditioned and internally lit sculpture with elevators, stairs, doors and windows.

Razor Fashion

In 1904 King C. Gillette was granted a patent for his 'safety' razor. The Gillette company is now a multi national and still produces razors. Many, many razors in many new models each year. As with most products, there is a constant marketing pressure to 'improve' a product even when there is nothing to improve anymore. Design is often exploited to make products look like 'new' again. Even utilitarian products can no longer escape the force of fashion.

My predictions for 2015

To celebrate this new year I wish you a very beautiful one. On a rainy afternoon, I'm starting this year modestly (as Mr. Cavazza did) with a bit of a tricky exercise: looking into a crystal ball to see the future for the years 2010-2015 (I will stay within the field of new technologies, do not worry, I will not start to make predictions about the effects of global climate change or hunger in the world).

Mecha Car Logos

Many designers, architects and visual artists of my generation looked at fashion design with a certain disdain. Fashion was expressing the folly of the day, design and architecture were aiming to more enduring goals. Maybe they didn't intend to design for eternity, but they certainly thought they had a far wider professional perspective than those zigzagging fashion people. Nobody believes that anymore and rightfully so. Fashion, design, architecture and visual art have all become part of the short lived beat of novelty. Or more precisely: perceived novelty.

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