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"process" Tag


Dynamic pages


Saturday, February 4, 2017

As soon as I opened Janet Cardiff’s The Walk Book in the Rietveld library, I knew I had found the book I was going to make my research on. There was not a single page that didn’t awake my curiosity on how the design had evolved.

The reason for this was the very dynamic and multidisciplinary design. Distinctive colors, shapes and placement of the content creates a chaotic and playful impression. Although you suspect the organized work behind it. Those responsible for this are the two designers, Thees Dohrn and Philipp von Rohden who shared the design agency Zitromat in Berlin. The later of which I had a chance to interview on a few points. I will share this with you as the text develops.

Let’s begin where the journey of the actual The Walk Book begins. It was initiated by a proposal from the art collector Francesca von Habsburg  to the artist in the early 2000’s. The hopes of von Habsburg were to enlighten many others to “the magical world behind Janet Cardiff, her creative talent, and vivid imagination”. She also says “Hopefully, it will reveal how she works in a playful, yet extremely serious manner (…)”.

For those who aren’t yet acquainted with Cardiff, let me give you a short introduction.

As this book investigates, she has created several video and audio walks. These are extraordinary works that allows the participant to experience a dualistic moment through the act of walking and continuously listening to her narrative. The act of walking unfolds the space along with the process of narration which creates both a corporeal and a visceral form of knowledge, as two intertwined levels of consciousness.

In my interview with Philipp von Rohden he shares with me that from the start the plan was only to make something like a small catalogue on approximately 120 pages for one of the “walks”, but as the actual result now shows it turned into a 345 page book.

One of the additions to the production was the artist’s own suggestion to turn the book into a walk itself. This is the reason for the cd on the cover. This inventive design allows even the front of the book to be dynamic, as another aspect of this multi-layered book.

oooooooooooooooooooooooothewalkbookcover_janet

But it is not merely a cd that adds to the aesthetics of the book, the track-list introduces me, as the reader/walker to the book in a frisky way. It invites to a vivid insight into Cardiff’s work and welcomes you to approach the book in a non-linear fashion. The audio walk in itself makes the already expressive impression of the pages become even more alive. The book actually expands even outside the pages when brought along on a walk and your “real world” impressions become combined with the audio and the content of the book. Pictures appear almost animated and the content is even more appealing when you’re encouraged to dive into parts of the the material along with Cardiff herself. I start to detect the hidden codes for the different design layers. For example I notice differences in size and color of the text according to the different sounds or voices I hear.

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

This brings me back to my research.

Perhaps it has already started to make more sense now that I’ve shared a little more on the actual subject of the book, and how she expresses herself. Fact is, that when I ask what is the organizational guideline behind this very expressive design I’m told that they based their inspiration on Cardiff’s own working process.

She works by collecting fragments and combining them to art pieces. Sounds, pictures, words. And this notion of collecting fragments is what initiated the design. A clear example is the special typeface used on the cover and also on titles inside the book. These characters were set up especially for this book and were created by finding typography elements and then combining them. Collecting fragments.

ooooooooooooooooooooooootypeface2

Another design element inspired by the work process of the subject herself are the yellow highlighted words continuously occurring in the text, smaller sized sentences in between the lines in the middle of a text and the little arrows leading the reader away from the columns to imbibe some extra information that could be useful for understanding the text.

These features are not just there by chance, they are inspired by Cardiff’s own notes, which are actually embedded in the book as well in their full pride on pages 54-61 for example.

notes

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The result were these playful pages that by constant interruption prevent a traditional reading experience. Von Rohden comments on the way Cardiff highlights certain pieces of her notes, crosses out and adds words to the texts in between the lines, “is it just a comment? Is it important or not?” he asks rhetorically. This process is clearly applied to the design of the book and I think it’s fun to be invited to see the connection.

Further, I’m informed that they had 6 content layers when designing the book.

For example my suspicions when experiencing the walk are confirmed:

Cardiff’s voice is always blue,

and a little bit bigger

than the author Miriam Schaub’s texts that are black and seem regular sized in comparison. Another layer example are the pages in the back of the book that contains writings from exterior curators and are drained in a yellow color to divide them from the rest of the content.

yellow

Other genuine elements in this book that the artist herself is particularly happy about are the fold out pages to show the actual audio editing. Among other things, she also mentions the photos that are simply thrown into the book, detached so that you easily can hold them up in front of you when you experience the walk that’s included. I agree with her that these relatively rare book design elements definitely contribute to the exciting impression of this book.

The project went on for ca 2 years and the design process was short and difficult, described as a nightmare by von Rohden. But that doesn’t change the fact that he feels it was an honor to be a part of a project like this, and that it is rewarding to see that the book still seems to have some relevance after more than a decade.

I’m happy I got acquainted with this book, the artist and the design methods. Brought upon much inspiration for the future.

Thank you to Philipp von Rohden and Janet Cardiff for sharing your thoughts and knowledge about this book.

 

The Walk Book /Rietveld library catalogue no : card 1

STARSTRUCK


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

01_animation_EX_book

Hello Experimental jetset

My name is Claes and I’m a student at the rietveld academic, and my design teacher has given us an unusual assignment to contact people that influence our work and see if we can spend a short period of time with them. I had the chance to talk with one of you at the San Serriffe bookstore a while back and it was a really nice conversation. Your group is a huge inspiration to me and contacting you was the first thought i had! I hope that we could work something out at your convenience.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

Claes

This is the first mail I sent to EJ and the starting point for a really nice project which resulted in a book that you can see as the gif above.

The research publication can be found in the attached PDF at the bottom. The research publication is about the work before and after the meeting with EJ. This meeting lead me to the conclusion that “less is more”. Enjoy.

 

IMG_0730_2_500px

“The tattoo I got is the worst and best…. But I would never show it to them, they would think I’m a freak”

research publication

 

Personal Mass


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I decided to visit a glass factory, I met Just who controls the machines that generates 200.000 beer bottles per 8 hours. I wanted to see the mass production of daily glass objects, wine glass, beer bottles etc. The contrast between the two images that glass has: The cheap, functional mass product and the crafted, expensive, complicated, cultural acknowledged glass, was clearly visible in the factory visiting the production part and the craftsman department. Both in the same factory, two completely different stories.
I decided to learn to make my own hand crafted beer bottle to combine the cheap image of a beer bottle with the expensive one of crafted glass. This process was longer, intenser, more impossible and way more difficult then I ever thought. In the end this process, of searching for  methods getting to know the material (a little bit) and working together with all the elements that need to be just right in order for the glass to do what you want it to do, took over the functionality of the bottle.
You work in service of the glass, if not it will master you. I had to adept towards what the glass needed, the time, the pressure, temperature. I could wish for all that I wanted but there was only one way to go. The focused and calm research of the glass. It feels silly or a bit like a cliche, but the glass forced me to work in a way which I often try but where I also often fail, it made me really be in the process.

 

-

 

Measuring the bottle  Blow a bubble Take glass two times

Blow

Shape it Glass to thin at the bottom Broke when putting in cool down oven Blow a bubble

                                     Take glass two times

Blow

Bubble a bit small

IMG_1144

Shape it

When putting in the oven    Broke

Blow a bubble     Take glass two times   Really hot Blow   Bubble a bit small     Shape it     Put in oven  Heavy

Blow a bubble        Shape it         Really thin glass      Broke when putting in the oven

 

Get a piece of colored glass    Blow a bubble     Take glass two times

 

 

IMG_1149

Shape

                             Blow

                                                   Shape
Bottom to thin
Broke when putting in the oven

Get two pieces of colored glass  Mix them Blow a bubble   Take glass two times

Shape

Blow

Shape

IMG_1143

Open cold wind

Glass cools down

Falls off

Broke

 

Make shape in sand  Make sand wet Poor glass into shape  Sand to wet starts to boil  Making a glass volcano

IMG_1145

Making a mold from plaster  Get glass  Blow a bubble More glass                 Blow  More glass  Blow  More glass

                                                                                                 Blow

Turn a lot

Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature Open mold Let the mass sink perfect timing closing the mold

Press mold as tight as possible

IMG_1330

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Press

Open mold Take out the glass

Cool a bit

Make a cutting line Glass to cool for cutting line Broke

Fall down Transfer to cool down oven asap

IMG_1337

Blow Turn a lot  Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature

Open mold Let the mass sink Perfect timing closing the mold

Press mold as tight as possible

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

PPPPPPPFFFFFFFFF

Press Open mold                 To little glass and to cool                     Take out the glass

Cool a bit and Transfer to cool down oven asap

Get colored glass Making a mold form plaster Blow a bubble

Get more glass Blow   More glass Blow   More glass  Blow    More glass

                                                                  Wait

IMG_0024

turn a lot Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature Open mold Guide mass of glass bubble into mold Let the mass sink Way to hot and to much glass Drops quickly to the bottom Try to safe glass by pulling the pipe all the up                Pressing the mold

Blowing

Pressing

Blowing

pressing

Glass goes trough the sides of the mold Open mold Glass still soft

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Rest glass on floor get gloves Pick up glass  Bring to cool oven

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Esther de Vries is a graphic designer specialized in book design. Among many projects, she made two books on her father, the sculptor Auke de Vries. The two books, dealing with the same artist, are yet very different, the first one, Auke de Vries Photo Archives, being much more intimate than the second one, Auke de Vries: Sculptures, drawing and work in public space, which is more meant as an chronological overview on the evolution of the artistic career  of Auke de Vries. But what is surprising is that both books are very different from the first impression the reader can get just by watching the cover.

 

 

Indeed, at first sight and because of its very strong cover and size, the biggest book seems to be one of those very classical and sometimes deadly boring art books that present an exhaustive view of the work of an artist. But going into the design and the content of the volume you can experience it as an actual novel object. A lot of different materials are used in the book, making it exciting to go through, and a great importance is accorded to the process, thus gathering a collection of sketches, photographs and forms that helped or influenced the artist with his sculptures, and even pictures of the artist working in his studio. On all those pictures the text is set in an unquestionable playful way, sometimes even covering the images.

 

 

 

An other particularity that makes the book playful and thrilling is the use of very thin pages presenting a compilation of different forms, cut from a photograph of a work of the artist and magnified. Those pages refers to the collection of forms that the artist developed and used constantly in his work. Esther was keen to scatter that through the pages as, what she calls, an alphabet.

 

 

 

As for Photo Archives, the fabric and very simple cover makes it look at first glance as a secondary book, very small and discreet, soft, not meant to go through the years as the other one. But once more the design and content makes it very special, in a precious and sprightly way. While the other book is meant to present mainly the evolution of the artist’s works, this photography book shows through the collection of pictures the process that took place even before the artworks, as a wandering in the thoughts of the artist.

 

 

Here the relation to the reader is completely unusual, as there is no chronological order or reading direction. The reader, who is more a viewer since

there is no text, can open the book in the middle, at the end, or open the same page again and again, led to wander in the same way that the artist was wandering when he took those pictures.

 

archive_04

 

This is also a quite seducing book, designed between rule and coincidence with a set of colors and places for the pictures that are sometimes cut in two by the Japanese binding, leading the reader to focus on a particular shape that recalls Auke de Vries’ work. I noticed that the two books are very different from the first feeling you can get from them.

 

Yet, maybe Esther’s work, or at least these two books, deals a lot with feeling. That is to say the very strong feeling that the reader gets or is given in both cases of the close connection between the work of the artist and the design of the books. They pay homage to this work. It might has to do with the fact that both books where initiated by Esther herself, and not commisioned, hence the liberties in the design. This is also caused by the very long process that the designer went through while making those books, meticulously choosing each picture and composition, trying all the colors with each image again and again, changing direction until being fully satisfied, regardless of time.

 

All that makes both works very touching and the enthusiasm of the designer becomes very apparent, discovering a treasure made of all those pictures and willing to share it, making it as complete as possible to preserve the emotion aroused by the pictures themselves.

Rietveld library catalog no : Vrie 5 (

Rijksmuseum library catalog no : 832 E 13 (

From handcrafts till industrial production


Friday, November 27, 2009

To find a book with the tags “mass production” and “hand works” wasn’t really easy to find, because these two term are really different. Almost the same, as positive and negative.

But “Design of the 20th century” become the book which has both words. Inside you can find mass production but also hand works.
Originally design come from the industrial revolution. Before that, products are made by hand. The design and realization from the objects were most of the time from the hands of an craftsman. Because of the new industrial production processes, and the works, design become different from production.

In this book you can find photographs from famous designers as J. Hoffman, P. Strack, C. Scarpa, etc.
It’s nice to enlarge your vision on design with this book.

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Conditional [Design] Painting


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Conditional Painting is truly happening in the van Abbemuseum Eindhoven! They call it the Vitruvian Paint Machine.

As part of  “Take on me (Take me on)” /Dutch Design Week 17 to 25 Oct 2009, Luna Maurer and Edo Paulus executed a mural painting on pre determined conditions based on the proportions of the body and visitor interaction.

The act of designing is based on rules they say. So Luna and Edo, together with Roel Wouters and Jonathan Puckey, created a manifesto of explicit rules for design.

Visiting their lecture, as part of the “Take on me (Take me on)” event, they made it clear that setting strict conditions does disconnect you from subjective standards and creates awareness in the process. A beautiful time based movie of their “machines” made this crystal clear.

 

download this research essay: by Jules Esteves: “Conditional Drawing, Conditional Painting” questioning the practice of Conditional Design.

 

White Room


Friday, February 20, 2009

1 month ago my brother and me got a new apartment, so a moving process started. I had to paint my new room and organize my stuff but because of my study I could spend only few hours a day to do that. Things went really slow, each day I was working in a small part of the room, moving my stuff from this corner to another. I did not finish organizing it but I am not in a hurry. Every week my room slowly changes from one shape to other. Slowly, but one day my room will be complete. At the same time I was sending photos of the apartment to my mom to keep her in touch with my daily life.

I like to be slow, ’cause it’s giving me time to see what’s going on around me.


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