This month’s cover design was produced by Rinzen based in Queensland, Australia. Bending reality into shapes pleasing to the eye and the ear, Rinzen aligns the creative directions of the six members in print and web design, illustration, fonts, characters, animation and music.

First of all, please tell us who you are.

Rinzen is Steve, Karl, Craig, Adrian, Katrina and Rilla.

What kind of projects are you doing at ‘Rinzen‘?

We formed last year as a result of doing RMX// A Visual Remix Project, so from the beginning Rinzen was all play, no work. We’ve recently finished contributions for Matt Owens’ Codex 3 and Berlin e-zine Designer Shock 002. At the moment we are working on the first issue of SLIKA, a fashion/culture/art magazine as well as the visual concepts, from identity through to video projections, for super-club FAMILY.

Please tell us more about ‘RMX Project‘.

Each of us produced an initial piece to one of eight themes. The files were then passed progressively to each designer, being ‘remixed’ each step of the way, modified, added to and erased, and no-one saw the work before it was their turn to remix it. At the end of the eight week process the resulting 64 pieces were revealed. The results are a chaotic merging of vector and pixel work filled with colourful and repetitive design elements, some themes evolve gradually while others chop and change.

We launched the RMX Pack on opening night of the exhibition which contains a huge perforated poster, featuring the designs, an exhibition poster and a sheet of peel and stick Criticisms. The pack also contains a Music CD created entirely from digitally manipulated voice samples recorded at RMX handovers.

How did you get the idea to do the ‘RMX Project’?

The surrealists did a similar thing with words in their game ‘Exquisite Corpse’, inspiring a lot of musicians and artists to create in the same spirit. The project is spontaneous, fun and an excuse to do something without restrictions or expectations.

What was the hardest part of publishing the package?

Meeting every week to drink copious amounts of red wine!
Really the only challenge was finding sponsors who could understand the concept of graphic design as an end in itself. This was made more difficult by the fact that the results were completely unpredictable.

The project was exhibited in Australia and Berlin. How was the exhibition? And how was the visitor’s reaction?

The exhibition was enjoyed in the same way as the creation – drunkenly! Everyone tried to decipher who did what and followed the progression of the themes and styles. Berliners were keen to analyse what defined Australian design; while at home, the local street press said we obviously had too much time on our hands.

What do you want to communicate through the project?

We didn’t actually set out to communicate anything, it was simply a creative outlet for us while we were neck deep in corporate projects. For the first time, though, we saw how our work looked on top of, as part of or mixed in with each others, encouraging us to continue working collaboratively. The end result is also a testament to what happens when designers work without restriction, but within a strong framework.

What do you think is the most important aspect about graphic design?

Graphic Design is a mistake of evolution! We’ll only have to live with it for another million years…

We’d like to ask you about the design scene in Australia. What’s hot now?

While still influenced strongly by international trends, more of us are finally beginning to draw inspiration from the Australian attitude and what we try to pass off as culture.

Are there any artists and designers you’d like to collaborate with in the future?

Having spent the last couple of years working overseas, Steve and I have met heaps of fantastic designers, artists, musicians and programmers, who we’ve talked with about collaborations. The remixing process is a great method for collaborating with these people from a distance.

We’ve heard that the ‘RMX//Extended Play’ is now in progress. What is it about?

RMX//Extended Play takes the original concept and draws together many of the designers we’ve met on our travels or via email. The players this time round are Sweden Graphics, Volume One, Future Farmers, The Designers Republic, E-boy, The Acne Family, Evan Hecox, Shynola, The Office for Fun and Profit, Tycoon Graphics, Norm, Francois Chalet, Haus Grafik, Less Rain, Designer Shock, Standard Rad, Furi Furi, Filesharing, Tomoko Takeue, Erik Torstensson, Deanne Cheuk, Ben Frost, Rhys Lee, Georgina Cullum, Matt Hinkley and of course, Rinzen. No-one is aware who precedes or follows them and again the results won’t be unveiled until completion of the remixing process.

The RMX//Extended Play compilation and exhibition will launch later this year, with a Music CD composed from voice samples of the visual remixers.

How will the ‘RMX Project’ be developed in the future?

Once the results of the first phase of RMX//Extended Play are launched, visitors to the RMX site will be invited to download the files, remix and return, to be included in an ongoing online remix.

Beyond that, who knows?! As long as there are people who are interested in collaborating, we will use RMX as a forum for ongoing projects of this kind.

Address: PO Box 944, Fortitude Valley, Queensland 4006 Australia
Tel: +61 7 3852 5351

Text: Mayumi Kaneko

[Help wanted] Inviting volunteer staff / pro bono for contribution and translation. Please e-mail to us.
Minna Parikka