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“Drink water regularly. Visit the restroom regularly. Work less and play more with your children . Breathe, often.” – John Maeda (USA)

Some wise advice by Maeda

Ok… He’s right but what does that have to do with design and media? John Maeda was definetely not on-stage to foresee the future, as the title of the lecture had insinuated. He was there to share the wisdom that he has aquired on his long journey from a Tofu family business to MIT Media Lab. Maeda showed many of his early works, poked fun at himself, and showed recent works and projects that he is working on for the near future. He talked about his heroes, one of which is his father.

Preview of Maeda’s new project, his next book

I went into the lecture thinking I’d be seeing cold technology how-to’s, but Maeda delivered the opposite, the warm human side of his work and life.

Stefan Sagmeister is a graphic designer from Austria whose studio is in New York. His unique designs for book covers, cd’s and print (that usually involve his own handwritting , on his or his subject’s body) have caused controversy and granted him worldwide recognition.

Poster for the 4 A’s (Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies) caused a stir of controversy. Sagmeister’s favorite comment was a letter to the editor that read:
“Who is the asshole that designed this poster?”

Music and movies can touch hearts but graphic design has a harder time doing so. Sagmeister showed examples of design that touches his heart, starting with an illustrated storybook that he read as a child.
He shared examples of his work in which he had tried to touch people’s hearts. He went on to say, ” I believe that graphic design that touches hearts will be all that we’ll be asked to do in five to ten years’ time.”

In this particular poster for an AIGA lecture Sagmeister wanted to reflect the pain that comes with most design projects. He had the text carved into his skin. Ouch!

Sagmeister’s theory is that all the corporate boring design does not need a graphic designer, as long as you have a computer and the right programs you can make it. But it is the job of true graphic designers to create design that touches hearts, to really capture the audience.

All was dark , except for the spotlight that shined down on Naoto Fukasawa. The stage was placed in the center of the hall, and the audience sorrounded it, attentive.

Naoto Fukasawa (Product designer/Japan) led us through his world of inspiration. Where does he get his inspitation from? Gazing into space. It’s his belief that information melts into the enviorment and that we capture it. And as we gaze into space we can capture information as emotion. Once you learn to capture information in this manner, you’ll be able to see sound and noise will turn into a nice sound.

“Design is a fragment of space,” He said. He also pointed out that some of the best design is not intended to be design, like buildings wrapped for constructions, he calls these buildings “buildings of cloth.”

He designs products to be fragments of space, cut outs of reality.


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