PEOPLEText: Victor Moreno

You moved to London to pursue your visual design explorations and had the fortune to meet some people from the legendary creative studio Tomato Collective including the members of the electronic group Underworld. How did this beautiful accident occur?

One of my professors in Kassel was Joel Baumann from the Tomato Collective. I didn’t learn that many practical things from him but a lot of it was about his spirit. He was obviously telling us “Oh, I just went to Japan and our mates wrote me lines of code that can move the mouse alone and we had a show in a huge VJ festival where we did some DJ things”– He made it sound all really easy. I mean, the spirit of tomato, it definitely rubbed off. I was a huge fan of The Designers Republic when I was 16. As a matter of fact, that’s when I came across SHIFT, and also this whole online design culture, Joshua Davis and flash websites. Yugo Nakamura, my hero, I love him. I haven’t met him though. It’s such a beautiful way of anthropomorphizing technology. It’s a different relationship we have in the western countries, you know, in Japan it’s more playful, more friendly. I love it.

Envision Infinite Earth Song

At that time between the late 90s and 2000s there was an explosion of motion creative studios working with visual aesthetics or visual art. Today the possibilities for artists and brands have changed dramatically. What’s your take on it?

Well, I would say that the spirit of exploration and discovery is still pretty much alive. That’s still the driving factor. Take the example we were talking about with my professor impressing people by moving things on a website further than a mouse. By today’s standards, that’s not high technology anymore. Back in the day it was fun and cute and everything you want but I think we have experienced this incredible explosion of knowledge and sharing of information and tutorials and the cost of production of certain things has dropped dramatically, things like 3D films that could only be made by huge studios. It has become more accessible and accessible. Even a 16 year old can design in gaming and so on, and sometimes they do it better than trained people due to this accessibility. We are seeing this incredible diversification and expansion of the ecosystem. In this tense between supply and demand, supply is going towards infinite, and demand, you can’t possibly consume everything that’s out there anymore. It’s not a limited resource anymore.

That’s very interesting. How do you balance that content production in terms of quality and quantity, especially within the digital ecosystem?

For instance, I came late to the iPod game, back in the day I couldn’t afford one until I got a small one, I think a seven or eight gigabyte, such a beautiful little device, I really loved the device, such a nice little thing. Really cute, and I loved the wheel. The thing is, because it had only eight gigabytes, I could still remember more or less every song title on the album. So that was quite good. Thereafter, I could afford the bigger 140 gigabyte iPod. And it just had endless amounts of stuff. And it wasn’t fun anymore to browse, it was actually hard work to find a song. It felt like an effort. So at the end of the day, I was just shuffled. Similarly, I still remember the time when I had too little pocket money, I could only afford every now and then some CD for my first stereo system which you just listened to the same thing over and over. Then it is when you discover all these different nuances because you spend that time with something. Today everything is a lot more superficial, because you have access to everything in the highest quality immediately. So a real deep experience of content art and music is difficult.

Diesel SS16

How do you measure that balance between quality and quantity when it comes down to delivering a project for a client?

I always say to clients, we are only the 51% on your side, the other 49% is for me and my friends [laughs]. But I think we have always had this spirit of anything we do, we spend time making it good. We want to make an effort to enjoy it as well, and make something we would want to see as well as new and rewarding. Then quite often we are not a full service agency and take care of everything. But we get involved to inject specific innovations and new types of thinking, that’s the artistic approach, probably thinking a little bit clearer, a little bit different not following the standard processes. At the end that creates brand expressions. A lot of it now is storytelling. Yeah, everything needs to be visualized.

So do you agree we are in an era of overwhelming content production, especially with A.I. speeding up all the processes?

Since a few years ago there’s already more content on Instagram, or Netflix, and so on than I could ever see and want to see. For me, the value question, even more important, where do we create new value? Where do we really add something other than just making more of the same, that is just not good enough for me anymore. What we want to do in FIELD is to make things that are better, that are more relevant, that are more immersive or exciting, and have a higher quality level of content. So that’s when I get excited. There has to be more functionality.

As we enter the A.I. era, how have you used it to your benefit?

Today’s magic is called A.I. We made these biometric armbands. There was a collaboration with lots of amazing designers, furniture designers, and interior architects who created these spaces. The armbands could measure how your body and your whole organism responds to the materials in the room and also to the light, to everything. We also used A.I to make visual illustrations. Different people had really a different effect on how they felt in different rooms. It was quite beautiful. This was for Google in Milan. We also use A.I for our sports related clients.

Meta Global Rebrand

Recently, you rebranded META and I think your former client IBM wants to involve you in the branding of their IBM Quantum technology. If you could, please tell us about it.

We got involved with META quite early in the process via our friends at Saffron and META’s internal creative agency Creative X. Creative X conceptualised a continuously looped form that could work seamlessly between 2D and 3D contexts. It is designed to be experienced from different perspectives and leverage motion and 3D wherever possible. Saffron worked alongside Creative X and partnered with FIELD and Dalton Maag in the design development of the symbol including its 2D, 3D, motion behaviour and wordmark typography. We developed a huge amount of work with them, a lot more than you can see on our website. It was very interesting to work in such a cross disciplinary fashion across all media from 2D, 3D, motion, physical and virtual applications. We’re also supporting our friends at IBM Quantum on the communication aspects to their recent big breakthroughs in quantum computing.

Text: Victor Moreno

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