STONE AS A NEW MEDIUM FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN
‘Still Motion’ is an exploration by 5 graphic designers into the use and meaning of an uncommon material in the field of graphic design: stone. Sagmeister & Walsh (US), Jonathan Barnbrook (GB), Ian Anderson (GB), Pedro Falcão (PT) and Jorge Silva (PT) are invited by experimentadesign to explore and innovate the use of Portuguese marble and limestone.
An autonomous interpretation is presented by the designers, in which they pursue possibilities for stone as a new communication medium. From a graphic design perspective the use of stone is expanded by a close collaboration with the industry. In the process, traditional methods and new technologies are combined to stress the visual characteristics of stone in terms of colour and texture. The resulting 5 projects cover a variety of ideas: ranging from objects that question contemporary philosophies, our notions of reality and subconsciousness, to signage panels and a homage to constructivism that permeates into the realm of art. All expressed through stone.
The exhibition is on display from March 30 – April 9, at the Triennale di Milano during Milan Design Week.
‘Still Motion’ is part of the ‘First Stone’ programme, which is an initiative of experimentadesign and Assimagra, the Portuguese association for mineral resources. The project is curated by experimentadesign’s director, Guta Moura Guedes. It presents an unconventional approach to the use of stone, where a 3D material is interpreted by experts from a design field that work mainly in 2D.
The designers received a briefing in which the beauty and presence of stone in public and private spaces is explored. This by making use of the versatility of the material in terms of their visual characteristics. Whereas stone is inseparably linked to the fields of architecture, art and even product design, its meaning in graphic design remains undiscovered. Artistic freedom is paramount to this project, broadening the potential of the material. ‘Still Motion’ deepens the relationship between the material, design and the industry. On all levels the boundaries are pushed. New perspectives and working methods arose in the process.
In different ways, each of the five projects highlight the specificities of the material’s attributes, depending on the geological origin and composition of the stones. The designers have appropriated several traditional and technological stone-working techniques, including stone inlaying with high precision waterjet cutting. Some of the pieces have been shaped using laser engraving, a technique that is usually applied to other materials, but that has now been used for stone. Different finishing methods have also been applied to each piece, enriching their final appearance. The first presentation of ‘Still Motion’ will be in Milan, at the Triennale di Milano. A second presentation is scheduled for September, during the London Design Festival.
Sagmeister & Walsh, Don’t Look Back
Pedro Falcão, El Lissitzky
Jonathan Barnbrook, The Age of Reason
click here for images
First Stone is a research programme conceived and produced by experimentadesign in collaboration with the mix-media partner, ALTA International Creative Alliance. The first part of the programme, ‘Resistance’, was presented during the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. ‘Resistance' consists of an architectural interpretation of Portuguese stone by Álvaro Siza (PT), Amanda Levete (UK), Bijoy Jain (IN), Elemental (CL), and Mia Hägg (SE). The whole programme is promoted by Assimagra, the Portuguese Association for Mineral Resources.
More info at www.primeirapedra.com
experimentadesign is the Portugal-based but worldwide recognized knowledge production unit and active communication platform for design, culture and architecture. experimentadesign’s field of action is contemporary cultural production, observed from an international and multidisciplinary perspective.
Assimagra is a Portuguese association that represents the mineral resources of Portugal. Focusing on promotion and the broadening of economic, social and cultural recognition, the values and principles of this association are to promote the sustainability and balance in the areas in which the resources are located.
With the High Patronage of His Excellency the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Production and Manufacturing Companies
Dimpomar / ETMA / Inovopedra / Marfilpe / Mármores Galrão / Mocapor Sul / MVC / Solancis
NOTE TO THE EDITOR
For project descriptions see the attachment below.
For interviews and more information please contact:
Susan van Daal
+31 681 814 643
SAGMEISTER & WALSH
DON’T LOOK BACK
The New York based duo Sagmeister & Walsh designed a sextet under the name “DON’T LOOK BACK”. Sagmeister & Walsh pose the question if we should concentrate on the past, present or future? The mirrors, made of dark stone marked with white veins, show a fragmented image, opening up questions about our perceptions and interpretations of reality. A shared experience is remembered differently by every person. Is it then better to look forward? In the work a reference is made to the black screens of televisions, tablets and smartphones, alluding to the science fiction television series “Black Mirror”. Herewith another layer to our perception is added; the effects of the digital era.
THE AGE OF REASON
Jonathan Barnbrook, whose perspective as a political activist is embedded into his work as a graphic designer, created a diptych named “THE AGE OF REASON”. In terms of style and use of materials, this diptych makes a reference to catholic cathedrals and churches. However, Barnbrook directs us towards an unexpected path by integrating very modern drawings and modified historic letterforms. Instead of creating a tribute, he questions the philosophies of today’s spiritual and political leaders. “To the glory of nothing, to the reality of life finite” and “To the triumph of logic, over disruption of the truth” are critical readings that comment on false promises. Barnbrook suggests that we should focus on the present. The here and the now.
Known for his minimal and often conceptual approach, designer Pedro Falcão presents the EL LISSITZKY triptych. It is an homage to the work of the Russian artist and designer Lazar Markovich Lissitzky and Russian Constructivism. With a strong sculptural nature and an association to puzzles, the work in stone allows for several interpretations of the three paintings that Falcão created in 2001, and that he now carries into 2017.
ATOMS VECTORS PIXELS GHOSTS (STONE) TM
Ian Anderson, founder and director of The Designers Republic, whose career has been strongly linked to music, dance and electronica, developed six circular pieces under the umbrella ATOMS VECTORS PIXELS GHOSTS (STONE)TM. Anderson created highly pixelated images of ideas and fictions, which remind us of glitched dreamscapes. The pieces present moments in time in which motion is captured. Engraved in stone, these slippery echoes of our memories form a record resulting in abstract constructions. The designs are an extension from a series of sequential elements of the Oversteps project. The Oversteps project was created by The Designer’s Republic to fail while attempting to draw the perfect circle.
Portuguese designer in the editorial and publishing field, Jorge Silva, is inspired by static symbols, like signage and pictograms. Pictograms often appear in contexts where they are used temporarily and on non-lasting materials. In the past, signage indicating roads was made of mineral composite materials. Silva shifts this idea and transposes these symbols onto stone, providing them with a permanent existence. Additionally, by using repetition and patterns, he adds a layer which creates the illusion that the symbols are moving.