In a Manner of Reading Design (The Blind Spot). Katja Gretzinger (Hg.). Sternberg Press

Posted in design, writing on November 28th, 2012
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In a Manner of Reading Design (The Blind Spot) by Katja Gretzinger (Hg.)

What we perceive and think of as “true” is widely influenced by our knowledge—carrying with it implicit conceptions we are not aware of. Design, as a planned action, is necessarily both theory and practice. It brings together thinking and everyday objects and therefore ingrains itself in the contexts we are all living in. Yet, being largely unreflected on, design is likely to simply affirm societal norms instead of questioning them. If design aims at taking a critical stance, it needs to change its acquaintance with knowledge and develop its own discourse to understand the underlying conceptions that are at play.

The metaphor of the “blind spot” proposes the perspective of looking at what is implicit or unnoticed in our perception. By doing so, it seeks to open up common readings of what design is and can do. The montage of texts featured here includes diverse voices and readings, meant to create a space in which debate can unfold, a debate that considers the impossibility of an unbiased position and as such reminds us of our dependence on the other in any conception—and any project design might aspire to.

Contributions by Ruth Buchanan, Helmut Draxler, Faculty of Invisibility, Katja Gretzinger, Rama Hamadeh, Claudia Mareis, Doreen Mende.

D 18 €

Buy it

mono.kultur #32: Martino Gamper

Posted in art, design, distribution, magazines on August 10th, 2012


mono.kultur #32: Martino Gamper

Dear Friends,

with summer dropping in and out every now and then, we finally and happily present our latest issue featuring the unmistakeable Martino Gamper – and about high time, admittedly. But: dedicating a tasty 10,000-word interview to the charm and wit of the Italian product designer in a volume ripe with food for the mind and the eye, it is the kind of issue we believe was worth the wait.

And indeed, Martino Gamper is the kind of product designer we all have been waiting for: Brimming with ideas, energy and humour, his designs are disarmingly irreverent and irresistibly fun, and unlike anything one will see in the puristic galleries of contemporary design. Crossing over from studying sculpture to completing an MA in product design at the prestigious Royal College of Art under Ron Arad, Gamper has had little time to worry over the theoretical do’s and don’t’s of his profession – instead, he has followed a simple rule of learning by doing, meaning: the more you do, the more you learn.

At a time where design is overly concerned with form and less so with function, Gamper is not all too bothered with either, but rather with how design might affect the everyday. Coming to attention in 2007 with his epic project 100 Chairs in 100 Days, where he assembled discarded furniture and waste material into curious and charismatic new pieces, considering the history of materials as well as the context of his work has become an important element of Gamper’s practice, which sits comfortably and playfully between the worlds of industrial design and fine art.

If anything, his work is driven by an insatiable curiosity and openness, which is also expressed by the frequent collaborations with friends from different fields. Martino Gamper treats his work as a means of communication and interaction, by frequently inviting visitors and passers-by on the street to join and engage, or by creating not only the furniture, but also improvising the 7 course-menus for his legendary Trattoria pop-up dinner evenings – elevating, as an inevitable and highly welcome side effect, design into a profoundly social activity.

With mono.kultur, Martino Gamper talked about his idea of fun, why a chair is the ultimate challenge and what design has in common with cooking.

Visually, the issue is bursting with references and ideas, reclaiming image material from left and right, while unveiling the structure of a book with three booklets of different sizes all lovingly assembled into one – and manually at that, which makes for some rough edges or rather what we like to call extra personality.

As of here and now, the issue is available through our online store mono.konsum, and at a trusted art book dealer of your choice very soon indeed.
In the meantime, enjoy the remains of summer, and with our warmest regards,

D 5€ EU 6€ WW 7€

Buy it

Curwen Sans type specimen. An Endless Supply.

Posted in books, design, history, typography, writing on July 27th, 2012
Tags: , ,

Curwen Sans type specimen, Harold Curwen, An Endless Supply 2011

Curwen Sans was first drawn by Harold Curwen at the Curwen Press in 1911. Curwen died in 1949 and the Press went out of business in the 1980s, and his sans serif—pre-emptive of Johnston, Gill Sans, Kabel—has never been digitised. An Endless Supply have re-drawn the font from prints sourced at Cambridge University, and the specimen includes a critical history of the typeface as well as new writing about the processes of revival. The jacket design is a re-print of wallpaper printed by Curwen Press in 1927.

Produced as part of The Department of Overlooked Histories at Wysing Arts Centre.

D 20.50 €

Buy it

Useless: New Writing in Art and Design. Royal College of Art.

Posted in art, critique, design, writing on July 17th, 2012
Tags: ,

Useless: New Writing in Art and Design. Royal College of Art.

Graduating students from the Royal College of Art’s new Critical Writing in Art and Design MA programme present their first collaborative publication — a collection of essays that work to deconstruct the idea of uselessness within a diverse range of ideas, projects, interviews and stories. These works, which provide a multitude of perspectives on the theme, form an object that spans topics across art, product design, architecture, literature, radio, information technology and more.

Freire Barnes | Anna Bates | Jigna Chauhan | Nicola Churchward | John Dummett | Jeanette Farrell | Natalie Ferris | Clo’e Floirat | Elizabeth Glickfield | Charmian Griffin | Christina Manning-Lebek | Peter Maxwell | Dora Mentzel | David Morris | Jonathan P. Watts

Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Royal College of Art
Language: English
Product dimensions: 210 x 130 x 15 mm
Design: Pedro Cid Proença
Cover illustration: Fabienne Hess.

D 10 €


Lodown #82

Posted in art, design, distribution, film, magazines, music on July 13th, 2012

Lodown Magazine #82. July/August/September 2012.

Featuring Mauro Perucchetti, Danny Way, Animal Collective, Manuel Gottsching, Larry Clark, Gregg Segal, Bo Ningen, Florentijn Hofman and much more.

D 6.90 €


Success and Uncertainty / Back Up. Sandra Kassenaar, Bart de Baets.

Posted in design, magazines on June 28th, 2012
Tags: , ,

Success and Uncertainty / Back Up. Sandra Kassenaar, Bart de Baets.

This publication was published in conjunction with the exhibition Success and Uncertainty at bookshop/art space San Seriffe in Amsterdam, Motto in Berlin and Motto/Corner College in Zürich. The publication consists out of reproductions of the 21 twin posters and the Back Up of the project, where elements and recurring themes in the poster series are contextualised and illustrated.

D 15 €

Buy it

Bauhaus Magazine #3

Posted in design, distribution, magazines, photography, writing on June 12th, 2012

Bauhaus Magazine #3

Die dritte Ausgabe der Zeitschrift “bauhaus”, die von der Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau herausgegeben wird, ist den Dingen gewidmet. „Ein Ding ist bestimmt durch sein Wesen“, schrieb der Bauhausgründer Walter Gropius 1925. Das Wesen der Dinge zu erforschen, hat sich die Zeitschrift vorgenommen. Parallel zur großen Retrospektive des Jahrhundertgestalters Marcel Breuer wurden Dinge ausgewählt, die auf den ersten Blick banal erscheinen mögen, an denen sich aber Utopie und emanzipatorische Wirkung, Fetisch und Konsumverhalten untersuchen lassen – vom Teelöffel bis zum Kaktus, vom Preisschild bis zum Spiegel, von der Schachtel bis zum Fahrplan. Das Heft unternimmt den Versuch, herauszufinden, wie das Bauhaus den Umgang mit den Dingen verändert hat und wie sich die Auseinandersetzung mit dem “Ding an sich” heute gestaltet.

D 8 €
Buy it

The Aspen Complex. Martin Beck. Sternberg Press.

Posted in art, design, writing on May 18th, 2012
Tags: , ,

The Aspen Complex. Martin Beck. Sternberg Press.

With essays by Sabeth Buchmann, Felicity D. Scott, Alice Twemlow

Martin Beck’s exhibition “Panel 2—‘Nothing better than a touch of ecology and catastrophe to unite the social classes…’” draws on the events of the 1970 International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA) and the development of the Aspen Movie Map to form a visual environment that reflects the interrelations between art, architecture, design, ecology, and social movements.

The 1970 IDCA marked a turning point in design thinking. The conference’s theme, “Environment by Design,” brought together venerable figures of modern design in the United States, including Eliot Noyes, George Nelson, and Saul Bass; environmental collectives and activist architects from Berkeley such as the Environmental Action Group, Sim Van der Ryn, and Ant Farm; as well as a group of French designers and sociologists, among them Jean Aubert, Lionel Schein, and Jean Baudrillard. The conference quickly escalated into a site of unresolvable conflict about communication formats and the potential role of design for environmental practices in a rapidly changing society.

The ensuing decade heralded the development of an interactive navigation system, which used the same Colorado resort town as its test site. The Aspen Movie Map—initiated by MIT’s Architecture Machine Group (the predecessor to the Media Lab) and partially funded by the US Department of Defense—is an image-based surrogate travel system using footage filmed in Aspen. Meant to prepare users for quick orientation in places they have never been to, the Aspen Movie Map was a seminal prototype for today’s military and consumer navigation systems.

The Aspen Complex documents two versions of Beck’s exhibition—at London’s Gasworks and Columbia University’s Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery—and brings together yet unpublished archival material and new research on the 1970 IDCA and the Aspen Movie Map.

D 25 €
Buy it

A smart guide to Utopia presentation. Motto@MarkthalleIX. 04.05.2012

Posted in architecture, design, distribution, events, Motto@MarkthalleIX event on May 1st, 2012

Friday, 4 May 2012
6pm – 22pm.
Motto and LECOOL cordially invite you to the launch of:

A smart guide to Utopia – 111 inspiring ideas for a better city.

Encapsulated within five different sections – Live, Work, Eat & Drink, Buy and Play – are 111 inspiring ideas from over 40 different European cities on how we can make life in our cities more appealing, more interesting and more sustainable. The projects are the brainchildren of over 30 writers and visionaries, making this a guide for urbanites from urbanites.

Author Kati Krause will host a conversation with:

Fliegender Kaffee – Maik Eimertenbrink
Prinzessinnengärten – Marco Clausen
Stattbad Wedding – Jochen Küpper

Le Cool
Kati Krause

Motto@MarkthalleIX, Eisenbahnstraße 42/43, Pücklerstraße 34, 10997 Berlin

Kaleidoscope #14

Posted in art, design, distribution, magazines on March 12th, 2012
Tags: , , , ,

Kaleidoscope #14

Contents of issue 14 – Spring 2012:

Will Benedict by Alex Kitnick; Alexandra Bachzetsis by Catherine Wood; 155 Freeman by Chris Wiley; the Resurgence of R&B by Tim Small; Sanya Kantarovsky by Joanna Fiduccia.

MAIN THEME: Preliminary Materials for a Theory of a New Male.
Camp + Dandyism = Neo-Camp? by Chris Sharp; Domenico Gnoli by Giorgio Verzotti; Partial Eclipse by Marc Camille Chaimowicz; A Fantastic, Single, Mad Man by Alessio Ascari & Cristina Travaglini.

MONO: Cathy Wilkes.
Essays by Rebecca Geldard and Amy Budd; Special project by Cathy Wilkes; Focus by Isobel Harbison.

Pioneers: Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian by Simone Menegoi; Futura: Adrián Villar Rojas by Hans Ulrich Obrist; Panorama: Mexico City by Magnolia de la Garza; Souvenir d’Italie: Alighiero Boetti by Luca Cerizza; Producers: Gavin Brown by Carson Chan.

D 9 €

Buy it