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Posted by core jr  |  20 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)

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This is the latest installment of our Core77 Questionnaire. Previously, we talked to Sebastian Wrong.

Name: Tanya Aguiñiga

Occupation: Designer and artist—although I think I'm different things to different people. Sometimes I'm a furniture designer, sometimes a textile designer or an accessories designer. Some people consider me a community activist or a teacher. Different disciplines claim me at different times.

Location: Los Angeles

Current projects: At the moment I'm working on a solo show for Volume Gallery in Chicago. It's all new work involving, like, weird notes on mothering and nurturing. So it's all about caring for beings and having a hand in the development of a person—and using craft as a really specific metaphor for doing so.

Mission: It's constantly evolving, but a lot of it is about making community and being a responsible human being—using craft and art as a way to diversify conversations in society, and to bring attention to social issues that are in need of attention.

TanyaAguiniga-QA-2.jpgLeft: Aguiñiga being wrapped in raw wool for the 2012 project Felt Me (video here). Right: her Paper Clip chair

TanyaAguiniga-QA-3.jpgAbove and top images: One of Aguiñiga's newest pieces, called Support, was inspired by the experience of being a first-time mother.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a designer? I started furniture design in 1997, at the beginning of my undergraduate career. At the same time I was also doing installation art and human rights projects through art. So from the very beginning I had this two-pronged approach.

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Posted by core jr  |  20 Jan 2015  |  Comments (1)
Advertorial content sponsored by Design Indaba
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"Ma¨mouna-Ma¨mouno" caps and hats made of palm fiber by product designer Antoine Boudin and palm weaver Maïmouna Traoré. Photo courtesy of Emile Barret, Hors Pistes 2014.

Three cross-cultural projects that tread the tricky path between collaborating with and co-opting the work of African artisans

When North meets South and designers schooled in Western modes of thinking work with local craftspeople on the African continent, finding common ground can be difficult. Familiar terrain shifts, becoming rife with the possibility for misunderstanding.

How do you convey ideas when one person measures in inches and the other by the thickness of woven fiber? How do you encourage an artisan to try something new without seeming to instruct them? What is lost in translation? And who is learning from whom?

The process of exchange is unpredictable but designer and craftsman need to establish the terms together to fuse their creative visions. A huge determining factor is clarifying the end goal: who needs to broaden their vision? Is the object to be used in a local or a Western context?

bulawayo01ericgauss.jpgMatali Crasset led a basket-making workshop with Bulawayo Home Industries in Zimbabwe. Photo courtesy of Eric Gauss/Dogs on the Run.

"Working within high social impact contexts requires amplified awareness, forcing us to fully understand our reason for being present and how we are approaching the jointly created project," says French product designer Matali Crasset.

In the sprinof 2014, Crasset ran a workshop with the Bulawayo basket-making community of women in Zimbabwe to create a collection of woven vessels based on the iconic shape of the gourd. The result was an unprecedented group of objects produced collectively by the women, a radical departure from their usual domestic designs.

bulawayo-crasset-weavers.jpgZimbabwean weavers translated Crasset's experiments with the gourd shape into a multitude of new pieces. Photo courtesy of Eric Gauss/Dogs on the Run.

"It was a very humanly inspiring experience," Crasset reflects in her account of the workshop. As she shared with Design Indaba, the project's impact will be determined by how the weavers will incorporate the new collaborative design ideas in future productions.

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Posted by core jr  |  16 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)

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As part of a new interview series on the Autodesk Foundation's new blog, ImpactDesignHub.org, Allan Chochinov, Editor at Large of Core77 and Chair of the MFA Products of Design program at SVA discusses impact design and the role of designers in social change with John Thackara a writer, educator, producer, speaker and connector in the worlds of design and transition.

Thackara's Doors of Perception conference was the first gathering to bring designers and the environmental movement together. John has worked to deepen this connection in projects with cities, organizations and companies in many countries. He writes frequently on design and stewardship, and his book, In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World, is one of the foundational texts around systems thinking and design.

On Impact Design Hub, John talks about eating dirt, getting fired and what the West can learn from India's hacking economy.

Posted by core jr  |   6 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)

SebastianWrong-QA-1.jpg

This is the latest installment of our Core77 Questionnaire. Previously, we talked to Doshi Levien.

Name: Sebastian Wrong

Occupation: Designer and businessman

Location: London

Current projects: Developing the new collection for Wrong for Hay. This is a massive, full-time project. And then I also work on another project called The Wrong Shop.

Mission: To develop good design at a good price

SebastianWrong-QA-2.jpgAbove: the Hackney Sofa by Wrong for Hay, a collaboration between Wrong and the Danish brand Hay that launched last year. Top right image: the Slope Chair by Wrong for Hay

SebastianWrong-QA-3.jpgThe Stanley Stool by Faudet-Harrison for Wrong for Hay

When did you decide that you wanted to be a designer? I don't know if I am a designer. I got interested in design 15 years ago when I was manufacturing products for clients. So I was involved in the process of making, and that created an interest for me in design.

Education: I studied fine arts and sculpture at the Norwich School of Art.

First design job: Bronze-casting door handles for clients, with the manufacturing company I founded in 1996.

Who is your design hero? I don't have a design hero. Many things and many people inspire, influence and excite me, but to put that down to one person is impossible for me.

SebastianWrong-QA-5.jpgAbove and below: Hay and Wrong for Hay opened their new showroom during last September's London Design Festival.

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Describe your workspace: It's a very beautiful Queen Anne building in Central London where we have a showroom and offices.

Other than the computer, what is your most important tool? My iPhone. I make an enormous amount of telephone calls, but I also use it as a tool. For instance, I travel a lot, and the currency converter saves an awful lot of stress.

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Posted by core jr  |   1 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)

C77YiR_2014.gifGin or Vodka? Don't remember? Fosta argues for redistillation in the Industrial Design process

Core77 2014 Year in Review: Top 15 Posts · Year in Photos · Drones · Transportation Design · Food & Drink · Wearable Technology · Power Tools and Hand Tools · Tool Storage · Organizational Solutions · Material News · Design Thinking · Architecture and Design GIFs

It's the first day of a new year and what better way to start than with some food for thought. We've rounded up our favorite design thinking pieces from 2014 on a range of topics from design education to tips for getting hired at a design firm, thoughts on social design to questioning the term industrial design itself. Sit back, dive in, and get ready for another year.

But first, if you're still feeling a bit hazy from last night's celebrations, how about some hair of the dog...

Redistillation in the Industrial Design Process, or Why Gin is Better than Vodka, by Fosta
"...By simply following a path of endless reduction we distill out every impurity, we filter every trace of individuality, every element that deviates from the drive towards that (false) grail: a simple singular expression of form and interaction. Whilst the technical prowess needed to achieve such simplicity is significant and admirable, I am often struck by just how dull the results can be."


Designing with Energy, by Richard Gilbert from The Agency of Design
"...Unlike electricity consumption, where you need to go to great lengths to record and visualize energy, this data told you that the lump of material you're holding took 10 megajoules of energy to go from earthbound ore to product in hand. I could now define my whole material world in terms of energy—and that's exactly what I started doing, carrying a screwdriver and a set of scales I started disassembling and weighing products to try and calculate their embodied energy. This quickly escalated to doing an embodied energy calculation for everything I owned."

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