On Tuesdays, May 3, 10, 17, and 24, the Walker Art Center presents
Insights 2005: Design and . . .
Cosponsored with the AIGA/Minnesota, this year’s Insights lecture series—featuring the work of some of the world’s most innovative designers—explores the relationship of design to practices such as writing, publishing, technology, product design, and furniture design. Taking a broader view, the speakers bring technology to the public sphere, brand the world’s smallest country, preserve a sense of the creative self in the bigger picture, and add a healthy sense of humor to the world of modern design. This year’s series includes talks by Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger from New York’s Antenna Design on Tuesday, May 3, at 7 pm; Daniel van der Velden from MM&DVDD in Amsterdam on Tuesday, May 10, at 7 pm; Paul Sahre from The Office of Paul Sahre in New York on Tuesday, May 17, at 7 pm; and John Christakos and Maurice Blanks from Blu Dot Design in Minneapolis on Tuesday, May 24, at 7 pm.
All lectures take place in the Walker Cinema. Individual tickets are $20 ($10 Walker and AIGA members; full-time students) and series tickets are $64 ($32). Tickets may be purchased at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Antenna Design, New York
Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger
Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger founded Antenna Design with the goal of making people’s engagement with technological objects and environments more exciting. They are achieving this ambitious objective through a combination of commercial and public projects that range from the redesign of the New York City subway cars and the creation of custom information kiosks for Bloomberg to a series of interactive installations such as Power Flower, a window display for Bloomingdale’s that is activated by passersby. Their winning entry in the Civic Exchange competition is an interactive information installation for visitors and inhabitants of Lower Manhattan. Their work has won numerous awards, including recognition from I.D., Business Week, and Wired magazines. In 2003 they were finalists for the National Design Award in Product Design from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
Daniel van der Velden, MM&DVDD, Amsterdam
Daniel van der Velden is a graphic designer and writer based in Amsterdam who, since 1998, has been collaborating with Maureen Mooren on a variety of design and editorial projects. Among a new generation of influential Dutch graphic designers, they have developed a reputation for work that engages and challenges its readers by making aspects of writing, editing, and authorship commensurate with designing. This approach can be seen in their design of Archis, a magazine about architecture, culture, and urbanism, which appropriates and thus recontextualizes the stylistic conventions and typographic formats of various other magazines. They are particularly interested in the relationship and possibilities of fiction within the realm of information and in the reconsideration of preexisting graphic forms, whether a newspaper, advertisement, letter, diary, and so on. Since 2003, Van der Velden has directed the Meta Haven project, a comprehensive national identity system for the Principality of Sealand, the world’s smallest “micronation.” Founded in the late 1960s and located on a formerly abandoned World War II anti-aircraft platform in the North Sea, Sealand garnered recent worldwide publicity with the establishment of HavenCo, a data-hosting services company that claims to be the world’s first and only true market environment for Web business.
Paul Sahre, The Office of Paul Sahre, New York
After a few unsatisfying stints designing for others, Paul Sahre established his own design studio, first in Baltimore and then in New York, where he has been since 1995. Consciously maintaining a small office, he has nevertheless established a large presence in American graphic design. The balance he strikes in his own design process is evident in his desire “for equal parts logic and intuition” in the work. His silkscreened posters for the Fells Point Corner Theatre in Baltimore provided him a much-needed creative outlet and garnered him early professional visibility with their rough-edged, expressive typography. His more recent work, such as book covers for author Rick Moody’s novels Demonology and The Ice Storm or his design of the book American Photography 19, exhibit a crisper, more refined typographic and photographic approach, and point to a more editorial or authorial direction. In fact, in 2003, he coauthored with Danny Gregory Hello World: A Life in Ham Radio, a book based on a collection of QSL cards, which amateur radio enthusiasts exchange after communication with other operators around the world.
John Christakos and Maurice Blanks, Blu Dot Design, Minneapolis
Blu Dot designs and manufactures modern furniture and furnishings. Its founding partners, John Christakos, Maurice Blanks, and Charlie Lazor—whose backgrounds range from architecture and art to marketing—created the company in Minneapolis with the desire to make quality modern design available to ordinary people. Their humanist and populist approach to modern furnishings dovetailed with the democratization of design begun in the 1990s and has yielded several lines of furniture, such as its Chicago line of shelving, the Modulicous collection of bedroom furnishings, or the recent Buttercup lounge chairs. Its recent commissioned work includes the dormitories of a new student housing complex at MIT designed by Steven Holl and retail fixtures for Gap Kids stores. They have created and cultivated a brand—including a series of film shorts for nontraditional marketing—that has merged humor and wit with products that balance form and function—without sacrificing one of the basic tenets of modernism: good design.