The Design Museum – Much ado about nothing (ish)…

606_980-3fbfbfdf-9851-495a-9d29-56b6ae6b1131

Despite the buzz about the new Design Museum which is all over my Facebook feed and some London based design magazines, the whole experience didn’t exactly live up to my expectations.

The architecture of the venue is beautiful, with a multi purpose staircase, a Guggenheim structure spin with the walkways spiraling upwards. The design however wasn’t that well thought out, a series of photographs on the second floor and a display of 6 designs on the third floor. When you get to the fourth floor you are bombarded with information, you don’t know where to look.

The Design. Maker. User exhibit delivered a rather delightful experience, even if the exhibition suffered due to the problem the entire venue had: small spaces and overcrowding issues.

Reaching the designated floor, audiences are meant to face a large crowd sourced wall that displays what design means to people. Bottle openers, cameras, denim jeans were hanging on the wall, giving us the chance to understand how design is an everyday thing.

Entering the overcrowded “labyrinth”, there was a high-tech section that contained the history of technology and multiple examples of how things are made, like this metal casting mould used to create a £50 pound orange squeezer.

Die-cut logos of famous brands were hanging from the ceiling all around and a Vespa Piaggio was placed above our heads, which I found amusing because they reminded me of a scene taken straight from Harry Potter. The remaining parts of the exhibition were mainly written type on walls, which were difficult to read due to people standing in front of them.

In conclusion, this journey started with a really good first impression with few enjoyable moments, and ended as a bitter-sweet experience…

…much ado about nothing!

Away from constraints – The art of Non-intent

death-of-the-author

Sometimes it may happen that an artist wants to express his/her art without any constraint whatsoever and just be guided by his/her own feeling in that moment. In doing so, the artist expresses the desire to lose himself and dive into the unknown just for once. This way of doing things it’s called Non-Intent, something made for pure personal pleasure, without thinking much about the reasons why.

As an artist, is something I prefer doing rather than following a scheme or even being forced to think of a background story when there is NONE. People always use to think that a piece of art is intended for a large public, therefore they think a peace of art should always be crystal clear to the majority of it.

They are wrong.

Barthes’s 1967 critical essay “The Death of the Author” addresses how the work of the artist ends when the piece of art is delivered into the world and how the reader is left to decipher the artist work. The complexity of what the author wanted to express are flattened when it arrives to the reader, the reader has the responsibility to get what the author wants to say. “The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author”, Therefore the reader has the power and the option to more or less ignore the work’s background and focus more on the work itself. This point ultimately leads to Barthes main point: the reader holds more responsibility than the author.

An example could be found in John Cage’s 4’ 33”, a non-intent silent piano song where the artist sits in front of a piano, opens the piano lid and does nothing for four minutes and a half, bows to the public and gets applauses.

In conclusion, going back to Barthes’s essay, it directly links to a question I always ask myself “Why I design?” which I always end up answering bluntly “for myself”, the most important reader of them all.

Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” Art and Interpretation: An Anthology of Readings in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Ed. Eric Dayton. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 1998. 383-386. Print.