30 Conversations on Design

30 conversations on design actually became 60 conversations on design when you add up the videos from both 2009 and 2010.  It was great to have such a large group of artists to get a little inside peak at how they think and what they feel is most important in the world of design.

“What inspires you?” and “What problem should design solve next?”  These are two very loaded questions, and I found myself wishing that some of the videos were a bit longer and had more in-depth answers from the artists.  Deborah Adler discussed how the Pieta di Michelangelo at the Vatican was her inspiration.  This was really interesting to hear her talk about, because I have seen this amazing sculpture multiple times and it truly is incredible.  I didn’t stop and stare at the sculpture for an hour like Adler did, but I was probably staring for a good 20 minutes each time.  It really does give off this emotion that you can connect with…and I think that any design that is able to do that is incredible.

Adler then switched the topic to problem solving and what she said was really interesting, “a designer’s strength should not be defined by his/ her aesthetic or style”.  It took a minute for me to process this, but then she went on to truly explain it.  By “having a love affair” with your audience, you will better understand their wants and needs, and creating designs centered around their needs will become a habit, and in turn lead to better design.  The great designs aren’t necessarily the prettiest, but the ones that solve the problem the best.

Gong Szeto picked the Heartland Geopolitical Map as his most inspiring piece of design.  I did a quick Google search to be able to view the map in more detail, and then started viewing others that were created and shown on the same web page.  Maps are amazing at packing in a ton of information into a very small space.  Szeto mentioned their storytelling ability through the process of visualizing information.  I think this information is much more effective when carefully thought-out and laid out into a color-coded map, than if the information were just written in paragraph form.

Joe Duffy talked about how eclectic inspiration is – how it comes from so many different sources – that it is impossible to point to one object or idea this is the MOST inspiring.  He mentioned nature as inspiration many times, and I can really relate to that because when I need inspiration I don’t always turn to books or the Internet, but instead go outside to view the nature.  I was really interested in this brand work that he created for the Bahamas so I visited his personal website to check it out.  The way she really thinks about his designs is really inspiring.  They are so aesthetically pleasing but even more so logical and carefully and meticulously thought-out and planned.

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