19 03 November
- Spent most of this week exploring Zurich, Ella was over there to talk at the Museum of Digital Art and I tagged along for a bit.
- Switzerland is such a fucking joy to visit as a designer. Even just going to the design museum we caught the brilliant Materials and Technology exhibition, Information Design Today, Josef Muller-Brockmann Photographic Experiments, Ideal Living and the Swiss Federal Railways retrospective. And because Zurich is tiny we could just walk down the road and see Vera Molnar at the Museum of Digital Art, Takesada Matsutani at Hauser & Wirth, Bob Eikelboom at Barbara Seiler and United by Aids at the Migros Museum. They’re really not into photographing exhibitions though so no swag photos sorry.
- Ernst Keller’s Das neue Heim posters1 are even more striking in person though. I’d always believed it was a mistake about them being designed in 1928 but now I’m starting to accept it might be true.
- The curation at the Zurich design museum is so much more relaxed, fun and confident than the London design museum. I guess that comes from not having to prove your own worth over and over.
- I’ve discovered one of my new favourite things is watching middle-aged women vehemently (and knowledgeably) arguing with each other over the merits of a Muller-Brockmann identity manual.
- Sounds bullshit but the district we were staying in had a solid vibe too. Really reminded me of the hipster neighbourhoods I loved in Antwerp, and Ella of Park Slope.
- “It reminds me of what sweden was like before… before they started privatising everything”
- Chatting to a bunch of swiss engineers after Ella’s talk, they kept emphasising the point that an unintended consequence of how long it takes to change anything in switzerland is that it incentivises politicians to invest in infrastructure rather than rushing out quick fixes
- Design is just sort of everywhere there. Felt like I’d posted too much to instagram so I just sort of stopped at a point, so here’s some of the street posters that didn’t make the cut on there2 3 4 5 6.
- While I was there I read Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow’s book about his Weinstein sexual investigation and the fallout afterwards. If I’m going to recommend you read one book this year this is the one, it’s just very good.
- Powerful old white men will do anything to pretect each other. Don’t be that old white man.
- Also 😑 Seth Freedman’s Guardian page still doesn’t mention his involvement, which I wish was the only reason I’ve had to distrust their reporting standards this year.
- Talking about powerful old white dudes (and The Guardian) I’m appreciating Hugh Grant more as he gets older.
- Also into Organic Lab on instagram rn.
- This Ecal student made an interactive history of scrollbars which got me in the nostalgic feels.
- Same for this Pitchfork review of Lets Get Free which if you’re my age is an album that meant EVERYTHING at a certain point.
- Weeknotes are a bit late because I also read the new Kenya Hara book Designing Japan. There’s a chapter in it about designing your home around how you like to spend your time, and well one thing led to another and I’ve spent the last two days moving everything in our apartment.
- Yeah I underestimated how long it would take to move all our books down a full flight of stairs and almost lost my shit, but I eventually got it done. Thanks for all the inspiration Kenya.
- Tbh going to try and ignore the last chapter in the book where Kenya gets a bit retrograde about how women should be staying the home. He’s old, and a lot of the old male designers seem to struggle with women in the workplace :(
- But also.
- There’s a bit of me that wishes the publishers had edited that section out. We don’t need to know it. But the other part of me is glad they didn’t whitewash it.
- Anyway the White Pube published this article on Dazed about how to deal with being on the receiving end of professional tokenism7 8 9 10 11 12. It’s smart, I agree with it 100% and it made me cry a little. Have a good week everyone.
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