Reading Response – Age of Information

Massimo Vignelli’s philosophy in design was inspiring. I love this quote from him in the interview:

‘If we need something and we can’t find it, then we design it.’

It was such a simple idea, yet have and could lead to the creation of great designs. The usage of a standardised way of working allow modern artists (designers) to create works that are not just practical, but also of wide variety depending on the subject they want to tackle.Massimo’s idea of the terms ‘information architecture’ and ‘visual communications’ also allowed us to understand what design really means. There is now a clear shift of art as a form of self-expression to art to solve problems.

Massimo’s philosophy on quality as an attitude and a way of living is also commendable. It is also interesting to compare this idea with artworks from the past, which have never really talked about quality before, as if it is something that is established as one’s style. Having this sense of quality perhaps builds a person’s reliability in business and therefore makes design a skill that is not just beneficial to society but also in demand. This shift of the way art-making is done perhaps shaped the idea of corporate identity and branding. With that, I believe Massimo have laid the foundation to modern visual communications.

I felt overwhelmed thinking about how design have came to this point, and how weird it is that design have only existed recently. Before Constructivism, artworks are not always made for social reasons, which is a huge contrast to what we have currently where we always consider external factors in art-making in order to find it meaningful. It is funny how the world changes, and with globalisation and digital technologies, I am sure there will be more ahead of us to discover.

Reading Response – The Modernist Era

The first essay questioned modernism on its ideals of abstraction and universalising design. I somewhat agree with his viewpoint, as it is impossible for designs to be solve every problem in the world. Yet, this very idea push designers to look beyond what is physically possible, and push designers to consider every aspects of their design to be as universal as possible. Certainly, though, the movement could have taken on a better viewpoint rather than its cold take on design. Design do require at least a slight bit of human touch, rather than cold and harsh rules. Nonetheless, Modernism do developed an interesting style that speaks of itself and its time that I feel was necessary for the movement of history.

The second essay got me questioning if we would be able to still do design without going through the training required of us. I feel that the idea of setting rules and guides for designers is an interesting step towards the future during Modernism. Together with proper training, designers could grasp, or even master both the technical skills and creative thought process. I feel that the existence of Modernism have brought upon a greater good than what it may seem to be. Without it, design would be so out of reach for people, it would have probably not evolved to what it is now.

The third essay talks about the evolution of Modernism where designers start inputting their own creativity into the designs. Designers are more interested in visual communications and problem solving, which turns design into a more personalised process.

Modernism, despite its extreme viewpoint, is an essential step in history for designers to realise they are part engineer, part artist. The rules guide the designer, and the designers add their own personality and creativity into their designs. Design is able to reach its current state now because of Modernism. However, I feel that design is still evolving. Who knows, we can be the next person to start a movement to evolve design further into something greater?