Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Radical Modernism

I've been chewing on an interesting book by graphic designer Dan Friedman who eschews meditations on the state of design. In the 70s, Dan Friedman studied in the School of Design in Basel, but despite his formal Modernist training, he found avenues for self-expression, and spontaneity within his own practise.

The text was written during a time of upheaval in design history, brought about by a generational changing of the guard, and access to new technologies. Instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, Dan Friedman postulates a middle-ground, "radical modernism" between the two extremes of Modernism and Post-Modernism, where experimental, subjective style can live within the foundations of rational modernist processes. It is interesting to see the two sides pitted against each other from our vantage point in 2014, but I too, seem to wrestle with similar internal conflicts with my own design work.

"The conflicts are largely generational, and battles are often fought on moral grounds. For example, the older generation tends to find the greatest freedom working within restraints; the newer generation sees restraints as outmoded limitations. One groups sees simplification as the route toward a more universal communication and feels a moral obligation to overcome pervasive visual pollution; the other sees simplification as an immoral act of exclusion and a form of cultural sanitization that impedes more diverse, complex, or personal experience."

No comments:

Post a Comment