Browsing articles in "Blogs + Criticism + Publications"
Apr 25, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 5

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 5


Plato once observed that “although craftsmen are all poets … they are not called poets, they have other names.” This centuries old statement is very telling about the design industry today – a semantic notion that allows people to classify and assume, which skips process.
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Apr 21, 2011
Zelda Harrison

XCD interviews… Christopher Scott

Christopher talks about being Irish, celebrating cross-culture and poster design

XCD: Please introduce yourself, ie., Where were you born and what neighbourhood did you grow up in? Could you tell us more about your family and how you became a designer? Who are your favourite clients/collaborators?

My name is Christopher Scott a graphic designer from Northern Ireland. I have had my posters exhibited all over the world including the Louvre France, Italy, Peru, Spain, USA, Bolivia, Korea and many more. I was brought up in a village called Donaghmore of which I do not remember much about. The three things which are clear in my mind: the house number was 18, all the kids played football after dinner until we could not see the ball because of the darkness and finally I drew pictures of my favourite characters ‘Super Mario’ and ‘Teenage mutant hero turtles’. I would then sign them, go around the houses in my neighbourhood and sell them for 50p so I could buy sweets in the local shop.

As long as I can remember I was always drawing and painting. Which continued until the year 2003; I was 17 years old. I became very bored with the drawing and painting process because I felt that I was not creating anything unique. I started to search for other methods to use my creativity and I randomly turned on the computer one day in school and opened up the program Microsoft Paint. I just started experimenting and within 3 hours everyone had surrounded me and saying the work is amazing.

I have collaborated with many graphic designers all over the world including Yossi Lemel, Reza Abedini, Woody Pirtle, Hervé Matine, Utpal Pande and many more. I also really enjoy working with Ryan O’Neill and Mark Douglas who are local photographers in Northern Ireland.

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Apr 21, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 4

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 4


How are the terms art and craft perceived today, when the lines between traditional silos are becoming more and more indistinguishable ? These perpetual questions can perhaps be understood if we discover the essence of autonomy in the human psyche – the drive from within that compels us to work creatively, by ourselves. Continue reading »

Mar 21, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Cape Town’s Creative Class

There’s nothing more inspiring–and encouraging!– than municipal support for creatives. Cape Town’s world class creative scene is a testimonial to the efforts of municipal leaders united with the arts/crafts communities. Read on for the latest event in the Western Cape of South Africa.

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Mar 6, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 3

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 3


Richard Sennett, author of the lauded book The Craftsman, teaches that “machine systems break down when they don’t work in an explicit manner, whereas people make discoveries”.  It seems slightly ironic then, that the most ubiquitous tool for design today is the computer, singularly capable of providing direct experience through sight. There is a loss of the sensitivity that came from detailed handwork that was required by graphic designers twenty years ago, before computers.

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Feb 7, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand, No. 2

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 2

The United States experiences Japan, in large part, through its design culture — from ancient ceramic traditions and minimalist architecture, to today’s high-tech gaming, fashion, and technologically driven lifestyle. Design is a traditional and necessary function of everyday life – fully ingrained into Japanese lifestyle. This is what makes design in Japan so dynamic, and allows creativity to permeate the society in a way that is unique to the Archipelago.
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Jan 30, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lightspeed and the Human Hand

Jonathan Arena explores art, craft and design in Japan: Entry # 1

Recently, I was given the opportunity to visit and work in Japan for a month. While I
was there, I began compiling photographs and writing to help satiate my interest in the
relationship between art, craft and design. These journal entries reflect that intent.
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Jan 17, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Diseño Shakespear tells the story of Icono

Like all good brands, Icono has a story to tell.

XCD would like to thank our contributor from Argentina, Diseño Shakespear, for this lyrical case study in branding.

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Jan 10, 2011
Zelda Harrison

Lessons Learned from Michael Bierut @ Pentagram

XCD caught up with Pentagram partner Michael Bierut in South Africa and picked his brain about Design. Here is a lively discussion about his experiences with New York City’s Library project.

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May 2, 2010
Zelda Harrison

Sebastian Guerrini: The Social and Political Life of Images

Our contributor from Argentina formulates a theoretical framework on how identities are shaped by images.

Identities are built in a process of identification which is related to the social life of images. For this reason, it is important first to analyse what an image is.

There are many definitions of what an image is. As Mitchell pointed out, Plato relates the definition of image to that of an idea, whose root idein means to see (Mitchell, 2006: 348). Likewise, the image has also been defined as imitation in itself relating its name to the Greek term imitari, to imitate (Barthes, 1991: 21). Later, Maimonides defines the image as likeness such as in the “man’s creation in the image and likeness of God” (Mitchell, 1986: 31), as a series of predicates, listing similarities and differences, as an essential reality of a thing.

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