I’m hoping people on Core 77 will join me in a discussion about designers and design firms that do work that’s creative and unconventional in its use of color and size and form and imagery.
I’m really not sure what the proper terms are to describe this type of design – although “Alice in Wonderland” and “fantasy” come to mind.
For example, in my opinion, Philippe Starck and Marc Newson incorporate some Alice in Wonderland or fantasy-type design into their work. I’m also a big fan of some of the things I saw at the Droog Design exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York a couple of years ago. Some of the sets in a few Stanley Kubrick films come to mind too (e.g., A Clockwork Orange).
I’m interested to know of other designers and design firms – some well-known, some not well-known – as well as whether or not what I’m trying to describe might fall into a particular design discipline.
That’s cool. I just wanted to make sure the question was framed quickly before you had everyone who owns, or works for a Design firm putting up their firm’s ad to you. Because, basically, every firm is capable of doing this kind of work. It is more whether or not the client is willing to take a chance on that kind of work.
Mmm… what about Luigi Colani? Memphis Design group (Ettore Sottsass etc)? Philips Design usually do quite a lot of concept work (Ambient Intelligence).
Thing is, it’s unusual for people to specialise in highly fantastical and conceptual design as there is essentially no income for it, but more usual for people to balance conceptual design work which is ‘futures’ based alongside fee-paying / commercial work.
I think you’re right on… that people need to balance future-focused design that might or might not go into a product/service/experience/environment with work that can be commercialized now.
I’m not trained in industrial design or architecture, but I know it (not to sound overly simple) made me HAPPY to be in a 40’s or 50’s residential or commercial building when I lived in LA… and my brain’s always STIMULATED whenever I visit Moss (http://www.mossonline.com/) now that I live in NYC.
And I’m not sure fantastic-type (I think we’re on the same page – is this the best adjective to use?) design will ever be for mass production.
I’m just curious about the designers or firms people on Core 77 think are particularly skilled at it, whenever those designers or firms get the chance.
You could take a look at the Design and the Elastic Mind book/show that was on display at the MoMA. It’s full of conceptual and fantastical design. You could also check out the book Design Noir, The Secret Life of Electronic Objects. It’s also full of great conceptual ideas of products that serve no function other than to fuel debate and discussion.
They’re not necessarily design firms but there is some interesting stuff you can find in those books.
Disney comes to mind first. Architecture is probably the most visible combination of both. Think of the buildings (can you call them buildings anymore?), like Bird’s Nest, Aquatic Center, and the CCTV ‘pants’ buildings in Beijing.
One designer (design firm) that links Disney, to Architecture, to Alessi, and Alice in Wonderland, is Michael Graves with his Swan and Dolphin Hotels in DisneyWorld, and his Alessi Tea kettle for the “Hatter’s” tea party!