Friday, May 9, 2008

Day 3

Hello and welcome to day 3 of the conference. We're watching PechaKucha presentations by eight Art Center department chairs right now. We have altered the format slightly, though (being Art Center), from 20 slides in 20 seconds to a super-charged 15 slides in 10 seconds. A challenge, but worth it.  Above, Environmental Design chair David Mocarski holds forth.

I ran into Eames Demetrios again, and he showed me his new book, hot off the press, of quotes from Eames in several languages. I am thrilled. It contains two of my favorites, "The best you can do by Tuesday is a sort of best you can do," bringing to mind the short stop-action film the Eames Office whipped together over a weekend because Charles never liked to show up empty handed (he was scheduled to appear on a TV show early the following week), and my other all-time favorite, "Innovate as a last resort," which always can be counted on to shock my students. What? Eames? The innovator, saying that? Yes indeed, grasshopper. Innovate as a last resort. Why use a wild new process / technology / idea when there is an existing one that will do the job as well? To do so would be doing something new for "newness'" sake. And to paraphrase another of my all-time heroes, Eva Zeisel...

... many times when a designer creates something different solely for the sake of doing something different, the result can be actually quite hideous. Eva is a strong advocate of the playful search for beauty, and maintains that in instead of continually searching for novelty, designers should value the search for simple variety. Her life's work is testament to the fact that creating variety is a noble occupation.

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