Bookmaking boom


<music> this is monaco on design. Monocle weekly show dedicated to the best in architecture industrial design graphics and fashion. I'm josh bennett coming up today and they identified or identified to them. A serious issue of pathogens is needing sunglasses. Ali strafford editor in chief of the lustrous design quarterly desert neo is in studio unpacking few design minded fines for the summer plus us too foamy. Those books remind me to experiment because to experiment to try things and even to make mistakes. I think that is crucial so if you want to developing dipping back into a discussion with a boom the dutch design maestro whose majestic work on the printed page is under the title the queen of books long may she reign that coming up right here on monocle design on monocle twenty four do stay tuned and a very warm welcome to on design. We're beginning today's program with a survey of some of the bigger design stories. Perhaps some you've missed this week a month. I'm delighted to say that i'm joined in studio by friend of the show scholar and editor in chief of that fabulous design quarterly design. You only holly stratford. Welcome back. Thanks much the warm welcome and you've prepared a rather peaceful series of stories to run us through some that people may be aware of. We talk about apple. Some the biggest companies in the world and some people may have missed and i wanted to start off because there's nothing i love more than an acronym takes longer to say than the actual name of a company eh. We're gonna talk about the merger of aisha khan and very good improper which apparently has said v._g._a. In p g e yeah. It's kind kind of fun to say the g._m. Pierce of pulse yeah it's quite a sweet story really somma tends to be a little bit of a downtime design industry not masses happen so not view view or not nervous for the wicked but this was the story which has just been announced his quite intriguing so ice accomplice to plywood furniture commanded factor and warm which has this very storied history so icicle grows out of jack pre charts icicle on furniture company which is found the first half of the twentieth century and they work with the loss of the sort of bowel house exiles when they come across to <hes> leafy north london from <hes> germany and they produced some really nice works. I think <hes> breueh doesn't pieces for them. For instance and then over the course of the twentieth century is a conservative and sort of <hes> favor fortune sorry go up and down a little bit until its reform tres is complex and they worked with some really significant contemporary designers so bob reynolds cabeza of the big ones and they have a nice product range but having always it goes in the attention of that heritage tich in history deserves so the partnership with very good improper should much more recent company founded in two thousand eight. Thank join me highs of the financial crash. Gosh they've done very well. All things considered well. I the thing i wanted to ask you is elvis. Mergers fraught with opportunities in that fraught with potential dangers. They're going to move if the production to <hes> the v._g._a. And p premises but i suppose this will give is a con a the capacity to make more spurs different equipment and access to to new resources which perhaps the company has lacked fee g._n._p. Have done a kitten our offices. Should i say facebook for google for bbc. There's a there's a difference is in scale. Which i suppose could be a good thing. I think they both benefit from it. So icicle absolutely feature m._p.'s network. I think will bring them to a much broader and chen <hes> particularly taking internationally in exchange icicle really really strong omay king. They have really great prototyping and sort of expertise within that company so i think v._j. V._j. Have worked with them on that basis for number of years and i suppose this is formalizing it a little bit so they came to position it as a sort of win win so i guess the take home from this says it's nothing to do with brexit apparently which is one thing that both companies have said and i suppose that we need to we need to keep an eye on icicle plus potentially moving more into the commercial world and g._m. Pe- perhaps you know shopping some of the products for maybe the domestic market who knows next up. I'd like to talk about apple an insurmountable big company about which i know almost nothing although i have many of their products surrounding me as we speak apple investing in augmented reality war on us. Are they doing such thing only well. I suppose it's brave new digital future and all the excitement virtual worlds. It's it's quite a nice initiative so apple launched at a trio of augmented reality programs in their stores. Some are based in stalls. Others are artists walks around the city's not so you experience an augmented version of hong kong paris london or whatever and they've partnered with the whitney museum so incorrect the new museum in new york to commission artists for that so that's a nice new program and i think ties into some broader shifts are apple so so apple of course recently losing johnny i've that long-term design had the sort of industrial designer at on the map and made it that kind of archetype of design zayn leads company. He's off to form his own consultancy. Love from that still go to work with apple has been lots of discussion about why he's leaving. I think first thing were to hang is no one knows for sure. It's all speculation but one of them will compelling arguments. I've heard is apple is no longer this kind of straight straight up purist technology company innovating new categories and putting out so the ipod the iphone apple watch and so on they become much more interested in in <hes> being a salvage company as well so they're launching a streaming service later in the year. They've just launched a credit card slightly bafflingly and i think this sort of augmented reality that ties as well. I think a lot of industries that getting more interested in experience and the provision of content and so maybe moving away from previous very product driven model they had a great insight. I <hes> i appreciate that and i suppose as sales slow and growth remains pretty sluggish and you have these big companies like alphabet investing in literally every aspect of our lives in the hope was speculation that may become important apple is kind of i suppose paying playing the stock market a little bit on its on its bets by wonder augmented reality <hes> what future season i'd love to sit in one of those board meetings and see the twenty five via plan for it because i don't think it is aren't works. No probably not i suppose this is more a way to get people involved with the technology and to open it up beyond just being a sort of tool or technology and make it into more of an experience i agree. I don't think it's going to be the future or anything like that but yeah i think it sort of sugaring the pill a little bit and getting people used to it and seeing what they can make ed in this kind of friendly open format and only it also like to talk about the new hires for heads of diversity at chanel and gucci yes <hes> sienna patched has joined chanel head of diversity and inclusion gucci has just made hi dissimilar appointment after scandals earlier this year so i think this is something you can see more of an in principle. I think it could be a very good idea like leaving aside. The specific people in those positions don't know them. I don't know that work so it wouldn't be familiar. Judge who so even-handed should host this in principle. It's it's not a bad thing for a company to signal that it takes these issues seriously by poten someone in that role the issue is it's very hard to know what that roll exactly is like you can't just look online and see the job description as to what they're doing so i've found at least reporting on it so far to be this very muddled and muddy the situation of well. Is this person responsible for policing the output of the design students coming in the collections of justice sort of last check check to make sure there's nothing racist in their nothing bigoted in any way or are they responsible also for hiring. Do they have a say diversity in the design team because that's the issue that comes up again and again and i think it's not that clear. I think there's also a little bit. Maybe of an arms race of clearly companies have identified. There's an issue here and rightly so and it's good they're doing something about it but perhaps a little bit of competition to be seen as the company doing the most about it and using in itself maybe as a marketing tool. I don't need specific examples. If that's the case but in general i wouldn't be surprised and finally a topic about which i'm allowed to be a little flippant. I hope <hes> poppins need sunglasses lifesaver favorite project in the long time so the interaction research studio goldsmiths university and i think they're a little bit of an underappreciated gem in some mice. They go for a number of years and they do any number of fabulous projects. There's one my nature watch for instance where they've been making these kind of hacked cameras. You can make aac ovserv- often and you've got laying around the house to create little camera traps for birds and things like that and it's just a a sort of group of designers who play around a little bit they prototype very rapidly they find situations they can get involved in and they identified or it was identified to them. A serious issue of pathans thins needing sunglasses some serious issue. It's a very serious issues very important. They've got to look cool. It was actually for some scientific research so they they were looking into bioluminescence in puffins bakes. God knows why but i'm glad someone's doing it and as part of the testing you have to shine new light which is very damaging to to is if <hes> it shines directly on them so it is flippant and it is ridiculous but it's also lovely and has a serious side so they made these little salute really well put together sunglasses that pop onto the beak and the path is happy. Then really funny thing is that they're not allowed any photography of the pathogens because the scientists are worried. It's sort of diminishes the work a little bear and potentially if you put out images of your t. remaking patterns where sunglasses on twitter or the web that could deteriorate quickly as a situation. I think the great irony of that is that someone is not taking the best west marketing opportunity. I've ever heard to get to to get their work. Known so it you're right yeah very laudable and i would recommend people look them up. The interaction research watch studio at goldsmiths. They religion sappy less work and sadly that's all we have time for with ali. Thank you so much for coming in. You're listening to monaco on design in a moment. We'll be speaking to defeated dutch book designer irma boom. Don't go away now. Dutch designer irma boom has been rethinking thinking book design since the nineteen eighties and her work which sees her approach these structure and flow of a book with the scrupulous eye of architect goes well beyond the front cover due judge a book by its cover. She seems to say she's collaborated with artists such as a laugher eliason plus design and fashion brands numbering vitro and chanel l. o. n. She's won awards of course including the leipzig gutenberg prize for uncompromising experimental an artful creations in february two two thousand and nineteen. If you remember that monaco's business editor venetia rainy herself claims to be half dutch spoke to the designer during a visit to studio in amsterdam. I'm i'm a bookmaker in amsterdam. I have a small office with two assistance. Intern and dad work doc twenty four seven twenty four seven. What are you working on at the moment. What's the project taking up your time so i'm working on always on many any projects always think that i'm lazy so did i need a lot to do. I always keep plates in the air and that gives me a lot of adrenaline and you mentioned that you're working on something for the next museum. Can we talk about that yeah. So i work already. I think fifteen years for the museum even when they were so-called closed. This small part was opened and i started working for them and they reopened. I think six years ago five years ago and then they asked me to make the logo oh go and i always thought if to speak museum opens invited bec- designed office or agency to work on their new identity but they asked me so the tiny tiny office and as i read a logo for them with a space x space museum which people were not happy with it because does in holland rex museum one word but in the netherlands we have to so-called space police and the space police said is was wrongly at the national museum for sure to expel cakes museum right and it's as one word but i thought axis situ weird words words so i wanted to make it more as an image also we have to let i j which is a sound which only dutch people can pronounce and and then there were museum is generic so i saw two specific and generic and then we have to space. It's very special but anyway. It goes a lot of rumor more but in the end people said well. I didn't change the word museum. I made a logo so it's artistic freedom and professors from <hes> universities were all protecting me and giving arguments why it was good what i did but anyway i work for the museum and before i did small works with hedge museum but now i do all their books which is amazing and i also do design exhibitions and that's when we fantastic's how at the moment there are two new exhibitions in both we designed especially the older rembrandt exhibition which is amazing using that the museum shows all rembrandt's they have which is about four hundred works. The paintings are on a grey wall so it's a combination addition of blue and gray to blue walls are in sort of a harmonica so clearly you do stuff other than books which a lot of people not do you get sick of being known as the queen of books being sold like that over. I am the book person i think even if i make an exhibition s a book designer. I'm also an editor and in my little red book. I also say that you can compare to work. I'm doing like a film film director. It's all about giving direction like elements of architecture which i did with remco has i was also to say the director i made this sort of system how to read a book with two thousand five hundred pages so it's giving directions it's editing and <hes> helping people how to manage so much information. It's really yeah directing but to make an exhibition is exactly the same. It's also making direction and helping people how to get the best out of it. If they spend an hour two hours in a museum you need to help them how to look and where to look and what is interesting and that's directing but in a very seamless way if people go to the museum. It's a rembrandt exhibition. They hardly feel my design but it's definitely definitely there and it's the same way for example to edmonds of architecture book. It's sort of concept. It's an idea which i do without compromise and for me. Making an exhibition is making a book. A making a book is making an exhibition for me. The difference is not that big but i'm bookmaker. Making books is what i do ninety eight percent of my job. I'm really intrigued by something that i read that you said in another interview. He said said that you work is never never art but you do consider architecture. Where's that line few and why why is it never why does that the well i went to art school <hes> to become a painter and i saw that for me but it's really the reason if you're a painter in the best way like there was a an artists artists in the netherlands called. Dan holden which i admire hugely. He was his autonomous person who marketing you. You didn't even know the words. I died unfortunately a few years ago but he did whatever he wanted to do and he always had to necessity not from inside to make screen to make a painting to make a photograph us over him to medium doesn't matter it was the i which was made it data hold a peace and dan didn't produce that much work. He only did what he thought he should do so for me i had this enormous admiration and i didn't know what to do. When i was at article and studying painting i didn't know what to do. I really thought i need somebody to ask me something. Then i get to work so for me. There is a sort of difference that if you want to make something that it's like an artist it's comes from yourself. It's not not commission of course in the museum on from mir the old commission but they also were autonomous thinkers and makers and i had to feeling feeling that i needed to be commissioned and therefore we is the the line. Do you have a book that you're most proud of or perhaps a book that you feel didn't quite get to the place. He wanted it to get too well. It's interesting so if i give a lecture somewhere i always bring the real books. I never show a p._d._f. Semi books are not p._d._f.'s d-fs because i work with the book and how a book functions so it's turning the pages. There is a sequence stairs waits. There's ears smelled sized as a proportion so for me. That's really important so if i give a talk every suitcase <hes> <hes> looks always want suitcase because books are so heavy halley bucks. Can you not see it depends what i bring before always to two suitcases with twenty one books. I am daughtry into numerology. It always has to do something with three so to kosovo last week abroad twelve books because one and two is three so the books i always bring is the s. h. Fee thing book. I made started to make nine thousand nine hundred ninety which was a pivotal moment in bookmaking because then internet was new embassy became more democratic because it was of course chorus already there but then people started to use it and that was a jubilee book for <hes> multi-national based here in the netherlands and then. I thought well if you get a project project on which you can work five years. Let's do something special but then in the end it was so new to new media by the end after five years imagine if we would have made a c._d.-rom d._v._d. Didn't exist then you couldn't play it anymore. So that's why i decided to make a book but the book based on the idea of internet so that's a book. I always rain because i tell that story y. And it's progress two thousand one hundred thirty six pages is really important because because it gives a voyage like searching on the internet it's browsing through book. You find saints. You're not looking for neil array around so that book for me is really early in my career a moment then i've ring one set of old books. It's the socal postage-stamp books i made in ninety ninety eight thousand eight their books which even if i show is now. It looks if i made yesterday. They don't look dated at all. They're thirty one years. Old can believe it feel really old but those books are show because when i made those books i was working for the state for the government printing and publishing house but i was fearless i was young and i was totally fearless designer and i. I wish i was as fearless as then so for me. Does books remind me to experiment because to experiment to try things and even to make mistakes. I think that is crucial. If you want to develop an if you want to develop in for me in making then i bring the chanel book where i didn't use any english about chanel five and it was a book for an exhibition in the politico a few years ago and that book a show that that's for me the ultimate book where the book doesn't exist as a p._d._f. At all it only exists as deep impeach you have in your hands so book cannot be more a book acition albuque- embossed fatty read it. You need it so you can definitely read it. Nothing when there's no light but then you cannot read any book we're sitting in my studio here now so them with some sunlight's nights so it's a wide book only embossing text and image is embossed and i came up with that idea because i think this you smell. I have chanel anelle whereas since i'm fourteen chanel so it's very present but you don't see it and i wanted to make a book which basically don't see yet is very present and saw dan i thought how can i achieve it and then i thought well by embossing indeed bossing as it's a book which has a proportion of chanel a now bottle chanel five and it's five centimeters thick so i do a lot of counting when i'm designing. I'm always it's not oh. I do this or that. Everything has a reason and we because i consider myself as a designer to always have to find reasons why i'm doing things i'm curious. Areas is to what kind of books you read judge books by their cover when you're selecting them for your own pleasure well i think it is interesting when books are are well designed and thought of is not about good or bad actually but we're a good thought i became a book designer because of cover design and because of the contender tender in the sixties and seventies we had a wonderful famous author called young volkers and you worked with one of the greatest step worker purpose in the netherlands called young for america. If you see the cover and if you read the books it's extremely good fit and that's actually why i became book designer. I read the books and then the teacher told me why cover what's a good and because of that notion because i didn't look at it. I didn't even think about it. I realized that there is a profession called book design or graphic design. I didn't know but somebody tell me and if you see those book's content and form are one and they're extremely well-made. I have a library here above my studio and in the library of books from the sixties and from fourteen hundred and fifteen hundred and the books which are in my library. I'm rereading because i really want to know oh yeah. I read him years ago. But what were they about. I'm rereading my own library. I spent last year five months studying at the vatican library library and they're also realized if you make books you make books for the future because what i studied there were books from five five hundred after christ seven hundred fifty after christ and then up to fourteen hundred fifteen hundred because after that the book becomes very standardized as we know is so i see books as part of culture and for me a book container thought and because it's it's not changeable. It's fixed information and you have to turn the pages. I think that notion makes the book extremely valuable so even maybe again again elements of architecture because it's recent book room collazo and harvard g._s._t. There we worked for six years on collecting or making also no more an encyclopedic on the floor on the wall on the window on the ceiling fifteen elements to collect knowledge or thought in edited. It's form which for me is the book and print it in the book. The book becomes a reference to is really the container of thought and and if you compare it to internet where you can change anytime any seconds you never can create that one thought that reference and i think cadet sense the book is crucial to freeze a moment in time that book is that one idea and if you print something you have to think patty you can just print something to think about it because it's there will not disappear and it will be there for a long time so it is important what you do. We've internet of course you have the same because if you put a thought on the internet in one second it's all over the world but you can also take it away and that's i think the interesting the thing thing about making books that you're that it's this yet is this this frozen moment is justice. You will to set set still for for a moment and i think that's crucial. That's why i want to make books. Would you ever consider working on digital digital books. Something that is frozen but is very flat. Does that appeal to you as well <hes> yeah but i think the whole idea of a book dakota x. existence existence four hundred after christ before we had to pyros etcetera and for me. A book is really the if i think of a book it's a paper book and i think that you read or kindle is something else. Of course it's text and it's inflammation and i'm really interested to you to work on it. Nobody ever asked me and i wonder why a really i think it would be super interesting to do. Is your chance e reader. Commissioners says abbas wasting yes. Come come. Come come but it's the same with the whole idea websites. I do work on on the idea of website because i think it's crucial crucial and i also think that we are talking you today. Because i'm the book designer in the time of digital h. and i could articulate. It must more than than maybe if there was no internet so i'm i'm very aware of of what a book is so. I take your late it. I made a book for victorian ralph which also here it's a book. I don't carry because it's too big so don't show it on lectures. I i always wanted to go if people if i do a lecture somewhere would they have so that they bring them so i don't have to carry them at anyway this book with only cover so i really try try to to find a significance of what still a book is and so for me to develop the whole idea. Overbook is is important because the victorian roth book could never be a p._d._f. It's it's the object. It's the thing by turning the pages in different ways race. You can turn pages to the right turn pages to two left. It's a book with only it's called cover cover which only exists of covers. I made covers because they are our fashion designers. They work with layering. I read a book with we've sixty layers so it's like their work. It's a sculpture and and so there are many reasons to still make a book designer <hes> boom speaking to monaco's venetia rainy back in february twenty nine teen. Sadly that's all we have time for on today's show forget. If you'd like to hear more design stories you can subscribe to this show off our sister show monocle on design extra. How do we come up with these names. It's it's available each thursday. You could also head till local newsstand and see color copy of monaco's summer weekly newspaper an issue of the monthly magazine or if you'll i think the monaco drinking and dining directory which have now monaco on design was produced by tom hold. It was edited by may evans. I'm josh bennett. Thank you very much for listening snake goodbye.

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