I’d like to mention from the very beginning that I’m a total ignoramus at economy and finance, so my all conclusions about the economic situation here are nothing but argumentation of an amateur and an average man, worth reading inasmuch as each of you you concern economy.
Lately, I’ve heard everywhere a lot that literally one more step — and the economy will collapse, it’s high time we froze current projects and, god forbid, didn’t start anything new, because (see as above) there’s coming the collapse in a little while. Some say it’s all going to happen after the Olympics in Sochi. Others say the crisis is already marching across the country. While we were getting the issue ready and during its press time the Central Bank started housecleaning and several banks closed one by one. These are, of course, unpleasant talks, and one may start projecting crisis consequences of different kind onto their own projects against their will. I guess, it’s all the same with us all, isn’t it?!
The only thing I’m going to do about the coming crisis — nothing! I mean, I consider this as total stupidity to bottom and freeze current issues waiting for unknown worst. Any crisis deepens when people begin to help it, hitting the panic button. Just work on what you’re good at and don’t stop for a moment. I’m probably just very lucky to be doing what I like, that’s why my private conceptual universe functions according to the laws that getting ready for the crisis and closing up the business in my view equals to «you should stop playing with my daughter, making love with my wife, meeting friends drinking wine and eating steaks, because very soon the Earth will soon bump into the world axis». Therefore everybody who predicts economic and finance terror, coming soon, are welcome to get stuffed. You’re free, goodbye.
However, don’t get me wrong, I fully concede we’ll get through new «black Tuesdays», or something completely new and more significant than the crisis of 1998 and 2008. Sooner or later, there’s no way around it. Nevertheless, this is not the reason to despond and grieve if your life has another aim except simple-minded wish of making more money.
I can remember very well how it stroke five years ago, how customers and partners reduced design and advertising budgets — life was obviously no picnic, but I never had an idea of giving up what I’d started — to close the cherished magazine because of temporary financial obstacles. Yes, it was difficult, but we managed to keep the magazine afloat. This was the time when I even introduced a joke column in Projector where I published articles on home handicrafts for men from the book Three hundred useful tips of 1957. It contained pearls of wisdom on Russian design (I’m using this term as it is regarded by Alexander and Olga Florensky), but that crisis also passed.
Don’t look forward to mishaps. Thoughtforms are material, and what you’re thinking of comes true. Just do your stuff despite any chills. In this case you’ll possibly not notice another crisis come and go.
Projector № 4(25) 2013
This issue’s pinnacle event is new printing work: I’ve bought all set of Mr Palker and Palkerson fron Yuriy Gordon in the sales. I’ve taken Mister Palkerson for headings and now I want to kick it in different conditions — large sizes, small sizes and in negative plate. That’s why the magazine has a purely lettering cover — I just like the «behavior» of the font in such a «semi-printing work» guise, while orange color is a well-tried remedy for the winter beri-beri: I’d like something bright in the middle of the autumn-winter gloom of Saint-Petersburg.
Achille Castiglioni is this issue’s main historical character. Pavel Ulyanov tells about him: «Castiglioni had participated in all Milan triennales since 1947, and in 1956 he became one of the founders of Industrial Design Association, designed several buildings in Milan, organized different installations. In 1984 he had his first personal exhibition in the Arts and Crafts Museum in Vienna, followed by next personal exhibitions in world-largest museums, for example, MoMa in 1998. Achille Castiglioni was awarded with most prestigious titles and prizes at industrial design, but his main achievement is that he made industrial projects friendlier and gave them emotional content. «Our job involves a lot of seriousness. One of my secrets is that I alwaus laugh», — said Casriglioni».
29 November Chaika brought woeful news — this day Waldemar Swierzy died. The issue had already been assembled, but I couldn’t help responding and added four more spreads. Sergey Serov, Alan le Kernec, Uwe Loesch, Vladimir Chaika, Alexander Faldin, Niklaus Troxler speak about Waldemar Swierzy. Cherished memory…
I had wanted to make a publication about Andrey Shelyutto long before. This summer I wanted him to participate in the program PosterStars in New Holland, but Andrey was elusive, that’s why only this autumn I managed to have a word with him at our editorial board. A very good and honest interview came out. «The country doesn’t have a face, identity, design. Of course, I’d like my country to have a human look. I want myself not to be sick when I try to distinguish what’s depicted on our banknotes, and I’d like our military and policemen turned into warriors and defenders of good order, putting their uniform on, I want them to like themselves and be admired by girls. I can imagine what a person feels putting this peaked cap on, — humiliation at best. And all of us, using this money and looking at these soldiers can’t feel anything but humiliation. And next come «beautifully» made newspapers as The Arguments and facts, which are scary to be opened. And next come «beautiful» TV programs. It’s a mystery for me what people can find there at all. Or, possibly, their consciousness has been transformed so much that getting information is possible this way only? I’m not sure of this. I have a better opinion of people».
Project №3 «Lettering» opens with a large lettering work by Sebastian Lemm called t.s.e., inspired by T.S. Eliot’s poetry (hense the title). This is the author’s comment on the project: «This type installation is across typo-graphics, photography and art-installation — this is the manifesto of your own creative soul-searching. I’m interested in how readable the type is in space and constant transition from the first to the second, third and fourth dimensions».
Still about letters. Andrey Kharshak thoroughly explores one of the best-known literary and graphic landmarks of the XVII century — Karion Istomin and Leontiy Bunin’s alphabet.
In the project № 4, dedicated to object design, you’ll find the publication about an item, which has already been put into circulation, by the young Russian designer Katerina Kopytina: «Creating an interesting, emotional and structurally simple product aimed for serial production wasn’t an easy task, but not only did Katerina manage to design it, but also she got over production difficulties, when it’s necessary to consider if the object is suitable for the series and try not to make it too expensive at the output». Russian design seems to have acquired a new name!
Meanwhile, we’re carrying on our co-project with Artlight. Color music acquires new objects. Read about the importance of details in this issue.
Next, Pavel Ulyanov, the well-known collector and expert in the history of the ХХ century design, shares the story of a wonderful acquisition — the convertible armchair by Carl-Johan Boman, manufactured in 1951.
Projector has been very lucky: in terms of arrangement of the First museum design biennale in Saint-Petersburg, Ralph Appelbaum, the world-leading designer of museum space, has visited here. His studio has done over 550 projects all over the world and participated in more than 250 objects’ construction. I met Ralph and he gave me a large interview on museum design.
Further on, the project №5 «Environment» represents a historical material about the House of Steel by Georg Muche and Richard Paulick in Dessau. «The opportunities to embody the latest social, architectural and construction ideas encouraged two more authors — Georg Muche and Richard Paulick — to develop their own prefab in Dessau. Actually, they faced the same challenge as Walter Gropius: technology process unification, using standard ready-made blocks and node-points, making the construction process faster and cheaper. Unfortunately, Gropius was an architect, and Muche — an artist. And although he belonged to Bauhaus school, in order to embody his own ideas he anyway had to invite Richard Paulick, an architect student, to be the co-author of his. They probably got too passionate about using a new material in house construction to consider this material’s qualities, or Paulick might have been bad at material engineering, but finally the house, completely constructed of steel panels, turned out to be totally and immediately frozen in winter and resembling of a hot oven under the summer sun».
To continue the subject of the prefabs, Saint-Petersburg resident Vadim Kondrashev, the architect and the head of Archi-Do studio, tells about his project Exiis: «We’re now facing three tasks. Firstly, to estimate its market-value, because we only know how much the prototype cost, and it isn’t the right value as these were private investments. Secondly, we need to find out the complete production cycle as we had only had private intercourse with the guys who made the customized prototype. Thirdly, we should understand the sales area as the project is to reach its customer. The conception is that one day is enough to assemble the item using a neighbor’s help. This is simple truth — we have already assembled and disassembled it ourselves in unbearable conditions».
In the project №7 «Photography» Dmitriy Konradt tells Maria Gavrilchuk: «Your hand should be holding a camera while the head is supposed to be free of any prejudice and conceptions which let into unaffected perception of the world. In this respect, Konradt is a real follower of his favourite Cartier-Вresson, who would say: «Don’t consider, don’t read, be open-minded!» A photographer is actually a person trying to be lucky: they wander along the streets, look at light, people, colors and hope everything to get assembled into a solid image. «I just record the vibrance state, — explains Dmitriy, — I’m walking in a certain mood, listening to certain music, and suddenly something strikes my eye. I take a picture, and if the shot grabs someone’s attention, this means my feelings induce their feelings and it all hasn’t been in vain».
After a short break (he missed only one issue), our expert and permanent author Sergey Yemelyanov is back in Projector. He continues the series of publications dedicated to the prominent designers who stood at the origins of the School of Soviet and, later, Russian design. In this issue there is «Y.B.», the founder of All-Russian Research Institute of Technical Aesthetics, legendary Yuriy Soloviev: «Design is the humanitarian sphere, and everything a designer makes is for people. Yuriy created the Institute, or as he called in his book, «the Institute of Hope», with his talent and charisma. «The Institute of Hope», that design will make our country and culture more humane, compassionate and kind. But 14 June 2013 it was closed, and 6 October 2013 Y.B. passed away».
And Michail Karasik, who has been exploring the history of book design in the USSR of the 1920-30s for ages, has never left the Project №9 «Books». This issue has a story about the magazine The USSR in construction: «Unlike cinemas and exhibitions aimed at mass audience, the magazine used to personally address everybody who was holding it in their hands, — from cultural luminaries and politicians to financiers and businesspeople — current and future economic partners of the Soviet Union. It came out in four languages: Russian, English, German and French. The Soviet reader of the magazine wasn’t an ordinary person but someone of the new elite born in the early 1930s. Large folio, gravure printing (mezzotint) that most accurately conveys the texture and quality of the photos, complex-designed gathering construction with multiple inserts (leporellos, booklets, schemes, tipping) — all these imaginative artefacts prepossessed, and most importantly — made one want to believe everything that happened on the pages of the magazine. Issue to issue the subscribers witnessed a colossal construction project going on all over the country and in all fields of living. In a word, its content became total construction of a new state and new men».
I fully dedicate the poject «ProArt» I’m doing in partnership with ART1 portal, Visual daily, to neglected and hidden corners of Saint-Petersburg. Not so long ago on ART1.ru a fresh series of publications by the new columnist Andrey Strelnikov was launched. With his camera at the ready, he enters remote and abandoned places of our city in order to fix the passing-away spirit of Saint-Petersburg palaces, yards and staircases. Having studied the subject, you may gеt struck with the number of untended, crumbling and adrift historical buildings in the city. Year to year Saint-Petersburg weather and time do their job, and we irretrievably lose what we must cherish — the treasures of Saint-Petersburg history and architecture. Stucco mouldings crumble, authentic carved doors and window fames get rotten, openwork lattice of staircases and balconies is covered in rust, parquet floors of palace interiors swell up. As for me, such situation is dishonorous for Saint-Petersburg. Read the articles about Faberge’s countryhouse, the Demidovs’ estate, Saint-Petersburg staircases, the palace of Princes Olga Paley and Brakgauzen manshion.
And again, after a short break, the column of fashion we’re doing toether with Aurora Fashion Week is back in Projector. The editorial board estimated the shows of the last Fashion Week from the point of view of a fashion-amateur — we estimated beauty. According to us, the three awardees of AFWR SS 2014 are: Clarisse Hieraix, Lilia Kisselenko, Leonid Alexeev. All three demonstrated mastery working with the silhouette — their exquisite designes are of graphic quality. However, Projector’s opinion is purely subjective, and, based upon our favourite collections, you can understand we’re slightly afraid of brightness and tend to appreciate a restrained color scheme.