Writing editor’s column on the crisis in all its forms is somehow awkward. This topic provides fair consideration without my humble participation. However, it would be too artificial to ignore the situation that appeals to us all, without any exception. But I would like to approach it from a little unexpected side. Lately, just with the arrival of all this financial and economic turmoil, art and design life has surprisingly revived. Good exhibitions open one after another, some interesting stir is happening in Saint-Petersburg galleries, the neighbor Finns, who are also being active in this field, are preparing a great design landing in our place. Just to mention, however, that is what we see out of our anthill. This view is entirely subjective, partly because we have the direct relevance to the organization of a certain part of designers’ life.
Most likely, this activation of the creative life can be explained by the fact that the decline in object design and the forced stop of conveyors at many design studios have released a certain amount of time and energy of people who are not used to sittind idle in any situation. They somehow always invent newactivities they like, whether it’s work on another customer’s brief or even some non-profit venture. In addition, the cause may be internal needs to response to external adverse circumstances — say, we transcend any adversity! If it doesn’t kill you it’ll just make you stronger, being f…ed, growing even stronger; and other hackneyed quotations of folk wisdom. Possible, there really is something true about the fact that the way to pure art and a variety of creative ideas opens during financial difficulties? In this regard, I can’t help recalling the unprecedented revival of artistic life in Petrograd in late 1910s — early 1920s. I think there’s no need to remind what a difficult period of history the rise came in.
I personally know of many bright and talented designers who are now returning to once unfinished dissertations, who arrange exhibitions, get engaged in teaching, raise some interesting non-commercial projects — in short, they’re doing all the things that previously did not have enough time for in the daily stress of their work schedule. The main thing, in my opinion, is to enjoy what you are doing, to be happy about your job every day and to share this joy with all those around you. To focus not only on the final result, but also the creative process itself. And then any crisis won’t seem that terrible — spit a lot of saliva upon it!
Projector № 1(6) 2009
There has been published a new Projector, the first in 2009 and the sixth altogether. The editorial keeps subjectively covering interesting design issues that we spotted from the top of our editirial anthill. It would be artificial to ignore the global crisis, but also unduly to pin-point it. Projector has responded to the crisis in their own way, particularly - with the Project № 4 «Subject» got an anti-crisis column «Tips and Tricks».
Projector shares the achievements and significant events that have occurred in the editorial’s life over the past three months. Among these achievements, a very special one is the collaboration of the magazine and Loft Project ETAZHI, marked with the launch of a new weekly program I can SEE! Graphic Design stars visiting the Loft Project ETAZHI. The curator of the program is the senior editor of Projector. All guests of the program I can SEE! are the real stars of the profession. Their works have won dozens of prestigious international awards, they are kept in major museum collections in the world, monograph on their art come out in Russia and abroad. Simultaneously, they are all they active participants in of today’s design life. Getting all of them together as participants of an event used to be organized only by the most serious Russian and international exhibitions. Complex programs of such level didn’t exist in Saint-Petersburg, so many participants of the program will show their works in our city for the first time. In the spring season of I can SEE! will participate (in the impassive chronological order): Anastasia Beltyukova (Saint-Petersburg), the Group Pprofessors: Andrey Lublin and Maria Zaborovskaya (Saint-Petersburg), Alexander Faldin (Saint-Petersburg), Yuri Gulitov (Moscow), Vladimir Chaika (Moscow ), Konstantin Startsev (Saint-Petersburg), Ilya Ruderman (Moscow), Mikhail Karasik (Saint-Petersburg), Alexander Linetsky (Saint-Petersburg), Erken Kagarov (Moscow), Andrey Logvin (Moscow), Emil Yakupov (Moscow), Ilya Pavlov and Maria Norazyan (Kharkov). In addition to demonstrating the works, the value of the program I can SEE! is the presence of the authors. The audience will have the opportunity to ask the guests questions and have a live chat, which, as a rule, is impossible even when visiting the most representative exhibition.
The first theme project «Personification» opens with the article Zang Tumb Tumb by Mikhail Karasik. Connoisseurs of the history of design will immediately recognize that this is one of the forefathers of Futurism, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, and the article name is taken from the cover of one of his famous books. The publication is just in time — this year we are celebrating the centenary of Futurism!
«Personification» project continues with a big (five-spread!) material devoted to Lukova. Luba is a US graphic designer, whose works are known worldwide. When three spreads were to be publidhed, the editors could not fit the material in them — the works are so good! In addition, we didn’t want to cut the text written by Anna Kozhara, our author, on the materials of the talk with Ljuba so much, that we had to sacrifice other publications and place them for a time into the editorial portfolio and give this unique material 10 pages.
The traditional author’s column of Olga and Alexander Florensky «Russian Design» this time is filled about the project Humble architecture. With the humor and design-linguistic finesse, characteristic to the Florenskys, the authors publish projects of various structures from the Tower for having fireworks to Masts for maintaining the flag unfolded.
The articles of the project №3 «Lettering» as if reecho each other. Their authors come to a kind of a dialogue on the pages of the magazine. Jerry Kelly, in continuation of his article about the type reconstructions (the beginning of the article was published in the previous issue) writes: «Inevitably, along with original modern fonts there will always be the reconstructions of the earlier classic fonts, a complementing the modern font palette».
And Ilya Ruderman, abundantly commenting his own works on the pages of the magazine, remarks: «As long as the visual language of communication uses symbols, they will require uniqueness. Even if the number of types will be equal to the number of people on the planet — you can also imagine, each of us to have our own font that is unique to us and no one else — even in this case, font changes will be required — because the font will have to chane while its owner is getting mature».
Project № 4 «Subject» opens with an article by Anna Balagurova 16 Animali. It is dedicated to the project of the Italian designer Enzo Mari. The set of 16 animal figures is a wooden jigsaw, the design icon of the twentieth century, that has not only turned into an art object out of a toy, but also has become the embodiment of the long-term analytical research of Marie as a designer-theoretician. The object can be seen live at the 100 objects of Italian Design exhibition, within three months on display in the Loft Project ETAZHI.
Further on, among the items already mentioned, there’s the new «anti-crisis» article and the column «Subject», that has already become permanent, showing the most significant achievements of design from the collection Vitra. In this issue, read the story by Nina Filyuta about the creation by the Bouroullec brothers — Vegetal chair.
The two publications for the Project №5 «Environment» have been prepared by the senior editor Mitya Kharshak on his own impressions from visiting Masters’ House in Dessau. The houses by Walter Gropius, Lionel Feininger and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, George Mucha and Oskar Schlemmer, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky are now included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Read more about their history and the present day in the articles Master’s House and The Black Room.
In the project №6 «Interactive» the member of the editorial board Michael Shulenin examines in detail the online experiment called Dontclick.it, and the columnist of Projector Dmitry Nikiforov carefully looks through the online portfolio of the studio Bionic Systems.
Project № 7 «Photography» is dedicated to the wonderful Saint-Petersburg photographer Andrey Chezhin. Andrew himself has written the text about him and his reliable camera Horizon, which helps him take magical and incomprehensible images.
In terms of the project №8 «School» Sergy Helmyanov talks about his experience of supervising diploma projects — how the work was going on and what difficulties he faced in the graduation project by Nadezhda Stefanovic, defenced last year at the Department of Design at «Mukha».
And finally the project №9 «Books». The authority and expert on book history Mikhail Karasik tells the story of ridiculous pages of the national book history of the 1930s in the publication Wearing a gas-mask.