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Talk Back: European Design Symposium

Euro Design at the IMA

Euro Design at the IMA

Let the conversation continue long after the thought-provoking Q&A sessions at the European Design Symposium on March 6th and 7th at the IMA.

Got something to say? We’d like to invite you to use this blog as a forum to ask questions and post comments about anything and everything to do with European Design.

By the way, footage from this weekend’s events will be on very soon, so keep an eye out!

Filed under: Current Events, Design, Exhibitions, Local, New Media

8 Responses to “Talk Back: European Design Symposium”

  • avatar
    Anonymous Says:

    YOUR country gave us ikea…gee thanks
    american peasant design, dumbed down.
    so i guess i agree with your statement about the lack of
    american design. I have to spend my life educating the uneducated about the IKEA syndrome.

    oh and mr. vitra and mr. alessi can you design some peasantry products for us too.

    See you tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn’t feel like this symposium is in Nuremberg again.

  • avatar
    Anonymous Says:

    I am honestly not sure why you are so angry.

    Thank you for your wisdom, anonymous, and for dedicating your life to “educating the uneducated.” You are aware that ikea did not begin for the american market. In fact ikea did not come to america for 27 years after it’s creation. So, the palatable, affordable ikea design is not entirely what you would call “american peasant design, dumbed down”. It is good (and sometimes bad) design that is able to reach a larger audience. Have you walked through the exhibit? I think possibly you need to consider that there are many levels of design appreciators, not all of whom can afford noguchi or alessi.

    Please begin this day with thoughts of honoring some great designers.

  • avatar
    3snake3 Says:

    “In your country” referring to design results? It requires both a consumer and design in order for Ikea to work. People buy what brings them happiness and helps to build their sense of self. Granted, the typical IKEA customer may not have the wisdom that you are bestowing upon them, but they are trying to diversify themselves and deepen culture. As for peasantry designs, throughout the entire conference, craftmanship has been embraced and praised. This craft comes from the working class, the designers have the realization of their limitations and have great admiration for these craftspeople. You must realize their limitations as well for being designers, not philanthropists.

    Instead of reprimanding their lackings, why not take this as an oportunity to show your skills and help the world through humanitarian design? In times of hardship, action is more valuable than words.

  • avatar
    Anonymous Says:

    I think Americans and Europeans are often like two ships passing in the night. I suspect that many of these people simply don’t have any knowledge of what is going on in the United States right now, especially as much of it differs from Europe.

    Where is the best beer in the world being made? The United States. It’s dittos for many other artisinal products, where we are really gaining on or surpassing Europe in many ways. Someone asked yesterday about the DIY ethic. This was clearly something our European friends gave blank stares to, but it is huge in the United States and I think gives a clue as to how our “design” cultures differ. Europe still, to my mind, has a high art tradition rooted in service to nobility and the moneyed elite. Whereas in the US the things really are “arts and crafts”. It’s a more grass roots phenomenon of people building their own custom bicycles, pimping out their low riders, growing sustainable produce, trying to produce a wine growing culture and industry in Indiana, doing mass market basic fashion with domestic production a la American Apparel, cranking out super-cool silk screen posters for concerts, etc. This is a very different phenomenon than the types of things our European friends have. It takes an almost “wabi” like aesthetic to appreciate at times.

    As these artisinal producers refine their craft, I think there’s room to move up the value chain and layer on the “design factory” type approach on top of it.

    In the meantime, I think the most exciting place to be in the world is the US. As craftsmanship makes a comeback, I think we are well positioned, particularly with our less rigid traditions. It’s great to see what is going on in Europe, but some of it seems too precious for my taste.

  • avatar
    matty bennett/NDF initiative Says:

    I agree with the passing ships, the U.S. believe it or not is
    primed for a new industrial/ manufacturing revolution. Manufacturing and domestic industrial design is on the rise. Many collaborative studios are incubating. Craftsmanship is of great heritage in the U.S. having only been honed for 200+ years. Our estate furniture [antiques] that were produced in the 19th century are amazing, family driven businesses or co-ops. Reflect upon the Roycrofters, greene and greene. Our soil is fertile and will provide great stability for our National industry to flourish. The U.S. is expanseful, unlike Europe, no trains and less dense leading to clusterings of the U.S. lead “New INdustrialists”movement. Just happens this movement is seeded in Indianapolis.

    The facory effect is everything, the europeans know this.
    The National Design Factory based in indianapolis, IN
    200,000 sq. ft of daily bread winning companies steeped in collaboration. has been in been on the drawing board for 3-4 years. As a director of the initiative I encourage you to embrace our endeavor. Coming fall 2009.

    Creating Creators. Creators creating.

  • avatar
    Gordon Says:

    I disagree that Americans have no design. Computers, space ships and airplanes and medical equipment are the most complicated pieces of machinery and are overwhelmingly dominated by American design. The Macintosh broke the mold in computers and has lead to Microsoft Windows. While the construction of chairs in America focuses on comfort and features like heat and massage, this is what sells to the American consumer at this time. Corning has been a successful glass maker for many years with many amazing advanced products. Eventually they spun off their old line business and went into fiber optics and then electronic display glass.I suppose the focus in America is comfort, economic rationality, technical advance and conservative progress in form. Europe may be cutting edge in attempting new forms, but Americans may be better at popularizing the best characteristics in these attempts. I think Americans need to take more risks and have more faith in their own viewpoint and talents. Hopefully this exhibit can encourage that to happen. I doubt our European friends would disagree.

  • avatar

    also i found capella’s presentation adorable and fascinating in the way his architectural language depicted his ideas………diagrams, sketches,etc…especially foreign spelled “foering” which was how he pronounced the word…we are certainly an interesting bunch, we right brain folks

  • avatar

    i write to question,confess, challenge, calm and applaud.
    first, a thunderous applause to the museum,its staff and the enthusiastic, interested public participant. this is an exciting time for us here.
    second, i’ve submitted other comments to this blog and wonder if there might be some glitch.thats my question.
    third,how about some calm.i see both ethnocentric defensiveness and self-aggrandizement on this blog….yes, the nature of design and its industry are different on each side of the ocean…i suggest we put aside judgements and simply recognize the shortcomings and assets of each. as was said, there are many shades of grey between the black and white of things.we can learn and be productively prompted by what see, comparatively, as a shortcoming and take some pride where we each shine.
    fourth, this brings me to the challenge of continuing what has begun with this exhibit and our public’s enlarged awareness. we might have another exhibit which would directly address the above-mentioned topic….”American Design Since the 80’s”….lets see what that looks like…additionally, how about a follow-up exhibit, “Indianapolis Design Today”…there is design talent in this town and now that we have sprouted more enlightened patrons, why not help bring clients and designers together…not to mention, sponsoring local talent and placing ourselves within this context.
    my confession…a significant few at the symposium discussed their interest in a group that could push further and maintain the enthusiasm and interest sparked by the exhibit. so in a recent unpublished blog, i mentioned this idea to perhaps get something going….well, the group already exists…..i guess i just didnt see so at first …..the Design Arts Society….so theres no work to undertake in starting it …we can just show up at events and be apart of it.
    sincerely, bruce loewenthal

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