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design*systems

Edited by Andrea Tam and Tania Messell

 

What happens when we bring the broad concepts of ‘design’ and ‘systems’ together? How does it benefit (or mislead) us to think about design in terms of systems, or systems in term of design? The presence of brands and constructed identities (whether organisational, cultural or national) can be experienced on an everyday level in the forms of branded goods, shop displays, corporate architecture and the more immaterial service sector. The planning and realisation of these ‘systematic design policies’, ‘design coordination’, and ‘house styles’ indeed attest to ambitions of rationalising our surroundings in a coherent way. But this is just one of many ways by which we can understand design and systems.  Designed products can work as elements moving in and out of ever-evolving ecosystems of styles and trends. They can even serve as tools in the representation of other systems such as sets of data, languages, and geographical distributions. We would welcome contributions from anyone interested in exploring and experimenting with these ideas to expand our interpretations of design.


 

Design Systems: New Perspectives

Tania Messell   Design*systems, conceived one year ago as a space where the concepts of design and systems were to be explored, has now come to an end. In this space, contributions have examined design as encounters between designed entities, rather than isolated objects, with case studies covering the fields of architecture, graphic design, and

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Subversion or Success:
Branding and the Power of Pink

Tania Messell   As with my encounter with Ikea’s concept store of Tekstileriet examined in a previous post (see here), I discovered Moods of Norway’s pink logotype during my stay in Scandinavia in 2011. At that time, the social anthropologist Fanny Ambjörnsson’s fascinating book Pink, the Dangerous Colour (2011) had hit the shelves, and argued for

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Airport Terminals: Space & Typeface Intertwined

Tania Messell     With summer holidays (hopefully) being on everyone’s agenda, it feels timely to unpack some material gathered during my dissertation research, which revealed fascinating narratives on the design and signage systems of airports of the 1970s. My dissertation investigated the introduction and development of corporate identity programme in France, the final case

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Houses, Schools, Hospitals: “Indian” Architecture and the Design of Genocide in Canada

Magdalena Miłosz   In her book Enduring Innocence, the American architect Keller Easterling writes about familiar “spatial products” such as resorts, ports, and other information enclaves deployed in difficult political situations around the world.[1] Typically anonymous and banal, these architectures are often merely by-products of global politics and neoliberal economic forces. In a similar vein,

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Re-Design, In Design:
The Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Annabel Sheen   Once a storage site for gunpowder in the threat of Napoleonic warfare, the 1805 magazine building in the centre of Kensington Gardens is now a public (free entry) exhibition space for contemporary art.[1] The building is owned by the Serpentine Galleries and was remodelled and extended nine months ago by Zaha Hadid

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:/ Notes frm Anothr Wrld :/

AdHog82   Tomorrow there will be an irrevocable change to the way English is written.  It has been seen as an inevitable change for some time but tomorrow an official stamp, acknowledged by our current government and seconded by the Oxford English Dictionary will come into effect. It has been hailed by our leaders as

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Patterns as binding agents

Tania Messell   From 19th-century densely ornamented wallpapers to repetitive laser cut ornaments in contemporary architecture, patterns have been and still are an intrinsic component of our material environment. Their pervading presence is particularly reflected in retail spaces conceived by companies whose visual identities rely on pattern design, of which they make extensive use in

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Provence and branding through craft

Tania Messell   The region of Provence, located in south of France, has been and still is subject to a cultural myth stemming from its exuberant nature and material culture. Authors such as Goethe and Alexandre Dumas indeed hailed the clarity of the air, the lush lemon trees and mountains covered with an ‘angelic glory’[1],

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My name in ‘letters of fire’

Tania Messell  The repetition of a sign is one of the most fascinating aspects of branding, not only in its semiotic significance, but also when examining the actual production of the sign. A logo, for example, had to be simple enough to be reproduced in a wide range of materials or with the help of

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Fitted to a Tea

Andrea Tam   Anyone who knows me knows I don’t drink tea. I just can’t. I have simply never fancied it. But despite my disinclination towards the brew, I somehow find the various paraphernalia that go along with the tea-drinking process (especially the teapots) endlessly enjoyable to examine. In a way, I think I am

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