As an editorial resident here at AIGA, I spend my time nosing around for interesting design-related goings on each week (so you don’t have to). Follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesign, Facebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.
There’s something very poignant and rather chilling about the matter-of-fact way photographer Tomohiro Muda presents images: each frame shows a single object that tells a story way beyond the scope of its apparent banality. Muda’s series Icons of Time: Memories of the Tsunami that Struck Japan is currently on show at London’s Fitzrovia Chapel, marking six years since the tsunami and earthquakes that hit Japan’s northeastern coast in 2011. Nine months after the event, Muda returned to the affected areas to document the devastation, photographing around 5,000 items. “The objects featured in my works may appear to be mere debris, things abandoned by the tsunami, but they’re not,” says Muda. “Each item belonged to someone and suggests the presence of someone who is no longer present. In this exhibition, these fragments tell stories of a post-tsunami landscape and allow us to imagine the activity in these areas before the tsunami.”
We’re longtime fans of Kentucky-based graphic designer, artist, and musician Robert Beatty, having previously fawned over his sleeve designs and image-only book Floodgate Companion. So imagine how chuffed we were to find he’s dipped his toes into the world of moving image, in the form of this video for Helado Negro’s jaunty new single Lengua Larga. It’s what you might expect from Beatty’s work—all abstract shapes, esoteric flashes of found footage, and textural flourishes that feel somehow so retro, but so the future. We dig, v much.
The cheeky blighters over at portfolio building site Format seem to be lampooning their own client base here in a fun little project that “diagnoses what type of creative mind you have.” What this entails is a woman in purple with a flamingo and a “chatbot that tells you what kind of a creative you are, based on the work of Arne Dietrich and several famous creativity tests.” Obviously it’s not exactly scientific, but sometimes it’s just nice to know someone’s there for you with platitudes and chat about cookies. If you’re interested, I got The True Artist—“You don’t think ideas, you feel them come alive. You’re the real deal, kid.” On second thought I think there’s probably a lot of truth in it.
Say bonjour to this little publication Flofferz, a French indie that’s just released its second issue. With art direction and design by Céline Strolz it looks really rather lovely, and even better each issue is “dedicated to a charity fighting for social change and justice in an underprivileged nation.” For number deux, Flofferz is supporting SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda), a charity dedicated to contest the human rights being denied to the LGBQT+ community in Uganda, where homosexuality is currently outlawed. Pretty AND philanthropic, what a combo.
A great opportunity here for our Scottish readers, paradoxically in the guise of a new Glasgow-based initiative called No Opportunity. Set up by creative agency Jamhot, the project looks to support emerging design talent by offering gallery space to “designers, photographers, writers, makers, and other creators” in the area and beyond. “We’re a small studio, and every week we get a lot of emails from folk looking for placements, internships, work experience, freelance, and full-time positions,” says Graeme McGowan. “As a small studio we don’t have the time, space, or resources to accommodate even a fraction of the requests, and send off loads of emails saying ‘Sorry, but we have no opportunities at present.’ We got fed up of sending these useless replies to people so we thought we would do something different instead and that’s how the exhibition came about.”
It’s one design-led act of kindness after another in this week’s Design Diary, to warm your hearts. London-based design agency Greenspace has just announced its work on social mobility enterprise Kibo Africa Ltd., which manufactures motorbikes specifically for use in African terrain. The agency created the branding and retail strategy for the enterprise, which was started by a man of many letters, Huib van de Grijspaard, who’s based in Amsterdam. According to Greenspace, van de Grijspaard had noticed on his trips to Kenya just how vital motorcycles were for people living there, and wanted to create “reliable, durable and affordable new motorcycles, made specifically the African terrain.” It adds that the brand has been designed “to appear active, sociable, free-spirited, and optimistic.”