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No. 182: Bringing Together Brian Eno + Dieter Rams, After School Club is Back in Session + More

Plus, design meets scanimation, a treasure trove of Hollywood letterpress ads + endearingly gawky illustrations

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Design Diary, a collection of five projects from across the world that have impressed us this week. 

For more along these lines (and so many others) follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

After School Club at University of Art & Design Offenbach

Founded in 2012, the After School Club (ASC) is a free art and design festival for students held at the University of Art & Design Offenbach, in Germany, while the school is on summer break. Significantly, it’s also run by students—in collaboration with Eike König (of Hort, who is also a professor at the university). In the past, they’ve invited 120 students from around the world to participate in the festival, which features workshops guided by international artists and designers the likes of Niklaus Troxler, Tobias Rehberger, Stefan Marx, and Kate Moross. And now, after a short break, the After School Club is back in session.

The student organizers behind the festival emailed us the other week to say they are giving it another chance: “The plan is to reactivate our original idea that was successful from the start, [and which was] liked, recommended, and talked about by everyone with sparkling eyes. That is the feeling and the energy we want to have back.” To keep the festival free and accessible to everyone, they are raising funds on the crowdfunding site Startnext. We’ve heard nothing but great things. Support them here.

Martina Paukova at The Book Club

We are fans of Martina Paukova, her “gawky style and punchy color palette,” as we’ve previously described it—work that’s also appealed to places like Apple, Converse, Google, the Guardian, and the New York Times. The Slovakia-born, London resident opened a show at east London’s The Book Club in Shoreditch early this month, and it’s aptly titled Girls. “We find them lying, sitting, standing or kneeling, with an occasional laptop, phone or a man thrown in,” as the gallery describes it. “Plants and steaming coffee cups are compulsory. Girls are lanky and awkward, set in Paukova’s staple geometric and flattened domestic environments.”

We’re as endeared by their awkwardness as ever.

The Collection, a short by Adam Roffman

In 1999, Marilyn Wagner and DJ Ginsberg paid $2,000 at an Omaha antique store for several hundred boxes of letterpress blocks and plates from a closed-down block manufacturer nearby. The blocks, which had been sitting in a back room at the store for 15 years, were once used to create old movie advertisements in the golden age of Hollywood—for films like House of Wax, Superman, The Thing, and Planet of the Apes. The friends restored them to their original condition, and in 2015, the collection was appraised at between $8 to 12 million.


Now, the filmmaker Adam Roffman has produced a short about the friendship and their unlikely find. Beautifully shot, with a clear love of letterpress that matches our own, the film can be viewed in its entirety above. “We just feel these blocks are too beautiful and too important not to be seen,” say the pair in the film.

“When someone does acquire the collection, I’m hoping that they will set it up in a museum so that people could see these pieces. But also, set up the press and re-strike some of these pieces. And now everyone can take a little piece of 50 years of motion picture history home with them.”

Brian Eno compositions for Dieter Rams documentary

Speaking of films, Gary Hustwit’s Deiter Rams documentary is very near completion, and he’s brought on none other than Brian Eno to score it. It’s been almost two years since Hustwit, the filmmaker behind Objectified and Helvetica, raised Kickstarter funds for the documentary about the German industrial designer. Judging by the teasers—here, here, and below—it’s going to be lovely, full of long shots of Rams’ notoriously elegant, simple, and understated designs. Who better than Eno to provide the musical equivalent?

Julio Le Parc exhibition design by Margem

Margem’s design for Julio Le Parc exhibition


São Paulo, Brasil-based studio Margem sent over some striking work this month, and we were particularly intrigued by their design for the Julio Le Parc exhibition at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake. Designers Nathalia Cury and Alexandre Lindenberg, who make up Margem, packaged the exhibition materials in a striped acetate box, which creates a “scanimation” when the materials are viewed through it: by moving the slotted case over the geometrical patterns within, it creates the illusion of movement. They also cleverly play up the elements common in the works of Le Parc, an Argentine artist known for his modern op art and kinetic art.


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