Hello, and welcome to this week’s Design Diary, a collection of five projects from across the world that have impressed us this week.
Hen’s Teeth gallery in Dublin is launching an exciting show this weekend: the new works of Portugal-born, NYC-based, former Bloomberg Businessweek designer Bráulio Amado. We’re no strangers to Amado’s “bright, punchy and graphic” work, as the gallery phrases it, and have loved seeing it increasingly everywhere as the designer gets well-deserved praise for his pretty prolific output. From the press release: “His playful use of typography is reminiscent of psychedelic music and film posters of the 1960s. Bráulio’s latest book, 2017, is filled with his chaotic and vibrant work from the title year.” In the event you can’t make it to Ireland, we’re putting some of the works below.
This week on Khoi Vinh’s site Subtraction, the principle designer at Adobe published a transcription of a recent talk he gave at the the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Nicely titled “In Defense of Design Thinking, Which Is Terrible,” the lecture hinges on the argument that the backlash to “design thinking”—that step-by-step, codification of the design process, usually to be used in business—is a resistance among designers to democratize design. Developers and engineers, Vinh suggests, are eager to encourage the idea that “anyone can code” and value educating people over the prospect of “bad code.” Designers, on the other hand, prefer to keep design an exclusive domain for fear of a proliferation of “bad design.” Vinh sees this kind of thinking as being behind the aversion to design thinking, and suggests an attitude adjustment:
“Any embrace of design by non-designers is a good thing, and design thinking qualifies here,” he writes. “The reason for this is that when that happens, it means our language, the vocabulary of design, is broadening to the rest of the world.” It’s a smart piece; read the full thing here.
Liz Wells and Katie Puccio of Stink Studios have brought us Desk Lunch, a weekly newsletter in which women and non-binary folks share stories of their experiences in the creative industry, in the form of a short essay. Past entries have featured HAWRAF partner Carly Ayres and SuperHi designer Milan Moffat; the latest was produced in collaboration with Borrowed Interest, an advertising podcast hosted by three ad-women of color. Check it out here.
We just heard from Eva Goicochea, who graced our stage at the Eye on Design conference in October, about the launch of her company Maude, coming up on April 9th. A joint effort along with product designer Dina Epstein, Maude is a “modern and unisex essentials brand that encourages a happy and healthy sex life.” Maude’s products are simple and elegant, nicely branded, and, better yet, designed toward inclusivity and away from outdated and gendered notions of sex and pleasure.
We’re big fans of Elaine Lustig Cohen on the site, even recently publishing a story about her coming into a design career after her late husband, Alvin Lustig, went blind. During her lifetime, Lustig Cohen dedicated much of her later years to preserving and displaying the work of other mid-century designers, particularly Alvin’s. Now the Pratt Manhattan Gallery is paying it forward, with an exhibition that displays Lustig Cohen’s work alongside two other 20th century greats: Anni Albers and Rosmarie Tissi. Titled Albers, Lustig Cohen, Tissi, 1958-2018, the exhibition traces the three women’s overlapping careers that “span the arc of the Modernist era—from the Bauhaus, to mid-century Pax Americana, to Postmodernism, and into the present.” Highly recommended.