January 1, 2013

Can it be…

…that this momentous, fractious, challenging year has come to a close, just when we thought we got the hang of it?

2012 was a year that allowed me to delve deeper into the creative wonders of international design and to appraise the industry with fresh eyes.

On close inspection, of course, the design world is not one world, it is many worlds and each has its own unique narrative, and with that narrative are multitudes of other stories as well: stories about craft, about art, about the lives of people who make things of use and beauty.  When I hear it said that no one knows how to make things anymore I immediately think of all the talented craftspeople making remarkable products every day across this country and around the world.

These artisans seek unity with the natural world, dialing down the human clamor and noise to deliver a product both beautiful and useful.  This seemed to me particularly apt as we begin a new year. 

*After growing weary of digital photography, Brooklyn-based photographers Judith Pushett and Kevin Irby started experimenting with an enormous Kodak camera from around 1908 that Irby found at a rummage sale.

‘This cannot be solved with plane geometry, since it has a cube in it. For the solution we need conic sections.’ —Omar Khayyam (who not only not only put his toes into non-Euclidean waters, he is also given credit by some art historians for the design of the North Dome chamber of Esfahan’s Friday Mosque, built in 1088.)