- 27th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno 2016
BB Can you tell us a bit about the background of your project? How did you come up with the idea? What brought you together?
SHC & IR & MS We are two designers from Switzerland and Maki Suzuki, collective Åbäke, from the UK. Maki used to teach at our school which is HEAD Geneva. In 2011, Ingrid met Maki for the first time during a workshop called Le Magnifique Avventure, then she did an internship at Åbäke’s studio in 2014. Shu-Hua and Ingrid met each other during their Master studies in Geneva as well.
The Taste of The Brain was created in 2015 between 12 students and 3 teachers from Basel, Zurich and Geneva. Last June, we have organized a lecture-dinner called The Taste of The Brain which was a part of Cumulus design conference in Milan and related to Milan Universal Expo’s topic ‘Feeding the Planet’. Since we all enjoy the eating moment with people, we gathered thirty people working in the field of design, and created a moment for people to share their life stories at a dinner table. Maki and we decided to go further and to develop our process into different events linked to design. In fact, we are very happy to take part in the Brno Biennial and to present our second edition. This year, we are going to gather around a hundred guests, from both the audience visitors and from the Biennial designers and lecturers.
BB The participants in your project conceive together tableware for a communal meal. Have you realized this project before and how does it influence its following iterations?
SHC & IR & MS You know, we think that people don’t use to be attentive to all the small details from their daily life. We believe that food is not the only content on the dining table, also cutlery makes a large part of this beautiful cultural landscape, and that’s why we ask each other and our guests to bring their favorite tableware, to tell the stories behind it and present it as a museum collection. In this way, each Taste of the Brain event becomes an exhibition in itself.
In 2015, we organized the first edition at the restaurant Centro Svizzero in Milano. This year, The Taste of The Brain 2 is going to take place at the Moravian Gallery in Brno. Furthermore, we intend to break the common rules of a formal restaurant or exhibition cafeteria dinner. Going to a dinner is not only to get something but also to give something back. As we have proposed a nice collection of ceramics as tableware, we ask back to each of our guests to design their own ceramics for the next event that we are going to organize. This year, we bring to Brno some pieces that we did last year in Switzerland and Italy; our goal now is to organize several breakfasts and lunches in order to share and to conceive new pieces. At the end of the Biennial, we are going to have a beautiful collection of ceramics made by the public and designers. We propose to the designers to continue a piece that someone from the public started to make, as the ceramic work itself becomes a part of the conversation over the table. We also like the idea of blurring the signatures on the pieces.
BB How does the project you have prepared for the Off Programme fit into the larger context of your practice? Are you working on something related?
SHC & IR & MS Maki, from Åbäke, had worked around the link between food and design. He organized an evening dinner called Trattoria Circolare in 2013 with Martino Gamper and Alex Rich; he published the book Artists’ Cocktails in 2013 for the artist Ryan Gander, and he also did an exhibition called Avant la faim et après: Jumeaux ( Before and After Hunger: twins) in 2014 in collaboration with the ‘Musée de la danse’ in Rennes, curated by Boris Charmatz.
As a product designer from Taiwan, Shu-Hua already worked around the question of tools or cutlery. For her, The Taste of the Brain is a great opportunity to go further and to have a more global view of all the different elements presented on the table.
For Ingrid, even if her participation in the project is essential, it was her first project directly linked with food. However, she really likes to organize collaborative events with different people who need to engage to make it work. Design is something to share and not only to visualize, we are surrounded by amazing things and we just need to be more attentive about them. The Taste of the Brain is a project in which we believe and we are planning to organize some other venues in Europe and overseas for different events relating to gastronomy and design.
BB This edition of the Brno Biennial responds to the metamorphoses and the state of contemporary graphic design; its multitude, variety, vagueness and apparent superficiality. Can you identify some of the basic parameters, current themes or motivations of contemporary graphic design?
SHC & IR & MS Let’s grab a glass of wine, have a seat around this table and talk about it!
Shu-Hua Chang, product designer from Taipei, Taiwan. She came to Switzerland and met Maki and Ingrid at school. As a product designer, she is fascinated by different applications and combinations of materials and making process. She currently engaged a lot her work in scenography design. By mixing her addiction of human touch of art crafts into rational production process, her works discover both side of human society, industrial and natural sides.
From a graphic design background, Ingrid Rousseau decided to move to Switzerland in order to do an interdisciplinary master, with interior architects and product designers. Graduated in June 2016, this master was a good opportunity to extend her vision of design. Graphic design is not only something looking good but it is also based on a concept of communication. Recently, Ingrid Rousseau co-founded with Ghida Bahsoun a production-company based in Switzerland and called Guffetsch.
Maki Suzuki, member of Åbäke, which is a transdisciplinary graphic design collective, founded in 2000 with Patrick Lacey (UK), Benjamin Reichen (FR), Kajsa Ståhl (SE) in London, England, after meeting at the Royal College of Art.
Short interviews with collaborators of the 27th Brno Biennial, authors of its exhibitions, jury members and Biennial Talks speakers.
Interviews and graphic design: Radim Peško Radim Peško (1976) is a graphic designer based in London. He works in the field of type design, editorial and exhibition projects. In 2010 he has established his RP Digital Type Foundry that specializes on typefaces that are both formally and conceptually distinctive. His work includes identity for Secession Vienna, typefaces for identities of Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Aspen Art Museum, Fridericianum, Berlin Biennale 8, various work for the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Bedford Press London or a long-term collaboration with artist Kateřina Šedá. He has lectured at many schools including Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, ÉCAL Lausanne, HFK Bremen, KISD Cologne, École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon, Sint-Lucas Ghent, University of Seoul. Since 2011 he is part of the curatorial board of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno., Tomáš Celizna Tomáš Celizna (1977) is interested in graphic design in connection with new technologies. He is a founding partner of design studio dgú in Prague (2001 to 2005), recipient of J. W. Fulbright Scholarship (2006), and holds MFA in graphic design from Yale University School of Art (2008). He currently lives and works independently in Amsterdam. Collaborations include, among others, OASE Journal for Architecture, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Since 2011 he is a lecturer in graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and a member of the curatorial team of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno., Adam Macháček Adam Macháček (1980) is a graphic designer. Following studies at the AAAD in Prague, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and ÉCAL in Lausanne, he co-founded in 2004 studio Welcometo.as in Lausanne and is a member of 201∞ Designers collective. His work includes publications, exhibition catalogues, illustrations and identities. Collaborations include, among others, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Théâtre de Vevey (seasons 2003–2012), Galerie Rudolfinum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chronicle Books, Editions Pyramyd, Museum of Czech Literature, Brno House of Arts, California College of the Arts, Airbnb. For Brno Biennial he initiated and organized exhibitions Work from Switzerland (2004) and From Mars (2006, together with Radim Peško). Since 2011 he is a member of the curatorial team of the International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno. He lives and works in Berkeley.
Translation and copy editing: Alena Benešová, Kateřina Tlachová
Production: Miroslava Pluháčková
Printed by: Tiskárna Helbich s. r. o.
Print run: 2000
Published by the Moravian Gallery in Brno, 2016