Artificial Horizon

Articles and links about the design process
by Thibaut Sailly

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March 9, 2010

As a reminder of Ettore Sottsass's passing a little more than 2 years ago now, here is a quote I found in an exhibition catalog about Martine Bedin's work (she was part of the Memphis group). Sure, design is about considering the needs of the users, helping them to accomplish tasks in a comfortable way, but it's also speaking to their senses, their emotions, their aspirations in life and helping them to feel proud of the way they spend it. There is so much to read about usability these days, and so little about the emotional aspects of design.

"If we enter a large, high-ceilinged hall, the secret state of our lives changes; as it changes as we enter a very small, low-ceilinged room, and as it changes if we enter a cloister with a fountain, palm trees and rose bushes. But it also changes if we find ourselves faced with an obscure piece of furniture made up of numerous drawers whose content we do not know; and it changes, too, if there is a painting of the Madonna on the wardrobe doors, or if the wardrobe is made of plain white plastic laminate.
The presence of design changes the more or less secret, more or less bearable subject of existence."


Foreword of "Prova d'autore", Martine Bedin
Translated from italian by Jonathan Hurt
Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Bordeaux, 2003

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