Sunday, 23 January 2011

‘Welcome to the Labyrinth’: A Lecture on Design and Modern Thought


On Wednesday January 26, I will be giving a lecture to BAGD students at Central St Martins based on some of the themes explored in the opening chapter to my forthcoming book, The Bright Labyrinth. Titled ‘Welcome to the Labyrinth’, the talk will take place in G12 at 16.15. I hope to see you then.

‘It is no longer possible simply to communicate a precise body of knowledge founded on a rigid status quo,’ wrote the architect Konrad Wachsman in The Turning Point of Building, first published in 1961. Recent advances in the real-time processing of information not only ensure that old hierarchical relationships between text, music and image are being dismantled but that newer hybrid forms are constantly coming into being. Our cities have become swirling clouds of unseen data. Reality becomes a videogame that runs itself. Not even the Minotaur is safe inside his Labyrinth.

As platforms shift into one another and design becomes more about the manipulation of sound and vision, language and movement, the standard disciplines and techniques blur together; forms become little more than confines, restrictive and anachronistic. Design is therefore unable to render itself transparent through the translation of modern thought. However, being able to see the network in the labyrinth and the labyrinth in the network, we can begin to develop a new series of attitudes towards research, making connections across disciplines that will ultimately inform and enrich our practice. With the power to give shape to what has hitherto only existed in the mind, design is modern thought.
Further research, links and reading material for this lecture can be found by clicking here. To read an extract from the first chapter of The Bright Labyrinth as it appeared in Journal #3, click here.

Pictured above: KH at the 2010 Frieze Art Fair, photo by Hana Tanimura

2 comments:

W. Kasper said...

If you would like to contribute to any of these group blogs:

http://andwhatwillbeleftofthem.blogspot.com/ (1970s)

http://facesonposters.blogspot.com/
(1980s)

http://upclosemaspersonal.blogspot.com/
(1990s)

... please let me know. Couldn't find your email here, so was the only way I could invite.

Ken Hollings said...

Herr Kasper,

Very many thanks for getting in touch - I shall try and email you directly about your fascinating blogs. In the meantime, for those wishing to contact me directly, there is an email link embedded in my blog profile - just click on 'view complete profile' and there I am...waiting...