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Ten years ago or so, we published the first concise text that best described our profile. The core idea was a hypothesis that all media were converging, the digital age was coming of age and this would characterize contemporary culture.
In parallel, other areas - apart from the domain of technology - seemed to come together, rendering the boundaries invisible; we were seeing art flirting with design, politics with marketing, et.al.
Those concepts are probably commonplace today - yet, as early observations, they assisted us in following a very unique development route.
From the inception of the studio in 1996, in East London, to the relocation in central Athens in 2002, this development was based on two axes:
Expanded technological and technical
expertise in multiple specialisms. An
essential component of Product Design is, by definition, the
utilization of a wide range of technologies and methods in the quest
for solutions to the complex design issues we face. The understanding
of three-dimensional space, the relation to human scale and the body,
the knowledge of available materials and the complexity of industrial
production, formed the basis for our understanding of a comprehensive
design methodology. We therefore developed a wide approach, that
superseedes the usual over-specialisation. Starting off from 3D design, we quickly moved
into the world on new media (video, interactivity and, obviously, web
technologies), widening our knowledge field.
Expanded cultural understanding.
Contemporary (industrial) civilization
is seeped with multi-layered meanings, complex symbolic values and
cultural references. The role of the designer expands further than
the manipulation of form and material - into the foray of the
intangible: added or perceived value and symbolic significance of an
object or gesture.
As designers, we
are asked to design the physical world and, in effect, to instill
meaning into things. By extension, we would dare to observe that we are
essentially wandering into the domain of production and manipulation
From "well-designed art" or "creativity in
design", the result of our work is not just the printed or
constructed object - it is the meaning itself that the object
conveys. [In true essence, this is where the real issues arise: we
are dealing with the manipulation of desire, so one needs to be clear
in ethical / political terms, but this interesting issue is well
beyond the scope of this text].
In few words,
we understood early enough that the complex cultural, political and
financial environment would require teams that would operate as "hubs" - focusing on the understanding of the big picture, yet
being able to employ the appropriate technique or methodology. The
world of applied arts is a broad and loose one; we aim at a
reasonable and informed management of all those elements that describe the
The principles of design are common in most areas of application. Nowadays the word design itself is being used in almost every scientific or professional environment, referred to as a method / approach / stance to problem solving. This is our core: a design problem is a complex request, spoken in a shaky and charged environment.
Christopher Brellis MA(RCA)