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This is Design?

Design journalist Jeroen Junte follows up his earlier publication on Dutch design with a new book which observes the thin line between art and design. In This is Design? we look at the evolution of design into more than a functional object.  

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 14-11-2013

When did we start seeing designers as artists, celebrities even? In his latest book named Dit is design? or This is design? 20 objects you need to understand, journalist Jeroen Junte takes us on a tour of the first design rebels towards those who wish to revolutionize the way we perceive our surroundings. Twenty iconic designs tells the story of 21st-century design. 

‘Functional sculptures’ is a term Junte uses to describe the chairs of Marc Newson, as he describes the designer’s rise to fame. Even those who have not heard of the man himself, will surely recognize his products. Now a multi-disciplinary designer working in fashion, interior design and even space engineering, Newson remains a furniture designer first and foremost. 

A shortened version of how Royal Tichelaar of Makkum made a comeback in the design world is discussed alongside the ‘slow tech’ designs of Austrian duo mischer’traxler named The Idea of a Tree. The work of Pieke Bergmans is compared to that of the Cabaret Voltaire, performance design by Glithero is dissected and the power of storytelling is explained through the work of Studio Formafantasma. 

With the aid of short, punchy essays, Junte aims to educate the reader about the state of today’s design. The author discusses a number of internationally-renown artists and their work, each in a separate context related to their surroundings. Apparently, these are the twenty objects every design lover should know about. 

Indeed after reading this book – which happily includes many longer articles – our knowledge of specific designers, and in brief their rise to fame, has improved. Junte hasn’t stuck to the standard canon of contemporary design and has chosen some lesser-known, as well as some fairly new designers to throw into the mix. 

Dit is Design? 20 objecten die je moet begrijpen is published by Terra Lannoo.

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