Early bloggers like me used to say things like that. And late bloggers like me do, too, apparently.
But I really mean it. This blog will house thoughts and meditations on design and its correspondence with history, environment, consciousness and critical theory. I will write about the state of design, the direction of design education, the opportunities for design research, and the language of design thinking.
The last regular blog I kept, and which lasted for about ten years, was under the domain deckchairs.net. “Deckchairs” was a nice metaphorical compliment to the design studio I run, Manoverboard, as well as a reference to the ongoing personal project of redeeming some of the anxiety with which I have been blessed.
You’ve seen a deckchair, right? Deckchairs are long lounges of comfort that are often be arranged on a ship when everything is smooth sailing. But deckchairs are also objects of slipperiness and indeterminable motion when nothing is going as planned.
Anyway, my Deckchairs blog ended in 2012. Steve Jobs passed away and I somehow lost the capacity to write regularly. And my last post was a goodbye to him.
So, I have started writing again. Let me outline what you’re in for. Or what I’m in for. I’ll do this in two big steps: the purpose of this site more generally and then the goals for the blog itself.
And the point of having a site is?
I started and maintained an artist-focused/gallery website in the mid-1990s called The Site at Manoverboard. It eventually featured a few dozen artists and writers as well as some of my own work. But I’ve never had a project site of my own — and I’ve been making art and writing on and off for nearly 30 years.
In the biggest of pictures, this site sets out to do the following:
To share a digital archive of the various and miscellaneous projects I’ve developed, or helped to develop, over the past twenty-five years. Bringing these projects under one roof provides some semblance of order to my own past and helps establish a framework for ongoing work. I expect it to take a little while until all of my old work is up.
To build out a digital sandbox where I can release and test new ideas, projects, tools, code and media. Some of these will be more experimental, such as a typeface (!!) that I’d like to develop. Others will be video or visual artifacts that can be filed under art.
To have a free textual space where I can be honest about what it means for me to be a designer in the world — a place that is confused about the object of design. For me, design is built on a radical social concept: that we can do better — and that we must do better. This notion seems to have largely gone missing.
Sure. But what’s the point of having a blog?
Right. So, let’s expand on this last item. Why even have a blog these days? Haven’t you heard of Facebook? And, dude, couldn’t you just use Medium instead of this precious little website that you custom developed?
At some point, I’ll explore the conquest of content that platforms like Facebook and Medium represent. But in the meantime, here are three goals for the blog:
To connect with other designers and let them know that they are among the most powerful individuals in the world.
To demonstrate that our present arrangements are not permanent. Design shows us that we are always already in that truly sublime moment of change.
To explore and expand upon ideas related to graphic design, the presentation of ideas, design education, design consciousness and other various visual musings.
These goals will evolve. But it’s important that I put them out there first.
Thank you for reading or listening. I’m very grateful to have the chance to start anew and to have a few readers join me on the ride.