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Anima, Issue 2

Anima, Issue 2

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About Anima:

Anima gets beneath the surface of design, whilst understanding that appearances matter too. It is interested in what things mean, as well as how they look. As appealing to the professional as to the enthusiast, it understands that design never stands still and embraces the most vital issues. Its perspective is global and predictive. Beautifully designed and incisively written, Anima takes the subject out of the specialist domain and offers a clear and passionate view on where we are now.

In this issue:

Introducing Issue 2 of Anima, featuring Nathalie du Pasquier, Mami Wata, Otl Aicher, Barbara Kruger, Samuel Ross, Alessandro Mendini, Dieter Rams and Ferran Adrià.

Two of the designers we feature in this issue belong to the same generation. Dieter Rams and Alessandro Mendini were born within a year of each other, but it is hard to imagine two more different approaches, even if both had a certain distaste for the cruder aspects of commerce. Rams, throughout his career, has held to the belief that a designer is able to make a difference. That there is in absolute terms such a thing as good design, in both the performance and aesthetic sense, as well as the moral one. Mendini has always taken a much more nuanced view.

Rams did his best to purify the language of design to the extent that it could erase time and fashion. But the speed of technological change has rendered so much of his work for Braun obsolete, if beautiful. Mendini’s work has embraced the stronger flavours, and some of it now seems rooted in a particular moment in time. When Mendini was the editor of Domus, he put Rams on the cover of the magazine back in 1984 and interviewed him, one of the more historically unlikely encounters. Mendini asked Rams, who was clearly upset by one of his questions, “You were the prophet of the mythic period of Braun design. I have always thought of asking you this question: was your utopia functionalist or was it poetic and purist?” To which he replied: “I was not the ‘prophet’ of Braun design; if anything, I was a fairly important collaborator and companion in arms. Especially during the second period of Braun design. The first Braun period was marked by the Ulm school, through Hans Gugelot, in the sphere of product design and Otl Aicher in that of graphic design. My own work and that of my group would have been unthinkable without the way paved by them.”

The parameters of the world of design that their two positions established continue to shape the environment in which another generation operates. For this issue of Anima, we talked to Samuel Ross, who is fortunate to be able to learn from both, to take from them what he needs, and to form his own direction. Ross is emerging as a true polymath, involved with mass-produced objects, as well as art and design, driven by a sense of conviction that his work has a cultural purpose. We also photographed the students of the London School of Architecture, a much needed experiment in education, rooted in a practice that reflects the priorities of a new generation. We went to Milan to explore a newly invigorated Triennale and its archives, looked back on places to eat, and forward to the menus of the future. We also explore the history of pictograms and how they’re used as a communicative tool, which inspired Anima’s new identity and bespoke suite of icons for the issue, designed by Fran Méndez and Maria Vioque Nguyen of Hondo studio.

In an age of short attention spans, and instant news, Anima gets below the surface to the heart of things to look at what makes design relevant.


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