Craft as Design

06 October 2008

I’m going to apologize for my complete lack of posting on here. I should be a much better participant in the community of design as a whole and part of that is being able to blog here. This fact becomes especially apparent when I look around where I sit and see a ring inspiring of books, papers, sketches, and photocopies that could be shared.  So, with that being said…


From Macrame: Creative Design in Knotting by Dona Z. Meilach, Published 1971


From Whittling and Woodcarving by E.J. Tangerman, First published in 1936

Alot of what has grown to inspire me is very much rooted in the midwestern craft tradition; sewing, needlework, kitschy projects, quilting, and so on. These hobbies share many of the same principles of graphic design; color, composition, line, pattern, geometry, organization of information, collage, etc. I think what most intrigues me about craft as design or design as craft is the fusion of old techniques with new ideas and new forms, but I want to see it pushed beyond Papier-mâché and Cross-stitch.

 Bruno Munari 1



Just picked up this great little book on the xerox experiments of Italian designer, Bruno Munari. Looking through the pages, it only further convinces me that older technologies will always have a place in the process of making.

Watching just one of Jodorowsky’s films is like viewing a thousand posters with a thousand visual puns hidden within. Bizarre and wonderful. I strongly recommend El Topo and The Holy Mountain. Here’s a bit more about his career:

He started his film career in Mexico with Fando y Lis (1968). The feature-length film debuted in Acapulco at the Film Festival and is famous for having incited a full scale riot there, requiring that Jodorowsky be smuggled out in a limousine.
El Topo (1970), a mystical Western, was his second film and is now considered a cult classic. John Lennon and Yoko Ono helped to arrange the film’s release and distribution in the United States through Beatles manager Allen Klein.Jodorowsky’s third film, La montaña sagrada (The Holy Mountain) (1973), was entirely financed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. At a projected budget of US$1,500,000[citation needed], it was the most expensive Mexican film production to date. It has been suggested that The Holy Mountain may have been inspired by Rene Daumal’s surrealist novel Mount Analogu.