Design user feels the presence of the artist,

Design
as Art is considered by many as one of the most influential design books ever
published; it is a passionate case to democratize art, making design the glue
between romanticism and pragmatism. From cover to cover, his case pulls a red
thread that transcends all types of artistic expression.

Munari
begins by saying:

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“The
designer of today re-establishes the long-lost contact between art and the
public, between living people and art as a living thing. … There should be no
such thing as art divorced from life, with beautiful things to look at and
hideous things to use. If what we use every day is made with art, and not
thrown together by chance or caprice, then we shall have nothing to hide.”

This
book shows me that a lot has changed since the Classical and Renaissance eras.

Art is no longer a thing for the selected few. Instead, designers are becoming
the modern-day artists, who
fuse his aesthetic beliefs with functionality, therefore creating objects used
by many effectively. Properly designed objects should make the user feels the
presence of the artist, who is bettering his life and encouraging him to
develop sense of beauty

This is a
brilliant book. It is short and not an easy read. It is a book that does need
to be read carefully and picked up again from time to time. 

Bruno
clearly shows how design can be used as art, and he takes you through the
initial design process, and then through applications and critiques with care.

The
writing style is lucid and clear. He also debunks many myths. What I like, is
the complete lack of any pomposity in his writing, and the fact that through
his book, I started to look at art and design with new eyes

Short little
collection of musings, experiments & criticism related to the state of
affairs regarding design in Munari’s day and age. While his predictions
regarding the future of the aesthetic landscape might be off, for instance, the
idea that the desires of the future consumer will be homogeneous and perhaps
rather drab, he delivers several interesting takes on the world around him,
sometimes delving into the innocence of the vision of a child, while at times
sounding like an old man recollecting about the bygone days and the absurdity
of the now.

What I found was one of the most
brilliant explanations of the merit of industrial, graphics, and architectural
design I have come across yet. Munari’s very mid-century Italian humor pairs
well with his immense knowledge of the tradition of commercial design as an art
form. In many ways, Design as Art helped me learn to engage with everyday
objects as not just objects of utility, but expressions of culture and
aesthetic value.

 

Either way, Munari basically said everything Dieter Rams wanted to
say about design in a much more round-about way, so kudos to him for that.

It is interesting to see the image of design in the 50’s and the
60’s that are portrayed clearly by Bruno Munari in this book.

 

Design in that period is more related to engineering, architecture,
mathematics, and physics. He introduces us something new at that time which is
design as art that becomes the norm now. But, it’s quite technical and rigid
explanation that we will find in this book so might be a bit complicated to
grasp

Throughout the book Munari keeps going back to Japanese design,
Asobi, Also means game, which he approves The reason for this is that Japanese
design is oftentimes exactly what I’ve described above: it’s designing the
object as the object itself, and not an imitation of something else.

 

Another important element of Japanese design is its close
connection to the materials used–an intelligent use of each material depending
on its looks and properties. As a result, Japanese design embodies the object
with both, its function, and the properties of the materials used.

Take chopsticks.

 

Two pieces of wood. The same pieces of wood can be served to
anyone, regardless of their status, and regardless of the occasion. They are
simply designed, light and easy to make. They are cheap and you can throw them
out after a meal. The only prerequisite for their use is to cut up the meat
into bite-size pieces beforehand. Compare this to Western cutlery. You can buy
all sorts of knives, forks, and spoons.

 

They can be cheap, expensive, steel, silver, funny, serious,
light, heavy, and so on, and never mind the various utensils and knives
designed specifically for different dishes, whether that be some Parmesan
cheese, or a rack of lamb. Moving to a new house? You better make sure you’ve bought
all the various cutlery you’ll need. The Western utensil is an explosion of
complexity whereas the chopstick is an eating tool reduced to its simplest
form.

 

 

 

 

Design as Art Quotes:-

 

“A designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense.”

? Bruno Munari, Design as Art

 

“When the objects we use every day and the surroundings we live in
have become in themselves a work of art, then we shall be able to say that we
have achieved a balanced life.”

? Bruno Munari, Design as Art

 

“What then is this thing called Design if it is neither style nor
applied art? It is planning: the planning as objectively as possible of
everything that goes to make up the surroundings and atmosphere in which men
live today. This atmosphere is created by all the objects produced by industry,
from glasses to houses and even cities. It is planning done without
preconceived notions of style, attempting only to give each thing its logical
structure and proper material, and in consequence its logical form.”

? Bruno Munari, Design as Art

 

“the vase once had an extremely common use. Most probably it was
used for cooking oil. It was made by a designer of those times when art and
life went hand in hand and there was no such thing as a work of art to look at
and just any old thing to use. I”

? Bruno Munari, Design as Art

 

 

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