Interview: Humans since 1982 and Barbara Brondi, February 2013

This interview was published in In Residence, Design Dialogues / Diary #5. Mantova: Corraini Edizioni. 2013, April. Print. 



Brondi  What key words do you think might provide an up-to- date definition of the term ‘design’?

Hs1982  Human (in a positive way) - interdisciplinary - a good idea - subjective


Brondi  What do you think the designer's role is in today's society?

Hs1982  Each designer has a different role, so it can be more or less everything.


Brondi  How do you think a designer's work is seen in people's everyday lives and what obvious implications does that entail?

Hs1982  It depends on the work. Good design makes people's everyday lives better (easier, happier, more intense, more respectful...), bad design changes nothing or simply makes life worse.


Brondi   What aims do you set yourself in your own professional work?

Hs1982  Keeping a healthy distance from "design" and not losing the overview.


Brondi  Contemporary design is an extremely vast discipline that is constantly re-gauging and fine-tuning its own realm of enquiry. Do you think your design work refers to a specific field of enquiry or, on the contrary, are you not interested in the idea of specialising on any single front?

Hs1982  We are interested in multidisciplinarity. We think that working in different realms enriches not only our output, but our lives too.


Brondi  Which disciplines have most influence on your own exploration into design, from which subjects and from which realms of knowledge do you draw most inspiration?

Hs1982  Considering art and graphic design as being within our own discipline we would say: advertisement, sociology, fashion and media in general.


Brondi  Is there any particular designer, from either the past or present, whose work provides a benchmark for you? What is it about their work method or the quality of their work that you think relates to your own creative thinking?

Hs1982  Considering Andy Warhol as a designer, we would mention him first, then maybe Martin Margiela. Both had a unique and admiring way of challenging established opinions and creating a fascinating image around their studios. Their work is conceptual, believing in the theory: When something is good (idea) it's always beautiful. But something beautiful is not always good. 


Brondi  Are there any leitmotifs in your research and experimentation? Are there any specific topics that you have studied and analysed more than others and which, during your career, have provided important input for the creation of a certain number of projects?

Hs1982  In general we are interested in interest itself: asking what makes people being fascinated, motivated and so on.


Brondi  Can you briefly describe how you organise your own creative method? Do you have an approach to design that follows any tried-and- tested, repeatable strategy or should each work be viewed as a new piece of enquiry in its own right?

Hs1982  We don't think we are so stringent to develop and follow a certain method, even though we are trying sometimes.


Brondi  Objects found in everyday life are important presences, which are also useful for stimulating the imagination and arousing emotions: are there any specific traits an object must have in order to be considered a "device" capable of being wondrous?

Hs1982  This is one of our most important goals to find out (see answer to question 8). If we found a clear answer, we would be very happy.


Brondi  How can this propensity for being wondrous be regenerated? Or, in other words, how can an object maintain its vocation for being wondrous over a period of time, offering itself as a “vector" of everyday wonder?

Hs1982  It certainly helps to add a level of meaning to an object. Another way is probably to make it disarmingly simple so that the perceiver is stunned afresh by the simplicity every time.


Brondi  A designed object can be something highly functional, but it can also be a means of conveying ideas and concepts; in relation to this, what kind of practical purposes are you interested in serving through your works and what kind of important values would you like to express?

Hs1982  Every manmade object always is a means of conveying an idea. Designed objects can not not communicate. Functionality and expression are interdependent. In our work, we aim for a value and functionality that fascinates people.



This interview was published in: In Residence, Design Dialogues / Diary #5. Mantova: Corraini Edizioni. 2013, April. Print.