Category Archives: Working Processes


Design Criticism and the Creative Process

January 11, 2011 by Cassie McDaniel @ Published in: Graphic Design, Creativity At a project’s start, the possibilities are endless. That clean slate is both lovely and terrifying. As designers, we begin by filling space with temporary messes and … Continue reading

PG Debate

PG Debate Groups PDF

PG Debate Groups 14.12.2010 Proposition
1 Pro “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Pariya Thamnusarn
Hugo Johnson
Jasmine Samiei
Errol Hewitt
Matt Hall
Jerome Tan
Martin Uren
2 Anti “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
Tanachot Sapruangnam
Clarence Chen
Kevin Igoe
Michelle Melkman
Yun-Wook Choi
Chakravarthy Baddepudi
3 Pro “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”
Yeon Sook Lee
Simon Dartois
Sara Liu
Wallace Henning
Kihyun Kim
Raphael Oladipo
4 Anti “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”
Sang Gun Kim
Stefano Annibale
Elyse Gehring
Cunpu Gong
Ishmael Gowero
Vicky Fox
5 Pro “That form ever follows function. This is the law.”
Viral Patel
Christos Sfetsios
Eurim Kim
Stefan Christou
Munseok Choi
Greg Walker
6 Anti “That form ever follows function. This is the law.”
Brian Johnson
Yuki Kijima
Hyein Lee
Antony White
Craig Allen
Steve Crocker


On Tuesday 14 December you will become a debating society. You will be split into teams and asked to argue for or against and series of propositions. There will be 6 teams, 2 on each side of the debate. Each team will be given one of three propositions at random and will then have to debate against the team who has drawn the counter argument. You will have to research your proposition so that you can ‘win’ the debate by your ‘force’ of argument.

Each team will have 10 minutes to put their case, each member having to contribute in some way to this presentation. There will then be a 10 minute session where the rest of the MA group will be able to question the team about their proposition. After this it will be the turn of the team opposing the first proposition and the same format will apply. The session will then continue until all 3 propositions have been debated. We will then vote on each proposition in turn to see which teams debated their points most convincingly.

The three propositions will be:

1. “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

2. “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”

3. “That form ever follows function. This is the law.”

Maps and legends.

Got to: for more pictures…

Charting the working processes of early 21st century designers

Published on Monday, 25 October, 2010 | 12:08 pm

As a lasting souvenir of the first AGI Open conference, which took place in Porto last week, organizers Lizá Ramalho and Artur Rebelo edited and designed a book titled — like the conference itself — ‘Process is the project’, writes Jan Middendorp. The book is a catalogue of the exhibition ‘Mapping the Process’ (co-curated by architect André Tavares), which is being held at Porto’s charming Palacete Pinto Leite, a former music school, until 10 November.

Top: Peter Biľak’s contribution to the AGI Open conference. See our Reputations interview with Biľak from Eye 75.

To a certain extent, the book is the exhibition, as it reproduces the complete series of almost a hundred works by AGI members that were specially made for the show. As AGI President Paula Scher explains in her introduction to the book, it is customary for each annual AGI conference to host a graphic project to which members contribute; however, this year’s exhibition is extraordinary. Ramalho and Rebelo challenged their colleagues to go beyond the usual tribute to the location of the conference. They asked the membership to create ‘a map of their working process’. Which is like, as Scher notes (and the three curators admit), asking for ‘the impossible’.

Above: Palm reading Seymour Chwast’s creative process. See ‘Divine noir’ on the Eye blog for a look at Chwast’s surreal take on Dante.

While poster projects on a given theme often have a perfunctory feel about them, many of the works in this collection emanate the kind of fun, passion, confusion and craziness which the organisers doubtlessly hoped for. The impossible has seldom been dealt with in a more lucid and witty way. What makes the exhibition and companion book special is, of course, the amazing quality and range of the people involved.

While the AGI was once a gathering of modernistically inclined white European men, its membership now includes people from six continents and encompasses virtually all the current views on graphic design, typography and illustration; ages range from, roughly, late twenties to nineties. All of this is reflected in this collection of mental maps (and schemes, collages, cartoons) which is astonishing and at times puzzling in its variety of answers to the question: how do you do it?

That designers, many of whom are highly respected and even ‘famous’, agree to draw a map of their process in the first place, is quite amazing. For some it may be like giving away manufacturing secrets; for others, baring their professional (and personal) souls. Some have synthesized the painful aspects of compromise in a single strong and witty image, like Alain Le Quernec’s ‘Double Target’ (showing a clumsy drawing of a target that is but a shadow of the powerful graphic image it tries to approximate, above).

David Gentleman represented the tortuous creation process by a sensitive hand-painted path; Uwe Loesch sampled Minard’s famous graph of the decimation of Napoleon’s army in Russia as a sarcastic comment on the lost battle with the client. Several designers, including Stefan Sagmeister, made no attempt to synthesize the steps from start to finish but displayed each hurdle in its mind-bending, heart-breaking complexity (below). Tony Brook summarized the whole thing in three words, set sideways: ‘Think, Make, Next’, while Seymour Chwast mused: ‘Process? What Process? The working method of a designer does not look like a monopoly board. It looks more like a salad.’

An introspective project like this will always have an element of narcissism and complacency. But ‘Mapping the Process’ and its catalogue contain enough wit, insight and sheer virtuosity to complement that and reach beyond the strictly personal. Without wanting to sound pompous, I think that in a few years’ or decades’ time, the catalogue will offer invaluable insight into what made four generations of designers tick in the early 21st century.

Eye magazine is available from all good design bookshops and at the online Eye shop, where you can order subscriptions, single issues and back issues. The Autumn issue, Eye 77, which includes a Reputations interview with Paula Scher, is on its way to subscribers right now. For regular updates, please sign up for the editor’s newsletter.