‘It was the loveliest party that I’ve ever attended, if anything was broken I’m sure it could be mended.’ – They Might Be Giants. This opening quote, like so many random quotes, has been taken out of its original context and dropped headfirst into the void allowing for a new meaning more suited to the purpose at hand. For unlike the song from which the line originates, there are no socially inappropriate connotations to be had, only the simple sincerity of the words at face value: It was a lovely party – hosted by the passionate Christiane Millinger – and with certainty had any carpet inexplicably sustained damage the fastidious Ms. Millinger would have been able to execute the repair.
Nota bene: This post was heavily revised on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 to reflect information available at that time. I spoke with a colleague in Kathmandu earlier this morning and while most of his family are safe, others remain yet to be located. He further reports their homes are destroyed, and the immediate concerns of shelter, food and medicine are top priorities.I would like to stress that many of the efforts listed here will have longer term benefits to Nepal, whereas others benefit the short term needs of the country. Consider donating to organizations with existing infrastructure and the ability to service these immediate needs first, then give to other efforts with longer term impact. Finally, please remember that the long term success of rebuilding will only be helped by your continued business with Nepal. So, to begin again as it were, an uncredited quote from our friends at floordesign in San Francisco via facebook…
Photorealistic designs in rug production is not a new concept, but it is one that is enjoying popularity mostly due to, in my opinion, advancements in technology and not great artistic or creative merit. An iconic photograph, of an iconic building, in an iconic city. That’s great. Let’s “design” a rug. I’ll just desaturate the image, drop it into the rug graphing software of your choosing, maybe pick the colours, but likely let the computer, and viola! I’m a designer. Now I’ve heard Mr. Irwin did not design this rug, but that is neither here nor there. He is passing this bunkum off as design and frankly it is not. Don’t believe me? That’s fine, I believe you to be wrong. That notwithstanding, it is a fantastic technical achievement in rug construction, but it might as well be a screenprinted design on a cotton chenille machine woven rug. It’s that stupid of a concept and it is insulting to think that people with real taste and style would appreciate, let along purchase such a rug. It’s pretending to be iconic by borrowing provenance and anything else it can from both its origins and the exceptional skill of those who wove it. It’s an affront to taste (good or bad) and we need not ever speak of this again, but of course we will, because on the other hand… .
Perhaps it best to begin where the prologue that was my last article left off. As you will recall, I introduced the topic of copyright, and specifically asked: ‘What happens when one manufacturer impersonates the style and aesthetic of another?’ The short answer is found in the article I wrote for the Winter 2013 Issue of COVER magazine (along with Ben Evans and Jessica Franses – Full Disclosure: I was paid for the article.): A knockoff is copying – theft – and it is wrong. My opinion on flagrant and blatant copying is clear, but there are of course an endless myriad of permutations between copying and – to the other extreme – the unattainable ideal of pure original creation, and it is the discussion of this spectrum that is integral to the topic at hand.