Thoughts/Ideas (Abstract: The Art of Design)

For this assignment, I watched two episodes from the Netflix series “Abstract: The Art of Design.” At first I was kind of unsure of how interesting it would be just because that is not something I would pick out to watch on my own, but it turns out I really liked it. The two episodes I watched were Stage Design and Automotive Design.

For the stage design episode, I learned all about Es Devlin’s creative processes that lead her to creating a set. When she went to concerts when she was younger, she would notice how all the sets were set up in a “humpback rock set” as she would call it. Her vision was to not follow the mold, but create new things. The thing with set design also is that she can create and design something, but since she doesn’t physically make it, she doesn’t need to know how it works. She has come to peace with the fact that her sets and designs are pretty much never going to be preserved, but when one set is gone she knows another one is coming soon! I really liked that mindset she had.

For the automotive design episode, it was interesting to see Ralph Gilles’ approach to designing Chrysler cars. Chryslers, as Ralph mentions, is only the 3rd top brand in America. They are out there competing with much bigger companies such as Honda and BMW. However, he welcomes the challenge.

I saw a few similarities between the two episodes. First, I saw that the artists weren’t necessarily looking to be designers when they were younger. It seems as though you can work at design and probably get better at it, but it seems as though the best designers didn’t know that it was what they wanted to do.  This shows that really truly good design has to come from within. Also, I saw that the designers shape their designs not based on what they want, but they base it on how people and environments around them are changing. For example, in the automotive episode, Ralph goes through and talks about the history of cars and how Americans first had station wagons to tote around their families, then they switched to the minivan, then they switched to SUVs. He was working to create a new kind of vehicle that would appeal to millennial families. In the stage design episode, Es needed to adapt her designs for each particular music artist and their types of music. Her sets for Kanye were different from Adele’s whose were different from Beyoncé’s. Also another thing that was similar was that both artists looked at designs from the past to enhance their designs and kid of create their own unique styles of design.