Thursday, February 16, 2017

Abstract: The Art of Design Netflix Series Review

Abstract: The Art of Design (2017)

Watch Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix
Excludes UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand
Executive Producers: Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville, Dave O’Connor
Starring: Christoph Niemann, Tinker Hatfield, Es Devlin, Bjarke Ingels, Ralph Gilles, Paula Scher, Platon, Ilse Crawford
 Rated: TV-14

Look at the world through the perspective of the world's leading designers in a variety of disciplines.

The eight subjects of the series are Christoph Niemann (illustrator), Tinker Hatfield (Nike shoe designer),  Es Devlin (stage designer), Bjarke Ingels  (architect), Ralph Gilles (automotive designer), Paula Scher (graphic designer), Platon (photographer), and Ilse Crawford (interior designer).

I like a show that delves into the mind of an artist, and this series picks artists from different creative fields. It answers the question of what do they do and how do they do it.
They all share a passion for their art and many of them have developed creative hobbies aside from their occupations. I like shoe designer Tinker Hatfield and car designer Ralph Gilles episodes the best as they provide insight into the industry as well as the designer.
Each episode delves into a little bit of related history and many episodes feature creative editing.
Watch it.

Each of the eight episode focuses on a highly regarded creative. The episodes get into their background, process, previous work, and mindset.
These are designers at the highest level of their craft and all of them seem to have varied creative interests. Each is passionate about their craft, focusing on problem solving, simplicity, or how the environment informs design.
Christoph Niemann
The first episode took a while to get started. At the half way point Christoph Niemann finally gets into his process, having discussed concepts and played with Lego blocks. His episode focuses primarily on his current endeavors,which are silly creative projects. He has a lot of free time to play, but I'd like to see more about his New Yorker covers.
Tinker Hatfield
Episode two features Tinker Hatfield. I knew he had designed many of the Jordan series shoes, but I didn't know he had designed the Back to the Future shoe. This is a strong episode as it chronicles how quickly Hatfield rose to the top of his field. It's his desire for function that directs form that has created iconic designs. His shoes touched society, and now he wants reactive shoes that react to the environment. This is a great episode.

A lot of the designers play a musical instrument and Es Devlin is no exception. She's a stage designer for musicians/artists.

Bjarke Ingels work is large scale, but I really liked that his office uses Lego blocks to brainstorm spaces in buildings. As cool as designing a building with a chimney that puffs rings of smoke is, not many people are going to spend money on something so frivolous. Buildings are expensive enough already.
Ralph Gilles
As I watched the episodes, you being to pick up subtext. Hatfield wanted to solve a problem, Ingels designs are whimsical, and in episode five, Ralph Gilles is a fan of cars. This episode takes you behind the scenes showcasing how a car goes from idea to sketch to concept.

In episode six Paula Scher leverages the city to generate ideas.

Platon, featured in episode seven, keeps things simple. It's about the raw art. His desire is to learn something about the person he photographs.

I liked episode eight the least. It was concept heavy and lacked completed projects. I wanted to see more of what Ilse Crawford had done instead of focusing on her concepts.

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