Satire, human rights and the Wu-Tang Clan were just some of the subjects touched upon at the Here 2016 conference last week
The fifth edition of the annual design symposium Here 2016, organised by the online graphic design publication It’s Nice That, took place that the Royal Geographical Society in west London last week.
The one-day event featured a range of talent, including New York Times Magazine design director Gail Bichler, Joe Halligan of architecture collective Assemble, MTV creative director Richard Turley, and several illustrators and photographers. Here are some of our highlights.
1. ‘The subject is more important than the material,’ said sculptor Wilfred Wood, best known for his work on the satirical 1980s TV puppet show Spitting Image. He explained, too, that he found it harder to work with conventionally pretty faces as ideally he needed a distinctive feature to convey someone’s personality.
2. Joe Halligan of Turner prize-winning architecture collective Assemble explained that its members were brought together by their common urge to make something, comparing their management structure to that of the American hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan.
3. Omar Sosa and Marco Velardi, the founders of Apartamento magazine, share their love of illustration and their A-Z list of guidelines for running the magazine: B for boring (which they avoid) and S for still life (which they embrace).
4. Artist Yolanda Dominguez showed her short film Niños vs Moda (Kids vs Fashion), in which images of women in fashion adverts were presented to a group of eight-year-olds. The children were asked to describe a selection of photographs that depicted these women in uncomfortable poses with strange facial expressions. The responses ranged from, ‘she seems to have an illness’ to ‘maybe she is about to die’.
5. Bob and Roberta Smith – pseudonym of the artist, writer, author, musician and activist Patrick Brill – did two politically-charged presentations, showing his distinctive, typographic artworks. In the first, he read out names of artists and journalists who had been imprisoned or killed by oppressive regimes around the world. In the other, more optimistic, talk, he had the audience read from his written art pieces – phrases like ‘make art not war’ and ‘art is your human right’.
6. Illustrator Malika Favre described her career path and how she manages commissions, compromises and copycats – she revealed how, after years of being asked to product work in her distinctive style, she inadvertently found she’d copied one of her own works from several years ago.
7. The last presentation of the day was a high-energy visual onslaught from Richard Turley, who referred to his work as creative director for MTV as ‘the clusterfuck of visual content’. He showed his digital, DIY-styled idents, incorporating user and artist-generated content and imbued with dystopian anarchy – his style of talking was a rapid overload of information.
Anja Wohlström and Simon Kühn
Photography: Tim Bowditch