Blog archive December 2021

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25.12.21 / 01 / How 2021

Everyone got new masks from Santa today. How 2021. Soon they will be a standard gift category, like socks and ties.

Of course, ties are well on their way out - no longer a useful gift. My father must have had 25 at any time. I have 5, none of which have been worn for years except for the black one to funerals. So the category of 'things to be worn under your chin' is being refilled by a different piece of fabric.

20.12.21 / 01 / Treating church as a design problem

Back in 2010 Jonny Baker interviewed me for a chapter of his book 'Curating Worship' (SPCK 2010). I've added my transcript to this site, because it's perhaps the most complete statement I've ever made about alt worship, art and design, and it felt like a kind of missing link among all the other stuff I've written here. It's also something that I point coworkers and potential employers at to explain where I'm coming from in relation to this church stuff.

Yes it's a long read, it was a chapter of a book. It's a good book - buy it and read all the other people's perspectives and insights too!

03.12.21 / 01 / thinking the whole

Some transcriptions of Peter Kapos's parts of this talk


I was doing a phD in philosophy, and I was peripherally interested in industrial design...

I was interested in German Idealism, and there’s a flowing together of ideas out of German Idealism into 20th century German Functionalism which I became aware of...

a specifically German project of thinking the whole, and a lot of that Modernist German 20th century design also has a social orientation, so it provides pictures, utopian pictures, of reconciled wholes...

a speculative futural projection of what a world could be like, which is installed in buildings, and in interiors, and in coffee grinders which I think is marvellous

Peter discusses this cover of the Ulm school journal, which looks like a Peter Saville album cover - easy to imagine it appropriated:

ulm 2 school journal
ulm 2 school journal as new order cover

Adorno: [speaking of German functionalist architecture]

Architecture worthy of human beings thinks better of men than they actually are. It views them in a way they could be, according to the status of their own productive energies as embodied in technology


This idea of productive energies being a potential which is disclosed by architecture, or product design, or graphic design - an image of the future, essentially, an image of human possibility
braun programme 1962

Kapos about this double-sided poster of the Braun programme for 1962:

A utopian proposal for a possible form of social life - these are like people - this is how you can have a social form, like a whole where there’s a unity of difference within an overarching unity - freedom and law
We’re looking back at a moment which is projecting forward - this is a resource for us in thinking about our future...

What we need to avoid in looking back in order to look forward is nostalgia, which is useless - but also to avoid thinking futuristically about the future... to fetishise the idea of the not-now - a glamorous sense of the future which becomes a self-contained aesthetic - the tailfin version of the future

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