As a painter, sculptor,Industrial designer, graphic designer, author and poet, Bruno Munari is easily considered a true modern renaissance man. Picasso called him “the new Leonardo”. His opinions and ideas may have been considered brilliant by some or just plain silly by others but it cannot be denied that he was a champion of art and design.
One of the best examples of this is his brilliant book and the seed for this blog is “Design As Art“. When I first picked up this book at Pages (the late great store in Toronto), it was because of the title (and the pictures…yup I’m a sucker for pictures in books). I loved that simple notion…DESIGN AS ART. Of course it’s art but as designers do we ever elevate ourselves with artists? Maestros of the line and form tho we are (or should be). I didn’t, hell no and at the time I was kinda getting down on being a graphic designer as it had become a means to an end….Well I bought the book and things changed.
This book is so well written filled with quotable notes and ideas that seem so obvious but I had never seen it put in quite that way. Munari insisted that design be beautiful, functional and accessible, and this eye opening and highly entertaining book sets out his ideas about visual, graphic and industrial design and the role it plays in the objects we use everyday. Lamps, road signs, typography, posters, children’s books, advertising, cars and chairs – this heady elixir put my mind into a new focus.
So there you go, your own personal cheerleader of the arts, a doer, a teacher and mentor..seriously go read the book! And now a quote from the man himself.
“Only he who has a different visual opening can see the world in another way and can pass on to his neighbour the information required to broaden his field of view…let us get used to looking at the world through the eyes of others”
For an exhausting look into his life, go to the very poorly designed website: munart.org. Just what would he say about that ugly thing?