Disegno No.9


16 September 2015

"When we started looking at this brief we plugged in ‘climate change’ to Google and you get these very dull images that, mostly, are incomprehensible. They don’t mean anything to me because I’ve never seen an iceberg.”

Thus spoke Luke Pearson, an industrial designer and founder of design studio PearsonLloyd, when invited to assess the problem with the current public communication of climate change. The issue of climate change is at the heart of Disegno No.9, the latest edition of our biannual magazine, which is published next week.

Disegno's cover story is 2°C, a feature in which we invited 10 leading designers from a range of disciplines to consider how climate change might be presented in a new way to the public. Disegno challenged Marjan van Aubel, Sam Baron, Maria Blaisse, Ilona Gaynor, Ross Lovegrove, Neri & Hu, Parsons & Charlesworth, PearsonLloyd, Universal Design Studio and Dominic Wilcox to imagine new ways in which climate change could be talked about.

PearsonLloyd's 2°C proposal (IMAGE PearsonLloyd)

The results, timed to coincide with the United Nations climate change conference scheduled to take place this November in Paris, are provocative and thought-provoking. None provide a complete solution or a finished campaign, but they all consider a problem that we will all have to tackle before long. 2°C, which is accompanied by an upcoming exhibition at The Aram Gallery, asks whether design could trigger a shift in the way that we perceive global warming.

Three different cover options are available, each showing a different piece of original design work from 2°C by Ilona Gaynor, Parsons & Charlesworth and Sam Baron.

Dying taking place in vats in one of the Manos del Uruguay facilities (IMAGE Heidi Lender)

Elsewhere, Disegno No.9 examines further examples of socially-conscious, transformative design. A photoessay shot in rural Uruguay examines Manos del Uruguay, a network of female weavers and dyers who work with international fashion houses, while an in-depth feature set in Senegal studies how a new savannah arts centre by Toshiko Mori Architects ties to Senegal’s history of using culture as a vehicle for political and social progress.

Lights in an arcade in Athens, Greece (PHOTO Yannis Drakoulidis)

Athens’s struggles with austerity, and the work of community design ventures to plug gaps left by the state, are the subject of a travelogue and photoessay in the magazine. Another European capital, Berlin, also comes under scrutiny as we examine how a city famous for its creative community is now opening its doors to big business.

Leather and metal Bluepanelshoe by Marloes ten Bhömer (PHOTO Ola Bergengren)

A profile of Peter Pilotto studies the fashion brand’s transition from cutting-edge digitals print to more traditional fashion techniques, while a gallery of images of progressive footwear designs, shot be photographer Ola Bergengren, is accompanied by an eccentric archive essay in which modernist architect Adolf Loos expands on a theory of shoe design as shaped by the changing physiognomy of feet.

Luca Nichetto's Hai chair for Hem. The back of the chair folds down to reduce volume during shipping (IMAGE Kevin Davies)

Faeces is the subject matter of an essay from design historian Catharine Rossi, who studies the taboo qualities of the material as well as the opportunities that it affords to contemporary design. In another feature, Disegno investigates why furniture design continues to lag behind other disciplines in embracing the potential of e-commerce.

New condominium blogs that have grown up along Toronto's lakeshore, just outside of the city's central Union Station (PHOTO Ian Willms)

Toronto, a city on the cusp of investing C$50bn in its public transport infrastructure, prompts a reflective essay on the changing face and meaning of the public realm. A rare internal document from British manufacturer Hille tells the story of designer Robin Day’s seminal 1963 Polypropylene chair, the best-selling plastic chair in history.

Alessi 9093 kettles stacked in racks at the company's production facility in Crusinallo, Italy (PHOTO Mario Ermoli)

A day spent in the company of Eugenio Perazza, founder of furniture brand Magis, throws a light on the backend of the furniture industry, while design journalist Ian Volner unravels the full story of the Alessi 9093, architect Michael Grave’s seminal whistling bird kettle.

Also featured in the magazine are works by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Hedi Slimane, Jasper Morrison, Mats Rombaut, Bruno Pieters, Michael Anastassiades and Konstantin Grcic.

The magazine will be on sale from select retailers next week, but is available now through Disegno’s website.