Critical Tensions


This November Jonathan will be talking at the Tenth annual St Bride Library conference, Critical Tensions. The conference takes place on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 November 2011 and includes talks by a plethora of typographic talent.

Critical Tensions – Tenth annual St Bride Library conference

Tension is frequently described as a positive in design, with designers balancing opposing constraints and visual ideas in often ‘perfect tension’. Design work balances a whole series of tensions: analogue–digital; male–female; Twitter–Facebook; art–design; East–West; old–young; interns–employees; global–local; micro–macro; educated–‘feral’; in-house–independent; degree course–short course/apprenticeship; designer–client.

In these uncertain times of economic and educational cutbacks, what of the old adage that from adversity comes creativity? In the aftermath of WWII, the exhibition ‘Britain can make it’ celebrated the potential of design as a tool for national recovery. The political struggles of the 1960s fuelled the portfolios of a generation of our most celebrated graphic designers. So where are seeds of creativity emerging from current struggles? What are the key points of tension today and what possibilities for designerly making and thinking are opening up as a result? Is tension vital to the design process itself?

Embracing history, education and design practice, this two-day event provides a space for meeting and voicing concerns, for collectively exploring ideas, sharing strategies, consolidating knowledge, and for challenging and reaffirming values.

To find out more including how to by tickets, visit the St Bride website.