Category Design

Une Noix

Yvonne Reichmuth

Excerpt from an interview by Tanya König from CNN

You don’t follow seasons. You do one main collection a year. What is the main idea behind that?

I don’t really believe in the system with the seasons anymore. I just think it went way too fast, there are way too many collections, and I don’t want to be repetitive, and I think it takes time to really develop a new idea. Not just to have the time for a great design but also make sure the fit is perfect and the quality is perfect so I’d rather do less and do those pieces really well.

Is mass production the opposite of style?

I wouldn’t say it’s the opposite of style but it’s just not a way I feel comfortable working with. Because I really started with this whole craft because I like the material, I like the crafting itself, I really enjoy doing the pieces as well, so I don’t want to be on the computer and order 3 million pieces and I think its not sustainable the way how we shop and sell, how we produce, and the way we do it it’s different in a lot of ways. We also don’t release a collection, put it in sale after three months, and then just throw it away. 

I feel like that’s an insult to your design because I want to do a design that’s timeless and that’s just as attractive two years after I released it. So people can choose which piece they like the most based upon their personal taste, depending on the style they’re looking for and not because it’s Fall/Winter 2017 or whatever.


Quite early on, you were described as “inconsistent’, because you were always swapping levels, both in your subject matter and, even more, in your style. You have described yourself as ‘uncertain’. Or is some of it about proving to yourself and to others that you can do anything?

No, it isn’t that. Painting a copy of a photograph is something that can be learned. And there are so many conceivable kinds of artistic statement that I haven’t made – I’m relatively limited – a bit one-sided, in fact. Never anything but oil painting.

Inconsistency is simply a consequence of uncertainty, which I certainly do tend to suffer from – but then I also regard it as inevitable and necessary.

So perhaps uncertainty is the overriding theme?

Maybe. At all events, uncertainty is part of me; it’s a basic premise of my work. After all, we have no objective justification for feeling certain about anything. Certainty is for fools, or liars.

Inspiration: Kupio Album Preview


Philosophy I.

(Excerpts from Bad Vibes interview with Vladislav Delay)

Why do you feel a need to classify your music under different pseudonyms?  Do you categorized music under each name, during the creation, or are the ideas immediately begin life for each project?

They are my children, my projects. I couldn’t give same name for all my children (musical or otherwise). It’s personal. And then it’s very much also practical.

I play around with so many different musical styles that I think it serves the purpose to give them different names. I can appreciate people doing music that mixes everything up; one of my biggest influences is Frank Zappa to begin with. But I can’t do that myself, and rarely I like the mash up music beside the Zappa stuff. So for me the different productions are very conscious and I guess I enforce them with different names. I also assume, and partly know also from the long history of experiencing audience’s reactions, that many people like only narrow selection of music. so it makes no sense to offer everything I do under one name, it would just confuse and piss people off, at least more than it would satisfy people by surprises in each release.

I also like concepts, musically, but also giving them titles. I mean in the end there are just few, but Luomo and Vladislav Delay for example have strong conceptual ideas behind them which I’ve had for long time already. And having new ideas for each project is very exciting. there’s something like a foundation but then you move around in that space and try to create something new, I like that.

You’ve described where you live ‘as in the middle of nowhere’ – Do you feel your environment lends itself to the creation of your musical aesthetic?

I think environment plays a big role to everyone. There’s probably the most suitable surrounding for each and everyone and it’s different to each and everyone. The big thing and the challenge is for us to even begin to look for it, never mind to find it.

I noticed while living in Berlin that I’m going to be ##### if I can’t find my “place” and then spent few years trying to figure it out, and luckily had faith and power to go through that and also a partner to support me in that and of course very importantly share my views of life.  So to a point. When you have “your place” where you live and feel well it totally benefits your creations. I have seen it very clearly already.

You’ve described your relentless work ethic as a personal vision – what is your perfected musical manifesto?

I don’t believe in manifestos actually at all. I learn new things every day and change my views accordingly, and many things I felt in the past feel already ridiculous. So I try to question myself and what I do constantly. So maybe that is the manifesto if one has to be said.

But also I don’t work so much or so hard in the end. You lose the necessary “something” if you just do and do and do without a break, and you also begin to repeat yourself. So older I’m getting more I’m trying to do other stuff, my daughter also helps a lot in that…

But my musical quest is relentless still, for sure. And the musical vision I have is also quite relentless and maybe little bit unforgiving, to myself that is.  The main thing is, there’s so much possibilities to do, and not everything is easy to achieve so what can I do? I really want to do lots of things musically. Only difficult thing is that more and more it becomes very hard to make a living out of making music, especially if you don’t want to constantly tour around. And the thing is, if you tour around you end up not making any music, good music at least. There’re sadly way too many proofs out there about that for sure.


Parallels: 1984+2012

A Mind Forever Voyaging II.

Several months after I stopped writing in August 2011, I noticed my creative and thinking abilities had lessened (I label this collective “design”).  While I was still thinking of new ideas and concepts, I found they lacked the time (and “environment”) to develop.

Now that I’ve restarted this process, I am slowly regaining a sense of “flow” that I have been able to periodically achieve over the past several years.  It’s this sense of flow that ultimately drives new ideas and initiatives, both of which help pave the way for new opportunities.

The basis for building a solid design foundation is to continuously create.  In my opinion, writing, drawing, programming, building and reading are activities that  positively contribute to this “foundation” and are a method of creation in their own right.

While creation is key, it’s important to heed frog founder Hartmut Esslingen’s warning:

The way of design is only achievable via creative model-making and prototyping by the designer. Tools, both real and virtual, connect our mind with the real world. However, tools also define how we shape things: tools’ limitations enhance our deep involvement with them and the materials, and honing our skills ultimately leads to mastership. The curse of “easy” digital tools is to become complacent after relative early “successes.” This can lead to mediocrity and a loss of creative excellence. Like the new “polystyrene slates” of many new electronic products, where excellence is defined by how well the corners are shaped (a re-run of 1950‘s boxy design), our modern-day digital design software is the cause for zillions of repetitive and bland products. Charlie Chaplin’s classic film of mechanized dehumanization, Modern Times, is a déjà vu of our current state.

While his opinion is perhaps based in the industrial design arena (frog helped develop Apple’s foundation design language), his comments clearly apply to design disciplines outside of ID.

This is one tension of many that I will need to factor into my development strategy, and will be further explored in future posts.

Early Concept: “T2”

Visuals: “The Pursuit” (DRAFT)

(And I still don’t have a clear sense where all of this is going …)

The Original Plan.

In my final year of undergraduate studies, I and a few of my friends developed a computer game called “Meltdown 2018.”  The concept was based around a return to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant more than three decades after it’s unfortunate demise.

My work on the computer graphics portion of the game triggered a lengthy pursuit that would consume my life for the next ten years.  My goal was not necessarily to develop computer games, but rather to become immersed in computer graphics at its core; I wanted to understand graphics and mathematical concepts well enough to develop software applications based upon these ideas.

Fortunately, I was able to achieve several successes during this period:

  • I developed a modeling plug-in for a popular 3D modeling and rendering application.
  • I developed a NOAA weather satellite image interpreter.
  • I obtained an in-depth understanding of how wavelets are used for image compression (e.g. JPEG).
  • I developed a basic rendering application based on radiosity principles.

For numerous reasons, I eventually abandoned this technical pursuit and focused my energies on the creative-side (e.g. Maya, Gnomon Workshop, ZBrush).  While I have some regrets, I’ve gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience since that time.  However, for someone who loves playing in both areas, it’s hard not to return to this original path – at least for a short while!

Mental struggles aside, I thought it fitting to include a video of a software developer (Eric Soulvie) who continued the journey and developed a powerful physics plug-in for Modo (based upon the open source Bullet Physics engine).  It’s called Recoil.

It’s something that I am excited to play around with as I can already envision finding uses for such a tool in a design context.