As the Zeroes draw to their quick conclusion I'm starting to think about what are the influences and references that we are dismissing now that might have a lasting impact. While googling all the information I could find on the Dutch designer Mattijs, I stumbled across this image of Carri Mundane a/k/a Cassette Playa on Diane Pernet's blog. Something about the snap struck me and that striking factor was the pixilation print on Carrie's dress. It's easy to think of it as just another London Nu-Rave affectation but I think there's something more to it than that. Pixilation speaks to a generation that grew up with video games: from Gameboy and Donkey Kong to PS3 persuasion the clatter and click of electronic noise is something my geneartion understands very well in terms of music as well as in visuals. We cut it up, paste it at odd angles, re-size, remix it, cross-reference it and splice our information to create sick new hybrids.
Designboom (my favorite design site in the world) has a great article running currently about "Iconic Products" (http://www.designboom.com/contemporary/computer_icons.html) and touches on the influence of pixilation as a design trope. The writer there states :
it's hard to pinpoint exactly at what stage digital technology changed the course of our lives
and social interactions. with the emergence of computers in the 1970s, we saw the introduction
of digital icons. developed at the xerox research center facility in palo alto, these icons were
meant to make the process of navigating through computer interfaces easier. a small pixelated
image which typically ranges in size from 16x16 pixels to 128x128 pixels, icons were designed
to be easily recognizable. used on our desktops, toolbars, web-pages and other applications,
computer icons draw from real world objects and have been known to take on the form of a
file folder, paint brush, speaker etc., symbols we can easily identify and associate with.
individuals even use avatars (a form of icon) to represent themselves on instant messaging
programs, virtual computer games and various internet forums. computer icons have become
an important part of our visual language, so much so that these digital computer icons are
making their return into the real world. there are also a number of products out on the market
which have been influenced by computer hardware. from the desk to the desktop and back again.
My big dream is to see said design trope move from the desktop and onto the runway. Hopefully for Spring/Summer 2009. But I'm being coy. One of the Hiss Squad spotted the reference in the design studios of a very very directional designer. Carri Mundane does it again!