Kristian Bjørnard - Hixson-Lied Visiting Artist
Hixson-Lied Visiting Artist
Kristian Bjørnard is a professor of Graphic Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He lives in Baltimore, MD with his wife and two children in an old stone house they're trying to make energy efficient. He's made biodiesel, helped his wife run a vegetable farm, and is now converting his family's small yard into an orchard. When he isn't sequestering carbon and free(ing) culture, Kristian designs identities; algorithmic tools; and books, magazines, and digital publications for a variety of clients. Whatever the output, Kristian sees every project as an opportunity to create signs signaling sustainability. Kristian holds an MFA in Graphic Design from MICA and a BA in Studio Art from Kalamazoo College.
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[00:00:02.680]Byron Anway: So, once again, thank you all for joining us and i'd like to thank the Hixson-Lied College's visiting artists lecture series for funding tonight's event.
[00:00:11.800]Byron Anway: tonight's speaker is Kristian Bjornard, who is a designer a sustainable list and design faculty at the Maryland institute college of art in baltimore Maryland Kristian, I first met I think in middle school as part of the northfield youth choir where we were both probably still altos.
[00:00:32.960]Byron Anway: Technically, I just I remember when I finally got to be a tanner but couldn't be enquire anymore, because that wasn't one of the parts.
[00:00:42.600]Byron Anway: But we reconnected over the last 18 months over concepts of sustainability and libra culture as it relates to the future of design education.
[00:00:55.840]Byron Anway: So as part of Kristian visit he and I have been working together to redesign an assignment for one of my courses color and composition.
[00:01:06.200]Byron Anway: we've been thinking about how to use shared knowledge generating shared knowledge as part of our class and as our as a group, rather than searching the Internet for imagery and ideas we've been exploring and considering ideas around copyright and also around the nature of creativity.
[00:01:28.480]Byron Anway: So it's been wonderful to have Kristian both presenting ideas, as well as participating in our critiques and i'm so excited to welcome tonight Kristian Bjornard.
[00:01:43.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Alright, thanks Byron.
[00:01:47.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Well, let me just jump jump right in i've got a slides and like Byron mentioned, if you have questions or things that you want to bring up while we're sort of moving just bring them up and we'll try to pause when possible, to cover them in context.
[00:02:07.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay.
[00:02:11.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): All right, um so i'm going to give a talk that is called what is sustainable graphic design.
[00:02:18.760]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And so my hope is to to present to you this space where graphic designing or for making more generally, and the sustainability might overlap and what opportunities or sort of different constraints or concepts for making and thinking about that work might be.
[00:02:40.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I as Byron said i'm Christian gurnard I live in baltimore I am a designer and a professor.
[00:02:49.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And I am sometimes an occasional farmer or Bamboo harvester as well if any of these things do intrigue you I can usually be found online as your means bear at various outlets so.
[00:03:04.720]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): i'm i've been a graphic designer for a while and i've worked in a lot of different mediums i've designed books and identities and websites.
[00:03:16.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): But I think one kind of thing that I try to bring to all of my projects is this idea that that design can still be a medium for intellectual inquiry and self expression.
[00:03:28.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And I can bring that to client projects or personal projects and it's the sort of way that I approach designing were more generally i'm.
[00:03:42.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay chat isn't the way there you go.
[00:03:46.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So i'm going to talk a lot about sustainability, I thought, what you just have a couple of shared understandings before we move forward, so the typical way that.
[00:03:57.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Sustainability is presented is usually through this triple bottom line.
[00:04:02.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): idea that there's social sustainability economic sustainability and ecological sustainability and if you are.
[00:04:09.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): sort of truly sustainable your accounting for all of those things in your actions, and so you end up in this sweet spot where they all kind of overlap, the downside to this, this is sort of a good, practical.
[00:04:25.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Thought model, but the downside to this is that you could sort of be economically sustainable without worrying about social or ecological sustainable.
[00:04:33.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Sustainability or vice versa, so a kind of improved ideology, to have when you're thinking about what sustainability means is this idea that.
[00:04:42.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Our economic systems can only exist within social systems like they don't exist, apart from society and society can't exist, apart from nature, so that all of our sort of.
[00:04:55.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Choices become nature based choices and this thinking sort of leads you to understand the interconnectedness amongst all things a little bit better.
[00:05:08.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay, so that's a little test of the.
[00:05:14.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay, so i'm gonna just start with a piece of work that hopefully should illustrate some ideas that then i'll try to explain more afterwards, so this.
[00:05:27.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): project is called the sustainability just principles and it started out as my sitting at my desk at in Grad school, looking at the collection of.
[00:05:39.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): things I have been reading and trying to make sense of and sort of saying that like no sane person has enough time to actually go through all of this stuff and what could be done to make it a little bit.
[00:05:53.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Clear or easier or time friendly to access the information that was sort of within these things that I was finding so useful.
[00:06:03.560]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That started out as sort of just like mapping interconnections between things or looking for these shared ideas or principles.
[00:06:11.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Which which turned into a little xen that I made that, basically, I would sort of write my own essays trying to illustrate a principle of sustainable design.
[00:06:25.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And then I would sort of show the reader of this where I had kind of taken that from so you could kind of get a little sample of this idea and then know where to look for more information if you were intrigued by that.
[00:06:39.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And was, as I sort of was completing this I sort of came to this place where I was looking at these and said well all I did was just take photos of the books as they already were on my desk like why.
[00:06:54.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): can't I just use the books themselves in some way to do this, and so that became the kind of challenge for myself and.
[00:07:04.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Come the exhibition that we had in in Grad school that was sort of what I figured out how to do is sort of like present this as.
[00:07:14.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The objects themselves, I would still say that this is a poster like it does what a poster would do it is.
[00:07:22.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): posted in a public place and has sort of like clear information is trying to describe to you, but it was sort of this like other way to think about like what a design a graphic design object might be.
[00:07:34.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): In a gallery space, and so it kind of like lives in this weird in between a sculpture, and a poster.
[00:07:41.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): But, so the the books themselves are the books, they are interconnected to aphoristic writings of the longer essays I had written and.
[00:07:51.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The production of the the piece was sort of meant to come together in the gallery and then dissipate back to the constituent parts after the exhibition was over, and this kind of led to novel.
[00:08:06.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Formal solutions where the strings that connect them I kind of left as long as possible, so that they would have the most reuse potential afterwards the kind of principles themselves were screen printed on just found novels from a book share.
[00:08:29.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): From from a book share where that I could just return the books to the book share once the exhibition was over there printed on the front matter around the title pages so like the legibility of the book wasn't really affected after doing this to them.
[00:08:43.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And so, this to me felt like a really good combination of my time in Grad school where I had been posing these this.
[00:08:53.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): been making work that was meant to be a response, or an answer to this question, what does sustainable graphic design look like and through these investigations, I had kind of had some.
[00:09:04.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): results that I thought fit into categories like it looks the same it's just good design, but with different materials, it looks ECO friendly it's sort of like where's its environmental wisdom on its sleeve beat via being you know, like intentionally reused or.
[00:09:22.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Being on craft paper or something like that perhaps it was like innovative and like embracing new technologies or new ideas and then.
[00:09:30.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I had this last kind of criteria category that I was playing around with this idea that maybe sustainable design just doesn't exist and at first.
[00:09:39.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That was because I was feeling kind of pessimistic that, like all these things I was making were just more waste, I was kind of unmaking the world around me to make.
[00:09:50.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): A femoral garbage to be.
[00:09:55.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): frank, I guess, and that it doesn't exist was sort of a response that initially like I maybe.
[00:10:04.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): can't make sustainable design for these reasons, but when it came to sort of be was more of like a different kind of prompt like.
[00:10:15.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The opportunity for making a designed object that has no footprints or is fully embedded in the systems in which create it seemed like a different way to think about the making process, to begin with.
[00:10:34.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Alright cool so then next the next screen like this Byron just interrupt me if there is a question that i'll just pause and.
[00:10:41.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You interrupt me all know.
[00:10:43.280]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That there's a question and, if not i'll just take a beat and then keep moving okay.
[00:10:47.400]Byron Anway: I like it, thank you very much.
[00:10:49.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay, so.
[00:10:52.760]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): i'm just gonna skip this okay.
[00:10:55.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): we're just going to jump right into like trying to define what sustainable graphic design might mean if we're trying to embrace these kinds of answers to the question of what sustainable design looks like as well.
[00:11:09.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): If you are interested in sustainability I highly recommend this book flourishing by john ehrenfeld and Andrew Hoffman and in this book they try to define.
[00:11:20.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): A sort of different philosophy for understanding sustainability as it relates to business and culture.
[00:11:28.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And so the key thing that they try to point out to us is that if you want to be sustainable.
[00:11:36.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You have to first say what you want to sustain because sustainability as a word sort of like is always in connection to something else, like you, you sustain something, and so you have to define what that something is to move forward effectively.
[00:11:55.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): and
[00:11:57.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You see this in many of the EU definitions that are floating out around like what sustainability is this is probably the most commonly referenced.
[00:12:06.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): definition of sustainability it's by the Brundtland Commission which was a UN.
[00:12:12.760]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Lead thing in the in 1987 and they say that sustainable development development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
[00:12:24.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And then you just see sort of like variations of this in different ways, from all the different places that you might look for help.
[00:12:33.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): This idea of like equity over time or leaving things better than you found them or improving human life, while like not limiting other other systems and they all sort of relate to this living within limits or.
[00:12:48.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): making sure that we like leave things better than we found it the sort of golden rule extended forward and thinking about the future.
[00:12:56.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): When you make decisions in the present.
[00:13:00.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And so, basically again this sort of like understanding that our economic and social constructs do exist within a larger construct of nature and that.
[00:13:13.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): There are there are ramifications in the present two things that will happen or ramifications the future to things that happen.
[00:13:21.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): In the present there that those ideas are all present in pretty much any definition for sustainably that you'll find that they none of them are super clear about telling you what they want us to sustain.
[00:13:34.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And so Aaron phil tries to help us think about that, like what do we want to sustain and he tells us that he wants to sustain that people in all other life should be able to flourish.
[00:13:47.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): If you're interested in that idea, he goes into great length telling you what flourishing really means.
[00:13:54.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): But he sort of actually has a fairly clear description for us that many of the other definitions don't or like the Brundtland report.
[00:14:06.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): it's focused on this idea of sustainable development, which is includes like human infrastructure growth and there's a lot of detractors that would say that that maybe isn't actually a sustainable goal, since it isn't necessarily anyway.
[00:14:22.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay, another designer who sort of has the similar thinking is this gentleman named Bruce Mao he is.
[00:14:30.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Has this project he's been working on for several years, called the massive change projects and in it, they described that the welfare of all life as a practical objective is the goal of the massive change project.
[00:14:45.760]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Which to me fits nicely with ehrenfeld sort of all life flourishing description as well, so with those ideas, if you apply them to sustainable graphic designing.
[00:14:55.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Then graphic design that supports all life flourishing could be the way you define sustainable graphic design or perhaps graphic design that's for the welfare of all life.
[00:15:05.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Is the way that you know, I would like to describe sustainable graphic design so moving forward like these are the ideas that i'm working with when I try to explain or lay out what's going on in these other topics so design for the welfare of all life that's my symbol for that.
[00:15:24.120]Byron Anway: Question i'm going to jump in even though you haven't given us the triangles I have a question from Sam bendix would stay.
[00:15:32.160]Byron Anway: The most successful sustainable graphic design would need to reach into and collaborate with other just other disciplines, or can it exists solely through graphic design.
[00:15:44.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): that's a great question um I, I think that it is an answer that is like it depends answer but definitely.
[00:15:55.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): If we think about the kinds of issues that need to be addressed in the context of all life flourishing they're often complex issues that no one person is really capable of understanding or doing something about on their own, and so, yes.
[00:16:15.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Many solutions would sort of require some kind of cross discipline collaboration.
[00:16:25.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That might be with like.
[00:16:27.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): A nonprofit group that specifically works in that area that might be with some kind of material scientist that actually knows more about what you're trying to make but yeah being able to collaborate with somebody or with groups.
[00:16:44.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Is kind of a an imperative moving forward, I think, for for.
[00:16:49.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Creative form makers generally.
[00:16:59.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Hopefully that answers your question yeah.
[00:17:02.200]Byron Anway: awesome Thank you.
[00:17:05.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay, so if we defined central graphic design as graphic design for the welfare of all life or graphic design for all life flourishing, that is a different goal than.
[00:17:20.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Regular graphic design today sort of has for itself, and so, if we think about.
[00:17:27.720]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Our at least fairly contemporary Western art historical systems when goals change and when tools and ideologies sort of.
[00:17:41.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): change or shift that usually corresponds with like the aesthetics of that.
[00:17:48.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Time or Community adapting and shifting as well, and so this is where I sort of like get interested in the aesthetics of things in that like okay.
[00:18:02.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): If I have a different practical objective for my designs, where does that lead me instead from like a decision making process on what i'm selecting or how i'm selecting certain things, so this is just a little.
[00:18:19.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): How, you might pick a font in this context right if we are trying to think sustainably about typography choice, well then maybe using less ink is the a useful way to sort of think about like, how do you justify like which typeface to pick.
[00:18:38.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): But if we're already trying to use less think we could probably use like less space, so if we have like a slightly condensed typeface that also is uses less ink we've saved room and.
[00:18:47.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): ink on our page and then you can sort of just keep taking this sort of like more and more extreme lengths until you perhaps end up somewhere, that is.
[00:18:56.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): ludicrous but it's sort of like a different way to help make a choice that isn't really arbitrary anymore like.
[00:19:04.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): saying what typeface should I pick is sort of like saying what style of house, do you want to live in it's just sort of like a taste usually like what you choose to have as your taste, is that is the answer, and this might this sort of having some other objective to help.
[00:19:21.560]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): can be a way to sort of think about like well if the thinking behind this is different than like this might result in different aesthetics, and that is OK.
[00:19:33.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I have a lot of these pauses, just in case.
[00:19:39.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay, so, then that leads us to maybe this idea that if there are different ideologies or that we might want to critique.
[00:19:46.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The existing yeah.
[00:19:48.920]Byron Anway: I do have one from Jen landis do you research font foundries on their sustainability within the company.
[00:19:59.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): yeah depending on the on the.
[00:20:02.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): On the type designer they would they sort of are more transparent about this, but there are some.
[00:20:11.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): on the spot i'm blanking on who I know are working on this, but, for example, um.
[00:20:17.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): There was a typeface that came out a couple of years ago called ryman ECO and it was intentionally designed to.
[00:20:27.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): it's like a big decorative sarath, but it was designed to save ink so it has, like all these little in like a couple of inline elements that are knocked out of it, so that the typeface sort of looks.
[00:20:39.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): filled when it's printed small but it uses like one third of the ink because there's all these sort of like missing components of the field areas of the of the letter form and then, when you use it big it's sort of like becomes a cool decorative elements on the typeface.
[00:20:55.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So there are type designers thinking about this, and where you read you see this also is in like the digital sphere and so like when you're using web fonts, for example, um.
[00:21:11.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): there's all kinds of things that you can do from like a performance perspective to make your website load faster that also are like useful from an ecological perspective because the less.
[00:21:24.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You have to download to load the webpage the less energy it's taking to download just serve that web page, so if you're expecting web fonts on.
[00:21:35.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): A website, you can choose to like use a limited subset of the characters of the typeface and sort of like intentionally make a kind of like lower energy version of your website, so there are like ways, people are thinking about this in in both the physical and digital sphere.
[00:21:57.800]Byron Anway: Christian, I have a few more questions here, but I also don't want to totally derail you so.
[00:22:04.080]Byron Anway: sam's question sort of leads into what I imagined might be the next area would that sustainable decision making a step extend the elements outside of taipei's choice yeah.
[00:22:15.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Definitely, and I will totally get to that in a second yeah.
[00:22:22.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That good move forward, then.
[00:22:24.560]Byron Anway: yeah pierce's got one in here but i'm gonna wait till there's a, this is a big one, so i'll drop that one maybe a little.
[00:22:33.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): bit cool yeah so um there's plenty of other ways, you can consider.
[00:22:39.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Consider how you make your choices that that just sort of felt like a fun easy one to illustrate quickly.
[00:22:47.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): so quickly, look at just like another idea for how you might formulate why you're making designs the way you are and then yeah i'll get more into that some of these other decision making things okay so um if if again design for the welfare of all life is different than.
[00:23:08.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Every day, designing.
[00:23:13.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Perhaps it sort of.
[00:23:16.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): leads us to some other interesting territory so Anthony done and Fiona Robbie are industrial designers but they sort of think pretty critically about about.
[00:23:27.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): This fact that design in and of itself is an ideological act and it's sort of like makes manifest a a worldview when it is turned into you eat you turn a worldview into an object, when you make a piece of design.
[00:23:43.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And so, most of the objects around us share a pretty similar worldview of like Madonna techno capitalism, right now, and if if we're not seeing that that is leading to all life.
[00:23:57.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): flourishing, then perhaps we need to be led to different kinds of objects, and so this kind of.
[00:24:06.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Other objects, they refer to as like a critically designed object or critical design, and this is an object design object that might provide a critique.
[00:24:15.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Of the prevailing situations and done and Robbie think that design is particularly useful for this, because it is a medium that people are much more familiar with and say art.
[00:24:28.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And it is much more concrete than, say music or poetry at getting across a kind of critical vision for something.
[00:24:36.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So how might we use our sustainable graphic designing to sort of provide this critique of these existing social, cultural, technical, economic things i'm just like a quick super quick example that are like sort of small versions of like lowercase C critical.
[00:24:58.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): We had I invited some designers to one of my class classes, a couple of years ago to talk about how they.
[00:25:05.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Were participating in sort of like climate activism as designers like through their designing and so when I made posters for their talk I just used the previous prints from the recycling bin in the in the graph room to like print all of their.
[00:25:23.760]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): posters I wasn't sure I also found some really old newsprint that was like leftover from something but it's all sort of just like found paper that was in the print shop already to make these.
[00:25:35.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): posters, and then I had this sort of gesture that I used to make as a when used to give people business cards which I don't know if i've given anyone a business card and like eight years but.
[00:25:45.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I used to just have a stamp that I would stamp in my information on like whatever paper people had with them, including other people's business cards it's me that was like a really critical design gesture to sort of point out the frivolity and uselessness of these.
[00:26:03.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): printed things we were handing around all the time and, like it used to be the business cards were like the The thing that people went crazy on when they were designing them, and so they like our w frivolous often in their own incantations, and so this just seemed like a.
[00:26:22.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Clever gesture to sort of bring some attention to that.
[00:26:26.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Like I said back back when we used to actually give each other business cards.
[00:26:32.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay, so this is a project, where I think I can critique some of these issues of materiality and other other kinds of decision making partially, because I think this one doesn't do them the best and then, I have a.
[00:26:47.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): sort of like update to this project later, which I think will further answer those kinds of questions um.
[00:26:55.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay, so this book was called green acres it was a catalog sort of like a denim book to an exhibition at the contemporary art Center in Cincinnati Ohio.
[00:27:07.280]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And the works featured in this exhibition in the book we're all farming related works so as artists using farming as their practice sometimes that manifests itself in like an actual sort of.
[00:27:22.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): sculptural object and sometimes it was literally just like a farmer had a potato field, and there was sort of some other.
[00:27:29.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Communicating that was meant to be happening by sort of like why and artists would do this so it's a really interesting sort of array.
[00:27:37.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Of ecologically inventive sort of farm practice based things and I thought wouldn't it be cool to make a really sustainable book to show that off and like embrace that.
[00:27:48.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): sort of sustainability mindfulness so.
[00:27:55.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I initially sort of thought, well, these are art farms and they will be, in contrast to large scale farming and so how can I visualize that contrast in the book, and so the section breaks or have used these midwestern aerial farm photography.
[00:28:15.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): shots to sort of create this sort of this idea that they're each of these sections is contracting this in a different way, and then there were the sort of artistic.
[00:28:27.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): elements that were pulled from the logo type, which was sort of mentor reference like small farm furrows a farm field for us i'm sorry.
[00:28:38.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And those sort of show up all over the book has just kind of decorative elements so so those two things, along with the fact that the.
[00:28:47.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The actual grid design.
[00:28:49.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Of the page was based on the same sort of townships Square.
[00:28:55.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The tiny farm squares there in the aerial photos were were part of the layout of the pages also was meant to be the sort of gesture of the artistic versus the the industrial um.
[00:29:12.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): But that you know turned out like that seemed like a really great idea to me at the time, but it turned out to be just like so abstract like nobody really gets that I don't think when they look at this book, but no one's being like oh man I can't believe.
[00:29:26.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I can't believe how I I understand the difference between these things now because of of this page grid right that's like a pretty inert sort of way to be critical of something.
[00:29:39.720]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And then, what really ended up being the kind of sustainable aspect of the book was just that we used.
[00:29:46.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): A print on demand publisher to print the book, so that we could print very few copies, at a time, so that there wasn't.
[00:29:56.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): unnecessarily weren't unnecessary we large quantities of books being printed and being shipped and being stored in that being sold and being wasted.
[00:30:06.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And so it was printed on recycled paper and printed on this with this on demand printer and that really ended up being the like main aspect of the book once.
[00:30:16.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): My clever miss like wasn't wasn't apparent enough in the criticality of the things and then um.
[00:30:25.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And look into that and say okay.
[00:30:28.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): i'm Okay, so that was green acres that was how much maybe I feel that manifesting some of those things in a piece.
[00:30:39.320]Byron Anway: Christian, we do have a question.
[00:30:44.280]Byron Anway: So, this one is also from Sam, how do you balance the desire to design sustainability with the reality of having to design things a certain way to fit a brief or clients vision.
[00:30:58.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I mean I, I would say that my goal like like I said the beginning my goal is to make every project that I do i'm an expression of my self in some way.
[00:31:09.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And so, sometimes the way that you do, that is, that you just like don't tell the people.
[00:31:14.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That you're doing the things, because if it like doesn't cost them more or it doesn't like change what you're delivering to them, they actually don't care what you're doing to deliver them, the object that they requested.
[00:31:29.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Granted that doesn't always work, because sometimes the brief is so constrained or the budget is so tight or their specifications are like already decided that you just sort of have to you do is you, you do it as they requested and then.
[00:31:46.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You know.
[00:31:48.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Sometimes it's just frustrating you like you might you try to ask, as many questions as you can you try to change, as many of the things as you can.
[00:31:55.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And when it turns out that it's just not going to make any difference with them you sometimes just have to say okay well.
[00:32:01.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I tried this is things done, and maybe I need to not work with this person again moving forward, or maybe next time I can convince them to do something more, because on I can approach them ahead of time.
[00:32:15.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That being said, in in my experience.
[00:32:20.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I feel like.
[00:32:22.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): When the choices that you want to make have very little ramification to their desire to a client's desires they're usually pretty open and amenable to.
[00:32:35.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): letting you suggest things so recommending paper that you think looks good you can also recommend paper that is made of you know, like alternative fiber sources or is.
[00:32:51.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): More recycled or like isn't bleached or something like that, and you can pitch it to them as being better paper you don't have to necessarily pitch them as like being less.
[00:33:01.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Like work, climate change, friendly or something so I do know that sometimes like that's an adversarial perspective, although increasingly I find most clients are interested in that because they see it as an opportunity to sort of position themselves differently with certain.
[00:33:19.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You know their clients or their constituents.
[00:33:25.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): hope that answers your question.
[00:33:32.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay um.
[00:33:38.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I think one thing that I talk about a lot with some of my colleagues, is this idea that.
[00:33:45.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): When we're as graphic designers we.
[00:33:51.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): tend to you to see I guess the the the kind of instructions or the ideas of what good graphic designing are really, really tied to the formulas principles of what good modernist design are so like modernism.
[00:34:11.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Is sort of like synonymous with the principles of good graphic designing and.
[00:34:19.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): In the in the sort of like well.
[00:34:23.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): If sustainable designing is different ideologically than everyday designing perhaps the criteria of what goodness is that comes from modernist.
[00:34:34.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): principles it doesn't sufficiently cover what goodness might be in sustainable designing and so this idea of like shifting away from like oftentimes when you say design, you really mean modernist design in in most contexts right like.
[00:34:53.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Every single company that is rebranding right now is just sort of using a humanist geometric sans serif typography it's like all just modernism everywhere and.
[00:35:08.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I guess like that isn't necessarily problematic, except that if that's the only criteria we have for measuring like good formal fit of things, it is maybe missing opportunities or like.
[00:35:23.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): negatively impacting certain kinds of visual solutions that might be better for the welfare of again i'm digressing anyway.
[00:35:35.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So maybe they're just like a big like other ways to think about beauty or good forcefulness of good formalism that can come not from a.
[00:35:48.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): In aging.
[00:35:50.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Artistic style but could come from some other kind of value system or structure.
[00:35:57.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So if we in trying to to.
[00:36:03.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Research this more I think more about this, I came across this quote by the philosopher Atlanta Bhutan, who says that.
[00:36:10.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): If you find a piece of design beautiful it's because it has your values reflected in it, and so this idea that beauty, will be a reflection of your values is a nice idea and I also like to his quote sort of like talks about flourishing, which may be think about ehrenfeld.
[00:36:33.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): definition of humans and all your life flourishing being like what sustainability is, and so, then, is the value is critical to our flourishing if all other life is that value then that's what now is beautiful design in in this context in the.
[00:36:53.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): context of sustainable design is that is beautiful design and interesting sort of like counterpoint to that, then, is that the non sustainable becomes like ugly design, however, you want to define that.
[00:37:10.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So sustainable or beautiful designs form should declare that humans and all life should flourish and what's nice about that kind of definition for an aesthetic direction is that it doesn't really.
[00:37:21.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Try to imply what it should look like it tries to imply what the thing says, or what the thing looks like symbolizes to you and it's a reflection of your values, not necessarily reflection of your aesthetic taste, which could be.
[00:37:37.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Your value system might be like much broader than your aesthetic taste system, but the issue that it, because all these things always have to bring up other issues, an issue that it brings up is that there are these like you know.
[00:37:53.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): ideas that beauty isn't.
[00:37:56.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): isn't fixed different people have different ideas of what is beautiful, and this is not a new idea like Western history is full of people saying this in different ways.
[00:38:09.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So uh.
[00:38:11.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): yeah i'm sure just keep going viral or are there any useful stopping points.
[00:38:20.080]Byron Anway: I muted myself, so you wouldn't have to listen to like lacking um.
[00:38:27.000]Byron Anway: I just wanted to.
[00:38:29.440]Byron Anway: mention that we're sort of at the 15 minute warning because we're running this as like a question and answer and lecture simultaneously so just a heads up yeah cool.
[00:38:40.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): i'm on my last things is perfect perfect okay great.
[00:38:44.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): um okay so.
[00:38:47.080]Byron Anway: uh.
[00:38:47.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Sorry lost my train of thought we were talking about beauty being multitudinous okay so i'm just going to show you some things that from the world at large that that I think are examples of.
[00:39:01.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): kinds of communication design, so we could call these graphic design, although I think most of them are like physical things.
[00:39:09.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That are trying to signal the welfare of all life in some way they're trying to like semiotic Lee tell you something about how we could improve things, and they have their own kind of like unique forms that they achieve that I think are beautiful but might not be.
[00:39:29.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The stereotypical idea of what a beautiful solution is.
[00:39:34.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): um so this first one is as a proposed idea that unfortunately wasn't able to be made for a bunch of complicated reasons mainly because I think the person who was going to help do it got arrested.
[00:39:51.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): In a scandal in Denmark, but it was an idea from the bianca angles group, and it was part of this larger complex that they helped design.
[00:40:02.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That was a waste to energy plant that the only thing that's emitted by the exhaust stack the CO2 and water vapor so it's so clean.
[00:40:10.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That they've turned it into a park and during the winter, you can ski down it and during the summer it's like hiking trails.
[00:40:16.760]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): But the exhaust deck had this I had this idea that the exhaust deck would make a puff of a vapor ring puff every time one ton of CO2 was collected in the top of the.
[00:40:30.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): exhaust stack as this way to sort of show.
[00:40:34.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The people around in Copenhagen, like what a ton of CO2 looks like right it's like How do we make this immaterial thing material, so that we can understand a little bit more about climate change, a little bit more about our worlds systems.
[00:40:51.760]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): A friend of mine in baltimore Graham cray Allen is working on this series of projects that he calls reverberation crosswalks, and these are crosswalks that are you know, obviously brightly painted this is paint on submit and asphalt so to me this is kind of a form of graphic designing.
[00:41:10.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And they make it very clear that this is a crosswalk and where you should cross, and that if you're a driver, you need to pay attention.
[00:41:17.880]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): To this space because pedestrians will be here, and so this idea that it's sort of like each one is like one tiny step closer to a more walkable sort of like more flourishing city just seems like a really beautiful set of gestures.
[00:41:33.560]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): This project is a solar powered website, and it is a, I guess, a kind of critical design and that is very clearly showing you how things might look.
[00:41:44.760]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): How things might intentionally look different when they're trying to save a lot of energy, as opposed to use up as much energy as possible, so all these images are.
[00:41:55.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): bit mapped which lets them be really high resolution but i'm really low file size and it also allows them to be like color eyes in different ways, so the in different contexts, they can kind of control what things look like very intentionally.
[00:42:10.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So anyway, this idea of like making the lowest power website that's still like had intentional designing became a lot of key constraints like what this looks like and how it works so again, these are things symbolizing sustainability in these important ways.
[00:42:28.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And then, this last one is by designer in DC in Washington DC named Curry hackett and it's called the DC high watermark project and they're putting these sort of sculptural stanchions in in any of the 100 year flood plain areas in and around DC.
[00:42:49.560]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That both mark where floods have actually risen to and where floods are predicted to rise to so he's like they're really high black one, I believe, is like a danger zone for the future, and these other more plentiful ones lower down or ones that like actually have happened before.
[00:43:13.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So again, this is sort of like you're in this place, you can kind of see how high this water would be outside of it a flood needs to happen to sort of show you that to me that's just like a beautiful.
[00:43:23.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): gesture it's a beautiful kind of sculpture, but to me it's partially beautiful, because it is trying to say something about.
[00:43:34.280]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): US flourishing with our environment in a useful way.
[00:43:40.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Okay.
[00:43:41.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So.
[00:43:44.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): um I guess to me I started out this sort of trajectory really caught up with the actual formal aesthetics, of the work that I was making I was worried if it like mattered if it looked the same or looked ECO friendly um.
[00:44:00.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And, as my work has progressed as my thinking has progressed, I feel like i've gotten to this place now where i'm less concerned with finding external formal fit like formal miss formal goodness that comes from like somebody some external.
[00:44:20.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): idea and i'm more concerned with sort of thinking about like what's the context or the content of this project, and how does that lead you to the right.
[00:44:31.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): aesthetic and so if we think about like each project might be different, but if each project is trying to embrace the flourishing of all life, then it will be a beautiful good projects.
[00:44:47.400]Byron Anway: Kristian I love that concluding statement.
[00:44:52.760]Byron Anway: it's so rare that we get one usually it's like people were working then and now they're working now rather than sort of like.
[00:45:00.240]Byron Anway: taking us through a complex question and coming up with sort of like a tangible but also what's it called where like like emotionally satisfactory result or something like that that's awesome I do have a question here from Sue gardener.
[00:45:18.560]Byron Anway: asking if you could comment on the idea of Greenwashing type design meaning design that makes something horrible unsustainable look green and sustainable.
[00:45:31.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): yeah Okay, so that was like one of the things that kind of.
[00:45:38.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): led me to want to find some other answers, other than purely formal answers to what.
[00:45:45.200]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Sustainable things should look like or be like, because if there is only like a single aesthetic trope that indicates sustainability, then it can easily be.
[00:45:59.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): sort of like us.
[00:46:03.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): used without the ideology that led to it and That to me is like where you end up with greenwash things like things that like use a tro of some sort of visual trope to sort of, say, or try to signal that there's something.
[00:46:15.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Environmentally friendly about them, or like socially positive about them, but otherwise we're sort of like manufactured or produced using all of the same sort of.
[00:46:25.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Negative systems that led us to all these problems in the first place.
[00:46:31.480]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You saw this I To me, this was like especially prevalent in the.
[00:46:36.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Mid to like like 2006 through a few years ago, you know there's like all these computer companies that were making.
[00:46:44.520]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): band, or maybe not all like I know a service was making Bamboo enclosures for some of their laptops and desktops and to me that was just like so humorous this idea that like by slapping a little Bamboo Shell around this computer that you like magically made it not.
[00:47:01.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): A horrible resource material and.
[00:47:06.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): workplace disaster.
[00:47:11.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Anyway, i'm rambling now but.
[00:47:14.200]Byron Anway: No good because it actually brings us to pierce's.
[00:47:18.080]Byron Anway: Absolute a bomb have a question considering many of our electronics are made from Labor and materials that are not sustainably sourced can any design that uses computers as a tool actually be considered sustainable.
[00:47:33.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Oh, my gosh.
[00:47:38.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): um Okay, so that was one of the reasons that i'm that I ended up with my like sustainable design can't exist sort of.
[00:47:48.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): quandary was like.
[00:47:51.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): All of the things that I take advantage of to make my work.
[00:47:57.040]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Be it personal or like client design work mainly come from.
[00:48:06.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): systems that have not accounted for like social or natural consequences of their existence and.
[00:48:18.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You you are led down some there are some pads for you, though, if you are interested in sort of like trying to philosophically deal with that and, like turn that into your actual practice so like I am zooming to you all, from my apple laptop, unfortunately, but I also have a really old.
[00:48:40.720]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Lenovo thing but it's not super but an old Lenovo think pad that if I was trying to use it to run windows would be not useful for running contemporary windows, but for running contemporary.
[00:48:52.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Linux systems, it is like totally usable still as a computer if you have the right operating system and the right tools to run on it, so one way i'm sort of trying to deal with this in my design practice is by using.
[00:49:08.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): These alternative tools and and the opportunities like reuse existing machinery with that, so we don't have to make as many new computers, but we can use systems that that work on the computer for much longer, or like revive computers that that like otherwise aren't capable of working.
[00:49:32.800]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): That said, there's like a lot of.
[00:49:36.280]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): progress that would need to happen from like particularly like the worker situations to really sort of have a good answer for you.
[00:49:48.840]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I mean, I do have some extreme colleagues that basically like don't use computers.
[00:49:55.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I mean they're like slightly socialist silly like borrow somebody else's computer when they like really have to, but there are people that are like are attempting to not use some of these things at all possible for those reasons.
[00:50:08.320]Byron Anway: yeah awesome so at this time, I think we have time for one more question.
[00:50:16.400]Byron Anway: We probably have time for more, but I do try and be conscientious of the time here.
[00:50:22.320]Byron Anway: Okay, so we have it looks like a comment from Andrea we really need an alternative to our systems which graphic design is one part.
[00:50:35.320]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Is that, like a like all all of our socio cultural systems is that.
[00:50:43.360]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The context.
[00:50:44.440]Byron Anway: Your economic systems.
[00:50:48.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): yeah I mean.
[00:50:51.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): You.
[00:50:54.120]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The field of graphic design is sort of like trying to figure out what to do about this, and so there is like increasingly this interest in this idea called social design and that, like you take the tools of graphic designing that you would be sort of like turning to.
[00:51:13.160]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Traditional.
[00:51:16.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Business clients and instead think about like, how can I work with people in the localities around me to solve problems that like real people are actually having in their community or like in.
[00:51:33.000]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Community or like nonprofit groups that are sort of like directly working with like a constituency to actually sort of like improve.
[00:51:39.600]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Their situations, and so there is this sort of like growing body of designers that are sort of turning more directly it's like using their practice for those kinds of interventions.
[00:51:53.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): But I mean to me that's part of how you can use Art and Design your yourself, is that you can make things that try in like dude in robbie's critical design I idea that try to show other opportunities for us to participate in um.
[00:52:16.720]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): i'm just gonna sorry I need like three minutes to do one more thing and then i'll be done okay I skip this slide, let me just find it really quickly and then.
[00:52:28.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): The future Cone if we can think about the future, not being fixed but being a set of possibles.
[00:52:38.280]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Or is it future Cone Where are you there it is okay, so this is from.
[00:52:46.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): This gives us all the time, but his name is escaping but voros is his last name.
[00:52:54.240]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): he's a he's a an academic who talks about projected futures a lot but there's this this idea that like we're in the present over here in the now.
[00:53:04.640]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And if we do nothing we're just sort of like on a linear line it's the future, but if we do something we can like change what kind of future we end up in.
[00:53:15.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And each time we like shift far like away from just what will happen if we do nothing more and more other options kind of open up for how.
[00:53:28.680]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): culture and society and life can exist, and so that you know i'm I mean it's like really easy to see how this works with like a piece of technology right like.
[00:53:38.960]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Like go back 20 years and you said let's have I can't wait to get an iPhone and iPhone would be like a way over here in like a potential future and not in like an actual.
[00:53:49.920]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): Future and then it just takes a few years to like reach that were then that becomes the baseline like projected future like for sure we're gonna have iphones moving forward for like the contemporary I mean for.
[00:54:02.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): At least a little bit of time like that's not like a crazy idea that's just like what we all participate with everyday now.
[00:54:09.280]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): So some other social system or some other kinds of like value based judgments that like value natural systems over like manufacturing economic systems are possible if we can just point people in that direction.
[00:54:27.400]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): And then, it just becomes the default future after a while.
[00:54:34.080]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): I mean you know aspirational Lee that's what happens.
[00:54:40.920]Byron Anway: yeah awesome okay well so honestly i'm so glad that you showed that slide at the end of the talk with the conclusions, instead of in the middle, because.
[00:54:52.560]Byron Anway: Being able to consider something that is possible that hasn't happened yet becoming the trajectory or the standard for things moving forward by changing your.
[00:55:05.640]Byron Anway: Actions I think that's a really strong sort of like concluding point um so i've got sort of like an announcement.
[00:55:16.120]Byron Anway: As well as a thank you Kristian I like that, thank you for being with us here tonight, but also for working for what.
[00:55:24.000]Byron Anway: Is hilariously like 18 months with my classes, because your initial visit was cancelled due to coordinate and so what I got really out of that was I got to work with you for three semesters instead of one week.
[00:55:36.480]Byron Anway: So, of all the popular benefits of coven you become a really big part of what i've been doing in my classes and it's been a real joy.
[00:55:45.560]Byron Anway: It was awesome so once again thank you so much for like to stick around and talk with Kristian or ask questions or anything like that i'm sure he's willing to stick around, but at this point, you are of course free to go and thanks so much for taking time spending time with us tonight.
[00:56:01.440]Kristian Bjornard (he|him): yeah thanks everybody nice to virtually meet you all and say a few words so thanks thanks for listening.
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