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Tschichold Quote

February 26, 2010

Reading (or trying to!) The New Typography. Oof! Actually, the man makes a number of good and prophetic and insightful-about-that period points, and I thought his take on modern art was quite interesting.

I came upon this:

“The engineer shapes our age. Distinguishing marks of his work: economy, precision, use of pure constructional forms that correspond to the functions of the object. Nothing could be more characteristic of our age than these witnesses to the inventive genius of the engineer, whether one-off items such as: airfield, department store, underground railway, or mass-produced objects like: typewriter, electric light-bulb, motor cycle. They have created a new — our own — attitude to our surroundings.”

Ignoring all the interesting things about Tschichold saying the engineer shapes our age (but probably right?), I liked this idea of the creation of a new attitute to surroundings. And in fact, couldn’t we say that that is sort of what designers do (which is sort of what Tschichold might have been saying all along, because, even though he hasn’t said it explicitly yet, I suspect he equates engineers and designers) : the designer creates a new attitute to our surroundings?

I kind of like that way of seeing it. Not sure if it has legs though.

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