Vox pop

The opening of the Beck’s Futures exhibition at the ICA in London this week seems to highlight the ever-increasing crossover between works of art and design. How do you see the lines blurring most and what are the implications for the design world?

‘Hasn’t the crossover always been there? It is just that now there is more of a trend of taking “things” out of a practical context and putting them in the “exhibition” forum. Look at Brilliant at the V&A – an exhibition about lighting. Or look at the V&A itself, surely without this crossover it wouldn’t exist. What you label things isn’t important, whether they are any good, or not, is.’

Lucy Holmes, Creative director, Holmes Wood

‘Graphic designers used to be called commercial artists. I quite liked that straightforward description. Now, thanks to Charles Saatchi, artists are more commercial than any of us. As for the future, I guess design and art will continue to collaborate. Or, put another way, pinch ideas off each other.’

Aziz Cami, Managing partner, The Partners

‘All design has a primary and secondary function. For example, the primary function of a chair is that you can sit in it, while its secondary function is to embody a set of aesthetics or values, or to communicate a message or opinion. This secondary function of design is the primary function of art; this is where the two cross over. Joseph Beuys believed that everyone was an artist. I agree, although perhaps not everyone is a good artist.’

Angus Hyland, Partner, Pentagram

‘A form of expression? Art and design are irrevocably colliding. The art world ever increasingly borrows mediums and materials more often seen in a design environment. Also the blurring effect is increased when both sides try to communicate to the same savvy consumers on similar social issues. Show the punters two pieces of strong visual communications and see if they can tell who did which.’

Rob Machin, Creative director, English & Pockett

‘The lines blur when artists are realising the potential of design techniques to communicate. Design is the subset. All designers are artists. The lines have always been a blur, if indeed there have ever been lines at all. The Design World can only benefit from a lack of boundaries. Boxes and lines are “attempts to control the wielding of creative life” – Bruce Mau.’

Matt Barnes, Senior designer, Digit

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