Burtynsky

I look at the fascinating pictures by Edward Burtynsky, that David Carlson paid attention to under the title “Industrially altered landscapes”. The red soil, the mountains of tires, the graphic pattern of industrial workers. Grim and thoughtful, yet inspiring and somehow beautiful as contemporary documents.

My starting point in the design discussion has often been the crafts position: How can we develop the crafts field? Is there a way for development through a more frequent dialogue between the industry and the crafts? And what kind of products would be produced in a scenario like that? Our need for tactility, curiosity, uniqueness, quality and aforethought has convinced me that the craftsman has many important experiences from materials, methods and context to share in a mass production situation – and vice versa.

But there is nothing new under the sun and some ideas are worth dusting off. Now, a century later I can see a shift, a new anti-movement against mass consumption, the lack of quality and the environmental situation. Today, old ideas about arts and crafts in industry and letting the industrial product be permeated by art seem very modern and appear to be – not only an issue for design development – but a way to actually deal with sustainability in the long-term perspective.

Today, my starting point is not only the crafts or development of the design area, but also – of course – action for a healthy environment. I strongly believe that matching, and marrying, crafts and industry again is one way to deal with it. And Burtynsky’s pictures give me the energy to start this work.

This is the first post from Hanna Ljungström as a new contributor here at the David Report blog. Hanna is a Swedish designer and you can read more about her and her work in this earlier post or by visiting her homepage.

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