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After Design



Sometimes the most beautiful things in world are really quite ugly. More often than not there is something deep within us that prompts a certain visceral reaction that favors an aesthetic. Or, more simply yet, we have emotional connections that allow us to look past the object itself and see only the beauty in our mind's eye. Don't get what I am talking about then think about the crap your mom posted on the refrigerator.

Of course, this begs the question whether there are generally accepted notions of beauty regardless of culture or education. The more interesting question perhaps is why do we find things so friggin' ugly sometimes.

When we spend time exploring the production of visual materials the process is often such that the exploration - not unlike a romance - builds a bond between the product and the producer. That bond, if enough time is spent building that relationship, can be quite strong.

What is the point to this? What does this have to do with the image above?

The image is of Hotel Fox, a hotel in Copenhagen that is a Volkswagen project. The hotel will house the journalists coming to report on the unveiling of a new car. Illustrators and designers were hired to do up each room. The results are very strange and, I must admit in my opinion of some, awful.

Why do I have such strong sentiments? Take a look at this room. I cannot imagine spending the night in it only to wake up face to face with an oversized pink mexican hip hop wrestler. It is so much the illustrator's private party that I can't seem to feel welcome.

It's got me to thinking that, while I celebrate the freedom to play and liberation from Martha Stewart's aesthetic grasp, I find the work too much, well, work to interact with and appreciate.
gregory turner-rahman