We were nominated as one of the 10 finalists of the Rotterdam Design Prize
Strange Attractors Design | Various works
“Catelijne van Middelkoop and Ryan Pescatore Frisk are the founders of the design studio Strange Attractors, which works in a remarkably personal way with typography, graphic design and new media. Trained in the traditions of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and Cranbrook Academy of Art, they are highly conscious of the history of their craft. Nevertheless, they are not overwhelmed by tradition and work with a healthy disregard for the doctrines of modernism, a mentality that typifies the new generation of designers. Strange Attractors’ entry for the Rotterdam Design Prize varies from examples of typefaces to a record cover, and from an animated fairytale to a vast typographic installation entitled Big Type Says More.
It gives a good impression of the position from which Strange Attractors has worked over the last two years. Since its inception Strange Attractors has used typography as a weapon in its crusade against modernism’s one-sided and impersonal influence on design. “Initially we were accused of being too decorative and therefore too superficial. ‘The evolution of culture marches with the elimination of ornament from useful objects’ or at least that was what Adolf Loos and his contemporaries thought. But precisely by making use of ingredients that counter modernism - the handmade, calligraphy, ornament and excess - we constantly attempt to come up with unique solutions for design problems. We do this by using the computer as much as possible as a tool for the expressive quality of the hand and craftsmanship. The digital must become tangible again, whether in a literal or figurative sense makes no difference. In our typography we do not wish to discourage the viewer from reading, but rather we wish to prompt them to really look for once.” Whether making typographic works, posters, catalogues, digital animations or a spatial installation, Strange Attractors set themselves against the uniformity and anonymity of modernist design and have a highly personal expression. The committee was impressed by the practice’s consistent position and the quality of
(Annemartine van Kesteren)