The fluidity in-between.

The fluidity in-between.

The American designer Paul Sahre concluded his spirited presentation at Integrated2011 with a pretty wittyremark: "Design whatever you want!". He had just finished showing a project for which he and his team had assembled a huge monster truck/hearse – in cardboard, that is. This virtually weightless vehicle was then solemnly carried to the scrapyard where it was destroyed with a single well-aimed blow. It was like witnessing the launch of TBMG’s latest CD [the rock band They Might Be Giants]. Or was there more going on? After all, Paul Sahre’s design studio is called O.O.P.S. (Office of Paul Sahre). Yet his intervention was far from ‘gratuitous’, for it allowed Sahre to bring into focus the essential artistic freedom – the inspiring power of ‘uselessness’: he couldn’t have set the tone more clearly. 

As an interdisciplinary conference, Integrated logically abstains from focusing on a single central theme. It behaves rather like an intangible colourful fluid that lodges itself between a range of visions and philosophies. It is a forum with high festival content at which speakers can compare their work, design processes, sources of inspiration and methodologies, leaving those present with a sense of ‘indigestion’ that can be interpreted as: ‘Well, I need to catch my breath, but at least I was there’. Integrated is now in its fourth edition and wishes to keep its finger on the pulse by tracking new developments and trends. That is why Integrated is organised every second year, and not annually. 

Let’s return for a moment to a quote from the previous essay (2011): "Luckily, we are living in times of crisis, a crisis that works as an irrigation system for seedlings. These seedlings are not growing into a regiment of ‘creatives’ content to grow in neat rows as and how clients command. These are enthusiastic people who dare to question the question that is put to them, who dig deep enough to find out whether their roots are as they should be: crooked and tortuous. This tortuousness, combined with a sound dose of serendipity, often leads to unique, groundbreaking results …".  …

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The manifesto announcing the Integrated2011 international art & design conference. Published online at Language: English & Dutch.

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