Fresh Dialogue Six
New Voices in Graphic Design:
"Friendly Fire," published by Princeton Architectural Press, is the sixth book in the Fresh Dialogue series; a convening of emerging designers in an evening of candid discourse, humor and controversy. Moderated by fellow designer James Victore, Crye Associates and 'the 62' explore issues of ethical responsibilty and explain how their design work has contributed to societal progress.
Crye Associates focus their efforts on engineering and industrial design; work ranging from basic household products to elaborate military items. Recent projects include redesigning camouflage patterns for the U.S. military, and creating an exoskeleton for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency. The Crye studio deals constantly with ethics and political bureaucracy in their mission to better protect those that are protecting the U.S. The 62 create projects that involve sustainability, social activism and community initiatives. By organizing events such as bicycle refurbishing for kids in the Bronx, creating memorials for unmarked slave graves, and collaborative anti-war poster desing, the 62 hope to inspire a vision of environmental, societal and political progress.
The AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) lost their sponsor and received tons of flack for putting these two studios together on stage, but the outcome is an understanding of their very distinct contributions, and their obvious passion for their craft. As a young design student, I found this book especially inspiring, especially in seeing that both studios are self-started, fueled by a strong desire to affect societal progess, be it municipally or globally. I think it's important that designers remember that they have a responsibility to use their talent not only to inform but also to improve the world around them.