A few weeks ago, in one of those paradoxical afternoons where warmth and clarity are mixed with feelings of confusion, Marty Maxwell Lane, in a sudden look-left ask-question sequence, said: “Where do you stand in the form is content debate?“. (What a way to get my attention right?) For about 10 seconds, my agitated cognitive self shuffled through every single project I ever made…anxiety crept in… I almost found myself questioning my existence… (and from Marty’s reaction, I am sure that my perplexed state was being externalized through my facial configurations.)
I finally was able to respond to her query, even though I’ll admit that I am not quite sure what I said. At the time, I verbally articulated an answer while I simultaneously thought about the question. In retrospect now, where do I stand on this debate?
Three landscapes are important to my work: content, concept, and context. One of my design interests lies in articulating the space between the three, in finding overlays and relational patters among them. It’s like being able to identify and work in that moment when one is between being awake and being asleep, when one still remembers dreams. The point is that I am interested in the relation of these, and it is my belief that an adequate understanding of it leads to, and concludes in formal creations. I see form as the subjective outcome of the interplay of these landscapes.
Answering Marty’s question, since I see form as a subjective outcome of the relationship between content, concept and context, form in itself can only be understood as content. It produces and embodies a particular meaning. If some other person where to receive the same specs and assignment that I got for some of my earlier work, I am sure that the end-product would be different, a different piece, a different outcome, and hence, a different content.