Lars Harmsen (MAGMA Brand Design)
A VALUABLE QUALITY FOR A DESIGN STUDENT + A DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
Curiosity + Intelligence
FAVOURITE FOOD NOW
Home-cooking and good restaurants. There is a great Lebanese restaurant here in Karlsruhe that I love to go to
YOUR MOST VALUED POSSESSION NOW
It’s not a ‘valued possession’, but my family is something very important to me now, more than anything else
YEAR OF PROJECT
PROFESSIONAL PROJECT BRIEF
Design an exhibition about identity at the Goethe Institute in Dakar, Senegal
Goethe-Institut Dakar, Senegal
André Rösler (illustration), Christian Ernst (photography) and a local signpainter using stencils
Black-and-white laser prints on wood board, oil on canvas, photo prints, wall paintings
2 weeks TYPEFACE
Helvetica and custom-made fonts (e.g. stencil typefaces from the signpainter we worked with)
WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS PROJECT?
It was a great opportunity to visit Senegal and meet extraordinary people. It was a very intense project carried out in a very short time, with no diversions.
WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT IT?
A few more weeks would have been good to work with more local artists.
Inspiration. And a small book presenting text from Muhsana Ali and Amadou Kane-Sy, both from Senegal (‘A cause de mon histoire personnelle, je n’ai pas d’attachement à une seule identité’) and showing our work.
The ambassador of Germany in Dakar bought four pieces of work.
DO YOU TEACH?
Professor of Typography and Design at Fachhochschule Dortmund (Germany).
IS IT POSSIBLE TO TEACH DESIGN?
Design is about seeing and putting together, organizing. I encourage students to check all kinds of path. They have to discover the world and themselves. Nowadays a lot of students are imprisoned in a shelter of wealth. Everything seems to be accessible, easy, cool. I hate that. I want them to jump off the cliff and learn to fall, not to be perfect, not to be safe, not to think it’s over before it starts. They have to walk on glass. New is dead, long live new. The happy accident is a hook. To teach design you have to bring people to reflect on what they are doing and why they are doing it. Design is not about making things nice. A designer is not a hairdresser. A designer should be able to see, hear, smell and taste more than others in order to reflect and act.