Lars Harmsen MAGMA Brand Design Karlsruhe Germany – I Used to Be a Design Student

KARLSRUHE, GERMANY

Lars Harmsen (MAGMA Brand Design)

PROFESSIONAL YEARS

19

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

2010

PROFESSIONAL PROJECT BRIEF

Design an exhibition about identity at the Goethe Institute in Dakar, Senegal

CLIENT

Goethe-Institut Dakar, Senegal

COLLABORATOR(S)

André Rösler (illustration), Christian Ernst (photography) and a local signpainter using stencils

TECHNOLOGY

Black-and-white laser prints on wood board, oil on canvas, photo prints, wall paintings

TIME SPENT

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.

OUTCOMES

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.

FEEDBACK

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.