About this project
Greetings friends, Gary Hustwit here. I'm the director of the documentary films Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized. I've had the pleasure of having conversations with an incredible group of designers for these films. But while each conversation might last two hours or more, we only get to use maybe two minutes of it in the film. So if you've watched my three documentaries, you've actually only seen 3% of the conversations we recorded. That means there are almost 100 hours of amazing interviews that are still unpublished. So we're going to release the full text of these interviews in a book!
The book will include in-depth discussions with designers and thinkers like Paola Antonelli, Alejandro Aravena, Chris Bangle, Michael Bierut, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Neville Brody, Tim Brown, Amanda Burden, David Carson, Matthew Carter, Candy Chang, Yung Ho Chang, Noah Chasin, James Corner, Wim Crouwel, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Tobias Frere-Jones, Experimental Jetset, Dan Formosa, Sir Norman Foster, Naoto Fukasawa, Jan Gehl, Jonathan Hoefler, Jonathan Ive, Hella Jongerius, Bruce Katz, David Kelley, Rem Koolhaas, Rahul Mehrotra, Bill Moggridge, Marc Newson, Oscar Niemeyer, Enrique Peñalosa, Michael C. Place, Rick Poynor, Dieter Rams, Karim Rashid, Alice Rawsthorn, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, Ric Scofidio, Erik Spiekerman, Davin Stowell, Jane Fulton Suri, Massimo Vignelli, Rob Walker, Hermann Zapf, and many more... over 75 of the world's most creative and innovative people.
My approach to interviewing has always been to let the subject discuss whatever they think is important about the topic, and not make them simply answer a pre-determined list of questions. So I don't prepare questions in advance, and the result is that the conversations are fluid, wide-ranging, and fun. We talk about their creative processes, design philosophies, personal stories and background, and much more. But in the documentaries, we only used the bits that worked within each film's narrative arc. So if you enjoyed the films, now you can get the full stories and the full context.
Even if you haven't seen the films, you'll be inspired by some of the most innovative minds on the planet, and you'll get a better understanding of how design affects our lives. Creativity, graphic design, typography, architecture, cities, technology, visual communication, product design, consumerism, transportation, street art, modernism, post-modernism, sustainability... they're all part of these conversations.
The book will be a high-quality paperback, approximately 400 to 500 pages long, and is being designed by our friend Michael C. Place and his cohorts at Build.
But the purpose of this Kickstarter is more than publishing a book, it's to edit, organize, and conserve these video interviews for the future. At some point we may find a home for all this footage at a design institution or organization, or perhaps create some sort of online resource. We want to index and archive these 100 hours of video in a way that can facilitate that.
We've got plenty of rewards for backers who become part of this project. In addition to the book and an eBook version, we'll be editing together one hour of the best of the unreleased video footage from all three films, sort of a mashup bonus movie, that will be available only to backers of this Kickstarter campaign. We've also got custom Design Trilogy Field Notes notebooks, and bundles featuring signed copies of the book and limited-edition photographs of designers in the films. And all backers will be the first to get details on my next documentary.
We want this book to be the most comprehensive design interview book ever published, an invaluable resource for designers, design educators, or anyone interested in the creative process. We hope you'll join us in making this happen.
P.S. The book cover image is a photo of our trusty Rode NTG-3 microphone that we used to record the interviews for all three films. The font is Maison Neue by Timo Gaessner.
Special thanks to Hudson Lines for production assistance with the video, and thanks to Kristian Dunn for the music. And extra special thanks to everyone that has been in or worked on the three films!
Risks and challenges
We're estimating the amount of time it will take to transcribe, translate and edit over 100 hours of interview footage, it could take us longer than we expect. Giving our designers the freedom to create something exceptional, and ensuring that the print quality is up to our standards may also add time to the project. But this is not our first time at the rodeo. If you backed The Olympic City book, you know the level of print production our team is capable of.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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