Qompendium is an evolving and ever-changing platform for philosophy, art, culture and science, represented by a series of print publications: magazines, books and monographs. Furthermore, it is enriched by a gallery concept, a work shop and a fast-moving online portal.
This third Qompendium Questionnaire Session is with Fabian Harb and Samuel Bänziger, both young designers from Switzerland opening their versatile portfolios for Qompendium to view. A collection of posters, self-initiated magazines, developed type faces, experimental art direction and above all their cutting edge of rawness, another new garde of young minds influencing graphic design landscape.
Your job in 20 words?
I have read something nice on Manuel Raeder. His main work lies in generating collaborations with artists, plants, scientists, parrots, fashion designers, printers, librarians, curators, rappers, photocopiers, book binders, none professionals and theorists, always questioning upon the practice and reevaluating the position that humans have in relation to their objects. I think that's a steady statement. It is a bit more than 20 words though.
Your personal style signifier?
I am interested in assignment-specific and individual work but not in recipes as methods. I think if somebody creates models and paradigms to be recognizable in his work, it gets very repetitive and foreseeable. I try to avoid this.
How would your girl friend describe you?
Fabian should better give up his idea of buying a lighthouse with a giraffe in the garden and learn how to cook a Bouillabaisse.
How would your PA describe you?
I think, I'll never have a personal assistent. I think hiring a PA is a decision to have somebody doing these parts you do not unconditionally want to have done them by yourself. I am more interested in working with people because I want to do something than working with them because I don't want to do something.
When do you turn your Mac, iPod, iPhone off?
I try to have seperated work-flows: If I sketch out some ideas, I close my computer or when I take a break I go outside the studio.
What is the smartest graphic you have ever created?
My friend Lorenz and me are running «Icecream», a process-based PDF magazine. The idea is to create a flexible and alterable magazine which emerges form and content with its path and process: it is wandering from contributor to contributor, getting form with permanent new interpretations of the already existing content. So we just have to bring up some starting PDFs with initiation-subjects we are interested in and then, research and development continues as on its own… We get nice emails with new ideas after every contributor, it's like Christmas. I think it's a very smart thing we created.
The first font you would use on any assignment is?
I usually work with Illustrator to gain and create some first ideas, therefore I am automatically and inevitably starting with Myriad. I think Myriad is a pretty good font to start from, I really appreciate Myriad.
The best trick on photoshop is?
My best tricks are animated GIFs, or doing some supernice rainbow gradients. My friend George Costanza is diamanté-ing everything with some crazy Photoshopfilters, I have no
understanding of this at all, but it's gold!
A poster you would hang on your wall?
I got a poster from the current season of Schauspielhaus Zürich, which I really like. If I could choose, I had one of Jacqueline Casey's poster for the MIT-Choir. Or a very reduced work by Armin Hofmann. Or a Ludovic Balland one for the Museum of Modern in Warsaw.
The last meal that truly impressed you?
Barbeque on my friends rooftop last sunday was awesome. Or some weeks ago we had the first Picknick this year, a friend brought some fresh home-made olive bread. I think I will open a bakery one day.
The last CD you purchased and would buy again?
I do not buy many records. If i do, it's when an band I appreciate is not very established yet or when I like the cover. Last two really worthwile records were Megapuss' «Surfing» and Thomaten und Beeren's very nice «So nicht, Helen».
The last graphic that truly impressed you?
I got some old specimenbooks from my grandfather when i visited him in his atelier. Sometimes I don't understand why so many new fonts got drawn today. There are so many beautiful old typefaces not digitalized yet, dusted in archives or even about to get melt down. But then you create some own typefaces and you're completely different minded.
Ancient history thrills you because?
I am fascinated by this various qualities of artisan productions and the variances in perception. I am also fascinated because of the stories: old things are always telling you a little something. I got a bike which was ridden in Italy and then stored in a shed for many years, now it's rolling again in Switzerland. I would love to know who else rode it before I found it at a awesome hunter-gatherers place.
The United States are?
Cash, Cars, Cowboys, Cellphones and Cigrettes. And Wu-Tang, I love Wu-Tang.
Very small. I appreciate having rural villages and some nice cities very close together. I learned to love the city, but I come from a small town in switzerland. I think life is still more simplified there, you gain time and can do more things by yourself. Cities have a higher puls rate and you get motivated very quickly by your surroundings, I like the contrast between both and won't miss neither of them.
Nice, needed and nasty.
Your ultimate addictions?
To eat and collect. Nice shoes, maybe.
A recent discovery of yours is?
I just rediscovered Skype and Sonic Youth.
The last thing you bought and hated?
I bought a nice knife and lost it last time in the woods. I hated myself for buying such a beautiful one.
The next big thing is?
I talked with some friends about trends and tendencies lately, and we thought influences and zeitgeist are very accessible and available today. I think big things are very personal conditioned. There can be many people doing triangles, fun-typography, homogenous aesthetics and it seems to be the big thing. But if you are not interested in that, but more in typesetting and old printingmethods, maybe using rare leadtype or a simple layout mimeographed is a bigger thing for you. I am interested in outlined type or writing Sütterlin at the moment, maybe thats the next big thing.
The books on your bedside table are?
Acutally, I don't have a bedside table but many stacks around my bed. You find Liner Notes, a borrowed book of Jörg Fauser, Blaise Cendrars «Gold», «Experiment Marathon» by Hans Ulrich Obrist and a beautiful book on Alex Hanimann on the top of this piles.
Your personal items you never go on journeys without are?
Empty bags and empty notebooks. I would love to say i could let my cellphone at home, but its very convenient to take notes and pictures in just one device.
The first thing you do when you enter a hotel room is?
You only discover the world, when you travel work-realted. Otherwise you are a tourist immediately. I hate to be a tourist. I never travel as a tourist. I rather stay at home with my books. Karl Lagerfeld said that.
Your favorite corner of the Internet is?
Ubu.com is amazing. Or I could spend hours on sites like http://www.gono.com/adart/new/adartcatlist.php?cat_id=1.
What else do you want to say?
The Qompendium Questionnaire Session
For this session two entities are invited to take part. The first interviewee recommends the next / following interviewee and prepares an art work for him/her to alter.
Art work at the end: Samuel Bänziger prepared an art work for Fabian Harb to alter.
Read Samuel Bänziger's questionnaire here.