Designer wants massive change

Sam Twarek

Bruce Mau discusses his movement, Massive Change, last night in Carol A. Cartwright Hall. DANIEL OWEN DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

“Allow events to change you.”

“Growth is different than something that happens to you.”

“Process is more important than outcome.”

These were just a few of the design principles associate professor Maurizio Sabini read from one of Bruce Mau’s books, Incomplete Manifesto.

Many of these principles came up in a lecture given by Mau last night to a full Carol A. Cartwright Hall.

Mau, a multidisciplinary designer based in Toronto, spoke to students about his design firm’s newest project, Massive Change.

Mau was brought to Kent State for the 2007 Fall Design Lecture Series that will be exploring the changing modes of design practice.

And that’s just what Massive Change aims to do.

“Massive Change is not about the world of design. It’s about the design of the world,” Mau said. “In the end, we really don’t care about the design world. We really care about human potential and development.”

Mau also defined Massive Change as a global movement to overcome the greatest challenges of the 21st century.

The Bruce Mau Design firm has worked on many projects dealing with a wide range of media such as architecture, print work and advertising.

Junior architecture major Greg Evans said he got the chance to visit Mau’s studio.

“He’s got a collaboration in the firm of 40 print makers, film makers, architects, graphic designers, sculptors, painters and all other kinds of artists all working together on various projects,” he said. “It’s kind of an all-encompassing design firm.”

Massive Change is exhibited in the Vancouver Art Gallery and follows a series of 11 themes that are affected by design, including urbanization, movement, markets, energy, manufacturing and living.

Mau said each of these themes can be improved by design to increase the quality of life for all living things.

To sum up the idea behind Massive Change, Mau picked up a water glass on the table beside his podium.

“If you think of design as the shape of the glass, well that’s kind of the passed model of design,” he said. “The real design is, how does the matter and energy intersect with intelligence to make this glass where I need it to provide a certain amount of utility and delight. And how do I get that matter and energy back to the beginning again?”

With his new definition of design, Mau had a positive message for students entering the field.

“You are the generation of Massive Change, not me,” he said. “This is probably the best time in human history to be alive and working.”

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Environmental Design reporter Sam Twarek [email protected].