Tankboys in Conversation


Tankboys in Conversation

The duo of Lorenzo Mason and Marco Campardo, known together as Tankboys, are a Venice-based graphics studio who continue to push the conceptual envelope. They dabble in the artisanal, and have in their short history art directed a show for 2DM‘s Wonder-Room, founded XYZ in Treviso (Skill To Do Comes of Doing), and even created major works for the Biennale di Venezia among many other things. Their most recent work is a small and fascinating book for the occasion of Triennale di Milano’s exhibition Graphic Design Worlds.

Using only type, text and pleasingly tactile paper, the novel and typically handsome book, A small conversation about things we’ve always wondered about but never understood, reads like an interview between the boys and a pantheon of all-time-design greats. As if a transcript of the most enlightened salon the world has over known, the “conversation” includes the voices of some of the greatest greats of our time, like veterans Massimo Vignelli and Milton Glaser, as well as current vanguard maker shakers Stefan Sagmeister, Bruce Mau, and John Maeda. They even take a timewarp train to way-back-when and include in the discourse some of last century’s giants such as Paul Rand and Bruno Munari, art as design pioneers Le Corbusier and Josef Albers, photographer par excellence Ansel Adams, the great designer of music Ludwig von Beethoven, and even the grandaddy of geometry, our good pal Pythagoras.

Far from a collection of stilted quotations, the booklet is a blast to read and imagine. The the very idea of a design-centric conversation across the ages, and between such starkly divergent personalities is pretty much mind porn for design nerds. Almost makes me want to lock Marian Bantjes in a room with Dieter Rams just to see what might happen…

Studio Temp, another killer voice in visual (and also art-directors of a Wonder-Room show), are also featuring their book, Un Libro Sul Copy Shop e Altre Storie in the exhibition.

Graphic Design Worlds, curated by Giorgio Camuffo, opens tonight at the Triennale di Milano. Vernissage at 7 o’clock, with an official run from tomorrow until the 27th of March.

Tag Christof – Special thanks to Tankboys