TO THINK is a journal exploring thoughts and conversations on visual culture.
The ever-expanding fields of visual culture appear more important than ever before. Our new-found capability to engage with ever-refreshing visual content is outstripping our ability to understand, synthesise and appreciate it. At the core of our belief — and the reason for this journal — is the notion that we can, must and should take more time to consider and discuss the visual culture we create.
For us, this is all about creating dialogue, as we believe conversation is a cultivating medium for deep thought; and we believe that deep thought is a prerequisite of both good decisions and good design.
In each issue of TO THINK, we bring provocateurs, entrepreneurs, designers and visionaries together and ask them a single question with the aim of provoking debate and opening up fulfilling thought around the visual culture that surrounds us. We hope TO THINK will provide the necessary moments of quiet to stop, contemplate and think.
TO THINK DEEPER
This journal and each conversation within it began with the same question: HOW DO YOU GO DEEP IN A SHALLOW WORLD? but by placing some of the deepest thinkers we know in conversation together, the dialogue itself branched off into something much deeper and provoked many more questions about visual culture, the power of place and everything in between.
TO THINK aims to see what happens when we place deep thinkers together — deliberately forcing new collisions and contrasts that allow us to all think differently about the world and how we see it.
IN THOUGHT WITH
We began with a conversation with two icons of “product” experience: legendary perfumer FRÉDÉRIC MALLE and epochal British designer TOM DIXON.
We then engaged in a dialogue about “memory”, the alchemy of place and curation with acclaimed chef SKYE GYNGELL and travel writer DAVID PRIOR.
And our final connecting of minds are two “cultural” curators with Miami entrepreneur and real estate developer CRAIG ROBINS and the visionary CCO of Design Miami, RODMAN PRIMACK.
IN THOUGHT WITH
FRÉDÉRIC MALLE and TOM DIXON
SKYE GYNGELL and DAVID PRIOR
CRAIG ROBINS and RODMAN PRIMACK
“You are surrounded by images in airports and now you look at these advertising images or promotional images and I think they all look more and more like Instagram, and they look more and more like instant pictures taken by a 35mm camera. Then, if you have an image that is really worked and really carefully done, it looks like someone overdressed for the party.
I don’t know if people are happy with mediocrity because in any case they have to produce so much imagery that basically they don’t have time or means to do things properly. Or whether this has become something completely different and we’re living in the age of iPhones or the result of iPhones, basically this is the new aesthetic. Now it’s Instagram at large that’s influencing everybody and to be honest I don’t know what to do with it.”
— FRÉDÉRIC MALLE
“The difficulty for me isn’t getting inspiration, it’s acting on it. Actually finding the time to do the things that we’re talking about, to dig deep and give yourself the time to actually be good at something. Because although I don’t doubt that I do too many things, you get a good outcome when you invest proper effort into extracting whatever your vision is.
So, digging deep for me is not so much the inspiration, it’s more how you get to the result that you’re happy with in a world that is trying to get you to output things very fast and think of new stories all the time, and race along at a pace that is very much a style and a fashion pace, a hectic pace rather than one that actually allows you to act on one of the inspirations that you get.”
— TOM DIXON
“But I really think that involves sparsity and leaving things out. I always think give space, so you can see the importance of the object. I always talk about breath and air because that’s how I see it but give things space for the light to come onto what’s important. And when you clutter and confuse, you can’t see what’s important.
I think it often gets back to removing self, removing the I in everything and removing the ego.”
— SKYE GYNGELL
“…but what I feel really strongly is that place, things of place and of providence, are incredibly important because there’s almost an alchemy. Things come from a place because of a lot of different reasons. Like the tradition or the particular growing conditions or the architectural style. When things work in a particular place, that’s when your heart sings.”
— DAVID PRIOR
“I would say that change is constant, and we shouldn’t become uninspired by progress. We have to figure out how we can take change and progress and apply it in a way that helps us advance individually and collectively.
For me the key is to collaborate with brilliant creative people… And there’s artists, designers, architects, musicians; they’re not giving up, they’re not disappearing, they’re not going to become more shallow. But they are going to change and adapt. And that’s the frontier from which mankind will advance.”
— CRAIG ROBINS
“At a certain level we’re at this place that we maybe were like 50 years ago with fast food, with the invention of McDonalds. It was so amazing that you could have all this fast food, and everyone wanted to eat fast food and now more than 50 years later, we recognise that “fast” doesn’t really nourish you in any way, shape or form, and is actually not a substitute for the real thing. I think or hope that is going to happen with all this media and social media.
We are going to become more discerning with how we spend our time and what we focus on in this unlimited landscape of visual and informational technology.”
— RODMAN PRIMACK
SHOP TO THINK
TO THINK is now available in many specialist magazine stores.
For details of your nearest stockist:
BoutiqueMags, Charlotte Street News, The Design Museum, MagCulture, Magma, Regent News, Somerset House, We Love Print
REST OF THE UK
Magalleria (Bath), Magazine Brighton, Magazine Heaven (Rushden)
Athenaeum (Amsterdam), Coffeetable Mags (Hamburg), Do You Read Me?! (Berlin), IMS (Antwerp and Amsterdam), OFR (Copenhagen), Papercut (Stockholm), Print Matters (Zurich), Rosa Wolf (Berlin)
The Museum of Modern Art (New York), Import News (New York)
REST OF THE WORLD
Dorbeetle (Zhejiang, China), Post Nothing (Bogota, Colombia), Basheer Graphics (Singapore)