Voices Speak

A meditation on design guided by influential voices throughout design history.

Ambient music plays as someone with curly hair looks towards the horizon from the balcony of a brutalist cement highrise. They stand with arms crossed under a bright light, in front of scuffed steel doors.

“What are the boundaries of design?” a voice asks.

Adjacent balconies are empty and dark with curtained windows. The person now stands in dappled light and presses a cheek against a branch of an ancient banyan tree.

“It feels good to walk barefoot because what’s transmitted through the feet to our mind and senses is important,” a voice says in Italian.

A skylight glows in a stairwell
A purple flower blurs
Black chairs sit in a grid across a white floor
Transport trucks fill a massive lot
A sprawling city surrounds a traffic circle

“You should be bold. You should have the courage to be utopian,” a voice says.

Someone admires an ornate arrangement of orange and white flowers in a gallery.

Someone floats peacefully in turquoise water with their eyes closed.

A voice says that poetry is in the heart of man and has the capacity to go into the richness of nature.

Tropical flowers flash by quickly. Someone with tattoos sleeps on grass with an arm propped behind their head. They now stand and gaze up at the sky.

“Is design the creation of an individual?” a voice asks.

Machines assemble computer processing chips, textiles, and cars. Rows of identical white cars sit in a massive lot. The visuals stop and the sound goes silent.

Ambient music plays.

A designer dresses a model in an avant-garde garment
Two artists craft sculptures in a studio
An artist chisels a block of amber resin
Someone places flower petals on a dollop of whipped cream
Gold cracks zig zag across a blue porcelain plate

“Does design imply the idea of products that are necessarily useful?” asks a voice.

Someone sits in blue light in a dark room; dances in red light; pops a piece of bubble gum; rests their head on a balcony railing; stands out in a shaft of light within a darkened crowd.

A voice speaks: “I really believe that form follows feeling.”

Another voice speaks: “We recognize that every human being is completely different from the other.”

Another voice speaks: “It's really about trying to make an empathic connection with people in their context.”

Someone in a blue sweater spins in blurred circles
Someone jogs up to an old growth tree
Three skateboarders cross pavement at night
Two friends laugh as they sit outside
A chef places orange flower petals atop a salad
Someone moves a stack of bricks; sketches in a notebook; touches the leaves of a sensitive plant

“Who decorated themselves with flowers to keep their soul attached to their body?” asks a voice.

Diners sit in a restaurant beneath a skylight covered by trees
Someone with purple freckles holds a bouquet of purple daisies

A voice speaks: “That is the act of design.”

Featuring the voices of displays on the screen, followed by the voice credits:

from the film Design Q&A by Charles & Ray Eames
© Eames Office, LLC

from the 2008 documentary film Design Interviews
by Museo Alessi & Anna Pitscheider
Sottsass, © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS),
New York / ADAGP, Paris

Architect, from the Salone del Mobile exhibition
A Space for Being

from the audiobook Bauhaus Reviewed (LTM)
Gropius, © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS),
New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Partner Emeritus, IDEO, from the film Objectified
by Gary Hustwit

on ending disability through better design, from the
podcast High Resolution
by Jared Erondu and Bobby Goshal

from BBC Motion Gallery / Getty Images
Le Corbusier, © F.L.C. / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights
Society (ARS), New York 2022

The Google G logo is centered on a black screen and design.google appears beneath it.

The music fades.