Good design is premised upon a multifaceted approach, drawing upon multiple human faculties. Wit and rigour are essential in process, along with a willingness to consider history, culture and social considerations. STUDIO VBK has developed three pairs of pillars that focus on an interrelated and integrated approach to enriching the practice of design:
1 Practice + Teaching
2 Research + Writing
3 Walking + Mapping
Practice + Teaching:
STUDIO VBK was conceived as a “critical practice in information and document design”. While the range of media and formats employed has expanded, the same critical lens is exercised to ask the important questions in various projects and publications.
Applied theory that informs design, production and workflow is actively developed alongside a robust methodology to convey this theory through two channels: teaching in formal institutions and creating avenues for the public to attain a deeper appreciation of communication arts.
Research + Writing:
Authorship and ownership should be embraced alongside collaboration; the designer should not be ensconced in a silo of self-love. Designers are in the business of either creating new work or adding to an existing oeuvre.
For STUDIO VBK, a concomitant research practice serves to contextualise our work within a historical and cultural continuum. This belief informs our development of a coherent visual language and a pliable thought process that goes beyond the derivative. We enjoy engaging discussions on design and criticism, unhindered by self-promotion or disciplinary shackles.
Walking + Mapping:
A guided city walk is an opportunity to romance the city – rather than experiencing it in a state of distraction – whilst having a conversation about human conditions, intentions and consequence.
Mapping is a cultural process, and it lends itself to reading the city as a layered collage that registers both change and absence. By negotiating the space between spatial and cognitive maps, we can learn to appreciate complexity as much as simplicity.
Oscillating between the studio and the street, STUDIO VBK discovers and creates dialogues on the streets of Singapore through visual surveys, urban histories, grand narratives and even local curiosities.