Feb 6 – Wolfgang Joensson

Wolfgang Joensson

Thursday, February 6th, 7:00 – 9:30pm

Cultivating the Mind

In The Duncan Anderson Design Department Gallery at California State University, Long Beach

Design is cultural. Culture varies from one region to another and so influences design. Having worked in multiple countries and significantly different cultural centers around the world, Wolfgang Joensson would like to share his experiences with you, comparing and contrasting these different cultures and how they inspire and impact (present tense?) his work.

Designers need to know a lot in width, and therefore are always challenged to know a lot in depth also. What may sound like a severe constraint also points to a life rich in sources, influences, experiences, and information. Refusing to know is never a solution. To cultivate the mind is all about channelling the influx of knowledge and keeping a keen eye on the horizon, looking for events, objects, currents and other things to come, to stay afloat as much as to enjoy the voyage.

Born in South Africa and raised in Hamburg, Germany, Joensson studied design there and in Stuttgart. He lived several months in London, on a bicycle saddle in Italy, in California, Switzerland, South Korea, and for the past twelve years in Paris, France.

He started his own design studio in 1990. Today VIEWSDESIGN consists of two offices, one in Paris and one in Basel, Switzerland, where he works with his partner Lutz Gebhardt and the team on product, brand and interface design.

He has designed a wide range of products from blood gas analyzers to rubber ducks and chocolate and, literally, dozens of coffee machines.

With more than fifteen years in design education, he has an in-depth and wide ranging view of different approaches to design and design education. His past posts include the only chairman of product design at Art Center Pasadena’s European campus in Switzerland, the first chairman of product design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, professor for product design in Switzerland and directeur de diplôme at Strate in Paris, one of the best French design schools.

His conviction is that design has to be functional and attractive, expressive and integrating itself in the human environment on aesthetic, economic and ecological levels.

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