This is me on the remote island of Vinalhaven Maine, USA, preparing to sail in the Atlantic the paper boat I built as part of DesignInquiry’s “Design-Less” event. DesignInquiry is a week-long gathering of designers, educators and other professionals which takes place at various locations around the world (Marfa, Texas, Montreal Quebec and Berlin Germany among them) to develop experimental work and ideas around a specific topic. Our annual themes are encapsulated in pithy phrases like “make-do”, “fast-forward”, “fail again,” and the resulting work is published in an online journal and in print form. I’ve found that relocating a group of smart people on an island without internet or cellphone is a great way to develop ideas, collaborations, fantastic meals and friendships, which in turn stimulates great discourse.
Peter Hall is a design writer, and design program leader at Griffith University Queensland College of Art. Before moving to Brisbane, Australia in January 2012, he was senior lecturer in design at the University of Texas at Austin where he taught design theory, history and journalistic methods of research and writing. His research focuses on mapping as a design process. Between 2001 and 2007 he was Senior Editor and Fellow at the University of Minnesota Design Institute, where he co-edited with Jan Abrams the book, Else/Where: Mapping - New Cartographies of Networks and Territories and organized several symposia and workshops on mapping. He has been a contributing writer for Metropolis magazine since 2000 and has written widely about design in its various forms, including gaming, elevators, building graphics, bridges, neon lights and office chairs, for publications including Print, I.D. Magazine, The New York Times, and The Guardian. He taught a seminar class on design theory and writing at Yale School of Art between 2000 and 2007. He wrote and co-edited the books Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Sagmeister: Made You Look and Pause: 59 Minutes of Motion Graphics. Since 2006 he has been Vice President and co-organizer of DesignInquiry.