Friday, April 9, 2010
Barringer Update: Lectures, Travel, Book
Here's an update of things I'm doing and nice things people have said about the book.
1. I'm teaching a senior-thesis class at MICA this term. I visit for the last time on April 18. It's been wonderful. I have probably overwhelmed the students.
2. I lecture as part of the D-Crit lecture series in NY on April 20. I'll be in NYC through April 25.
3. I do a studio visit at NC State in Raleigh, NC, on May 4.
4. I visit Living Arts College in Raleigh, NC, on May 5, for studio visits and a talk.
5. "Finally, I've finished reading There's Nothing Funny About Design. First copy went to someone in Istanbul, second one went to Canada, but I hung on to the third one and read it with a big smile on my face. The reading was a truly pleasurable experience. It is unlike any design book on the market. Without being didactic, it taught me more than many of the design books out there. Your writing shines. I felt like I was reading a book of stories. Great stuff."—Faruk Ulay
6. "I highly recommend this to anyone who considers themselves creative. Being a designer, I’m a sucker for visuals and rarely have time to sit down and read a book that has no images. I’m currently half way through this book, and I really encourage designers to read about design instead of always looking at pretty pictures."—Design Milk
7. "Dave Barringer’s There’s Nothing Funny About Design is twice as good as most experimental creative nonfiction lyric whatchamacallits."—Daniel Nester, Pank
8. Please check out this nice handwritten blog, and nice handwritten note about the book, at "Designer's Library."
9. "There’s Nothing Funny About Design: Essays that are sometimes about design but always laugh-out-loud hilarious by design’s greatest contemporary wit, David Barringer."—Alissa, Gelatobaby
10. "Barringer is a freelance author, graphic designer and artist, and this collection of his essays reveals the ubiquitous influence of visual design on our everyday lives. Written for fellow designers and artists, these pieces analyze the design aspects of everything from the product names of prescription drugs to evolution and the shape of the human skull. The author uses generous helpings of humor as well as illustrations and photographs to support his observations."—Book News Inc.
11. "Few writers can speak about graphic design with the alacrity and sharp-tongued criticism of the self-taught David Barringer. This collection of essays on everything from the letter X to DVD covers bristles with energy and metaphoric prose."—Brian Fichtner, Cool Hunting
12. "Barringer devotes Part I to these often quirky essays and articles, while Part II offers a wry self-help guide, namely the Live Well Now! Brainbook, designed to enhance 'identity science,' which Barringer notes is at once 'grammatically awkward but scary effective.' The spoof includes charts, graphics and a self-acceptance certificate, as well as a section on design of the self, all of it pointing to Barringer’s rich imagination. The third section is yet another spoof, sort of, in this case rekindling the form of the rulebooks from the past, including Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac; the guide ostensibly directs young designers through sections on temperament, penmanship, collaboration, clients and so on, but again achieves something else indirectly, in this case performing a curious form of commentary through humor."—Holly Willis
13. "David Barringer is surely one of our best and funniest writers on design. He talks with Rich Fisher about his collection of essays, There's Nothing Funny About Design (Princeton Architectural Press), which critically examines everyday design from the 'promiscuousness of the letter X in our culture,' to how the cautionary colors of red and yellow have been adopted by the fast food industry, to how evolution is portrayed with fish symbols and the ape-to-man chart."—Rich Fisher, Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS
14. Other interviews: at Design Observer, AIGA Charlotte, and 36 Point.
15. And here are some customer reviews: "an outstanding survey of a wide range of design puzzlers perfect for any general or college-level library strong in arts and design";
"shows designers and non-designers (whichever you may be) why and what design means to him, and in the end, you see it in a fresh light yourself";
"I put this in the same category as Miranda July's Learning to Love You More and Matt Madden's 99 Ways to Tell a Story";
"Barringer combines his unique brand of humor and appreciable perspective in a way that gave this outsider a fascinating view into the world of design";
"an original and seriously funny take on design...there's enough solid wisdom here to engage an experienced designer and enough wit to keep a non-designer happy";
"one of the best design books out there...his prose is well crafted and elegant";
"David Barringer is that rare species in our (often provincial) United States of America: a Renaiassance man. His mind goes in many directions; and his imagination connects what he finds in in original ways. The fact that he writes down the resulting thoughts is a gift to us all. His book There's Nothing Funny About Design tackles the issue in a fresh, quirky and irreverent way. He challenges the reader to stretch his or her mind, but never condescends to his audience. We could use more barrier-busting books like this."
The book is available at any online bookseller. Gratzi.