A new tv series has begun on Netflix that’s focused on the art of design. Called Abstract, the series profiles eight designers in various fields. Via Curbed:
Abstract brings newfangled technology to the age-old task of explaining what designers do. It’s delightful to see so much money thrown at people who, almost unanimously, think best with a pen and a pad of paper.
At its best, Abstract illustrates that work through building tours, crits, and portrait sessions, augmenting everyday reality with animation and digital transformations, making designers into action figures and superheroes. At its worst, it swamps the screen with imagery, trusting us to be impressed without offering criticism or context for the subjects’ glossy portfolios.
The shadow of magazine publisher Conde Nast hangs over the whole project. Scott Dadich, the series’ creator and executive producer with Neville and Radical Media’s Dave O’Connor, was until recently the creative director and editor in chief of Wired.
In an editor’s note in the February 2017 issue he writes that the show “isn’t Wired on Netflix,” but in the Bjarke Ingels episode, at least, Abstract shows Ingels’s 2015 Wired feature and interviews Andrew Rice, the author thereof. Niemann draws for the New Yorker (as well as the New York Times, Instagram, the App Store, the world), the photographer Platon makes pictures for the New Yorker, set designer Es Devlin and architect Ingels have both received the full New Yorker profile treatment.