by Brandon Schaefer
A friend of mine regularly reminds me that much of what designers do is destined for the landfill. It’s a sobering thought, kind of like the realization that your future will most likely involve an intimate relationship with ground mulch. Everything is finite and a lot of what propels us forward is the meaning we carve out for ourselves. Visions of being remembered in the annals of design history give plenty of people a sense of purpose in their life, while others sustain themselves on the prospect of higher wages. The more altruistic will say that their cockles are warmed solely through following orders.
I’ve never been on a quest to please, nor have I had any delusions about securing a place in the history of design. Fame is fleeting, money only lasts for so long. There’s no end goal I hope to achieve, no mountain to get to the top of or a princess to save. I’m just interested in playing a long game against myself, trying to be better than what I was capable of the day before. That momentum propels the process forward and makes these projects into a journey of exploration rather than one of just idly checking boxes off on a bucket list. Everything is best served in moderation, though, and as motivating as pushing yourself can be, using that as on its own can lead to a host of messy results. That happened both with this project and, in a case of art imitating life, to Gilderoy, the sullied sound foley artist of Peter Strickland’s “Berberian Sound Studio.”