Journal Met-hod 01
Editorial - Moon Jung Jang
The thirty spokes unite in the one nave; but it is on
the empty space (for the axle), that the use of the wheel depends.
Clay is fashioned into vessels; but it is on their empty hollowness, that their use depends.
The door and windows are cut out (from the walls) to
form an apartment; but it is on the empty space (within),
that its use depends. Therefore, what has a (positive)
existence serves for profitable adaptation,
and what has not that for (actual) usefulness.
Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu
J. Legge, Translator (Sacred Books of the East, Vol 39, 1891)
The word method is derived from the Greek word, methodos, which combines meta meaning ‘With’ and hodos meaning ‘A way of thinking, feeling and deciding’. In addition, there is a noun, ‘hod’ in English which means a container for carrying loads. For designers a form could be a hod(container) to convey type and image. Thus the journal Met-hod is defined by a journey to encounter form, by raising the inquiries about methods of various working areas.
Met-hod is filled with interviews. I believe that the interview is one of the most intriguing forms in a journal; It teaches so many things to the interviewers in terms of the process. In my experience, I had many ‘Ah-ha’ moments through preparing the interview questions, asking questions of myself and practicing the answers. In this exercise, Questions and Answers are the significant teaching and learning methods. When I set up Met-hod, I had to ask several questions of myself. The first question was ‘What are the purposes of conducting this project?’
to draw attention to various working people in our routine life,
to discover how people shape their work,
to experience the journal design process, and
to practice arranging type and image.
The first issue of Met-hod is themed ‘Method of Art and Design.’ Even though it is a tremendously huge theme to explore, we collected the content by interviewing faculty members at Lamar Dodd School of Art, UGA about how artists and designers work. The project was conducted using several steps. The first is investigating/researching and preparing the questions. The second is conducting the interview, including transcribing and editing. The third is creating a poster which conveys the interview through type and image. The fourth is inviting guest critics to comment on the works. All posters were exhibited to the public after the critique. Finally, all interviews are collected for you to read in this journal.
Inspired by ‘The Great Method Casco Issues X’1, I believe that only a method of working can identify one from others. This is why a method becomes such an important issue for designers or artists in order to shape their work. Because of the dynamic process of methodology, it will be a way of finding their own methods to challenge or struggle or evolve the methods addressed by others2. Therefore, the ultimate goal of this project will be to build one’s own method in the future; even though it will be challenged by others after all. Hopefully the existence of this first journal can be a ‘Great’ method for the students who will participate in the next issue.
1 Peio Aguirre & Emily Pethik, The Great Method Casco Issues X. The Netherlands: Casco, 2007 and Germany: Revoler, 2007.
‘The ‘Great Method’ is also a reference to a doctrine taught by the legendary Me-ti, as described by Bertolt Brecht in the untranslated Me-ti, Book of changes or Book of Twists, a text that mixed Chinese philosophy with contemporary political events. This great method is based on ‘dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change. For him it is also a codeword(or metaphor) to define the unity of theory and praxis, namely dialectics...’
2 Roland Bartes, Image-Music-Text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977.
At a certain moment, therefore, it is necessary to turn against Method, or at least to treat it without any founding privilege as one of the voices of plurality.