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Professor Ralph Ball

Course Tutor, MA Industrial Design; Subject Leader Furniture, MA Design (Ceramics); MA Design (Furniture); MA Design (Jewellery)
Central Saint Martins
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Ralph  Ball


My critical design practice is based on what I call ‘Design Poetics’. ‘Design Poetics’ forms an experimental, continuously evolving series of objects and collections, which act as commentaries and contemplations on the culture of Modernism, Postmodernism and contemporary design.

The work rejects the discrete distinctions of art, craft and design and explores the conceptual, provocative and lyrical possibilities of the spaces in between. Drawing on rhetorical themes and axioms specific to Modernism and contemporary design culture, these rational and reductive axioms are re-examined and co-opted to endorse paradox and legitimise the invention of formal incongruities, rational irrationalities or poetic transgressions. ‘Ironic Iconics’: the pieces are self-consciously introspective and are made to reflect upon themselves and the culture that supports them.


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