Sara De Bondt kicked off the two-day Typo London conference with an understated and thoughtful presentation. As the event was loosely based around the theme of ‘Social’, the first project she talked through was Radical Nature— as a vehicle for discussing the social responsibility of the designer.
The exhibition was around working with nature and creating in an environmentally sensitive way, so the pitch naturally ended up being a manifesto on how to make the event itself as sustainable as possible. This echoes her common-sense and refreshing approach to the pitch, which she sees an opportunity to learn. The point being that even if you don’t win the job, you have still gained a raft of knowledge. To present a manifesto as a pitch concept (rather than a slick creative presentation) reflects Sara’s attitude to her work— not throw away or superficial but meaningful and considered. Of course they won the job, and followed the concept through diligently— forfeiting glue for staples and nails, making furniture from old wooden palettes and riso printing the gallery guides in house on demand, hence minimising waste.
Sara round up with her latest endeavour, Occasional Papers, a not-for-profit publishers set up with husband Antony Hudek. The concept is twofold— primarily publishing affordable content heavy (as oppose to image heavy) design books, driven by what she sees as a lack of contemporary writing on, and ready access to graphic design history. The secondary purpose of Occasional Papers is to bolster the sociability of the design community by holding a launch event for each book published, therefore encouraging social interaction within the industry.
Sara delivered a poignant and thought-provoking start to the conference, the main take away for me being the importance of questioning everything, and having the courage to execute the appropriate solution— even if it’s unexpected or high risk. And of course, never ever compromise on your convictions— if you believe in something, make it happen.
Images Sara De Bondt studio, Occassional Papers & Gerhard Kassner