David Kruse: Artist Statement

The Design Festa’s conceptual designs and drawings tell many stories by themselves…the vivid colors and poignant characters really allow for the observer to become their own storyteller…so why did Rich and I decide to work together to combine his visuals with my words? The motivations behind our collaboration are three fold.

First, as I mentioned above, the descriptive and suggestive nature of his concepts lend themselves naturally to storytelling. As an inspired poet, his designs (especially the ‘spaces’ series) provided me with an emotionally varied, visually stimulating, and spatially charged base from which to write…so it seemed quite natural to combine these designs with words. In this series, all of the poems are written as sonnets, representing Rich’s unique blend of architectural structure and art. Inversely, the first series of the Design Festa seems to work on a more architecturally abstract level, so the poems try to reflect a sense of looseness and spontaneity. In that spirit, I have attempted using abstract versions of certain words….i.e….orchidial. All of his themes are in some form or another communicating something, and the poems are basically my manifestation of those stories.

Second, Rich, it seems to me, attempts and uniquely succeeds in crossing many creative genres—architecture, design, design theory, images, songs, artistic works—combining them to give his design ideas a sense of life, of breathing and existing, in and well above their architectural roots. The architect, sculptor, writer, scientist, mother, friend, friend of a friend, tacit observer, etc….. can experience or garner something from his manifestations. You don’t have to be an architect to ‘get it’. In the spirit of layering creativity with creativity….to give yet another dimension to the process of experiencing these works, a written story, idea, poem, thought, or inkling adds another genre, hopefully in the same spirit in which those designs came to life. My goal is for the words and the images to complete a healthy, living, synthesis. A true collaboration!

Third, and importantly to me, is the idea of collaboration itself, a sharing of ideas, of inspiring another to create. Rich and I frequently, throughout this process, looked to our individual and collective energies for inspiration….for a piece of something to start something. This series was created from our daily lives… countless library trips, surreal days at Shinjuku Park in central Tokyo (one of the few natural havens amidst all the neon and concrete), as well as, our exposure to many traditional Japanese influences. All of the pairings were written after a particular design was completed or after I heard the direction Rich was going to take with it. One of the most interesting effects was watching my words and his designs change or move in a slightly different direction as a result of our creative partnership. The joining of his visuals and my words is purely a celebration of that. Throughout most of the Design Festa process our collaboration worked magically, almost effortlessly….my hope is that the words and images vibrate and resonate together to offer something extra….something delicate…..something special….something beautiful.

David Kruse