The first season of the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design questions the role that innovative designs play in our daily lives, and how they shape and reflect our appreciation and understanding of the world around us.
The series profiles eight distinctive artists. Each episode explores the experiences that molded their unique perspectives, and the processes they employ to create new forms of expression.
The first episode profiles acclaimed abstract illustrator Christopher Neumann as he works to conceptualize his latest of many covers for New Yorker magazine. Neumann views abstract art as a means of whittling down a concept to its most basic requirements. How many elements are needed to convey an idea? He finds great inspiration in the simplicity of Legos.
"What the modern athlete asks of their feet is far beyond what they were originally asked to do," says footwear designer Tinker Hatfield in the opening moments of the second episode. The challenge he confronts in his work involves the merging of appealing aesthetics with enhanced performance and durability.
Es Devlin's canvas is the empty stage. She's filled the voids of those barren spaces with moving sets of brilliant light and color across a variety of disciplines from live musical performance to dramatic plays. Her wildly imaginative designs effectively deepen an audience's investment in the piece.
The other episodes in the series are equally stimulating. Architect Bjarke Ingels is only bound by the limitations of his dreams. His structures push the boundaries of the possible with a keen eye on sustainability.
Fiat Chrysler's head of design Ralph Gilles works to advance the form of the automobile into exciting new directions both in style and function.
Graphic designer Paula Scher views typography as "painting with words", and her extraordinary aesthetic sensibilities have been used to distinguish some of the most recognizable brands in the world.
Esteemed photographer Platon uses the visual image to convey simple, yet soulful concepts. His profile explores the medium's ability to communicate with its audience on a profound level.
Isle Crawford's work seeks to explore the possibilities of the spaces we inhabit for much of our daily lives. How can interior design enhance our sense of humanity and wellbeing?
Abstract: The Art of Design includes tremendously enjoyable profiles of artists at work. Their singular visions do much to define our own perceptions of the world.