Sofie Dederen & Maki Suzuki


BB Fiction in relation to (graphic) design might sound like contradiction, especially to those who see design as a response to given content and restrictions, or as something that serves a particular need. How do you see the role of fiction in graphic design?
SD & MS For some graphic designers, graphic design should be a crystal goblet, the invisible shaping of content, a vessel that transports a message without the disruption of its vehicle. To some extent I agree but even the most modernist of designers cannot come up with a form that is not impregnated by external circumstances beyond the brief. The IBM logo by Paul Rand would have been very different to the one Beatrice Ward never designed. The exhibition deals with fiction inasmuch as bringing the theory of the multiverse in the act of designing.
A graphic designer is hired to create the identity of an airline company for a movie. How does this work stand next to a ‘real’ client?

BB Some say that the future of (graphic) design lies in the ‘speculative’ – that through proposals, suggestions, imaginations it can address possibilities rather than stay within the realm of practical. What is your view on ‘speculative’ design?
SD & MS Product design is reaching a paradigm shift from 15 years of speculative design, initiated partly by people like Tony Dunne and Fiona Raby. Architecture seems to have embedded the speculative from a longer period. What to say of Olympic games logos that are designed for the bid, only to be replaced by the ‘real’ one a few years later for the ‘real’ games?

BB Can you tell us a bit about the Frans Masereel Center and its role in preparing the exhibition?
SD & MS The dream machine. A place that looks like a Californian commune in the Flemish countryside with means of production to print wonderful and beautiful fake money. And of course a place to produce new commissioned print art works for famous artists like Nate Tate.

BB This edition of the Brno Biennial responds to the metamorphoses and the state of contemporary graphic design; its multitude, variety, vagueness and apparent superficiality. Can you identify some of the basic parameters, current themes or motivations of contemporary graphic design?
SD & MS There is a lot of cooking, performative strands and incursions into the contemporary art world but who can blame those graphic designers when film posters are made by advertisement companies? Designing for printed matter in itself becomes also a play with the materials, the form, the place, the time, the message. Contemporary artists use also graphic design in their practice, like Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost; but graphic designers moving more and more towards art practices – that makes it very exciting and perhaps unreal.

BB Which mirror do you want to lick?
SD Maki & Radim’s.

Sofie Dederen (BE)

Studied at Kunsthochschule Weissensee Berlin and Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Freie Kunsten & Communication Science. Curated exhibitions for Storm op Komst / vzw Festivalitis, De Warande, vzw Mooov, Middelheim Museum & bolwerK, Artforum Berlin (until 2010). Since 2010 she is a director of the Frans Masereel Centre. Collaborates with Dutch Design Week Show your Colour, Z33 All the knives, any printed story on request (with Åbäke). Publications and editions includes Jef Geys, More Publishers, An edition in fragmented print(making) attitudes, Gert Verhoeven.

Maki Suzuki (FR)

Maki Suzuki, member of Åbäke, which is a transdisciplinary graphic design collective, founded in 2000 with Patrick Lacey (UK), Benjamin Reichen (FR), Kajsa Ståhl (SE) in London, England, after meeting at the Royal College of Art.

Biennial News

Short interviews with collaborators of the 27th Brno Biennial, authors of its exhibitions, jury members and Biennial Talks speakers.


Interviews and graphic design: Radim Peško Radim Peško (1976) is a graphic designer based in London. He works in the field of type design, editorial and exhibition projects. In 2010 he has established his RP Digital Type Foundry that specializes on typefaces that are both formally and conceptually distinctive. His work includes identity for Secession Vienna, typefaces for identities of Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Aspen Art Museum, Fridericianum, Berlin Biennale 8, various work for the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Bedford Press London or a long-term collaboration with artist Kateřina Šedá. He has lectured at many schools including Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, ÉCAL Lausanne, HFK Bremen, KISD Cologne, École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon, Sint-Lucas Ghent, University of Seoul. Since 2011 he is part of the curatorial board of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno., Tomáš Celizna Tomáš Celizna (1977) is interested in graphic design in connection with new technologies. He is a founding partner of design studio dgú in Prague (2001 to 2005), recipient of J. W. Fulbright Scholarship (2006), and holds MFA in graphic design from Yale University School of Art (2008). He currently lives and works independently in Amsterdam. Collaborations include, among others, OASE Journal for Architecture, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Since 2011 he is a lecturer in graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and a member of the curatorial team of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno., Adam Macháček Adam Macháček (1980) is a graphic designer. Following studies at the AAAD in Prague, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and ÉCAL in Lausanne, he co-founded in 2004 studio in Lausanne and is a member of 201∞ Designers collective. His work includes publications, exhibition catalogues, illustrations and identities. Collaborations include, among others, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Théâtre de Vevey (seasons 2003–2012), Galerie Rudolfinum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chronicle Books, Editions Pyramyd, Museum of Czech Literature, Brno House of Arts, California College of the Arts, Airbnb. For Brno Biennial he initiated and organized exhibitions Work from Switzerland (2004) and From Mars (2006, together with Radim Peško). Since 2011 he is a member of the curatorial team of the International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno. He lives and works in Berkeley.
Translation and copy editing: Alena Benešová, Kateřina Tlachová
Production: Miroslava Pluháčková
Printed by: Tiskárna Helbich s. r. o.
Print run: 2000
1st edition
Published by the Moravian Gallery in Brno, 2016