Known for her passion for taking on initiatives that blend cultural awareness, humanity and a love of art to advance society and business alike, Vanessa Eckstein's experiences living and working in Buenos Aires, LA, New York, Mexico City and Toronto, have given Blok a unique international perspective that has been recognized and awarded around the world.
Here she discusses the possibilities for designers and design thinkers afforded by new platforms and the importance of design in solving wider social issues.
"There are major movements that failed to achieve their goals; there are also comparatively small gestures that mushroomed into successful revolutions."Rebecca Solnit
There have been profound changes taking place in our profession, as well as shifts in the dynamics of our political, social and economic environments. More than ever brands need the elasticity and flexibility to work seamlessly across multiple platforms and engage with real value not perceived value. This is, at its core ,the greatest opportunity we have as designers and design thinkers.
It is a paradoxical time. Ideas and designs are shared instantly and consumed within seconds, yet there is a hunger for real content and deep thinking. We are not surprised by much anymore but we are overwhelmed by the relentless spirit of those who are going beyond to achieve something more meaningful. I am a true believer in idealistic gestures that can truly affect people versus just creating an effect on people. The possibilities for us to achieve marked change through design, at every possible opportunity, is not only a choice but a need. And it is the time to embrace the chance to explore different fields within and beyond our professions. To cross real and perceived borders.
This year alone at Blok we are starting a documentary, launching a new ceramics line that we originally designed ten years ago, and have now decided to move forward with – since we ourselves have moved forward. We’re also beginning a projet that will take on an architectural form.
All far and beyond the clients we have.
Each one of these intentions raises a question about what we find valuable. They challenge our preconceptions and they are explorative in nature. Gestures that can transform one person or many. They are no ‘passion projects’, these are our projects, reflective of where we are at and the times we are living in, questioning our own relevance as thinkers and creators. Refining our thought in relationship to our clients, ourselves and the world.