ANDREW STEVENS / GRAPHIC THOUGHT FACILITY (UK)

Related Projects: Belgrade Design Week Festival 2010

BDW was a wonderfully rewarding experience. I think the mix that made it work so well was a tangible passion for design realized in the most relaxed and friendly atmosphere that I have come across for any event like this – truly inspirational, long may it thrive.   As for what is a smart, forging partnerships and working with like minded designers and clients always seems a pretty smart and rewarding way to go about design and I have a very good feeling that BDW will be the catalyst for many such collaborations.

Graphic Thought Facility is a London-based design consultancy with an international reputation for appropriate, effective and original solutions. Recent commissions include store environments for M&S, exhibition design for the Science Museum, books for the Gagosian Gallery, wayfinding for Vitra, and campaigns for Kvadrat and the Frieze Art Fair.

We believe that a successful project is rooted in a deep understanding of its objectives and we take great care to listen to our clients, often forging long-term relationships. Although our approach has been cited as original and unconventional, our underlying principles are clarity, simplicity and a belief that functional need and emotional response demand equal consideration.

We enjoy exploring the physical possibilities of design, which has naturally extended our work into product, exhibition and environmental design. We often use non-standard materials and production methods, exploiting our knowledge of niche manufacturers and forgotten techniques, as well as new technologies.

Established in 1990, GTF is jointly owned and led by three directors – Huw Morgan, Paul Neale and Andrew Stevens – all of whom remain very much hands-on. We have chosen to keep the studio relatively small and are currently a team of nine designers supported by our studio manager and project manager. We often collaborate with other creative specialists such as architects, writers and digital media experts, and are equally happy either to join or build a team for a particular project.

GTF has been invited to exhibit and talk around the world and our work is held in public collections in Europe and America. In 2008, ‘Graphic Thought Facility – Resourceful Design’ became the Art Institute of Chicago’s first ever show
dedicated to the output of a single graphic design studio.

Belgrade Design Week is a one-off – a unique set-up that is free from the corporate atmosphere that so often pervades other such events. The energy, optimism and warmth of Jovan and his team flows through every event – lectures, workshops, meals & drinks alike!   I’ve never been good at sitting in a dark lecture hall for more than an hour or so at a time but found myself doing three lectures back to back at Belgrade – such was the quality of speakers. Timetabling was crazy at times but at BDW everybody seems happy to ‘go with the flow’ – and has an even better time for doing so. The City of Belgrade should be very proud of this gem!

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