Monday Seminar (3) Design as Art- Bruno Munari

In today’s seminar we had to read Bruno Munari’s Design as Art, This was a easy text to read and was easy to understand. There are 2 types of design an industrial designer/design engineer  who focuses more on the functional qualities rather than looks and then there is a designer who notes that the ultimate form of the object is vital when the potential buyer is making up his mind. The designer gives it an appropriate form to follow its function. “A leaf has the form it has rather because it belongs to a certain tree fulfills a certain function; it’s structure is determined by the veins which carry the sap, and the skeleton that supports it might have been worked out by mathematics. Even so, there are many kinds of leaf, and every leaf from every tree slightly differs. But if we saw a fig-leaf on a weeping willow we would have the feeling it is unwell. It would lack coherence.” This was a quote which I really loved, the idea of  a leaf having the perfect design suited to the tree which it came from.

“A designer tries to make an object as naturally as a tree puts forth a leaf. He does not smother his object with his own personal taste but tries to be objective.” SO he is not decorative in the Art sense or craft but does it to fit the object at hand.

So for today’s seminar/workshop we were given post it notes and was asked to find one

  • Art
  • Design
  • Craft
  • and a not so sure.

and label why these reasons for the objects we placed in the glass cabinets. By doing this we got a better understanding of how and why we label such things for example, do we label craft based on ‘natural’ materials being used and design based purely on a simplistic form. It was interesting to see why. But also this exercise was to help us get the peer assessment of how others saw out work.


Before this exercise I saw myself as an Art/Craft person but it’s clear from these post-it notes that I am Craft. I thought my ideas and thoughts behind this piece was art and my process of the making as craft so I am halfway there. This exercise has helped me understand how we judge others based on pure looks rather than the story and knowledge of the piece so I need to be mindful of how I am to get that across.


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