Formstorming & Modularity: Callie McCluskey

Marian Bantjes “Saks Heart”, 2008

Marian Bantjes explains in her TED Talk that her ego is what drives her work. Marian only takes on projects that she is genuinely interested in, as well as creates her own pieces on the side. Her yearly valentines are one good example of how she not only makes design pieces out of pure enjoyment of it but how she uses formstorming and modularity in her design practice. Her 2008 valentine “Sak’s Heart” was created as a piece for Sak’s Fifth Avenue. Valentines are something that she finds very special, resulting in her sending out a new, thoughtful design to her mailing list yearly. I think the act of pushing herself creatively to come up with a design better than the last is an excellent example of formstorming. Although this specific Valentine wasn’t created entirely for personal use, it is clearly still a part of the topic she is so fond of. She also mentions in her talk that she is interested in visual structure, surprise, and anything that involves figuring things out. All of which are used in her Valentine design as well as need extensive planning in order to accomplish them. This design must have taken lots of trial and error before it could all blend together, yet stand out the perfect amount to make it a puzzle.

Secondly, Modularity is clearly a big part of this piece considering the narrowed topic of valentines day. Her heart is created entirely out of lines (mostly curly and organic) that blend together to create the form of a traditional Valentine. Hidden amongst the fluid lines are recognizable letters that grabs the viewers attention to try to solve the word puzzle. The words that are written inside the heart all fit into the category of valentines. Without modularity, it would be hard to make certain decisions that were made throughout this piece such as the type of font to use.

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