Excellence All the Way Around
In ordinary hands, modernist design theory might be a dry and dusty topic, but Natalia Ilyin brings it to life and makes it fascinating. She draws you in with beautiful writing, humor, and razor-sharp perceptions; and along the way, she delves deeply into art -- and into life itself. It took courage to stand up to the current mode of design education. As a writer, Ilyin chased the perfect, and she caught it. And she did it with insight and grace.
will make you see the world in new ways
I LOVED this book. Ilyin weaves together BIG, thought provoking ideas and deeply personal insights (that resonate as much for me as they do for her), and does it in amazingly elegant prose. This book is profound, thoughtful, and beautifully written. AND fun to read! I recommend it highly!
Great quick read on visual design education and Modernism
Natalia doesn't delve deep into intellectual arguments here, but she does open many doors leading to rooms of questsions about the state of design education in America and it's seemingly unwavering championing of Modernism. She ties this in with her personal life and how she came to question her modernist education - this might be a turn off for academics seeking pure thought and data.
I'm looking forward to her expanding on the ideas she brings up in this book!
I'm finishing up with "Chasing The Perfect" by Natalia Ilyin and when I'm done, I'm going to read it over again.
In my periodic browsing of the Graphic Arts section at B&N I became a statistic and fell for the cover. Bauhaus period minimalism...always gets me. Hmmmm, words on Modernist design from a nutty professor at RSD? Cool.
Went home, logged on, pressed a button and waited...
She's talking about the influence of the "Modernist" aesthetic on our design sense, on our basic human qualities and the effect on society. The unspoken idiom: the crafty subliminal itching that keeps us moving, to desire the next best thing...the perfect. Here's a hint: "Moo".
Scholarly, eloquent, silly and self deprecating. Heady subjects made tangible, this is my kind of read! So many levels of satisfaction, all feeding the creative spirit. This book is an epiphany for delinquent designers who are questioning conformity...that would be me.
Besides the stated subject of examining why we strive towards ever elusive perfection and the resulting mess...Ilyn uses personal example and anecdote, much of which serendipitously occurs in locales I currently inhabit (NY), as well as the landscapes of mind I travel. Anxiety, doubt, depression, hunger, bewilderment, excitement, joy, anger, nincompoopery. Ilyn wrote about herself, but she wrote for ME! The insights are piled high, personal and potent. Plus there are pictures!
I have been improved for having read: "Chasing The Perfect". I would recommend for anyone with a brain.
a brilliantly witty and deeply personal guide to life
I recommend this book wholeheartedly. I am a theoretical physicist and a writer, so what do I know about design theory and ironic distance? Nothing. But this book is not for designers alone. Rather, it is nothing short of a brilliantly witty and deeply personal guide to life, a heartfelt beacon on the darkling plain "where ignorant armies clash by night" showing us the way to a more joyous and messier life. I came to this book because I'm a fan of Natalia Ilyin's earlier book "Blonde Like Me," which just like this book, is also chock full of fabulous writing and heart-warming insights.