"Money, time and content are the most important factors to take into consideration when it comes to exhibition design." So say Martin Lorenz and Lupi Asensio of TwoPoints.Net, whose name is explained thus: "We were looking for a name that could reflect the function of design, without overloading the name with significance. We came up with the figure ":", because it connects the author with the message. After eight years using that name, it became somewhat abstract to us. We like the idea that two dots create a line, which is the most simple drawing you can do. It represents a new beginning."
IdN: Would you tell us something about your earliest influences, how you came to an appreciation of design and how you get into it?
Martin Lorenz: My father was a professor of sociology and cultural science at the University of Hildesheim. He used to buy about 15 books every week. As you can easily imagine, there was no way he could fit them all into his workroom. So, my room, my brother's room, the living room and the corridor were all filled with books. At that age, the only kind of books I was interested in was comic books. I could only appreciate the books' spines, for example, the work of Willy Fleckhaus. My father, on the other hand, seemed to be only interested in the content of the books, but used the color systems of the books to find the books he looked for, which soon made me understand that aesthetics and content cannot be separated, but need to work hand in hand.
Lupi Asensio: I will talk about my father, too: now that I come to think of it, he must have had something to do with my becoming a designer. My father wasn't actually diagnosed as being colour-blind, but whenever my mother and I went to buy clothes for him, we had to take care that all the colours matched so that when he took his clothes out of the closet, without even consciously selecting them, they would be in sync. That might be the reason I became interested in colour and fashion. Later, when studying design, I met two people, who were especially important to me, my former teachers Jesus del Hoyo and Sandra Hoffmann.
IdN: How closely is the curator and/or exhibited artist involved in the design process?
ML: We have been really lucky with the exhibitions we've done. Neither the curators nor the artists interfered much in the design decisions. The only limitation we experienced was the cost.
IdN: From your professional point of view, what makes good exhibition design?
ML: Good exhibition design, as with good design in general, has to achieve a communication with its recipient, visitor, reader or customer. Good design should be able to evaluate who should be the recipient and what has to be communicated, before the decision of how to communicate is made.
IdN: You have said that the goal of TwoPoints.Net is "work that hasn't been done before". How do you maintain a balance between your own style and the exhibition's identity?
ML: We try not to have a style. We want to develop a new style to each project, as every new project has different needs. The exhibition's identity is a result of its communication goals. This is what we mean by "work that hasn't done before". If the product is different, then the communication has to be, too.
LA: I think it was David Bowie who said, "To have a style is boring". We work both intuitively and conceptually. To us, the project is the most important thing; it almost dictates what to do and how to do it.
IdN: Which aspect of exhibition design is the most interesting/important to you?
ML: The most interesting aspect of exhibition design is the amount of possibilities you have in comparison with other graphic work. An exhibition can be an overall experience that stimulates all your senses. It's exciting to be able to create such a complete world.
The most important aspect of exhibition design is probably the guidance of the visitor. What does he or she need to see first, what next, how fast should they jump from point one to point two, what can be captured in which moment...
LA: As Martin says, when you do exhibition design and you are able to control and modulate the communication in different ways and intensities depending on the media, it becomes a much more interesting project and a much better communication experience for the visitor.
IdN: Exhibition design involves many different media, from 2D graphics to 3D products, interior design to informative graphics. How would you elaborate the relationship between each medium?
LA: The content obliges you to use one medium or another. For example, if you have a message that can't be told in one image and you need a sequence, and if this sequence needs an additional narration, maybe it can't be a sequence of only images, but has to be a movie. As I said earlier, the needs of the project tell us what and how to do it.
IdN: Could You describe the creative/working process of one of your works?
ML: The exhibition for the book Super Holland Design had a simple, but amusing idea behind it. As the book came first, it seemed somehow to be a logical consequence to design the exhibition in the same way that we designed the book. We opened an Indesign document on a scale of 1:10 to the exhibition space, measured the amount of columns needed, the column spacing, and the size of the typeface, established a line of information and started to place images and text. Details we love are the fractured images in the corners. In the book, we let images start on one page and then appear again on the next one to make the reading of the book more dynamic. In translation to three-dimensional space, these images seem to be misplaced because they are divided by the corners.
IdN: What projects are you working on right now and what are your future plans?
ML: A project we have started to work on is a thick, 500-plus-page book about emerging talents on the German graphic-design scene. We were asked by the Spanish publisher Actar to edit and design this book. Our goal is to present many young designers nobody has ever heard of, but who for sure will be important designers in the future. It will be called "Neuland - The Future Of German Graphic Design".
LA: Another project we are very thrilled about is a corporate identity for a musician whose music we really like.
Volume 15 Number 3
The Exhibition Issue