Disrupting Norms with Mohawk Maker Quarterly!

I can’t leave for a week off (!) without wishing you all some disruption. No, not at the Thanksgiving table, but the kind that challenges you to question what you think you know and then push back against those boundaries. Disruption is the theme of Mohawk’s 13th issue of Mohawk Maker Quarterly — and while the word has been overused so much it’s typically ignored, that doesn’t diminish its inherent potential and power, writes Tom O’Connor, Jr. in the Editor’s Letter. “Let’s shed our assumptions about disruption and get back to its fundamental concept: that opportunity often hides in plain sight.”The very form of the issue captures the term’s essence of exploration, discovery and revolution. Trust me when I say this issue must be seen and touched to be appreciated! Hybrid Design chose a 9.75″x13.25” format, which is perfect-bound and affixed to a double-thick, die-cut cover/carrier featuring a tear strip which (metaphorically) forces the reader to “disrupt” the cover to gain access to the content. Once tabbed open, a pocket holds a one-of-a-kind 9″x12” art print along with a small, 5.5″x8.5” zine — anyone besides me remember those? — as well as the tape-bound main book. The amazing cover/carrier features mirror foil and rich, black print along with structural, die cut elements that evoke packaging; the main book is conventional offset printing at its finest on Mohawk’s flagship Superfine Eggshell; the zine insert uses three very different types of Mohawk paper along with simple offset printing alongside UV white ink and 4-color printing; and finally, the 9″x12” art print captures printing disruption at its 2017-best using HP Mosaic randomization software to create 20,000 one-of-a-kind, numbered art prints imaged on Superfine Eggshell i-Tone and printed on an HP Indigo 12000 press.The content matches the form, with contributions from thinkers and doers who are upending the world as we know it. These iconoclasts are reframing the way we consider such basic concepts as time, ownership and success. They’re redefining images, spaces and perceptions in radical ways — and being exposed to them will hopefully rub off on all of us! Art & Algorithm by Bryn Mooth describes the process through which design and variable-data technology was leveraged to produce the one-of-a-kind art print tucked into each issue. I got 7,392/20,000 — and amazingly, it’s likely that the artist, Merjn Hos, nor the creative team behind the publication ever saw it before me! Snap a photo of yours and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MMQ13 — don’t forget to tag @merijnhos @mohawkpaper + @hybriddesignsf!

Another highlight for me was Hacking Time by Caleb Kozlowski. Time is a limited natural resource in that all of us never have enough. Yet it is more fluid than we all realize – and we may be thinking about it all wrong. “Newness, contrast and impact are keys to creating experiences that stretch out our perception of time,” he writes. “As long as we seek out contrast and new experiences, accept challenges and question our patterns, we can take back time.”The movement features a round-up of innovative makers, including Sam Hains of Zero Likes, which “explores the outskirts of the internet doomed to forgotten,” Instagram photos with just that. Photographer and environmentalist J Henry Fair uses aerial photography to show the destruction caused by pollution in a surprisingly beautiful way. And trying a cake from London’s Kia Utzon-Frank is on my bucket list. Her sculptural, geometric cakes have gradient flavors so no two pieces taste the same!

Finally, I am so glad to see I am not the only one who misses zines! This gem is Fat Tire Flyer by Charlie Kelly and looks back on the introduction of the mountain bike and how it changed the bicycle industry. However, I’ve never seen a zine printed with three types of paper — most were of the xeroxed and stapled variety!Get yours here! The quarterly itself is free, but you’ll have to pick up the shipping. Believe me when I say it is worth every penny. Happy Thanksgiving, all!


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