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100 Top Product Designer: Geoffrey Mann

100 Top Product Designer Geoffrey Mann ft

Recognized as one of the best product designers in the world, Geoffrey Mann is a Scottish product designer that explores through his works, the innate relationship between modern technology and ancient craftsmanship. One Hundred Edition honours the best of modern art and fine craftsmanship: discover some of the most iconic and creative works made by Geoffrey Mann.

Geoffrey Mann, Scottish product designer.
The Second Line is Scottish designer Geoffrey Mann’s first ethnographical and biographical body of work that uses object materiality to capture the social history of New Orleans. The animation uses an unscripted, unedited conversation between Mann and Grand Marshall Aaron Blanks that took place on a New Orleans street corner as Blanks conducted the young “All-Star Brass Musicians” from the city’s Treme neighbourhood. Their conversation addressed not only the jazz but how the teenagers’ brass instruments transcend music to become cultural, economic and social symbols of history, diversity, equality and hope.

Geoffrey Mann‘s work embraces the symbiotic relationship between digital media and physical form. His fascination with transposing the ephemeral nature of time and motion has created a studio practice that challenges the existing divides between art, craft and design.

Shine puts ancient traditions of representation in a new digital context, which, while it provides, on the one hand, a ‘true’ optical likeness, on the other, has its own disruptive mannerisms and modus operandi. Shine addresses the wide spectrum of art, craft and design practitioners and questions how people perceive technologically crafted objects.
Attracted to Light narrates the erratic behaviour of a moth upon the stimulus of light. The trajectory is captured through cinematic technology and the echo of the path materialized through rapid prototyping, forms a delicately poetic hanging lamp.
Crossfire centralizes around the context of a domestic argument. In this case, the event samples an audio excerpt from the 1999 Sam Mendes Film ‘American Beauty’.

“I don’t invent things,” says Mann. “I just find a way to materialize objects from things that we can’t see.”

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2005, Geoffrey Mann has exhibited nationally and internationally and in 2012 was a “Designer of the Future” by Newsweek magazine.

Dogfight narrates the interwoven trajectory of two moths’ playful behaviour upon meeting. The forms encapsulate the ephemeral echo of the moth’s erratic trail. Dogfight has been materialised through subsurface engraving technology, an aesthetic reminiscent of veiling; a natural occurrence experienced within the kiln cast glass process. The natural whispering creates movement within a static object. The glass is optical crystal and appears invisible allowing the echo to seem suspended in air.
Eclipse is a further study by Geoffrey Mann Studio into encapsulating the ephemerality of time and motion. The triptych of sculptural lights materializes the erratic ephemeral traces of a moth circling a light source for 5 seconds. Each trajectory has been created through 3D motion capture gathering the phototactic behaviour of a moth. Mann describes this as a material echo as in the insect has cut through solid air leaving a negative space.
Flight depicts a solid trace echo of a bird taking off. The subject’s suspended presence encapsulates a frozen moment in time.

In 2008, Geoffrey Mann was awarded the World Craft Council Prize for Glass and in 2009 won the Jerwood Contemporary Makers Prize.

The Secret Life of Shadows expresses the unseen physical trauma an object feels during the ‘event’ of its function. What if a perfume bottle could breathe? We could see it inhale with pride, exhale and deflate. By giving a human characteristic to a static object we can start to create the narrative of their Secret Lives.
The Leith Pattern continues the series of works that explores object materiality to capture the social and history of context and place. This work explores glass production in the port town of Leith, a suburb of Edinburgh in the late 18th century.

Geoffrey Mann’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Museum of Art and Design, New York, and the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery in Norfolk, UK.

All images courtesy of Geoffrey Mann Studio

See Also: 100 Top Product Designer: Cristina Celestino


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