‘I think it is one of the paradoxical conditions of design authorship, that you have to be both producer and critic simultaneously. I can maintain a kind of double life.’
Canadian Bruce Mau, 40, exemplifies a new breed of design auteur. His current book, Life Style, a 627-page manifesto, monograph and virtual museum is, according to New York Times design critic Herbert Muschamp, a ‘strip tease performed with an endless variety of veils.’ The book, he says, ‘tantalises readers with glimpses into the thinking of one of the most creative minds at work in design today.’ But note that the word ‘graphic’ does not appear in this statement. Mau’s career, though rooted in graphic design, has spread into the realms of architecture, film and landscape design, often in equal collaboration with professionals from other spheres, notably the architects Rem Koolhaas, with whom he co-authored the monolithic S,M,L,XL and Frank Gehry, for whose Walt Disney Concert Hall he designed the signage and typographic identity. Interview with Eye Magazine.