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SXSW Interactive 2016

Is All Art Really Design? Yes.

Challenging the long-held assumption that agency “creatives” are artists in disguise, Joel Ebner of Isobar seeks to show that the inverse is true: that all artists are actually designers.

By talking through examples in visual art such as the work of Pablo Picasso, Mark Bradford, and Jackson Pollack, the music of Radiohead and Brian Eno, skateboarding’s Rodney Mullen and Tony Hawk, as well as audio production software such as Ableton Live, this discussion aims to add credibility to Paul Rand’s famous notion that “Everything is design. Everything!”

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  1. What is art for, and if art is a form of design, then why do we call it by a different name?
  2. How does art map to the terms we often use in relation to the field, such as “communication design,” “systems design,” and “experience design”?
  3. If art is just a subcategory in the greater taxonomy of design, then how can designers of all professions utilize this notion to produce better work?


  • Joel Ebner, Art Director, Isobar


Joel Ebner, Art Dir, Isobar

Meta Information:

  • Tags: design, art, music
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Art, Science and Inspiration
  • Level: Beginner
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