Grandmaster Mind is a project dedicated to the Art of the Memory. The book is as much a playful learning manual, teaching the system of the Memory Palaces, than a beautiful and visually intriguing representation of that mnemonic system. With this project, the graphic designer Amaury Hamon makes an anachronic move within the encompassing trend of digitizing any information, putting at once a finger on the pervasive motto of self-optimisation and the outsourcing of specific mind skills our species developed over thousands of years.
With Grandmaster Mind, Hamon demonstrates himself as a highly skillful graphic designer, understanding graphical work as a cognitive system. The outstanding quality of his work has already been acknowledged with the BCV Award 2017 from the ECAL, where Amaury Hamon obtained his BA in graphic design. During his studies he gathered experience at Arobase Communication (Shanghai), ARPA (London) and Bibliotheque Design (London). He is now teaching assistant at the ECAL and works freelance at Studio Jonathan Hares.
Can you describe your approach or methodology to design?
Listening, synthesizing, defining, planifying, researching, organizing, experimenting, discussing, optimizing, assembling, fine-tuning, delivering. And all along the way, feeling.
Did recent technological changes impact your work? If so how?
It depends on the content to work with. But in general, the densification and complexification of information forces the designer to implement automatization tools in his practice. Each new project brings the question to find and develop adequate tools while manipulating and shaping a specific content towards a specific concept.
In terms of methodology, it is a continuous process of learning, that can progressively turn a designer into somehow a programmer. I am as much interested in the process of optimizing as in the visual result. Within each project, I try to implement that, where it is necessary.
How does your work environment look like? How does your work environment influence your creative outcome/designs?
It is a mobile setup, as I work on three different desks: Home, Studio and School. Instead of describing how each setup looks like, I would rather list the redundant elements: black tea, NTS Radio or vinyls playing, a laptop plugged to a monitor, test prints and books everywhere!
Working in a shared office is very stimulating. With each designer having his own set of skills, collaborations and discussions can definitely improve the outcome compared to working alone.
What inspires you? Can you describe an event that recently inspired you?
I am mostly inspired by the designers that surround me on a daily basis. My friends, former teachers, and the designers I work for. Discussions and exchanges is the best source of inspiration for me. I recently saw the conferences of Peter Saville and of Jonas Vögeli at ECAL. Both were really impressive, not only for the final outcome of their work, but also for “the making of” and the reasons leading to a certain design.
Are there important designers for you today? Why?
I don’t think there are more important designers than others. Every designer has a reason to be important, based on his own skills, methodology, ideas, all of what makes him unique, and the quality of service he provides. I guess today, and in the future, what will be important is how the role and the status of the designer will fluctuate along the technological progress of design tools and software.
With what company would you like to work with? I don’t have a specific company I could think of. However, I have the desire to work in specific fields. For instance, working for a fashion brand identity or campaign, a record label identity. I never had the chance to do so, but I definitely would love to!