Netflix has announced the launch of a new documentary series that takes an in-depth look inside the beating heart of the design industry, in much the same manner as their previous, critically acclaimed series, “Chef's Table,” looked at the world of high-class cuisine. Each episode of “Abstract: The Art of Design” looks to go “beyond blueprints and computers into the art and science of design”, according to Netflix, and explore the creative processes of prominent designers from different sectors. Featured designers include Pentagram partner Paula Scher and Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who is the founder and creative partner of architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group. Other designers showcased include illustrator Christoph Niemann, stage designer Es Devlin, who has worked with artists ranging from Kanye West to Adele, interior designer Ilse Crawford, graphic designer Paula Scher, car designer Ralph Gilles, and the shoe designer behind Nike’s self-lacing trainers, Tinker Hatfield. The series has been co-produced by executive producer Morgan Neville, RadicalMedia’s Dave O’Connor and former Wired editor-in-chief, Scott Dadich and will be available exclusively on Netflix from February 10. It enjoyed its first public screening last weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.
Scott Dadich, who announced his departure from Wired last month, said of the series: “I can guess what you’re thinking, because I have watched a lot of design documentaries. Restrained, polished, pretty; so many of them look like a moving version of a coffee table book. You’ve got softly lit interviews, esoteric conversations, and subtle tracking shots of wide landscapes beneath unobtrusive music. Most of it is clean, minimal, and boring as hell. We’re not doing that. My partners and fellow executive producers and I built a team of today’s best-known documentarians. Every episode stands as its own film, adapting the design sensibilities of our subjects.”