Fons Hickmann m23, your studio, has taken care of corporate design for the Semper Opera House in Dresden since 2009 and your work there has already attracted several design awards. What are the constants in your approach?
For working with any cultural institution, not just Dresden, we prefer a flex?ible corporate design. Rigid systems don’t work nowadays, because they don’t live and breathe. Conservatism in design brings results in the medium term, sure, but not beyond that. To convey our particular way of working to a client, I liken corporate design to a human body: the various organs and parts of the body make up the living entity. And as the body is an entity, we see it ?holistically; every part of it matters to all the other parts, and if we are going ?to keep the body healthy we must take account of all these internal processes. One in??ference we can draw is that we should not consider digital and analogue media separately. These days, to go on thinking in separate boxes, one for analogue and one for digital, is outdated nonsense, modern only to arch-conservatives. Logo, typographical and colour choices, the website, app and classical print media need to be designed by a single studio. Otherwise they will not harmonise and will not interact. Another very important point is that a CD must be able to change. In the same way as a body or a personality changes, a cul?tural institution must be able to change too. It’s quite sufficient to retain a single strong component, for instance the logo or a significant typographical feature. That way one keeps an essential minimum of recognition value and gains maximum flexibility. After all, I’m not going to run about in the same suit of clothes for the next twenty years, am I? I’ll want to wear things according to the mood of the moment. But the core does not change.