The DNA of AND: Ampersand as Myth and Metaphor


“From corporate rhetoric to consumer cliché to faux finishes and desktop veneer, truth has gone from being a steadfast principle to a silly posture. Once the stuff of morals and fables, its presence in everyday life has become an imperiled commodity. We’re left with a culture teeming with contradiction: Reality TV. Fuzzy Math. Jumbo Shrimp. Political Intelligence.

Is it real or is it memorex?

If form is driven by content, then the consequences of this shaky reality have driven us further from the utopian promises of modernism than any of us ever dared to imagine.

Wither the ampersand?

In a decidedly non-utopian analysis of current design thinking and practice, the ampersand provides a unique lens through which to examine truth as an ideal — and design as a reality. Bill and I spending a week this summer at the Maine School of Art working with students and contemplating the fates and fictions of and and and.”

Jessica Helfand
Design Observer

© 2004