Basile Fournier speculates on how technology will affect the role of the future designer
- Ruby Boddington
- 4 October 2019
Currently in his final year of a bachelor’s at ECAL, graphic designer Basile Fournier was a child of the late 90s. And like many who grew up during that time, he became obsessed with hip-hop and graffiti culture. Consumed with drawing letterforms, he was curious about the world surrounding the medium and so read a lot of magazines and researched the topic thoroughly. It was here that he discovered graphic design.
Today, Basile’s portfolio reflects his love of graffiti through typography-led projects tinged with the influence of his university, one well known for its slick and polished aesthetic. “I’m very interested in CGI, artificial intelligence and all the mediums related to technology, and how they influence design,” he tells us. This stems from a deep interest in how technology affects us as human beings, “how it influences the environment around us, but mostly how it impacts creativity in a lot of ways. I’m super curious about what it will mean to be a designer or an artist in the near future, and I like to focus my work around these ideas.”
While Basile doesn’t aim for a single visual language as he “like[s] the idea that design needs to be in the service of the project,” these ideas related to technology inevitably permeate his work. Basile keeps up an artistic practice alongside his design work and so understands the notion that producing recognisable work is important. “I would describe my visual language as a lot of dark and blue tones, questioning the purpose of life, with a touch of melancholy and dystopian aspect,” he explains. This allows him to toe the line between the virtual and the real, exploring “our identities as human beings and avatars,” and “make design that impacts and touches people in a sincere and sensitive way.”
One project which neatly synthesises the concepts that most interest Basile, and the techniques he favours is Era. A series of CGI imagery, it features technological paraphernalia co-existing with nature. “It expresses this feeling of planned obsolescence, shows contemporary artefacts and finally projects the viewer in a dystopian future,” Basile remarks. “I like this project because CGI is really something that I want to push further, I’m actually working right now on several projects, including a lot of 3D image-making, and I love the freedom of composing scenes, create an image from the beginning to the end.”
In How to be (almost) invisible (on) the internet, Basile explores his ideas on the printed page. The publication puts forward 21 simple actions in order to erase your online presence. It’s a project about freedom and the right to have a private life, even online – themes important to Basile. Corporate imagery, logos and data-related visuals feature heavily throughout and he plays with the notion of transparency by utilising different paper stocks. “I like the idea that a book can still be hidden from the whole digital vacuum and can be an object of mystery and something special and singular,” he adds. Ultimately, however, the project expresses Basile’s desire to create work which has a purpose, and which has the potential to change “the mind of people for the better.”
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.