Architectures in moiré

Graphic designer, illustrator and artist Andrea Minini gives us a sneak preview of his new architectural exploration that applies the Mies principle that “less is more”.

You like it. The image appeals to and intrigues you. Simple yet complex, intuitive yet calculated, 2D yet fluid and less yet more. Like all his other illustrations, Andrea Minini produced it using just two lines. “My inspiration is the Modernist ethic of less is more, using the smallest possible number of elements to convey a broader and more variegated concept. It is a sort of binary code, a universal language that is part of my style. Producing beautiful forms out of synthesis.”
Andrea Minini
Andrea Minini, Bilbao
Born in 1979, Andrea Minini studied Communication Design at Milan Polytechnic. He then worked for ten years as a graphic designer in a Milan studio and is now a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Three years ago, partly for fun and partly because obsessed, he started exploring the Illustrator software universe, experimenting with its various functions. His three series of Animals in Moirè, visual distortions created by superimposing different weaves, were a huge success. He joined the Gusto Robusto – Stampe d’arte vettoriale collective at the Treviso Comic Book Festival and, at IED in Milan, has taught a lesson on vector images and on Behance – the American network formed in 2006 to put companies in touch with creatives, where his illustrations have received more than 120,000 hits. He offers Domusweb a preview of his new architectural exploration entitled Architectures in Moiré: from Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building in New York to Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao, passing via Brooklyn Bridge and the Pirelli Tower in Milan.
Andrea Minini
Andrea Minini, Mies

Francesca Esposito: How do you create these images?

Andrea Minini: There isn’t actually a real design or project. I try to produce a complex form using the minimum number of lines, which are interpolated. The difficulty lies in creating a synthetic form for the subject. You can remove some things and leave others, what matters is that it all flows fluidly.

Andrea Minini
Andrea Minini, Brooklyn Bridge

Francesca Esposito: Less is more, graphically speaking?

Andrea Minini: Both in terms of illustration form and approach, I have always tried to adopt the ethical rule of Mies van der Rohe. For this latest architecture series, I employed basic codes, dotted lines, corners and straight lines to portray something more complex.

Francesca Esposito: You have changed subjects, shifting from animals to architecture. Tell us about this new series.

Andrea Minini: I like minimalistic photography, which illustrates architecture by immortalising just the details such as the roof, the vanishing point of a corner or the geometry of buildings. In this sense, architecture lends itself greatly to my style and embraces the mathematical side – simple but also complex – of my illustrations, which some see as topographic maps. Architecture argued in these terms, via minimal subjects, seemed a good subject. I’ve created perspectives with just dotted lines and angles. I’ve played with thicknesses and, with these elements, produced something complex.

Andrea Minini
Andrea Minini, Skyscrapers

Francesca Esposito: So, it is all calculated?

Andrea Minini: I aim to be in control but, like mathematics and physics, there is always an element of chance in graphics. My illustrations make minimal use of curves when there is an automatic interpolation of lines. Ninety percent of the time, I have to redo it because the effect is wrong but it works out 10% of the time. It is a little like a blotch of colour on a canvas.

Andrea Minini
Andrea Minini, Tel Aviv

Francesca Esposito: What does error bring?

Andrea Minini: When you experiment with any kind of tool, which may be a pencil or software, something always spirals out of control. I have realised that error, when for example a type of curve behaves in a certain way, can conceal something creative. My illustrations are the fruit of research and experimentation as well as of a design method and a rigid style.

Andrea Minini
Andrea Minini, Skyscrapers

Francesca Esposito: Is it hard to capture people’s attention with an image?

Andrea Minini: People see 5,000 images in any one day; they are constantly bombarded. That is why it is so crucial to be able to show them beauty, in a flash. The secret lies in the fact that you explain things with just one image and you must be minimal, without overloading, clean and not complicated – this is an absolute value.

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