Day two is the day OFFSET 2014 got political...
Neville Brody started it by talking about scale: "The top 85 people in the world own the same amount of wealth as the bottom 50 per cent… That's 3.5 billion people," he said, before launching into a wider tirade against the education policy in Britain.
"I don't think that any government should ask its students to pay for education," he stated during a provocative Saturday afternoon session in the huge Bord Gais Energy theatre, later suggesting in a one-on-one interview with industry commentator Adrian Shaughnessy that the responsibility lies with industry to invest in design education.
In an exclusive pre-recorded video conversation with Steven Heller later in the day, design legend Milton Glaser also pitched some weighty topics, touching on politics and the designer's role in society. The hour-long discussion was engaging, wide-ranging and, in Glaser's own words, often "profoundly cynical".
"Advertising and money have very effectively swept aside what it means to be a good practitioner," he said. "Advertising, marketing and design are all mixed into this thick, noxious stew, called 'branding'."
The sense of common purpose has diminished, Glaser argued. "There is tremendous dissension in this world," he said. "The role of people in design and art is to re-establish the communality."
Need to create
Amid the politics, a parallel theme of creativity infiltrated the second day of OFFSET 2014. Tom Hingston first referred to an "almost primal need to create" during an engaging early morning session - and this theme resurfaced throughout the day.
Hingston talked through some of his studio's seminal projects, including his debut as a director last year for Bowie's Rather Be High music video. During his session he mentioned some of his inspirations and touched on the theme of 'making'.
"When I look at these things they instinctively make me want to react," he explained, showing the work of Gerhard Richter and Miroslav Titchy. "You can't always put you finger on why that is - but you look at it and it makes you want to make stuff."
"The desire to make things is a profound commitment for life," observed Glaser. "If I didn't have somewhere to go and make images, I wouldn't have a sense that I was alive. It answers the question: 'Why am I here?'"
Photographer Richard Mosse provided one of the most powerful sessions of day two at OFFSET 2014. His Infra series, which uses a discontinued type of surveillance film to document people and places affected by war, is simultaneously beautiful and harrowing, and he moved the audience with stories of his time in the Congo.
Frustrated with the documentary field, he decided to "blow the whole thing open" and do something "aestheticised". The results are mesmerising and moving, and his moving exhibition - soon scheduled to visit the Photographer's Gallery in London - is well worth a visit.