The Nest is a book, conceived and designed by Scott Massey, about process—the process of designing, and how it changes both what we make and who we are. The Nest is also a book about memory—how memory builds up in layers and influences our experiences, as well as the things we make. The focus of The Nest is a series of posters created in celebration of the exhibition Inside Out & Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1970–2019. The Nest documents Scott Massey’s use of appropriation, collage, layering and re-working to generate 200 unique and vibrant compositions that each tell a different story about creative discovery.
The Nest was born when Massey, a CalArts alum, was commissioned by curator Michael Worthington to design and print a poster for the Inside Out & Upside Down exhibition. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the exhibition at the Redcat in Los Angeles, CA had been postponed. With the world still in the throes of the global pandemic, this was seen as a time to dig deeper, to reflect on what makes each of us unique and what inspires our lives. At the heart of The Nest is an interest in the way form-making can be influenced by not just the circumstances of the present moment, but just as much by history—from the Bauhaus to Swiss Modernism to the variants of Postmodernism that stemmed from CalArtsand Cranbrook.
Using elements that represent the history and range of the storied CalArts poster archive, this project is an exploration of aesthetic strategies brought to life by blending both digital and analog processes. Layer by layer, step by step, The Nest closely examines each phase of designing those 200 posters. It is a celebration of process and a deep dive into the ever-evolving design values that guide one along the creative process. The Nest is full of personal narratives, conversations about process, the always difficult journey of making, and how memories can guide and inspire. Through interviews, essays, and conversations among designers, The Nestlooks to illuminate what it truly takes to start something and to keep going no matter the resistance, until you find your way out.
Conversations and writing by: Denise Gonzales Crisp & Gail Swanlund / Ed Fella & Martin Venezky / Bijan Berahimi, Stefano Giustiniani & Laura Bernstein / Ethan A. Stewart / Juliette Bellocq & Louise Sandhaus / Ian Lynam / Paul Sahre, George Bates & Scott Massey / David Karwan & Michael Worthington / Joseph Conway / Martin Venezky & Jon Sueda
“This book shows us design as dub. Using image instead of sound, where the process becomes the outcome. A set of predetermined graphic pieces that get manipulated, removed, amplified and echoed into endless variations of visual landscapes. By the end of the process the original is just a trace, an indexical mark; instead the echo, the altered, the invisible, is what becomes physical and real.”—Michael Worthington, Designer/educator/curator