Design duo Reed+Rader have been together for 10 years – and in that decade they’ve seen gifs rise from much-maligned geek sigil to high-fashion editorial. They talk conservative fashion, dinosaur heads and augmented reality.
Hi guys! To start, could you describe your creative approach?
Cats. Dinosaurs. Outer Space. Technology. It’s about having fun and breathing life into impossible fairy tale worlds. We aren’t interested in capturing some unique natural beautiful moment in nature. We want to manufacture our own. Maybe someday you won’t be able to tell which one is real and which one is not.
You’ve got your first solo show coming up in London this autumn. How are you feeling about that?
We are pumped up. It’s great to be able to curate an entire space to your ideas in a way that’s a lot more difficult on a blog or even in a magazine where you are competing with content in a separate context from yours. Also, some projects just work better in a physical space and we are designing work with that in mind which can be a bit of a challenge considering that Reed + Rader’s world exists entirely in the internet’s digital ether.
What’s it going to be like?
Prehistoric adventures in the Cretaceous starring dinosaurs with huge appetites and killer dance moves. GIFS, Films, and Interactive Virtual Environments.
How do you want people to feel when they enter the space?
We’ll have the smile meter standing by looking for smiles and playful imaginations.
Your work is a lot of fun. Do you think there’s enough fun in the fashion industry?
There’s never enough fun. Seriously though, fashion is surprisingly conservative. Or maybe we are just too wild. All the coolest clothes are totally un-wearable. Hopefully in the near future augmented reality will make wearing giant dinosaur heads and tentacles as comfy as pyjamas.
How did you begin working together?
We met via the internet soon after we both left home for school. It turned out we both went to the same school and that was that. After a few years of helping each other out it seemed to make sense to formally join forces – so that’s what we did.
How does working in a pair compare to working alone?
It’s not lonely. Sometimes it can be annoying because sometimes you just want to chill when the other person is bursting wanting to talk ideas. Mostly it’s awesome though. It’s a second pair of hands, another brain, a real life conscience, and a constant kick in the butt.
What else are you working on at the moment?
We’ve been finishing up a bunch of projects at the moment. We just finished a GIF project with Victoria’s Secret at the end of July. We released a short film called “I Hate Kitties”. It’s a cathartic adventure that reminds of those times when those little kitties you love piss you off. On the interactive end of things, we recently finished a project called “Squiddies” where the user can influence the images via mouse or touch. On the horizon we’re working on Animal Crossing, Dinosaur, and Christmas related things.
Are there any other artists out there at the moment who you really admire?
Artists making a living doing crazy shit on the internet and loving it. Friends With You, Memo Akten, Rachel Maclean, Brody Condon, Marc Owens, 0100101110101101, James George, Kyle Mcdonald, Tabor Robak, Robert Overweg, TYMOTE, Anyone with a Tumblr and a laptop.
And finally, if you could do anything in the world together, what would it be?
Sign us up on a one way trip to be two of the first 100 colonists on Mars.
Words: Mark Izatt