There is much that is solidly good about Netflix’s new docuseries Abstract: The Art Of Design, and not just because it has appearances directly and indirectly by Michael Jordan, Beyoncé and Colin Powell. Debuting on February 10 after a preview last month at the Sundance Film Festival, the multi-director eight-parter from the streaming service is, as I say in my video review above, a smorgasbord of the aesthetic that frames the look and feel of our culture.
It’s also a ton of fun, with lots of great nuggets of info — like the influence Paris’ Pompidou Center had on Nike design — that you’ll likely find yourself telling others at work and parties after you’ve watched the series.
And you should watch Abstract – in one binge or perhaps even individually over time. For one thing, the series bucks the convention of similar series in its spotlight and approach by looking at stage designer Es Devlin, interior designer Ilse Crawford, Chrysler’s head of global design Ralph Gilles, architect Bjarke Ingels, photographer Platon (who gets the former Secretary of State to find his portrait chill), multiple New Yorker cover illustrator Christoph Niemann, multi-platform graphic designer Paula Scher, and Nike sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield. There also are heavyweights on the other side of the camera too; among the directors are Oscar-winning 20 Feet From Stardom helmer Morgan Neville and Brian Oakes, who directed the Sundance award-winning Jim: The James Foley Story.
You can see more of Abstract and what I think about it in my video review above. But the series, produced by Radical Media and executive produced by Neville, Scott Dadich, Dave O’Conner, Justin Wilkes and Jon Kamen is well worth a look.