Horseville Design Hideout

Love letters to Syd Mead


Selected prints available at Artstation:

, for lack of better words, began life as a coined term to describe our ability to think through sketches and transfer our thinking process to the outside world and intentionally create new ideas through pen and paper. In the beginning, it was just a bunch of different experiments with sketching, or the study of creativity from a scientific perspective, which later became an intense and almost systematic passion. A passion that eventually grew into the subject of doctoral research focused on studying the phenomenon of "ideation sketching," primarily as part of the designer's creative process.
Well, one should say obsession rather than just rational scientific interest.
Yes, we really can think on paper. And we all do it. We all doodle, draw, and sketch; for napkins, receipts, and magazine margins; just for everything and everywhere. Sketching is obviously an excellent means of generating ideas. We also like (as artists) to fill the pages of beautiful hand-bound sketchbooks with skilful illustrations, which we also call sketches. Wait a minute. Are these still sketches? And what exactly is a sketch?
We often say that a sketch is just a quick freehand drawing that we don't usually consider as a finished work. A sketch can record something we observe, be used as a quick way to graphically capture an image, idea or general principle, or record or develop an idea for later use. And it is this sketch and this sketching that interests me.
We can think on paper; just try adding up a few multi-digit numbers in your head. Now write those few numbers down on paper and try again. You will see for yourself how easy it is. Sketching is actually the same thing, just a slightly more abstract way of thinking. Instead of specific symbols, we use rough shapes that may or may not have a specific meaning, and we assign that meaning as we sketch. This is very similar to how neuroscience explains the cognitive processes taking place in our brains.
So the question is whether it is possible to improve sketching as a thinking tool. Or amplify. Or learn how to sketch effectively.
The search for answers to these questions led me to research and catalogue existing techniques that serve as tools for artists, architects or designers in the search for ideas, but also to study the science that deals with this topic: Neuroscience and especially the relatively new cognitive psychology. And it was here that some of my assumptions were confirmed.
It seemed to me that sketching is not just some kind of frivolous artistic activity but that it is, instead, a manifestation of something much more internal and human. And it turned out that sketching is really a natural ability of the human mind to use the surrounding environment for thinking; it showed how important our physical body is for thinking, how our brain processes unclear stimuli and how necessary our language and individual words are.
From this realisation, only one step was missing to formulate the Metasketching manifesto:
Obey the ambiguity
Explore and interact
Let slip the artefact

And the next step, which was supposed to turn the theory of Metasketching into practice, was the simulation of an actual project, similar to what I know not only from my own experience as a designer. The intention was to design a fictional world inspired by the work of industry legend Syd Mead. In the form of visual studies, i.e. in the form of Metasketches.
The result was a series of images eventually presented at several exhibitions and in this publication without initially planning it. Indeed, none of the images in this book originally had ambitions to become an exhibition piece, part of an artistic monograph, or exist in any way as an independent form of illustration. All of them were created as part of a creative experiment, which was only to verify the conclusions figured out during my research.
The "Metasketches" series was created over three weeks in April 2022 (And late summer of 2022 for the second part), and I published individual outputs on social media to document the dissertation's progress. Although the results may seem quite complex, they are really just sketches, although I created them with the help of virtual reality, artificial intelligence or other digital tools. But they all meet the definition of a sketch: they are quick, emotive gestural and interactive records of my thought process.
To my surprise, the response gradually gained such proportions that it could no longer be ignored, and it was necessary to respond to requests for printing or copies of the concepts presented. At that time, the influence of Prof. Boris Jirku and Leoš Motl from the Figurama association, who invited me to join lectures and convinced me about the exhibition for so long that it finally happened. And so what was supposed to be just a "meta" sketch became an artefact, which I also present to you.

- University of Western Bohemia, Czech Republic (6/2022 - 7/2022)
- Wacom Experience Center Dusseldorf, Germany (10/2022 - 2/2023)
- Castle Valec, Czech Republic (9/2022 2/2023)

Exhibition catalogue:



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