Netflix’s new series, Abstract: The Art of Design focuses in on the world’s most brilliant creatives and the projects that established them as the greatest cultural icons in modern history.

The eight part documentary series follows the somewhat ridiculous lives of illustrators, designers and architects including footwear designer and creator of the original Nike Jordans, Tinker Hatfield, as well as world renowned stage designer, Es Devlin, best known for her work with Adele, Beyoncé, Louis Vuitton and on the London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony.

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London 2012: Es Devlin designed a sculpture of John Lennon’s face as a centre piece to the closing ceremony.

Speaking on her design for the Watch The Throne tour, the musical super group consisting of rap icons Jay-Z and Kanye West, Es Devlin said: “They are at once in positions of almighty power, because they are 15-foot up, but they are easily vulnerable because they are standing up there and they could easily be shot or fall off.”

“That tension between power and fallibility is a very interesting territory.”

“That tension between power and fallibility is a very interesting territory.”

Watch The Throne: Es Devlin's design stood JAY Z and Kanye West five metres above their audience, worshiping them below. But the lack of protection and sharks illuminated on the cubes show the stars are still vulnerable.
Watch The Throne: Es Devlin’s design stood JAY Z and Kanye West 15 foot above their audience, worshipping them below. But the lack of protection and sharks illuminated on the cubes show the stars are still vulnerable.

It is obvious from the first moment you click play that the director and producers of the series worked extremely closely with the designers featured in the episodes.

They injected the personality and mentality of the designers in order to create a visual style that is completely its own.

This is encapsulated perfectly in the series’ fourth episode, where Danish architect Bjarke Ingels was the subject.

“You are coming with pure fiction and the after all the hard work and all the permits and all the construction, it becomes concrete reality”.

At the beginning of the episode, the Copenhagen architect affirmed that the episode should be ‘the documentary version of Inception’.

Inception: The eternal spnning totem is a hallmark of the movie, Bjarke Ingels' aim is to make these impossibilities possible.
Inception: The eternal spnning totem is a hallmark of the movie, Bjarke Ingels’ aim is to make these impossibilities possible.

He said: “The whole premise of Inception is that in real life, you cannot realise your dreams because you have so many constraints, but in the dream world they could do all these kinds of things, and architecture at its best, that is exactly what you are doing.

“You are coming with pure fiction and the after all the hard work and all the permits and all the construction, it becomes concrete reality”.

Following this statement, the episode proves to be exactly what Ingels suggested it to be.

Ingels speaks on his greatest designs, including his apartment block in Copenhagen, The Mountain, to the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, through to a ski slope on top of a power plant.

The Unzipped Wall: The Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Bjarke Engils was installed in Hyde Park throughout Summer 2016.
The Unzipped Wall: The Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Bjarke Ingils was installed in Hyde Park throughout Summer 2016.

The incredible attention to detail down to the colour grading and its overall shot choice recreates the American blockbuster, surrounded by a still unbelievable world, but this world is the reality Bjarke Ingels designed for himself.

It is a great difficulty to review every element of a series as complete as Abstract: The Art of Design, but these examples prove it is definitely this year’s must watch.

To see Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix, click here.