Above the Fold

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Charles Lewton-Brain on the art of foldforming

By John Shanahan

It’s entirely possible that if Charles-Lewton Brain had not learned to speak German, the art of foldforming may never have been created. After finishing art school, he learned of Fachhochschule für Gestaltung, an influential school in Germany that one of his teachers had attended in the sixties. At that teacher’s urging, Lewton-Brain packed up and went to enroll. Upon arriving, however, he was told that there had been a change of policy at the school, and unless he spoke German, he was not allowed to take classes.

“I went back to my apartment and started studying,” he says. “I studied for weeks, learning just enough to get by. When I went back for an interview, I answered everything yes or no. In German. It was enough, and they let me in.”