Studio as critique.
As much as the studio is about showing designers in their element, we felt a need to be critical about what we do. Through open collaboration with each other and visitors, we embrace the loss of explicit authorship. We recognize our own ego but do not believe in solitary genius. To achieve this we developed projects which spanned the 17 days. These parts of the studio are meant to challenge the traditional notion of the graphic designer through our relationships with clients and the greater public.
Posters, books, and logos are quintessential so we began there. To explore our use of technology, media, and medium as they relate to the deliverable, we created these systems of making and interaction. The Poster Machine, Logo Parlor, and Bookshop as we called them produced work for a walk-in clientele. They act as introduction to basic concepts of design[ing] and being designed for in a way that was personal for each visitor.
We want to expand the space of graphic design criticism. Through our studio space and by working in the gallery, performing, we present design, the verb, to more than our peers. We used one of our 23 ft high walls to proclaim a diagnosis of the field. Graphic design is made of contrary elements, involving a clash of thought, emotion, and behavior, leading us as graphic designers, toward eccentric perceptions, unusual actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality into fantasy or delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
The print-per-request Book Shop interprets an individual’s reading preferences and habits. We posit that reading is distracting, because it is plastic, creative work that is affected by methods of publishing and the devices we use. Visitor input went into editing and producing a 100 page book that focuses on the parts of books and reading that cannot be read or are routinely glanced over, though contribute the how a reader reads.
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The poster machine was made to challenge the digital tools that designers conventionally use in making. A series of knobs and switches are used by the machine’s operator to alter the mood and layout of their poster. Each poster is then handmade and machine-made. After playing with the machine the maker sends her poster to print, where it is also automatically fed to our website for all to see.
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The logo parlor generates a logo and 20 business cards in 8 minutes. The piece was developed based on a system in which visitors fill out a form where they rank different skill sets in a scale of 1 to 10. The skill sets are gathered from a survey of most repeated characteristics mentioned by prospective candidate during interviews across different fields. During the exhibition visitors were encouraged to fill out a form and spend 8 minutes with the designer as the process of creating their customized logotype unfolded.
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An expansive blanketEach logotype has three sets of concentric rings, the outer ring has 10 points, the middle and inside rings have 5 points each. Each point moves on its Y-axis from 0 to 10. The position of the point dictates the form of the blanket.
PatternsParticipants also pick a skill that best describes their occupation from 10 options available. Each one of these skills has a different pattern that in turn becomes the skin for the blanket.