Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio
DES // 500 —— Political Ecology 
DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies

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︎
Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio

DES // 500 —— Political Ecology
DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies

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//Area of Interest//
My area of interest lies in subversive, outside or non-traditional forms of education and how they can inform or create a new mode of design education or self-learning/teaching. I am interested in this because I am unsure if education is/should be limited to the classroom and traditional ideals.

//Why I am Interedted in This Topic// 
We are living through a blurring of classroom and home due to the pandemic and I wonder if there is an opportunity to expand places of learning because of this. I wonder if we can legitimize other modes of learning the practice of design both within and outside of the university. In addition to that, I wonder how technology, Creative Commons and peer to peer sharing of “classes/lessons” can democratize our practice in a way that makes it more inclusive. I am drawn towards Postmodernist and Brutalist graphic design because their ideologies were borne out of a reaction, or as alternatives, to Modernism and its restrictive ideals of beauty in often minimalist form servicing function. Postmodernist and Brutalist design ideologies are being taught at well-championed schools such as Cranbrook and Yale University, both private institutions. This leads me into thinking how aesthetics relates to sociology, politics and class. I think my aesthetic preferences stem from my own “educational lineage” leading me to question if these are things that I actually enjoy or if they are indoctrinated (hopefully the former). This has led me to wonder if design aesthetics are often tied to access to elite programs. As stated by Pierre Bourdieu, legitimate tastes are really just the tastes of the ruling class. In this case, the ruling class includes those who attended elite universities, pupils who studied with those who attended these universities, or those who, like me, have been captivated by these programs and their outputs.

//Methods of Pursuing This Topic//
So far, my methods of practice include developing strategies for the dissemination of graphic design education and information. For example, one work presents a vending machine offering affordable chapters or project lessons in DIY fashion. Another work presents a collared shirt printed with subversive messages and non-traditional images of graphic design, packaged with the caption information in a Course Catalog. One of my most recent works is a content randomizer or film-genre generator. The interactive digital tool generates two film genres randomly prompting letterform design based on the outputted genres. It is a process of design that is led by form and often vernacular as well as learning through mimicry.

//Why This Topic is Important//
Subversive, outside or non-traditional forms of education are important to the practice of design because they could allow for greater inclusion of those without access but also could be a tool for greater sharing of knowledge/ideas between programs within the system of graphic design higher education. Could peer-to-peer sharing of design education help elevate “lesser” universities in order to decentralize “good design” from historically championed design programs? Could this lead the practice to see more competition from all design programs? Could the creation of more non-traditional/outside schools lead to new ideas within the practice?

!! The Diagram, Catalog and Map projects were presented at Midterms. As such I would prefer that the discussion for finals be focused on new work instead of these projects. !! 

Diagram



For the diagram project we were asked to analyze our topic of research (subversive education) through a selected item (pocket knife). I chose the knife because I feel like this is a good representation of subversive thought/education in that it can be both a tool and a weapon. The knife animates into the form of a flower in order to create something that is both beautiful and potentially unsettling (as well as hypnotic). The knife is surrounded by notes taken from both research and readings.

Click through these links to see the final version as well as versions one, two, and three.

Catalog




For the catalog project we continue to look into our topic of research. I chose to take a pass at analyzing ways in which new curriculums can be developed from post curriculums. I also chose to continue down a subversive path, this time attempting to subvert modernist education with something postmodern (something that is likey cliché at this point). In addition to the updated curriculum, I have included courses in the form of pieces of design and accompanying text that attempts to provide context beyond the visual form. This thinking stems from notions that works of design are often presented in a vacuum where they are reduced down to styles to be stolen. It is my hope that by including this context, each course offers a window into the ideas or historical implications that lead to the graphic/visual outputs. This also touches somewhat on a nonlinear ways of learning (an idea recently brought to my attention via Mindy Seu’s guest lecture this past week).

I encourage you to choose a course, using the table of contents/shirt, and read the accompanying material using the slideshow above. 

Map (abandoned)



This map project was presented at midterms as a work in progress and was ultimately abandonded. At the time the shown visuals (slides 1 & 2) were created I was thinking about was of showing how ideas and methods of design production move between people and institutions. At midterm it presented as a loose (very loose) mind map, with the hope is that it will take the form of a family tree or a pedigree chart. The idea of tracking design lineage through these schools was scrapped bacuase I felt that it put too much emphasis on certain programs at the expense of others, thus creating or perpetuating an inequality of value within design education. Prior to abandoning the project I briefly looked into mapping “Outer Schools” as put forward by the Southland Institute. Those sketches can be seen in the DES 540 section of my Learning Journal. 

Tangential Project



After feeling a little burnt out from the map project and the feeling of needing to intellectualize my work I opted to take a couple days to just focus on making. Show here are work in progress outputs from that exercise in the form of cyanotype printed fabric and patterns for a bucket bag/backpack that I intend to make over the holiday break.

Narrative



For the narrative project I opted out of creating a narrative to instead see how narrative impacts design. I wanted to analyze the relation that type has to narrative through the lens of film genres, as well as what could happen if you approached type design from this angle instead of a more traditional route. The letterforms were infromed by film posters from the various generes that were then combined into one mashed-up letterform. It is my feeling that this could relate to my topic in that it is one way in which a student could self-teach hand lettering. If this were to be pushed further I would consider ways of pushing it more towards type design than lettering, then again maybe that idea is informed by a learned bias that type design is superior to lettering. To try the mashup tool yourself click here.


Aphorisms



Vending Machine as School / School as Vending Machine



This project represents the fleshing out of an Idea initially had while working on the catalog project. Lately my reading, as well as discussions with my thesis advisor, have been focused radical pedagogy and thinking of how notions of emancipatory learning could be brought to life in design education as well as ways in which education could be democratized. All of which was swirling around in my skull while developing this project. The vending machine school seeks to question what it is that makes up the school. Is it the physical location and educators or is it just the content? What happens if you were to remove the content from the university and place it in the street? In addition to that I am attempting to create subversive or radical classes. Classes that can teach both design hardskills as well as a sharpening of critical thinking and inquiry.

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Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio

DES // 500 —— Political Ecology

DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies

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Initial Sketches and Models



Initial sketches relating to the Anthropocene as well as the Humanities Without Walls project/publication. These spreads attempt to lean into the idea of site specificity, questioning how type can be site specific or how it could change when introduced to specific sites.


Initial thoughts/model research on how we could produce a group publication that exists outside of something more traditional or how the overall form could be infromed or influenced by the content.



Sketch relating to how we could produce this group publication while taking into consideration the different sites represented within each section of the publication. Allowing for visual relationships to be shown between sections based on site specifics. This sketch also shows the publication being ring-bound so that the order of the sites is not fixed.

Initial Thoughts for Group Section



Our group chose the section of the publication that relates to Bruno Latour. The content assigned to this section includes both an interview with Latour as well as content (or lack thereof) from a masterclass conducted in conjunction with Latour. At midterm our group was considering focusing our efforts on the interview content since the masterclass content was not well defined. We participated in a few meetings with individuals who conducted the interview (Andrew Osborne and Casey Corcoran) about form and content, discussing how critique were to exist as footnotes and visual design interventions allowing for internal dialectic (Oscar’s words). Shown above are models that we shared with Andrew and Casey in order to facilitate a discussion around how this portion of the larger publication could take form. All that said, after discussing the timeline further with the interview team we felt that it was not something that we would be able to tackle within the semester. Because of this our group chose to turn our focus back to the Bruno Latour Masterclass. 

Initial Thoughts for Group Section




Our group chose the section of the publication that relates to Bruno Latour. The content assigned to this section includes both an interview with Latour as well as content (or lack thereof) from a masterclass conducted in conjunction with Latour. At midterm our group was considering focusing our efforts on the interview content since the masterclass content was not well defined. We participated in a few meetings with individuals who conducted the interview (Andrew Osborne and Casey Corcoran) about form and content, discussing how critique were to exist as footnotes and visual design interventions allowing for internal dialectic (Oscar’s words). All that said, after discussing the timeline further with the interview team we felt that it was not something that we would be able to tackle within the semester. Because of this our group chose to turn our focus back to the Bruno Latour Masterclass.

The above sketches show different ways to treat the content of the masterclass as well as representing the human effect on or manipulation of the environment within the Anthropocene. Scanner explorations were conducted utilizing multiple panes of glass in order to obtain a layered effect. 

Final Execution of Group Section







Once our group opted to pivot back to the masterclass we figured that it made the most sense to organize the content by day. Our overall concepts for our section are representing the human impact on the enviroment within the anthropocene through the manipulation and degredation of content, documentation through recreation and recontextualization, as well as the idea of utilizing the margins of our pages as a palce to store notes (field notes?) and other content provided to us.

Even though our section turned out to be successful, it was hard fought. I learned a lesson in collaborating online, and the issues that stem from that. I found it difficult to collaborate asynchronously as it often felt like yelling into a void while also drastically slowing down the process. In addition the the issues of working online, I learned that it is necessary to be more aware of team dynamics. We initially went down the rabit hole that was the interview because two of us (myself included) felt that it could be a more successful or tangible piece in the end even though out third team member felt otherwise. Ultimately, we could have saved some effort and had more time to work on our section had we not taken this detour (although hindsight is, uh, 2020). Either way, this taught me the importance of not placing more value on one thing just because the majority of the group finds it to be the best way forward. It was also interesting to see how other groups worked tohether some traded files around while some divided and conquered (our strategy) leading to an awareness that there is more than one way to skin a cat as they say. I wonder if colaboration could be an overarching theme for a whole class? One where students are placed (forced?) into short term projects with different people wherein they are required to figure out different (not best, correct, or right) ways to collaborate. 

Final (?) Cover design



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Fall Semester 2020

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Final Outputs

Learning Journal

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DES // 540 —— Research Studio
DES // 500 —— Political Ecology

DES // 520 —— Agathokakological Tendencies


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Character Bios / Instructions / Entities



Click to enalrge : 1) Sent character bio    2) Received character bio    3) Sent mask instructions    4) Received mask instructions    5) Sent entity    6) Received entity

Received Character Mask



After creating and receiving both character bios and mask instructions it was time to create my mask for Mr. Hongdae (Mr. H). While working on my mask I wanted to avoid walking into any territories that may seem as if I was appropriating some sort of traditional mask, an issue I found in my early sketches. I finally was able to break from that by choosing to adopt visual languages from folk art, specifically Wayne White. I leveraged methods of bricolage and paper mache to achieve the mask shown above. While it is more figurative/human that I had intended, I am happy with the results. I attempted to create a character that was true to the bio by creating a character that could come across as ultra-hip and a little full of themself, while also considering this individual’s gentrifier nature (something also reflected in the instructions). More notes and prcess can be found in the DES 520 section of my learning journal. 

Received Character & Entity Conversation




It wasn’t blatantly obvious, at least not to me, what sociopolitical issue was being highlighted in my received entity bio. There were a few things that it seemed like it could have been to me including, but not limited to, racism, segregation, and the persection of minority groups in WW11. But I ultimately landed on the LGBTQ+ rights. I wrote the conversation between this unknown entity and Mr. H as a text conversation and executed it a p5.js sketch. To read the full conversation click here

Script Performance

Our group will be performing multiple scripts from the class via Zoom at 10:30am this Tuesday. 

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