Today I got quite the surprise in my inbox from the folks at Behance. My work for Jonathan Adler is being featured on Typography Served, a site with curated work from leading creatives on Behance. What an honor! Thanks Behance!
Archive for the ‘DCW Design Projects’ Category
Posted in DCW Design Projects, Life Rants, tagged 63rd UN DPI/NGO Conference, pratt institute, Project Public, UN Youth Assembly, United Nations, United Nations Youth Assembly on February 11, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Several weeks ago, I was invited to speak at the United Nations Youth Assembly about my 2010 trip to Australia for the 63rd UN DPI/NGO Conference. I blogged about my experiences in Australia (here), and blogged a lot about this trip inspiring my Pratt MFA thesis. So when I was asked to speak to youth about my experiences at the UN, I gladly accepted! I was nervous speaking to experts in the field about my outside experience in Australia several years earlier but also thought my outsider perspective might resonate with other youth people at the conference. I remember attending a conference like that three years ago (read here) and wanting to connect with the speakers but never really got there. With this in mind, I focused my presentation on the importance of youth and why design matters.
My ID tag, officially welcoming me into the United Nations!
One of the biggest points I made is the amazing potential designers and nonprofits have when they collaborate together. Collaborations between unexpected partners often lead to unexpected and surprising results. One prime example is my experience as a graphic designer at a UN Conference centered on Public Health. Attending this conference sparked my interest in the subject of joy and using one’s skills and abilities to create change in the world. Many of the projects we created in the class at Pratt strove to do just that.
In closing, I wanted to bring focus from design back to YOUth, and end on an aspirational note. On the last day of the Australia conference, Patrick Ip (my roommate for the week) spoke about “What and Why” in regards to youth. He said, “Often youth are defined by WHAT we are; teacher, student, doctor, etc … not WHY we do it. Many of us, no matter WHAT we do, want to help, and it’s important to focus on WHY. For when we define ourselves by WHAT we do, we limit what we are capable of doing. But when we define the WHY, the possibilities are endless.” This really spoke to me on the last day of the conference and is still something I think about today. If there was one thing people took from away my speech, I hoped it would be Patrick’s great words.
A packed house of students from all over the world.
If you want to learn more about designers and nonprofits/NGOs partnering together, check out Pratt’s Project Public initiative. And remember, if you focus on the WHY in life, and not come from a place of WHAT, any door can be open to you no matter what you do in life. Cheers!
It’s been a few weeks since my last post so I thought now would be a great time to update you guys on my freelance projects from the last few months. While things have been busier than ever at my day job (designing for Moroccanoil), I’ve been doing more and more freelance the last few months. One of the groups I most enjoy working with is ConnCAN, an education non-profiled based in New Haven, CT. I was approached by ConnCAN last spring to work on a Field Guide (pictured above) highlighting the state of education in Connecticut. We were inspired by the graphic look of the Field Notes series of products, so we applied this theme to ConnCAN’s Field Guide.
The Field Guide is filled with lots of charts and tables all designed to match the “Field Notes” theme. I designed a set of icons that appear on each page to look like field guide badges. The look of this report was so well-recieved, that one of Deleware’s non-profit groups designed their own guide/report inspried by my design.
Another fun project I’ve been working on is a logo/branding project for a NYC-based fashion designer. After years of working for some of the biggest brands in the business, he’s decided to make his impact on the fashion world with his own label. I’m going to wait to show you the final product once his site launches, but I think some of the process/behind the scenes screen grabs are particularly beautiful. I don’t actually design that many true “logos,” nor do I do that much custom lettering, but for this project I had the opportunity to do both.
Custom “A” and “R” pictured above.
Playing with letterforms – beautiful no?
One last project I have in the pipeline is helping Two Inch Cuffs, a NY-based fashion lifestyle website, that curates an impeccable collection of clothing and accessories. I was approached by Ruben Hughes, a talented gentleman I’ve followed on tumblr for a year or two now. I’ve always admired the sense of style and taste he brings to Two Inch Cuffs. So be sure to check out the site for Two Inch Cuffs, shop their collection, follow their journal and sign up for their newsletter, as the next one you recieve may be designed by me
One last shoutout to all the designers at Appalachian State University! I was told last week that my blog has been showed in studio classes for my thoughts on resume/portfolio design. It’s nice to come full circle, just a few short years ago I was in those same classes myself. So sending loves of love to ASU!
St. Vincent’s Hospital “Place Project” — Full View
Here are screen shots of my finals projects after my first semester in Pratt’s MFA program. This year I was in three studios, Graduate Seminar, and Thesis (17 hours — before this point, I had never taken more than 9). While some classes I really enjoyed (Visual Language and Transformation Design), one in particular I felt absolutely no connection with (Technology Studio). Despite my lack of enthusiasm for Technology Studio, I’m really happy with my final project, “Romantically Uninvolved: 2010 Annual Report” — an annual report on my “dating life” (of lack there of) during 2010. Once everything is posted and presented, I will spend more time talking about each project. So enjoy the pictures, they’re probably better than whatever BS MFA artist statements I’ll come up with later
Close-up of St. Vincent’s Poster, 26×42 Poster, Visual Language Studio
A peak into my “Creative Process”(a mess). 30×30 Poster, Transformation Design Studio
Close-up of “Process” Poster, “Let your haters be your motivators”
Cover of “Romantically Uninvolved: 2010 Annual Report” 20-page Report, Technology Studio
Close-up of NYC Map in Annual Report.
This quote that goes perfectly for what I assume was the mission of St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. The hospital was NYC’s last remaining Catholic hospital and found itself in the center of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, eventually creating the first care center for AIDS patients on the East Coast. It’s an interesting juxtaposition, a religiously-back hospital, helping the very people the Catholic Church preaches against. How did the attitudes change? St. Vincent’s was flooded with funding for their work providing HIV/AIDS care in the 1980s, which helped keep the hospital alive. Some argue the advancement of HIV medication, and the reduction of AIDS patients, is one of the factors leading to St. Vincent’s closing in Spring 2010. Interesting indeed.
Close-up of poster.
I introduced this project in a previous post about new MFA work at Pratt. For the last week or so, I’ve been reading, visiting, and exploring what is left of St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC. As someone that has only lived in New York for a year and a half, I honestly don’t feel very connected to many places in the city. Yet again, we are asked to pick a place of significance in New York as an inspiration for a self-initiated project. I actually like doing this, don’t get me wrong, I just wish I lived here longer, so I’d know more about the places I’m investigating. I’d recently read an article in NY Magazine about St. Vincent’s closing and NYC’s (in my view) fucked health care system. My only knowledge about the hospital was that it was the center of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. It is literally around the corner from Pratt Manhattan, yet I didn’t hear about the actual closing until months later.
Thankfully, I don’t have much experience with hospitals. My brother had to go a few times due to head injuries, but besides that, I’m not used to visiting or staying in hospitals. I feel uncomfortable in them, but I think that’s normal. I do have a memory of one of my brother’s hospital trips: I didn’t want to go along b/c I’d miss Dawson’s Creek (priorities!) and I was making a pasta salad (it was in the freezer to get cold quicker). My brother ended up being fine, but I spent all night missing Dawson’s Creek, and my pasta salad was totally frozen.
What strikes me about St. Vincent’s is, how can a hospital fail? How can a hospital be aloud to go bankrupt? St. Vincent’s was nearly 160 years old, it treated patients from a cholera outbreak in the 1800′s, survivors of the Titanic, diagnosed the first cases of AIDS in the US, and survived 9-11. Yet it couldn’t save itself. Our country has a strange relationship with health care. Many wealthy nations view it as a human right, while in the US, health care is a booming profit-driven industry, based upon NOT providing care and help to those that need it. The idea of companies gaining profit on the ill-health of their customers is sickening to me, but that’s another issue.
So why St. Vincent’s … why do I feel a connection to a hospital I never visited? After reading the NY magazine article, I felt really sad. It made St. Vincent’s seem like a living thing. An aging, broken, and sad thing … but still something once living. This hospital in particular holds so much history, and if the towers are turned into condos, or if the buildings are torn down, what happens to all that history? Shouldn’t we (and by that I mean NYC) thank the hospital for all its done for the city? Our government will bail out auto makers, banks, wall street, give huge tax breaks to corporations, but why didn’t they save the hospital … a business dedicated to delivering and saving lives? There were a lot of problems with St. Vincent’s, and it didn’t happen over night, but I want to save the stories of the place, even if the hospital itself is beyond repair.
Here’s an example of what I mean, from the Save St. Vincent’s facebook page:
There is a digital memorial, or archive of this type for stories about 9-11. It’s called the September 11th Digital Archive. St. Vincent’s deserves the same. Something alive online, where previous patients, workers, politicians, etc can add stories and images, so that history will be preserved. That is what I propose for my final project. I’ve reached out to a few people, but I’d really like this project to be bigger than the class if I can talk to the right people.
Here are some photos I took last week exploring the site.
Over the past few weeks I’ve developed a new addiction … TUMBLR! I’m constantly collecting images as sources of inspiration, so tumblr became a great way to do this online and document what inspires me. I’m hoping this collection of images, words, and thoughts will help inform me for possible for possible thesis directions. I’ve expressed my frustration of our lack of making in the MFA program, so quite simply, my inspiration tumblr serves as an outlet of documenting beautiful things, and so what what if I like beautiful things?
THAT SAID, it’s important to consider why I find this work beautiful, figure out what makes it successful, and see if I can apply that to my work. The second tumblr account I created is solely for my thesis. I finally had a thesis BREAKTHROUGH last Friday. It looks like my thesis is simply turning into the search for joy: my personal search, and searching for it around me. I’ve been working on visual essays (I plan to finish them over break), and have a list of side projects and explorations to do soon. My previous post serves as a manifesto to create this work, and see this idea though. Why can’t design be full of joy? If I can’t find joy (and happiness) in my work now, while I’m in school, then what’s the point? In a ideal world, I’d love to find a job that is a creative outlet, but the pessimist in me finds that unrealistic, at least at first. I know I’m going to have to “pay my dues” and do some shitty work before I really find my place. And in today’s economy, I might be doing shitty work for years to come just to hold on a job.
In closing, I’m so happy to be where I am (thesis-wise). I have the green light to start screen printing over xmas break and things seem to be falling into place for most of my projects. The jury is still out in my technology class — I haven’t felt a connection to that class all semester. In my visual language class we’re doing another “Place Project” — pick a significant place in nyc and create a book or something about it. I chose the recently closed St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC’s West Village. Here’s my introduction for the project:
Just to give you a taste of some of what I’m looking at, I grabbed these from my tumblr accounts. If any of y’all have accounts, I’d love to follow you! Or follow me!
For my Transformation Design class at Pratt, we decided to take over some of the un(der)used space in the new W18th street building, and created a pop-up space called “Big + Little: a pop-up space.” This new “shop” is a transformable space for Pratt students to sell, exchange, showcase, and exhibit projects and ideas … big and little (get the name?) I wanted to screen print for a while, and felt branding was/is missing from our new space. Having an identity to gather around could help build community within our new space. I combined this need with my interest in screen printing and came up with Pratt Totes. Originally I planned to sell these bags, but decided this event wasn’t the right place for that. I simply wanted people to float in, grab and personalize a bag, have fun, and take a break from their work. The expressive designs resulting from the participants are so fun to look at. I never intended these canvas tote bags to literally serve as canvas for personal expression. I’m so happy it happened though, and it makes me think of other projects where I could start something, then pass them to others. Definitely something to investigate in the future.
Today I presented my most recent MFA project for technology studio. I made buttermilk biscuits! Biscuits for a technology class you ask? For this assignment, we were to create a machine in the theme of Rube Goldburg, that communicated “hello” or another greeting, in at least 10 steps. Goldburg machines show up in cartoons and movies where crazy inventors make incredibly complicated machines to accomplish simple tasks, such as flipping on a light switch. Many times these machines are far more complicated than the simple act they’re designed to accomplish … I guess that’s the joke right?
Here are some examples of these machines:
My idea from the beginning was to create a machine that said hello “southern style.” As someone born and raised in the South, I’m used to people actually greeting each other, which NEVER happens here in NYC. In North Carolina, complete strangers smile at each other in the street, say things like excuse me, thank you, I’m sorry, etc. None of these things happen on a typical day here. Many in my studio class made awesomely complicated machines taking direct inspiration from the Goldburg machines, and my hat goes off to them. It’s clear they spent hours making a functioning machine, and most of them worked! Kudos to them! I had absolutely no interest in making a literal machine and felt I was onto something about how folks in the South use hello as an expression, and how that is visualized, or how could I replicate that expression.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately of home, growing up, family gatherings, etc. as I haven’t been home in months. I’ve been very nostalgic you might say. One thing that is always present in these memories is food. The first thing I do when I go home is make a stop at my favorite fast food joint Bojangles, for their famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits. It’s comfort food to me, and I have so many great memories of going there, especially in high school and college. When I think of home, I miss things like fried chicken, fried okra, pork, turkey and gravy, deviled eggs … the list could go on and on …
Then it hit me, food is the perfect expression of hello, and a recipe, with all its ingredients and steps is an example of a machine. Biscuits are a great example of a Goldburg machine because they’re so damn complicated to make. Despite few ingredients and steps, it’s totally a learned tradition or skill how to make buttermilk biscuits. Everyone has a recipe they’re partial to, and everyone has an option on how the best biscuits are made. I really like that idea, and despite me following the recipe exactly, there is still a great chance for error. This morning I woke up and made two batches, and I actually had one of these errors. My first batch came out perfectly (see opening picture), I couldn’t have been happier. For the second batch, I used a different bag of flour (not self-rising I later realized), and the biscuits didn’t rise at all, and more resembled golden hockey pucks. I think in a way that perfectly illustrates what the project was trying to express, so I’m happy with that outcome.
Everyone loved the biscuits so that was a great relief. I designed a recipe booklet for the biscuits pictured below. I’m planning to make another batch on Thursday for my MFA Reviews, but this time with self-rising flour!