Juniors will present their work for review on Wednesday, May 25. It’s a great way to end the year for all of us, by allowing a closer look at each student and a wide view of the curriculum. Students receive critical feedback from faculty other than their instructors and can receive some of the best on-the-spot advising for future study (areas of improvement/strengths). Think of the review as your final Design Studio project for the year, a unit that carries the question: “how does one present 9 months of work in 10 minutes?”
Your Design Studio instructors may have specific advice, but below are the Department’s expectations of the review. This document is shared with faculty before entering the review.
The reviews go quickly so we will start and end on time. A list of student date and times will posted on a Notice (available online as well). Ask your DS instructor if you have any questions. Best of luck preparing your work and closing out the semester.
I’ve put these on reserve at Fleet for DS3 (bring the call # to the front desk and they’ll get it for you). The Edward Tufte books are classic and essential information design works and sort of “required reading” for anyone visualizing information. They’re really worth careful study at some point in your RISD career. I also reserved some of Richard Saul Wurman’s (founder of TED) information design books, which are a good counterpoint to Tufte. Wurman is speaking at the Fleet on Monday, Nov 2.
How do we use curation to tell stories?
“The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more.”
Douglas Huebler, 1969
We’re swimming in data. The relentless production of digital material has shifted us into a new condition where the foundation of graphic design — image and language — cannot exist without somehow touching (or being touched by) the internet. Massive archives, from digitized libraries to the quantified self, are part of the new landscape that artists and designers rely on for the production and communication of networked culture. In the face of this overwhelming accumulation of found stuff, curation is key. In this unit, we’ll look at how archives, collections and curation can be used to investigate memory, authorship and storytelling.
Studio 1: Surf / search
Search for an archive or collection. Look for existing photos, text messages, spam, novels, selfies, paintings, tweets, data, recipes, paint colors, stories, purple things, pyramidal things, dreams, code, books, artworks, status updates — anything. The only criteria is that the material interests you, and that you feel compelled to share it. Develop a point-of-view about the material.
Present your point-of-view and an in-depth analysis of your collection in one week. Include as many metrics as possible (quantity, taxonomy, authorship, timeline, etc.) and at least three concepts embedded in your collection that suggest larger stories.
Due Wednesday 9/16.
Studios 2 – 5: Compile / document
You will document your collection in at least two different ways and present your documentation. Consider your options — do you print it out? photograph it? scan it? bind it? how else can you record it? How do different techniques of documentation and reproduction change the nature of the material?
Curate / translate
Curation *always* involves interpretation and translation. Edit your collection (in multiple ways) to shape a range of new meanings.
Storytelling / publish
Design a way to communicate and publish your work — make it public.
Studio 6: Final critique (Wednesday 9/30) Suggested readings
Hito Steyerl, Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?
Clement Valla, The Universal Texture
Archives of Memory
Gerhard Richter’s “Atlas”: The Anomic Archive
Cornell University’s site devoted to Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas
Walter Benjamin, Unpacking My Library
Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction