A gift is something freely given without expectation of reciprocation or payment. This exchange takes many forms and is culturally situated. In most capitalistic and consumer societies, the ritual around the exchange of gifts is similar: an item is wrapped to obscure the contents requiring the recipient to open and unwrap the gift. The ritual implies effort, care, thoughtfulness, and value. It also places a high value on the notion of surprise or the discovery of the unknown.
In its wrapped form the gift provides many clues to the giver’s intentions, price range, thoughtfulness, the occasion etc. This project asks students to consider a gift as an opportunity to provide a particular aesthetic experience which reflects local values, customs behaviors and aesthetics.
An exploration of place and identity, students choose a local space or site as the inspiration for the design of a costume. After designing and producing the costumes, they document themselves in both in the photostudio and in the chosen site wearing their design.
A mash-up of regional decorative arts and western sport counterculture, this project involves designing locally inspired graphics for skateboards. This project juxtaposes two different value systems and is both a commentary and celebration.
Based on the principles put forward in Bruno Munari’s Flight of Fancy, this project employs creative problem solving to explore possibilities for variation, alternative solutions and introduce the idea of divergent thinking.
Students draw as many unique ways of organizing a given set of random dots, they scan these drawings and then using Adobe Illustrator for the first time, they translate their pen drawings into vector illustrations. These are then uploaded to gifmaker.me and turned into a social media friendly animated gif.
Juxtaposition is the comparison of two ideas by proximity. Collage in the most fundamental sense is an act of juxtaposition, which carries the potential to produce new ideas, concepts and meaning.
As a process collage and also juxtaposition generally can be a great way to ideate and generate inspiration for a variety of creative projects. As a product, collage may take many forms from polished digital paintings or rough rip and paste mixed media. There is a long history of collage which provides a backdrop for this project, but more interestingly is the contemporary resurgence of this method of image making.
Collage has found a home in mainstream advertising, fashion, design, art, and of course most ubiquitously music. Collage is an art-form which has been embraced with equal affection by artists and designers from many backgrounds. In this projects students apply collage techniques in a variety of ways, but ultimately use their designs to produce graphic designs for tote bags that are produced in collaboration with Melanie McClintock in the VCUQatar Fashion Design department.
Following up on the clean digital approach in the Divergence project, students were given similar constraints and completely different tools. This time larger scale, with Krink paint pens they were asked to reinterpret one of their original illustrations taking advantage of the particular qualities of the paint pen.
This project involves using a simple technique to animate a printed image. Like all early cinema techniques, this method has a magical quality to it which inspires a sense of wonder.
Though the technique is rather simple it does take some experimentation and learning of the tools in illustrator in order to solve the problem. Simple yes, but precise too. Craft and precision are absolutely necessary for this project to work.
An exploration of place and identity, students choose a local space or site as the inspiration for the design of a costume. After designing and producing the costumes, they document themselves in both in the photo studio and in the chosen site wearing their design. In this iteration students also had the option to use the green screen studio to place themselves into the site digitally.
In each area of the city there are multiple Mosques. Each Mosque has a Minaret or series of Minarets which are landmarks and beacons for the site. Additionally each mosque has particular design features which contribute to the sense of place and identity of these community centres. Students set out to document these mosques and their unique features and translate them into a simple graphic language. This process requires observation and exploration of their local urban environment, and challenges them to look at their neighbourhood as a site for graphic communication.
Based on a process that I developed in the design studio, students were given a set of images, a graphic frame, and a step by step process to follow. The process required strict technical application of digital skills and allowed the students to each produce an animated GIF that was used on the conference website for Tasmeem Doha 2015.
Developed as a collaborative project between students in Time Studio and Surface Research courses in the VCUQ foundations program, these posters and stop motion videos investigate the concept of #3eib—the Qatari definition of socially questionable practices. These projects represent cultural observation, critique and celebration of local customs.
Students were asked to become primary researchers, by observing the local customs and visually defining the concept of 3eib. In contrast to haram practices which are based on religious concepts from Islam, 3eib refers to socially defined behaviours which are not forbidden, but are generally not acceptable. These vary widely between families, regions and social classes. By asking questions about prevalent social norms these projects open a dialog, giving students and faculty the opportunity to learn about cultural differences and similarities in a studio setting.
Collaboration with Simone Muscolino
A collaboration between Drawing Studio and Surface Research, this project asks students to choose an object which they feel represents the idea of “home.” Students wrap and then draw the object. The drawings are combined with fragments of text from a writing charrette, which abstractly articulate their idea of home.
This project is a collaboration with Jesse Payne.
Students design a scarf that can be worn, but which also has hidden digital content via the Layar application (augmented reality). The project asks students to consider the difference between public and private, to reveal and conceal, and to explore their experience with internet culture as a resource to generate new cultural production.
Students collect and crop 20 images from Flickr (under the commons license). They then print and post all images on the image wall. Each student selects any 16 images from the wall that resonate as a set. Then they assemble the images into a square composition, and apply a word to activate and guide the viewer's reading of the content of the images. Finally they produce a printed mounted version and a digital version, which they upload to the Flickr account for the project.
This project was featured in:
Participate: Designing with User-Generated Content
By Helen Armstrong and Zvezdana Stojmirovic. Princeton Architectural Press.
These images are selected spreads from the Process Narrative book. Students in the Senior Design Studio at Ohio University developed a visual narrative, using an intuitive process in a systematic structure. The resulting individual books were collected in one 800 page volume, called process narrative. The end of each student's narrative marked the beginning of the next student's narrative. The goal was to examine a shared experience and the perception of similarity to highlight differences in our perspectives, thought processes and visual experiences.
Students develop an expressive typeface from a handheld object. This is their first typographic exploration, and they use their intuition to determine how the forms come together. The typeface must be typographically legible and the object must be recognizable. They then produce a type specimen brochure and poster to highlight their typeface.