Systems & Strategies

“What I’ve made for the final bridge project in studio and seminar is not what I would have made on the first day of either of these classes.”

At the start of Studio/Seminar, I felt especially nervous about the direction of the class as I felt that it would not relate to my major or interests. The concept of “systems” seemed vague, and initially I did not know what to make of the assigned material. The assigned prompt rings true to this very sentiment: I had no idea what I would be creating in this class, nor did I think that the final project would impact how I would conduct research and formats towards other projects in different and future classes.

In one of the assigned readings by Joan Didion there is the quote, “The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself.” Didion’s quote resonates strongly with me as I am the type of person who must, in a way, translate material into written words on solid paper in order to really make sense of it in my own mind. Keeping my own journal helped me immensely with my thinking and planning processes throughout these courses.

For example, in the planning stages of our final project, sketching up page layout designs helped in how we would go forward with creating our InDesign file, as well as the content which would go in it. We decided to use photography, visual infographics, statistics and text to come together and make a visually appealing and interesting way to present important content to the reader/beholder of the book. Additionally, each of the segments we chose to incorporate into our book related to our respective majors, interests, and strong-suits including and not limited to graphic design, photography, and writing.

Other material we were told to read up on/interact with (i.e. the Future Farmers catalogue & Harlem field trip) did not make much sense to me at all, and I feel was overall ineffective to this learning experience. Performative works such as the one we went to in Harlem especially were confusing to me especially. Collaborative projects like FF did however introduce me to the potential of integrative projects I might later be interested in attempting, however: combining scientific, cultural, and art-based research ties into the work Charlotte, Tealoni and I did for our sexual harassment awareness pamphlet and essays. I think it depends on the effectiveness of the finished project in getting its message across that determines the success of the work, which definitely involves an active balance of each integrative aspect.

Going forward from this project, I would definitely like to make more informational, research based pamphlets, books, and zines as the InDesign and printing portion of this process was quite enjoyable to me. The work for the final Studio/Seminar bridge definitely influenced my work towards my Time: Composition final in the same Spring 2018 semester, as I found myself relying heavily on visual and informational research as well as utilising people’s opinions through class critiques. It is quite satisfying work to make books that people can hold in their hands and take in for themselves, and an effective way of sharing my (developed) concepts and ideas, as well as design work.

Graphic Design: Charlotte Lomas

Writing & Text Editing: Viktoriya Jacob (sans #MeToo, Sexual Harassment Against Asian Women)

Photography: Tealoni Butler

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