Temporal Typography / MFA Thesis 2015

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Within the field of typography, letterforms typically embody either static or kinetic forms. However there is yet another category that escapes the purely static or purely kinetic. This is temporal typography.

Unlike static typography, these forms are not bound by one iteration within a singular viewing experience. And similar to kinetic type, temporal typography carries the stamp of time but is not relegated movement or time-based media.

Temporal letterforms have the ability to manifest themselves in both static and kinetic ways, as well as physical and digital and therefore cannot be evaluated by the same functional factors of traditional typography: legibility and readability. Viewership and perception are elevated, and formal and experiential conditions are re-prioritized as the forms transition from one state to the next.

As a means of mapping the territory of temporal typography and setting parameters for my explorations, I have identified and defined three independent qualities of temporal type: transitory, navigable, and medial. My studies examine these characteristics as distinct from one another allowing me to explore the boundaries and define intrinsic qualities of temporal typography.
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http://www.bfrancesi.com/

Understanding Our Relationship With Water / MFA Thesis 2015

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With California facing a severe drought, the way we consume and waste our water is becoming an increasingly important issue that must be addressed both individually and collectively. Yet, information regarding such environmental concerns tends to be presented in forms that are abstract, overwhelming, and easily dismissed as ‘someone else’s problem.’ The goal for this project is to work towards methods of creating a hopeful mindset that foster action and lead to change. It consists of activities and objects presented in the form of a challenge that inform and highlight our consumption of water.  Participants should come out of the experience equipped with confidence, knowledge, and novel ideas around how they can positively influence their community and environment.

You Are The Text / MFA Thesis, 2015

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In narrative texts, there exists an intangible space between an author/creator’s written word, and how that written word is perceived in the mind of a reader/viewer.  My thesis explores the role of the designer in activating this space.

The use of words in the English language works because it possesses a set of groupings of letters that we have agreed signify a specific set of meanings. While these meanings may seem rather inflexible (as the English dictionary would have you believe), this is not the case at all. Our own personal memories, identities, and biases reform and reshape these meanings all the time. This is particularly so because when we see the visual manifestation of the word, it is symbol. Visual symbols however, leave a great deal of room for interpretation. How can these visual symbols of reading be manipulated to convey a certain viewpoint or context? And how does that change the experience of reading and imagining?”

Hear Here / MFA Design Thesis 2015

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Hear Here is about the use of sound as an effective medium of communication to improve intimacy and longevity of long-distance relationships.Initial field research determined that the use of environmental sound as an alternative means of communicating, in real time, what is occurring in the respective lives of each person in a relationship enables a couple to feel closer emotionally. It even creates the illusion that they are physically closer. Moreover, auditory perception offers a strong balance between reality and imagination, and can lead to a synchronizing of the couple’s senses. Most importantly, constant communication with partners through sound fulfills couples’ most essential emotional need to feel their partner’s company.
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Towards The Object As Event / MFA Design Thesis 2015

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My thesis project presents a constellation of work that surrounds the idea of presentness. What is it to be present in the world? How can an object be designed to facilitate and enhance presentness in the user? How can an experience be designed that occupies a space of becoming, a moment in time that an be experienced and taken out into the world?

The object as event is an experience where the object spills outside of its physical dimensions, into a 4th axis of movement. I design and create objects that ask the user to participate in their completion as experiences. This is the experiencing of presentness or activated awareness that can be used as a certain practice for taking out into the world around you. It is to enable a detour into an alternative mode of existence or perception. It is a space of curiosity and inquiry with the world.
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www.imperfectevidence.com

Instruments of Harmony / MFA Thesis, 2015

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The Instruments of Harmony are digital instruments, constrained by specific parameters and a specific intent. The parameters: (1)The instrument should be for two or more people to play together. (2)The instrument should be controlled by gesture only, without traditional digital music controls like knobs and buttons. (3)The instrument should play digital sounds. The intent: To offer alternative tools, platforms, and contexts for music-making.
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www.mattpearsonworkshop.com

MFA Design Lecture: Everything you Always wanted to know about Swiss Graphic Design* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) Marco Walser of Elektrosmog in conversation with Jon Sueda

Biography:
Marco Walser studied visual communications at the Zurich University of the Arts and spent a year in London with an internship at Graphic Thought Facility. In 1999 he founded the Büro Elektrosmog in Zurich, which he heads as creative director. The studio designs books for artists, architecture magazines, visual identities for museums, and posters for theaters.

Walser offers workshops and teaches graphic design and typography at various institutions including the Zurich University of the Arts, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam or the University for Graphics and Arts of the Book in Leipzig.

He has received many awards and prizes for book production, including the prize for the Most Beautiful Swiss Books and the Jan Tschichold Prize (2005).

Walser lives and works in Zurich.

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MFA Design Lecture: Keetra Dixon

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Biography:
Keetra Dean Dixon is a designer and artist who relocated from NYC to rural Alaska in April of 2014. She and her partner, JK Keller, test the claim “We can work from anywhere” by building a new studio practice with a remote home base. Dixon traded in her team leading role as an Experiential Design Director for more independent practices, including Lettering and Product Design. Her hybrid design background continues to lead her work towards speculative terrain, leveraging emergent technologies and process focused making.

Dixon has been recognized on several fronts including a U.S. presidential award, a place in the permanent design collection at the SFMOMA, and the honorable ranking of ADC Young Gun (6). Her clients have included NYTimes, Nike, VW, and Coach. She acted as Design Director for installations featured at the Venice Architecture Biennale and has shown at the Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, and will be included in Paola Antonelli’s Design and Violence with the MoMA in 2015. In April of 2015 Dixon will be a featured speaker at the Type Directors Club in NYC.
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http://fromkeetra.com
http://fromktoj.com
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Keetra Dixon Workshop: FORM (MISUSED & ABUSED)

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Workshop Synopsis:
This workshop asks participants to innovate using formally focused processes. It’s a peak into R&D from my perspective. There is blending of analogue and tech fabrication, intentional and accidental output, and embracing of the unexpected. I often integrate ideas of “theft,” exchange, transparency of process, and social authorship. The workshop evolves familiar methods in hopes of revealing new methods of form making moving between “thinking through making” modes and “making through thinking.”
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Biography:
Keetra Dean Dixon is a designer and artist who relocated from NYC to rural Alaska in April of 2014. She and her partner, JK Keller, test the claim “We can work from anywhere” by building a new studio practice with a remote home base. Dixon traded in her team leading role as an Experiential Design Director for more independent practices, including Lettering and Product Design. Her hybrid design background continues to lead her work towards speculative terrain, leveraging emergent technologies and process focused making.

Dixon has been recognized on several fronts including a U.S. presidential award, a place in the permanent design collection at the SFMOMA, and the honorable ranking of ADC Young Gun (6). Her clients have included NYTimes, Nike, VW, and Coach. She acted as Design Director for installations featured at the Venice Architecture Biennale and has shown at the Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, and will be included in Paola Antonelli’s Design and Violence with the MoMA in 2015. In April of 2015 Dixon will be a featured speaker at the Type Directors Club in NYC.

Keetra received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Minneapolis College of Art + Design in 1999 and a Masters of Fine Arts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2006.

MFA Design Lecture: materious / Bruce Tharp

Lecture Synopsis:
Bruce will be discussing the topic of discursive design—when designers use the product-form as a means to communicate substantive ideas in hopes of inspiring reflection and debate, allowing design to participate more broadly in culture. While this mode of design has historically been located outside of industry and commerce, it is now being used within traditional corporate design research processes. While commonly understood as critical design, I will also discuss the notion of criticality and how discursive design differs.
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Bio:
Bruce M. Tharp and his wife Stephanie M. Tharp established their creative studio, materious, in Chicago in 2005. “Materious” is an archaic word that means both “substance” and “substantive,” reflecting their concern for imbuing deep meaning, messaging, and value within domestic artifacts. At times aiming for provocation and pertubation, while at others sustenance and service, their practice spans the four fields of commercial-, responsible-, experimental-, and discursive design. They have patented and licensed designs that are sold commercially, been awarded commissions from Moet-Hennessy and the Art Institute of Chicago, and also engage in self-production and wholesale/retail sales. Materious has exhibited in Milan, Paris, New York, and in China, with their work represented commercially in Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, Russia, across Europe, Canada, and South America. After studying mechanical engineering at Bucknell University and becoming the distinguished graduate of Pratt Institute’s Master of Industrial Design program, Bruce went on to receive a MA and PhD in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Chicago. As an anthropologist he spent two years living with the Amish of Indiana studying their material culture and consumption. His dissertation work was published as “Ascetical Value: The Materiality of Spirituality among the Old Order Amish.” Currently he is finishing an essay, “Value in Dispossession,” for an Anthropology of Arts Reader (Bloomsbury), and along with Stephanie Tharp is working on a book project entitled Discursive Design – a realm of alternative and expansive design practice that they have helped to problematize and legitimize over the past decade. Previously to the Stamps School of Art and Design Bruce helped plan and build the Designed Objects graduate program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He most recently was the Director of Graduate Studies for the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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http://www.materious.com/
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MFA Design Lecture: Mike Kuniavsky / Why make the Internet of Things?

Lecture Synopsis:
Why make the Internet of Things?

There’s a lot of hype today around the Internet of Things, but there are few clear descriptions of what it is, why it’s valuable, and how to design for it. This talk will describe one approach for thinking about why we make the Internet of Things, and how it’s different than just making more gadgets. In the process, the talk discusses the effects that the IoT has on consumers, on developers and on business models and touches on both user experience and service design.
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Biography:
Mike Kuniavsky is a user experience designer, researcher, and author. A twenty-year veteran of digital product development, Mike designs products, business processes, and services at the leading edge of technological change.

Prior to joining PARC, he co-founded several successful user experience centered companies, including ThingM, which designs and manufactures ubiquitous computing and Internet of Things products, and Adaptive Path, a well-known design consultancy. He specializes in multi-device interactions, cloud-based service design, and design of hardware products connected to cloud-based services. His background includes design for social analytics, consumer electronics, appliances, image retrieval, RGB LEDs, and financial services.

He has worked with some of the world’s top technology companies, such as Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Whirlpool, and Qualcomm, to design new products, guide product strategy, and create user-centered design and development cultures.

He is the author of “Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research” and “Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design” both of which are used as standard university textbooks. He received a dual major B.S./B.A. in Computer Science and Film/Video Studies from the University of Michigan.

He lives in San Francisco with his family and loves new music.

Mike Kuniavsky Poster

MFA Design Lecture: Julian Bleecker / Near Future Laboratory

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Lecture Synopsis:
TBD Catalog — the near future’s normal, ordinary everyday product catalog. It’s a glimpse at your future as hinted at through 166 products, advertisements and classifieds. It’s your future, only not the future you may have imagined. It is, though, the quite likely future if the titans of Silicon Valley and their earnest eager app programming day laborers see that their visions become reality.

Come. Take a look. This is your near future normal ordinary everyday. This is TBD Catalog.
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Biography:
Julian Bleecker is the co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory and Creative Director of TBD Catalog, a design fiction project of the Near Future Laboratory’s Publishing Bureau. The Near Future Laboratory produced a workshop in Detroit in which the archetype of the product catalog was used as a template to imagine today’s “disruptions” as tomorrow’s normal, ordinary, everyday products. This is what became TBD Catalog.
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http://tbdcatalog.com
http://makingof.tbdcatalog.com
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Julian Bleeker Poster

Satellites / MFA Thesis, 2014

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Processes, Recipes, Laws, Operations, Techniques, Titles, Teachings, Prescriptions, Modus operandi, Equations, Programs, Haiku, Philosophy, Paradoxes, Requests, Puzzles, Principles, Proposals for actions, Methods, Invitations to participate, Restrictions, Poetry, Proverbs, Pure concepts, Training, Coaching, Lessons, Constraints, Restrictions, Abstractions, Rituals, Mechanisms, Conditions, Protocols

Instructions, Scores, Algorithms etc. explores using process-based systems, algorithms, and instructions to generate discursive images and forms, as an alternative to the commercial design process. The goal of developing this methodology is that it will lead to surprising results that cannot be premeditated. The outputs from these operations should act as non-prescriptive starting points for functional objects that can be interpreted, divided, and remixed into an infinite number of potential products categories.

The methodology I develop for working with procedural design should be a tool for my work, and ideally other designer’s work, in the future. Building this strategy for design is not an endpoint in itself, but an exploration into some of the potential avenues for working in this way.

MFA Design Lecture: Luna Maurer (Moniker)

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Biography:
Luna Maurer cofounded Moniker studio with Jonathan Puckey and Roel Wouters in 2012. Moniker works on commissioned designs as well as projects of an autonomous and experimental nature.

The studio works across various media for a wide range of clients in the cultural and commercial sectors.

Maurer, Puckey, and Wouters’s work explores the social effects of technology — how we use it and how it influences our daily lives. Often, they ask the public to take part in the development of their projects.

The results grow like plants, displaying their inner organizational process.

This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the Netherlands Consulate General in New York.
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http://studiomoniker.com/
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Luna Maurer (Moniker) Workshop: Dutch Design Week

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Workshop Synopsis:
For the Luna Maurer workshop with the MFA Design program at CCA, students were split into four independent teams. Each team had to create one letter of the NATO phonetic alphabet while following a set of rules.

Instructions for each turn and player:
– Connect your line to a line of another color: 
You may not connect it to your own colour. Start and end at a dot.
 Lines may not cross.
– Place a dot.
– Try to form the words Alpha Bravo Charlie etc..
– End when all tape is finished.
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View a Video of the Workshop
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This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the Netherlands Consulate General in New York.

And the Whole World Stops – Fog / MFA Thesis, 2014

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And the Whole World Stops is a series of short films and a visual exploration of our daily environment that we often assume predictable and mundane. Through visualizing landscapes where awe and time reside together, my goal is to provide the viewer with opportunities to slow down and indulge in a brief moment of contemplation and reflection. A moment that we all need to live healthy and balanced lives.
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