During my visit to The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, I chanced upon Sou Fujimoto’s work. Instantly, it left a deep impression on me and is one of the notable works I saw.
Abstract: Architecture is Everywhere, by Sou Fujimotouses various unexpected materials to construct unconventional miniature architectural models on pedestals. He seeks a different understanding of nature and exercises what we have around. For example, he would use everyday used objects such as potato chips, binder clips, or the sponge by the sink, and equates that to something as significant as the buildings we encounter daily by playing with scale, hence creating surreal situations with new meanings. The tiny structures are labelled with short aphorisms and are accompanied by small white human figures that interact with the spaces. Fujimoto creates whimsical and intricate architectural designs that ask the viewer to question their own space and how they relate to the ordinary objects around them—reflecting the notion of “found architecture”.
Fujimoto’s notion of “found architecture” proposes a new way forward for architecture and design. He suggested how we could harmonise the old and new, nature and human-made; creating a path to find the in-between. I admire his ability to incorporate humour and practicality into effortlessly stunning architectural pieces.
Architecture Is Everywhere also questions the curatorial process; like how Duchamp’s Fountain questioned the definitions of art and the context of the display. It led me to wonder if Fujimoto’s installation was not part of an exhibition with reputable artistic directions, and is presented differently, what would the outcome be?
Design inspiration could come from anywhere, even the mundane objects. The smallest insignificant thing could be an inspiration for a deeper meaning, and it lies within how we can manipulate or curate it. From Fujimoto, I can take away his notion of “found architecture” and challenge myself how I can restructure and improve what has been done into something innovative. To respect and work with what already exists to create a higher quality of design.
Floor Nature. (n.d.). Biography of the Architect: Sou Fujimoto. Retrieved September, 2020, from https://www.floornature.com/sou- fujimoto-120/
Fujimoto, S., & Architects, S. (2019). Sou Fujimoto, Sou Fujimoto Architects. Architecture Is Everywhere. 2015: MoMA. Retrieved September, 2020, from https://www.moma.org/collection/works/200335
Japan House. (n.d.). Who is Sou Fujimoto? Retrieved September, 2020, from https://www.japanhouselondon.uk/discover/stories/who-is-sou-fujimoto/
Quintal, B. (2015, October 23). AD Interviews: Sou Fujimoto / Chicago Architecture Biennial. Retrieved September, 2020, from https://www.archdaily.com/775921/ad-interviews-sou-fujimoto-chicago-architecture-biennial
Waldek, S. (2016, June 22). Architect Sou Fujimoto Discusses 7 of His Favorite Projects [Digital image]. Retrieved September, 2020, from https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/architect-sou-fujimotos-favorite-projects?mbid=social_facebook
During the first brief of this assignment, I had no idea how I would execute and show my type in referencing to the archetypes learnt. Hence, I started brainstorming and researching on brands to learn how they played on the chosen archetypes. It took me quite some while till I came up with a theme to form a unity. I have chosen to take on a theme of Disney Original Princesses to show the following chosen archetypes: Lover, Hero, Innocent, Ruler, Creator and Explorer. To make it more interesting, I went to experiment on a 3D shape to present my designed faces through a cube (in presenting the idea of a game dice). It holds the idea of a game for kids where you have to match up the two cubes together, in resulting the same connecting face/ archetype.
Initial ideas + process:
For each archetypes, I tried to find a scene from the movie to help inspire me with the layout and following design .
1. Lover – Anna, Frozen
(Reference Image/ Inspiration)
Scene: Love is An Open Door
I chose this scene as I personally think it really sets out the archetype, the lover, well where she puts her heart on her sleeve and giving it to someone she just met.
2. Hero – Mulan
(Reference Image/ Inspiration)
Instead of choosing a scene that really captures Mulan’s heroic actions like the battle field scene or the end scene. I wanted to capture the beginning of a hero where you are still in self-doubt and an unquestioned identity.
3. Innocent – Snow White
I did not choose a specific scene for Snow White as I believe her actions and gullibility towards the bite of an apple shows it all. Thus, I went to form a bitten apple with type. Instead of choosing a cute rounded font, I went with a handmade ribbon font as I feel like it would suit Snow White better in the sense of innocence and sweetness.
4. Ruler – Elsa, Frozen
I referenced this picture for my layout to portray the swirl of Elsa’s powers. To add more elements, I placed snowflake letters, transform and distort, like how we learnt in class. It was truly an amazing skill to learn!
(Reference Image/ Inspiration)
5. Creator – Tinkerbell
Instead of choose a typeface, I went out to spice things a bit by using graphic forms of Tinkerbell’s tools in creating my type. Just like in the movie, where she creates a blueprint on an old textured paper. Thus, I used this idea to design my font.
(Reference Image/ Inspiration)
6. Explorer – Ariel, The Little Mermaid
(Reference Image/ Inspiration)
Scene: Part of your World
Last but definitely not least, I build upon Ariel’s curiosity to explore the other world as my inspiration layout. Designing a ongoing tunnel- like layout like the image below. I chose to form a rounded tunnel to reflect the infinite curiosity and exploration the archetype holds.
With the aftereffects of the Great Depression and war in the 1950-60s, American consumerism burst into the persona of art. Designers produce objects with psychological needs of the users where it is responsive and organic; as it was believed that happiness could be achieved through the purchase of goods and services. Artists made popular culture their subject matter by appropriating images and objects such as common household items, advertisements from consumer products, celebrity icons and mass-media imagery. Pop Art reflected the simplicity of graphics and the directness of consumer packaging and advertising. This indicated the rise of drive in art for consumerism. Artists had no choice to embrace the market and social culture in order to survive.
Till today, you may think that design may still be in the palms of consumerism. In the contrary, I think that consumerism is in the palms of design. Design plays a key role in society and is seen everywhere. It is an immaculate visual communication. It should be expressed freely and displayed for the better. Thus, design should hold the concept of beauty for the eye, for the mind, for the heart and soul. An embodiment and resonation with emotion, without a form.
Art and technology has advanced to an age where it is a new intertwined notion. The use of technology has been embedded into our lives that it has become apart of our identity. Hasan Elahi views art and technology as a creative problem solving between the digital world and society. Tracking Transience,was more than an art project, it was a conceptual work that started from a mistaken identity of terrorist activities into a question of identity.
Hasan Elahi is a Bangladeshi-born American artist who plays with the concept of identity and privacy in the technological filled 21st century. He shows us how to use technology, which often overexposes our digital identity, in a way that ensures him more privacy. In 2002, Hasan Elahi was returning from one of his frequent trips abroad when he was detained in the airport. The FBI opened an investigation on him, which they pursued for the next six months. Instead of panicking or resisting, he decided to collaborate by starting Tracking Transience, which he calls “a project in self-surveillance.” He documents the locations and minute details of his day-to-day activities, such as the airports he’s been to, documentation of meals, hotel beds, toilets he has used, parking lots he has been to and so on. Elahi makes these compiled databases available to the public and the FBI through his website. Thus, giving the public visual and textual information about his whereabouts and doings. Moreover, there is an independent third party, his bank, which verifies his location and time where these point cross-reference through his purchases. These documentation creates a collage of himself exploring and interacting with the world. Elahi commented in an interview that a work that takes place online and the internet forms a conducive one-to-one interaction between the audience and the information given online.
Every photo taken in Tracking Transience 2.0 holds a sense of candidness, not staged nor organised into a peculiar manner. However, it is not ‘live’ enough as the artist could take the pictures anytime of any day and upload into the cloud whenever he feels like. This then invites the audience to question Elahi and if he is telling us the whole story or just what he wants us to see. In an interview, he stated that what he post may not be what it seems.
“As artists, we try to create experiences. The end result of Tracking Transience is the experience of going through the information and realising the reversal that’s taken place. By telling you everything, I’m really telling you nothing. I actually live a private and anonymous life and that you know very little about me. Telling you one part of my story.”
– Hasan Elahi
Through this project, Elahi brings a point where we have become a global society of surveillance. He has tapped into this phenomenon by giving up his data willingly and profusely on a daily basis by merging art, technology and his daily life. Giving excess information to everyone and sharing everything which devalues private information. In the contrary, he is also able to access the logs of who is viewing him on his website. So who is watching who? As Elahi commented in his TEDtalk, has watching unconsciously become apart of entertainment in our lives that may lead to a creation of a digital identity that might not be what it reflects? Elahi also questions that is the project still considered art if everyone such as the billion people out there did it. Living in the age of technology and social medias, creating your own individual archives has become the norm. Yet, to give someone information directly gives an individual a different persona in the third space. The use of social medias and online platforms, hypermedias, are also an extension tracker of our daily lives. It holds personal information that is beyond to what we want to display online. Each click, each link, each like tracks our online activity that it is ultimately stored in a cloud database. On the other hand, what we can control is how we shape our online personas and the reality to co-inhabit with new age technologies, using them to our advantage. This reflects the idea of cybernetic vision where not only it shapes modern science and technology but also bridge fields of knowledge in improving artificial control and communication. It can assist in the evolution of art through the use of computer and archive that holds the database in the cloud. This shares a growth concept from the dynabook.
An article by Wittkower, “A Reply to Facebook Critics,” brought up a point that one thing could mean thousands of different things or it could mean nothing to someone. Each of us see value in a variety of aspects. The norm in society just sets a standard where society could follow and share similarities with others in order to connect and feel ‘belongness’. Following on the psychology principle of socio-cultural, all human beings are social animals and has a need to belong. It may not necessarily apply to you as you could think otherwise. Living in a harsh and judgemental society whom may not be brave enough to voice out, this could lead to a creation of identity that may not be even true. Just as Elahi pointed out in Tracking Transience, everything that is out there is not what it may seem. Just like Facebook or Instagram, we post what we want to post to let others see and hide the things we do not want to show. We shape our profile in a certain way to be accepted in society. Or is it that the Facebook generation has shaped the way we are, what we want to share or hide, what we want our lives to look like in a profile page. Have we lost our true selves while creating a digital identity in a reflection of who we want to be but not necessarily who we are.
Overall, the evolution of new media history has derived vastly. It has become apart of our lives that gives us the access to manipulate different platforms in peer-to-peer communication. It has shaped the new age into an advancement where we have a choice to take it as an advantage to our society and arts. With art and technology in hand, hypermedia improves mass engagement and creates opportunities for expression and interaction which allows the members of society, such as artists, activists and other political and cultural groups to disagree and challenge the dominant narratives set by norm. Till today, Tracking Transience 2.0 has been running and tracking the artist, Hasan Elahi without fully exposing his identity. Everything may not be what it seems, it is up to us to decide what to believe in and what to judge upon.
http://elahi.umd.edu/track/ Interview between Hasan Elahi and Randall Packer I share everything. Or do I?
https://www.ted.com/talks/hasan_elahi (TEDTalk: Hasan Elahi vs. the FBI: The Art of Self-Surveillance)
Grids act as a tool to help give consistency and order to page elements such as images and texts.
“It allows you to think less about basic design principles and more about finding a design solution. This allows you to design at a more advanced level, being more able to think about advanced concepts like page rhythm.”
Applying grid and format:
Define the size of the page
Define where the text will be placed
Choose a font (best to stick to one and play with the typeface)
Test until you are satisfied with the type
Decide how many units/columns you want your grid to be
Create and apply grid
Redefine the type area – play with certain composition and layout
Check how easy it is to read, how heavy it looks and how the type is positioned. Check on the gutters and leading.
There is no set rule on the number of grids you can create. However, the less divisions you have the more articulate and minimal your design will seem. The more divisions you create, the more complex the grid becomes to work with in keeping consistency. On the other hand, the more flexible your grid becomes, giving you various choices to play with your composition. There are multiple grid systems in the design world, but they each have their unique personality and uses. The final choice is up to the designer to articulate and choose what fits their design purpose the most.
Column Grid Column grids are good to use when discontinuous information needs to be presented. It can be dependent or independent from each other, and crossed over by images/graphics, creating a different visual layout. One column might be used for text, another for images, and another for captions or quotes. This gives the page layout flexibility when organising texts onto the page. You can separate blocks of texts by placing them in different columns yet show a flow between them. It should also be able to accommodate legibility, too narrow of a column can make reading difficult.
Examples of a Column Grid System:
A symmetric column grid has all columns the same width. For example, the most common symmetric column grid will be found on printed newspapers to help organise information and stories.
An asymmetric grid has columns proportionally thinner or wider than others.
Modular Grid Modular grids are like column grids but has consistent horizontal divisions from top to bottom in addition to vertical divisions from left to right. Between the column, row and the gutter creates a module. It allows you to arrange text in many various ways, thus this is good for complex projects that require more control than a column grid. The beauty of modular grid is that you can replace or add any module without affecting the rest of the system. Giving the whole page a consistent and structured aesthetic.
WHY I CHOSE HIM AND THE ARTWORK:
Tracking Transience 2.0
Hasan Elahi is a Bangladeshi-born American artist who plays with the concept of identity and privacy in the technological filled 21st century. He uses this concept and manipulates art and technology in a distinctive way that has gotten me in awe. Hasan Elahi shows us how to use technology, which often overexposes our digital identity, in a way that ensures him more privacy.
He commented that “As artists, we try to create experiences. The end result of Tracking Transience is the experience of going through the information and realising the reversal that’s taken place. By telling you everything, I’m really telling you nothing.”
In 2002, Elahi was mistakenly associated with terrorist activities. He was returning from one of his frequent trips abroad when he was detained in the airport. The FBI opened an investigation on him, which they pursued for the next six months. Instead of panicking or resisting, he decided to collaborate by starting Tracking Transience, what he calls “a project in self-surveillance.” He documents the locations and minute details of his day-to-day activities, then makes them available to the public and the FBI on his website and in his final art piece. Not only does Elahi gives visual and textual information but there is an independent third party, his bank, which verifies his location and time where these point cross-reference through his purchases. Thus, Tracking Transience was a response to a case of mistaken identity. An innovative art that can be created from someone else’s mistake, but then again in this modern day, what is the underlining of what art is or what has the meaning of art turn to?
“Omg have look at this, doesn’t this look so good!” “Stop your making me so hungry… but then again I only eat glazed donuts.“
2. Dude, what if cinderella was a baking slave and her name was mozzarella?
Damn I did so badly for this..ughs..what if I fail? Its okay, just stay positive and everything will be fine!
Easy for you to say.
BOARD + DRAFTS
IDEA IN MIND Quote 1: I only eat glazed donuts
Originally, I wanted to incorporate real donuts in the type but it did not work as a whole and with the overall color scheme. Thus, I used digital illustration to help me tie in everything together with the use of the same color palette. I wanted to emphasise the “glazed donut” thus keeping it traditional with the white glaze and the only one manipulated.
Quote 2:Dude, what if cinderella was a baking slave and her name was mozzarella?
This quote holds the element of a fairytale yet a pun. I wanted to play with the irony of “Once upon of time” where it conveys a magical transportation, even though it may be a fun pun or a joke. In the beginning, I wanted to portray the mozzarella with a cheesy touch but there were too many elements flying around. Thus, I decided to go with the classic Grimm’s fairytale book cover layout (like the reference below).
Quote 3: Its okay, just stay positive and everything will be fine!
Initially, for Quote 3, I wanted the words to create a smiley face (shown in the AI board above). However, it turned out looking creepy. Thus I tried to play with the size of the face, scale and hierarchy of the types but something was still not right. It still gave a creepy halloween feel. I decided to scrap the idea and focus on the 1960s psychedelic hippie movement style, where types are soft, warped and portrayed the positive vibe.
Could make the gold brighter, looks dull at the moment.
Maybe try to play with a brighter palette like pink and gold to bring the hippie feel, and Cinderella can be depicted more modern since it is pink?
Do not give a border to just one, either apply it to all or none – let it the background bleed out.
(AFTER REFINEMENT FROM CLASS CRITIQUE)
my final 3 posters placed together:
Overall, I really enjoyed in experimenting and playing around with the different fonts and creating my own. However, I feel like I still can push myself to achieve a better outcome if I had plan the designs all together instead of individually. I would like it even more if all 3 pieces would intertwine and connect with each other so it looks like a solid set. Furthermore, instead of making everything centralised, I could play more with the composition of type, layout and off-positions – playing and pushing the boundaries. There is so much more I need to learn to understand and envelop the basis of typography. Just like the typographers we have reviewed, each one of them have their own unique style that makes them, them. One day I shall find my own unique style but yet still be flexible in the application of style to reach a broad audience.