Walking the Design TightRope: Designing to the Edges

Suzie Zezula & Lauren Murray

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Studio Inquiry

Imagine walking a tightrope, you are walking a thin line and it is a little shaky. It requires balance and understanding. You really do have to know where you are going but you don't quite know what you will encounter on the way. You may slip, you may trip, you may take a risky jump and be overjoyed when you keep your balance. Whatever happens you will be concentrating all the way from one edge to the other. Your mind will be absorbed in thought all the way. When you get to the other side you will realise just how exhilarating it is to walk the design tightrope. Walking the tightrope is a kind of meditation, it releases your mind from the everyday, it allows you to think to the very edges of an idea, to extrapolate and to create original propositions for your audience. This is what happens on the tight rope of making communication design. We will be there to catch you we will be pleased to. We truly believe that mistakes are great, accidents are a joy and risk is a thrill and communicating can be fun. We will ask you to consider serious issues and explore ways of conveying ideas and messages through lucid, original and engrossing design solutions.
The German philosopher Martin Heidegger (much loved by researchers in the visual arts) walked a metaphorical tightrope as hiked from his house in the city to his cabin in the country. Whilst on these journeys he conceived of the theory of Altheia which in essence means understanding and revealing truth. As a communication designer you will also need to walk that tightrope so that you can make your messages visually stimulating as well as revealing and truthful. We aren't sure about Heidegger ( he was a Nazi) but we are sure that to have the ability to make messages that are clear and truthful and engaging for your audience is extremely important. Obviously knowing your audience is important, to this end we will explore the nature of audiences and the Theory of Designing to the Edges. This is an area of educational research, however it is pertinent to the practice of design and communication . It is based on the premise that no one is average, (some people like rosewater on their ice cream and some people like vinegar) but all people have things in common no one has everything in common. Therefore no one is average. This means to engage an audience of individuals you will have to design to the edges. That sounds like you will be 'designing to the edges'.
Communication of knowledge
The primary focus of this studio is to explore the relationships between: logic and intuition reasoning and creativity risk taking and making decisions. You will explore the concept of creative capital and its relationship to audiences. You will be asked to challenge assumptions, think critically and persuasively and have a lot of fun as you walk that tightrope of creating beautiful, unexpected, witty, rule breaking and effective communication design.
In this studio you will be expected to: Experiment Delve Destruct / Construct Make mistakes and own them Use your intuition Take risks Be brave Make astonishingly creative design solutions.
> This studio has 3 interwoven assessment tasks that inform one another, Brief 01. 30% Studio Knowledge Object (SKO) >revealing your knowledge + process Brief 02. 20% Walking This Way Brief 03. 25% Finding the Question 25% Solving the Reply (Design & Artefact)
More readings and references and inspiration will be shared weekly in class. Harnessing disobedience for creativity: designer Nassia Inglessis on the benefits to breaking the rules https://www.itsnicethat.com/features/nassia-iglessis-studio-ini-london-design-biennale-3H10818 https://www.wired.com/story/apple-ipad-turns-10/ All Maps Lie by Paula Scher https://designobserver.com/article.php?id=30828 Black Lives Matter https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/black-lives-matter-creatives-speak-up-in-solidarity-creative-industry-010620? Design to the Edges https://sites.google.com/site/designtotheedges/
Communities of Practice
Designing Experiences, Designing for Social Change, Designing Identity, Designing through Image, Designing Publications, Designing Disobedience

About Suzie Zezula | About Lauren Murray

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