Saturday, 18 July 2009
Thursday, 16 July 2009
Another great interview in the afternoon which we were all lucky enough to be able to attend. We met with Graphic Havoc a design studio based in Brooklyn compiled of five members and we were lucky enough to speak with Randall Lane, Derek Lerner, David Merten and Peter Rentz. I have to admit we were all a little nervous to meet with a studio whose work we know and admire but they were all really great and put us at ease immediately and from then on conversation seemed to just flow. They had not all initially received a design education however expressed how by having a more open path of education it allowed for a more rounded person. Derek liked how he could effectively build his own degree by picking the classes he most preferred at Georgia Tech, Atlanta. They all agreed on the cultural diversity that New York gave them which even if after a time can be taken for granted is definitely a plus point to the design world. Randall was adamant that school was a time for play and experimenting, and they all showed a fondness and respect for British design explaining how maybe designers takes more risks as well as it having a deep design history that inevitably has an influence on its design scene. Lastly in response to "what's the most important thing you know and where did you learn it?" Peter believed it was all about making mistakes and learning from them and along with Derek's thoughts that if you set your heart and mind to something then you can achieve it we feel that that is pretty great advice. Thank you very much guys.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
We went to the Bodies exhibition today in Sea Port. I think we all left more uneasy than enlightened. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, although it was fascinating.
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
Michael Bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio and studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Prior to joining Pentagram as a partner in 1990, he was vice president of graphic design at Vignelli Associates. He is also an active member of the AIGA an was president of the New York Chapter from 1988-1990.
While we were at RISD Chris Rose was kind enough to introduce us to a couple other members of staff including Paul Sproll. He was a really interesting guy to interview as he was British born and bred however after his degree at Corsham he then took a year long fulbright Teacher Exchange. This experience in the USA then led him to take further art education in the US. He now has a PHD from Ohio State and is head of department at RISD in a program quite unusual - teaching and learning in and through the arts in schools, museums and community settings. So one of his main focus' is Education. He expressed how teachers needed to be practicing in their fields as well as teaching, even though that can be difficult. He says teaching in art education cannot just be theoretical students need to meet people and that needs funding so possibly in the US that is where private schools benefit. Therefore by being government led maybe schools in the UK have more restrictions and the US has a much more "malleable hierarchy"? To end he talked about how the most important thing he knows is that "anything is possible" a lovely note to end on an extremely interesting interview. Thank you.
Thank you to Chris Rose and his Wife Christine . They put Chloe and I up for a night and gave us a beautiful day in Rhode Island. The RISD School of Art is an impressive school with many influential people at the helm of it. It has a nature lab as well as an amazing museum. It is a school I could only dream of attending. Chris is an extremely intelligent man who has brought new ideas and questions to this project so a huge thank you to him and his kindness towards us.
We all met with Steven Heller to interview him for our project. Steven Heller is an American self taught designer who has worked as an Art Director for the New York Times. He currently teaches on the MFA Graphic design course at the SVA in New York and writes and edits many design based books, including those on design education such as:'The Education of a Graphic Designer.', which was based on a conference entitled: 'How we learn what we learn'. Consequently Steven was a perfect candidate for our interviews.
Steven barely experienced a formal education. He applied to The SVA to escape being enlisted in the Vietnam War and on acceptance, he was soon asked to leave the course due poor attendance. It is debatable that Steven is 'unteachable' or without need for education to flourish however, when we asked him about this he claimed that everyone can be taught. In Graphic Design there are skills that can be taught, but you have to be patient enough to learn.
The subject of money verses design education has frequently been discussed during all of our interviews and by and large our theories about the differences between the UK design education and that of America, being as a result of different tuition fees has been dispelled. However, Steven did highlight that the current economic ball and chain would have an effect on Design and the education of it.
After visiting Steven Heller, we decided to go on a trip to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Ellis Island made a big impression on all of us, I could write about it all day! Two of us have had relatives pass through Ellis Island so it meant a lot to us. I thought that it was really significant to have this monument to racial diversity of America, and in particular New York. One statistic stated that when immigration was at its peak during the later 1800s up to 70% of the New York population was made of immigrants or the children of immigrants. There was a whole area dedicated to the statistical history of immigration and the impact this has had on today's population. 100 million people in the USA can trace back an ancestor that travelled through Ellis Island. Among all the sad and fascinating stories were rooms full of amazing artifacts and personal items. The above photos detail some of the tests that immigrants would have had to pass in order to enter the country.
Last weekend we took a day trip to Coney Island, just to see what all the fuss was about. We'd been told that it was like Brighton pier on acid, and we wanted to see evidence! What greeted us at the train station was a maze of run down fast food stalls, amusements, and an abundance of painted and garish signs. Personally, I liked the decaying charm of the place and all the tackiness. The painted signs were gorgeous though and we all took hundreds of photos. We went on the wonder wheel which turned out to be over 90 years old and a terrifying combination of ferris wheel and roller coaster! After soaking up the atmosphere, browsing the market (which sold exclusively gold jewelry, knock off DVDs and Michael Jackson t shirts) and listening to a latin jazz band, we went to the museum which was small and full of old signs, photos of 'freak shows' and archive footage of Coney Island in it's heyday. All in all I would say that Coney Island is worth a visit for the pure spectacle, if not the beautiful and bizarre type.
Sunday, 12 July 2009
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
As part of our internship for Andrea Purcigliotti, Millie and Chloe went to work on a talking heads show as part of the Michael Jackson memorial for BET Networks. We were mainly just spectating the events but it was a great event to be a part of. We met lots of interesting people from the camera man to the special guests on the show. It gave us an insight into production behind the scenes.