Blogs The Gradient

A design practice of engagement

I was inspired by Silas’ Seeing 20/20 posting to write this entry, as it briefly addressed some of the issues i’ve been thinking about in relation to graphic design. In recent years, our profession has been transformed by the influence of other disciplines. Four years ago, during the inaugural class of the Institute without Boundaries, […]

I was inspired by Silas’ Seeing 20/20 posting to write this entry, as it briefly addressed some of the issues i’ve been thinking about in relation to graphic design. In recent years, our profession has been transformed by the influence of other disciplines. Four years ago, during the inaugural class of the Institute without Boundaries, our class spent one year studying the question “What is the future of design?” The Massive Change book, one of the results of this post-graduate design program, opened up by stating that “design is invisible until it fails,” referring to the infrastructures that sustain modern life as objects of design (i.e. transportation systems, the internet, cities, etc.) By opening up design conversations beyond 20th century models of production, broader understandings of the profession that embrace design within larger systems emerged as a result of this project. As Silas mentioned, the graphic design profession was coined nearly a century ago. For the most part of last century, the graphic design profession remained fairly stable until the last couple of decades.

First spread of Massive Change book. Photograph shows transmission towers crushed and power lines downed by freezing rain in Boucherville, Quebec, January 1998.

Second spread of Massive Change book. Photograph shows burned-out control room of Reactor 4. Chernobyl, Russia, 2001.

Although the notion of a “designer-less design office” makes no sense at first sight, it raises a lot of issues that graphic designers are struggling with today. Rapid technology changes have swept the industry and drive some of the major innovations in the field today. Design businesses are constantly required to add value to their products and services in face of global competition. Many of us are left wondering what just happened to our tidy understanding of graphic design. I believe that a more engaged design practice could be a way forward for graphic design to continue being relevant.

My design studio, Work Worth Doing, might be a designer-less office. However, I do not seek autonomy as Silas’ concept suggests. Instead, our office seeks a more direct engagement with the world. Even though I am the only “design-trained” designer at the office, we operate as a design studio. Our focus is on systems designs often born out of our own initiative that are parsed through inter-disciplinary inquiry. The resulting outcomes address social or environmental challenges. For example, our Now House project involves the design of a home retrofit system for a wartime house that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 6 tons on an annual basis and could potentially be applied to millions of existing wartime houses in North America. It is through a direct engagement with architects, engineers, and energy specialists that this project emerged. Other projects have required us to engage with political scientists, economists, and sociologists. My roles have been paradoxically those of a graphic designer and generalist designer.

As designers, we often forget to look at the past for answers to our profession’s current ontological struggles. Buckminster Fuller, designer, architect, and inventor, strived to find an answer to the relevance of design in the world, or how design can “address humanity’s present and future needs.” The legacy of his work is now articulated by the Buckminster Fuller Institute as design science, a design practice that is comprehensive, systematic, anticipatory, ecologically responsible, able to withstand empirical testing, and replicable.

In face of current scientific knowledge that indicates humanity’s current lifestyle can not be sustained for the remainder of this century, I find Fuller’s design legacy very relevant. Recent studies suggest that climate change, the result of human activity is of great concern, warning that if the earth’s temperature were to raise by two degrees celsius, irreparable damage to the world’s biosphere, societies, and economy would be caused. However, recent studies by WWF and UNEP suggest it is still possible to prevent such damage if we act today simply by scaling what we already know how to do. In other words, existing technologies and knowledge would suffice to solve the world’s climate change problem.

Embracing complexity with the world at large remains a challenge for our profession, but some designers –not only graphic designers — are beginning to address this issue. The evolution of our profession is a complex process, but I believe that a commitment to engage beyond traditional notions of graphic design and addressing broad challenges is a positive step forward for our field.

From Ulm to Minneapolis: Tracing Peter Seitz’s Modernist Traditions

Purchase Peter Seitz: Designing a Life at the Walker Shop. fig. 1 Have you ever questioned how you would create an entire book about the work of another graphic designer? It seems, more often than not, that monographs do not concern designers. Rather, they encompass the works of a visual artist, photographer, filmmaker, etc. Perhaps […]

Purchase Peter Seitz: Designing a Life at the Walker Shop.

Seitz_WAC.jpgfig. 1

Have you ever questioned how you would create an entire book about the work of another graphic designer? It seems, more often than not, that monographs do not concern designers. Rather, they encompass the works of a visual artist, photographer, filmmaker, etc. Perhaps the disproportionate number of designer monographs is due to the fact that few designers create a consistent style for themselves. Or is it, simply, that most designers do not yield the quality of work that is suitable for something as “artful” as a monograph? For me, the thought of composing a book that appropriately reflected the work of a highly experienced graphic designer, without allowing my own design or typographic treatments to infringe upon, misrepresent or overshadow their work, was a challenging, but thought provoking notion. Surely, I would have never guessed that my first contribution for a large book (or a monograph for that matter) would be in honor of Peter Seitz[1], one of the most influential graphic designers to ever work in Minneapolis—a designer and a teacher who I and many others in the profession owe a debt of gratitude toward.

Peter Seitz: Designing a Life is a soon to be released monograph, published by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of AIGA Minnesota. The book tells the story of Seitz’s esteemed training at both the Hochschule fr Gestaltung Ulm (HfG Ulm) and Yale University, his pioneering work for the Walker Art Center, his establishment of several visionary design studios in Minneapolis, as well as his commitment to design teaching at MCAD. Accompanying the book’s essays and an interview with Seitz are eighty-plus pages of full-color project images, defining each period of Seitz’s career as a visual communicator.

The opportunity to become the designer of Peter Seitz: Designing a Life arose while I was working as a senior designer at DesignWorks, a student-employed studio hosted by MCAD, which produces professional design projects from beginning to end. The studios director, Pam Arnold, who was once a student under Peter Seitz, was able to secure Kolean Pitner (design historian and faculty member at the College of Visual Arts, St. Paul, Minnesota) and Bruce N. Wright (a former colleague with Seitz and editor of Fabric Architecture magazine) as the writers for the book. Also asked to join the team was Andrew Blauvelt (Design Director and Curator, Walker Art Center) who served as the design director and as an essayist for the book. Aside from our primary group of contributors, we were all very fortunate to receive assistance from many talented people from MCAD, the Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota.[2] Contributions from the staffs of each of these institutions was most fitting considering that all were the grounds for some of Seitz’s most renowned accomplishments.

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Throughout the duration of this project, we met with Peter on multiple occasions. Each visit brought new and intriguing stories: from his time as a student at HfG Ulm)[fig. 2], to assisting Max Bill in the printing of one of his posters[fig. 3], in receiving harsh critiques from Paul Rand at Yale University, as well as his initial interests in computer aided graphic design.

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But perhaps the most compelling of them all were the stories that Peter told describing some specific moments during his time as Curator of Design and Editor of Design Quarterly at the Walker Art Center (a position he held from 1964 to 1968)[fig. 1]. During one of our visits, we had some actual samples of his work on hand and when he came across the piece he had designed for the 1966 Biennial of Painting and Sculpture (a call for entries)[fig. 4], he described to us the challenge of seeking approval for his then, unconventional design. Seitz contested that he was the singular member of the Walker Art Center’s design studio in the mid-1960s and he explained how he often had no one to show his design sketches or ideas to. Instead, Seitz had made a habit of reporting to Martin Friedman, the Walker’s director (Friedman was director from 1961 to 1990). In the particular instance of this piece for the 1966 Biennial of Painting and Sculpture, Friedman had attempted to persuade Seitz to eliminate the skewed and overprinting grey type, suggesting that it was redundant and too progressive for a Midwest audience. Seitz then explained to us that he had insisted on standing by his design solution, arguing that its ability to communicate was not compromised.

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As I have become more and more familiar with Seitz’s body of work, it was this very project (and the story of) that I came to appreciate the most. Created in a bold European modernist aesthetic, the simple elements (sans serif type and graphic colors) allow for the overprinting typographic composition to function as an unforgettable graphic style. Interestingly enough, this expression of overprinting and abstracted typography can be traced back to Seitz’s work as an undergraduate student at HfG Ulm. It was here that Seitz had hand-rendered a similar, skewed and overprinting, composition titled Exactness through Inexactness, 1956.[fig. 5] This compositional exercise was one that was conceived by HfG Ulm instructor Toms Maldonado and is at times referred to as “imprecision with precise means.” The concept being that a precise or an exact method–for example, something as precise as an arrangement of halftone dots or a typographic composition–can be repeated and rotated very slightly to, in effect, create an imprecise or inexact formation.

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During his tenure at the Walker Art Center, Seitz went on to produce many stylistically similar and equally as distinctive pieces to his design for the 1966 Biennial of Painting and Sculpture: In a poster for an exhibition titled Prints from London[fig. 6], Seitz intentionally decreased the leading in between the words of the exhibitions title to create an overprinting and repeating pattern of type; While in another poster for the 1968 Biennial of Painting and Sculpture[fig. 7], Seitz again utilized overprinting and repeating typography to bring emphasis and abstraction upon the word “biennial”.

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These examples are just some of the many nuances found throughout Seitzs work that can be admired. And as the designer of the book, it was my intention to showcase these projects in an engaging fashion. One way in which I could explicitly achieve this was with the cover wrap for the book. On the poster side of this wrap, Seitz’s most graphic and memorable works (many of them posters) from throughout his career are arranged as an amalgamation of modernist designs. While as a means of referencing the inexact process of gathering Seitz’s original works for documentation, these posters are composed in a more human, insouciant way that offsets Seitz’s strong dedication to the grid. Additionally, the wrap for the book’s cover has the ability to be folded in two different ways[fig. 8–11], thus creating two different “framings” of Seitz’s work when folded around the cover.

To learn more about Seitz, his instrumental design studios, his many accomplishments and his substantial influence on a large generation of designers, see Peter Seitz: Designing a Life, available in early November at the Walker Art Center bookshop and through the AIGA Minnesota website.

Notes:

1. The following is an abbreviated biography of Peter Seitz’s educational and professional accomplishments:

Peter Seitz was born in Schwabmnchen, Germany in 1931. After attending the Augsburg Academy of Arts in Augsburg, Germany, Seitz went on to study visual communication at the Hochschule fr Gestaltung Ulm (HfG Ulm) from 1955 to 1959. At HfG Ulm, Seitz studied under such influential designers as Max Bill, Otl Aicher, Toms Maldonado and Walter Zeischegg.

Following his time at HfG Ulm, Seitz arrived in the United States to study graphic design and photography at Yale University with Paul Rand, Norman Ives, Bradbury Thompson and Herbert Matter. In 1961, Seitz graduated from Yale with a MFA degree in graphic design and photography.

Seitz’s early professional career is defined by his time as a designer with the architectural firm I.M. Pei and Associates, as a faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore and as Curator of Design and Editor of Design Quarterly at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

After leaving the Walker Art Center in 1968, Seitz established his first studio, Visual Communications, Inc., in Minneapolis. Then, joining with various partners specializing in architecture and design, Seitz helped to establish one of his most momentous studios, InterDesign Inc., which focused on multidisciplinary projects.

While continuing on with his professional endeavors (within studios such as Seitz Yamamoto Moss and Peter Setiz and Associates), Seitz also became an involved and successful design instructor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In 1996, MCAD honored Seitz with the title professor emeritus. Seitz, now retired, lives in rural Pepin, Wisconsin.

2. Contributors affiliated with the Minneapolis College of Art and Design include: Pam Arnold, Director of DesignWorks; Vince Leo, President of Academic Affairs; Mike O’Keefe, President of MCAD; Rik Sferra, Photographer; and Patrick Kelley, Alumni Photographer. At the Walker Art Center: Andrew Blauvelt, Design Director and Curator; Pamela Johnson, Editor; Greg Beckel, Image Production Specialist; Cameron Wittig, Photographer; Gene Pittman, Photographer; and Barb Economan, Archivist. At AIGA Minnesota: Jim Madson, President.

Meet the Van Arnhems

Scott Ponik and Alex DeArmond here reporting under the joint pseudonym Van Arnhem. We thought that in addition to contributing under our own names it would be nice to have a separate persona that we can use for a series of posts about ideas and observations from Arnhem, the Netherlands. We’ll start our first experiment […]

Scott Ponik and Alex DeArmond here reporting under the joint pseudonym Van Arnhem. We thought that in addition to contributing under our own names it would be nice to have a separate persona that we can use for a series of posts about ideas and observations from Arnhem, the Netherlands. We’ll start our first experiment in cooperative blogging today. Hope you like it.

Yours from Arnhem,
Van Arnhem

Seeing 20/20

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of addressing the AIGA national convention from it’s main stage. But only for 60 seconds. I and 19 other young designers had to present of our idea of “what’s next” for the graphic design profession. Each of us were nominated by an established practicing designer. I was […]

Designer-Less Chart Butt ExamplePaula Scher ExampleOtto Example

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of addressing the AIGA national convention from it’s main stage. But only for 60 seconds. I and 19 other young designers had to present of our idea of “what’s next” for the graphic design profession. Each of us were nominated by an established practicing designer. I was nominated by AIGA Gold Medalist Lorraine Wild, a speaker in the Walker’s Dis-Contents: Insights 2007 Lecture Series. I’ve had the good fortune of working for and being a student of Lorraine’s in the MFA program at California Institute of the Arts

My presentation entitled Towards the notion of a Designer-less Design Office or a (micro)theory of graphic design evolution is a parody of the recent trend for graphic designers to create more self-initiated briefs. In 60 seconds with this chart and several supporting examples I argue that

Designers want creative freedom. The Designer-less want the ultimate autonomy: to design themselves out of practice. If designers can thrive without clients, then the next natural step would be a design office without designers.”

To see some field examples starting to evolve into the Designer-Less see Butt Magazine, Virtual Paula Scher + HP and the graphic design result ofOtto, an artificial design intelligence entity.

The notion of graphic designers striving for autonomy was actually forecasted four years ago by the Walker’s very own Design Director and my former boss, Andrew Blauvelt, in the famous Rant issue of Emigre magazine. In his essay, Towards Critical Autonomy or Can Graphic Design Save Itself? Andrew urges that graphic designers should create work that is aware of and critiques it’s social, cultural, economic, technological contexts.

I didn’t create my parody to make light of Andrew’s essay. I extended the kernel of his idea to a ridiculous, but possible conclusion to coax the graphic design profession to be open minded and adaptable in a constantly expanding, shifting discipline that is perhaps out growing the term “graphic” design.

The Walker Design Department’s endeavors into curation, event programming, and now critical writing (in addition to their roles in exhibition, catalogue, publication, and advertising design) are but one possible model of nuanced and multi-faceted practice that deserves a different, more evolved nomenclature than a perhaps obsolete term coined in 1922.

Kahlo and Us

One of the more recent projects we have undertaken here at the Walker is the exhibition Frida Kahlo, opening on October 27. This is one of the larger exhibitions of the year and one that has a lot of print collateral, including: billboards, transtops, a host of various advertisements, bilingual gallery graphics, passes, guides, signs, […]

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One of the more recent projects we have undertaken here at the Walker is the exhibition Frida Kahlo, opening on October 27. This is one of the larger exhibitions of the year and one that has a lot of print collateral, including: billboards, transtops, a host of various advertisements, bilingual gallery graphics, passes, guides, signs, etc . . . but for us what all of this work really begins with is the design of the catalogue, which in turn determines the look of the rest of the exhibition.

For us, in a sense, Frida Kahlo was more of an exercise in deciding what not to do rather than what to do. With the assistance and insight of Design Fellow Jayme Yen we started by spending a good deal of time looking at the various books for the many Frida exhibitions over the years. After perusing those we had a decent lay of the land and general understanding of what league we were batting in, one not entirely familiar to us I might add. Not only did the book need to satisfy a Walker audience but also a Frida audience, and an even larger general public who, thanks to Salma Hayek, are very familiar with Fridas legacy. Most of the books we create are for artists with smaller profiles (though we did make a Warhol book a couple years ago), making this an interesting project. What was obvious was that to succeed, conceptually and economically, our book needed a distinct personality, one that shows great care for the artist and the work.

Frida’s work is laden with symbols and intensely personal history, and was hard to react to conceptually for this very reason. The design process became more intuitive than usual, less about looking out than looking in, and we set about creating a world, a look in which Kahlo could feel comfortable inhabiting. We were able to do this through a mix of different materials, typefaces, and content. Different paper stocks helped to define the sections, essays, timeline, plates, photo collection, and backmatter. We chose a family of paper colors: cream, tan, and white, that would help make the book feel more personal and humble, less austere. Our typefaces worked in an awkward fashion, a mix of something more classical feeling with something more contemporary, trying to accommodate Fridas legacy in todays context, 100 years after her birth. New Century Schoolbook set in all-caps italic worked nicely for headlines, and Knockout provided a sturdy accent for footers and headers (for the exhibition titling we simply this relationship). In terms of the content, one of the things that makes this book unique among Frida catalogues is the inclusion of the Vicente Wolf Photo Collection—a large group of personal photographs of Frida, and Diego Rivera, taken by themselves and others like Manuel Alvarez Bravo. These photos, which have not been seen before, manage to shed a new, intimate light on a lifes story that we have been told from every possible point of view, as Betsy Carpenter says in the current issue of Walker magazine. What the photographs do provide is a record of a performance of sorts that began for Kahlo in childhood, after her bout with polio when she was six years old and the devastating bus accident of 1925 that left her body brutally broken—a self-conscious spectacle of self-invention born out of trauma, a seduction played out before the lens. In this theater of her private life made public, she created a role in which her identity was not fixed, but ever changing. Hardly the passive subject, Kahlo created and re-created herself almost obsessively. Mirrors, like her brushes and paint, were an indispensable means to an end. The looking glass and the camera lens were the (self)reflexive apparatuses that allowed her performativity to emerge.

In a more practical realm we also had to figure out who was going to print our little book (24,300 copies), and do it the justice the artist deserves. We chose Cantz, a printer in Germany we had used before and were very happy with. So it was off to Europe to oversee the printing, which may sound vaguely romantic but in reality is a tedious process and rather stressful on the designer (and the printer, in some cases). Various things run through your mind as you stand in front of the press, staring at a press sheet. Is this the right color for her skin tone in this particular painting? If I shift the magenta a couple of points will her skin look better, or will it just muddy up the leaves in the process? How did I never notice that monkey before? I wonder if he understands my English? For six long days and seven nights it was me and Frida, plus one German pressman. The three of us worked on trying to realize what so many had already worked so much harder on.

A Cover in Context: Kara Walker catalogue

left: European distribution; right: U.S. distribution The recent opening of the Walker-curated exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love at the Whitney has seen a flurry of press in publications such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the cover of Art in America, and all I really care […]

KaraWalkerCoverEurope.gif KaraWalkerCoverUS

left: European distribution; right: U.S. distribution

The recent opening of the Walker-curated exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love at the Whitney has seen a flurry of press in publications such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the cover of Art in America, and all I really care about, really, is how this affects our amazon.com sales for the catalogue. In that spirit, here is a reflection I wrote for the May/June issue of WALKER magazine—more than you ever wanted to know about the cover of this book. See here for images of the interior.

Designing an exhibition catalogue offers you a chance to become immersed in someone else’s world for awhile. Kara Walker’s is a mythologized fiction of the antebellum South, a brutal place inhabited by slaves and masters, struggle and submission. It is also a graphic world, in both senses of the term. Her work is about as designer-friendly as it gets, particularly her cut-paper silhouettes. But her form wasn’t the only impetus behind the design of the book. What really kept me up at night was the opportunity to highlight her writing. Characterized by mock politesse and merciless honesty, it shows up in excessively long titles, hand-typed index cards, wall texts, and fragments of diaristic essays. In an interview with the artist, Thelma Golden suggests that if Walker’s various writings were collected together, the combination would approach something of an imaginary slave narrative. This notion became a loose framework for the book.

Practically, the project began like any other—with questions. How do you present works that are 30 feet long next to those that are 6 inches tall? How do you reference the past, in this case the pre-Civil War South, without perpetuating redundancies or invoking typographic cliches? How can it function as both catalogue and textbook? How do you make a book that is as aggressive and unrelenting as Walker’s work?

How indeed. A good place to start was with the subtitle of the show, taken from the artist’s Letter from a Black Girl. A bitter text written from a freed slave to her former master, Letter also serves as Walker’s critique of the art world. By starting with the half-title page and working backwards to the cover, we were able to present the entire text. The artist loved it: “I laughed a hearty throaty laugh when I saw the cover. yes. yes yes. And yes.” Besides being racially charged, the text includes several expletives, which concerned our American distributor, who consequently asked us for a new cover design. This, of course, did not go over well at the Walker, but our design director embraced the problem as a challenge (I needed a little coaxing), and we eventually created a vertical band that wraps the cover and hides the naughty parts while (not accidentally) suggesting censorship, something the artist has faced before. After a project is sent to the printer, the designer is sent to a press check. This one landed me in Belgium, where I watched over the color balance, binding, foil-stamping, and fine-tuning of the book’s 10 (count ’em!) different shades of brown. Press-checking can be a nerve-wracking experience—most of your time is spent in a waiting room obsessing over slight variations in ink colors and second-guessing the design. This purgatory is punctuated every three hours by a trip to the presses to check the next sheet, and then—back to The Room, which, in my case, meant writing long and demented e-mails to whoever might be awake in whichever time zone.

During one of my checks I explained the cover situation to my Belgian pressmen; they laughed somewhat incredulously—did art still have the power to offend people? After all, our European distributors had no problem selling the book with its original cover. Of course, the context of a book cover is different than that of a gallery. And a bookstore in America is not a bookshop in Belgium. But their nonchalance made me question whether they had any understanding of the complexities of U.S. race relations.

Admittedly, I could offer them little clarification in this area, though I could have shown them my favorite part of the book, the artist’s original 34-page visual essay entitled “Chronology of Black Suffering, Images and Notes, 1992–2007.” We had intended this to be a 16-page insert, but what she sent us was a huge notebook overflowing with examples of the media’s portrayals of the black image over the past 15 years. Flipping through it (with white gloves, of course) brought revelation after revelation. I was particularly startled by a telecommunications ad showing Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Some Photoshop whiz had digitally removed the crowd to make it look as if King was speaking to an empty lawn. Did that company intend to create such a bleak image, one that could imply the (apparent) futility of the Civil Rights movement? Maybe in this I did have an answer to the pressman’s question: maybe art had relinquished the power to offend, only to have it assumed by someone else.

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spread from “Chronology of Black Suffering, Images and Notes, 1992–2007”

Tape/Trail

Scott Ponik and I were Walker Design Fellows from fall 2004 through fall 2006. When asked to stay on for an additional year [amidst the grand-(re)opening of the Walker expansion in 2005] we were left with a print budget from what would have been the 2005–2006 Design Fellowship poster (someone at some point will post […]

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Scott Ponik and I were Walker Design Fellows from fall 2004 through fall 2006. When asked to stay on for an additional year [amidst the grand-(re)opening of the Walker expansion in 2005] we were left with a print budget from what would have been the 2005–2006 Design Fellowship poster (someone at some point will post these in the Flat File section, hint hint). In lieu of the poster we were asked to design a promo announcing the Walker’s new graphic identity: Walker Expanded. One late-night brainstorming session found us re-aligning the “strips of tape”–from the recent print collateral–along the walkways of the (temporary) Walker offices. The assemblage ended at Andrews office door and the real-life sketch was later re-enacted for its printed (and more mailable) form.

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Southern Walker gathering

I just remembered I had these photos i thought i’d share. The photos are from last February when Andrew and Emmet visited NC State. They did a very nice presentation of projects done at the Walker’s Design Department dating back to 1998. Above: One of the slides in the presentation: Poster for Allan Wexler exhibition […]

I just remembered I had these photos i thought i’d share. The photos are from last February when Andrew and Emmet visited NC State. They did a very nice presentation of projects done at the Walker’s Design Department dating back to 1998.

Walker poster

Above: One of the slides in the presentation: Poster for Allan Wexler exhibition designed by Daniel Eatock.

It was indeed a mini-Walker reunion when we went for dinner following the lecture. I happened to be that semester at NC State as a Designer in Resident.

Raleigh dinner

Pictured from left to right: Santiago Piedrafita, Deb Littlejohn, Meredith Davis, Andrew Blauvelt, Emmet Byrne, Alex Quinto, Matt Peterson, and Katie Meaney.

Andy says “Hello everyone!” too

Hi everybody. I was a WAC intern from October 2000-2001. My co-intern was Jodie Gatlin. The rest of the Designatorial staff was: Andrew, Kathleen, Pamela, Santiago Piedrafita, Linda Byrne, David Naj, Gina Bell (publications manager, replaced during my last week by Lisa Middag who had worked in New Media) and sometimes Eric Olson. There were […]

Hi everybody. I was a WAC intern from October 2000-2001. My co-intern was Jodie Gatlin. The rest of the Designatorial staff was: Andrew, Kathleen, Pamela, Santiago Piedrafita, Linda Byrne, David Naj, Gina Bell (publications manager, replaced during my last week by Lisa Middag who had worked in New Media) and sometimes Eric Olson. There were a lot of exhibitions that year, but no books for the interns to work on. The studio bought its first digital camera. There were no condos on Nicollet Ave. And the H&dM expansion was announced that spring.

During my internship, I was known for having a good supply of peanut butter and crackers, chocolate chips and Coca-Cola on hand (ask Scott Winter). I think I spent more time going through Andrew’s bookshelves and magazines than designing. I really enjoyed working with the editors. I wish I had spent more time in the library with old issues of the Everyday Art Quarterly and in the basement with Kirk and the crew. I also wish I had Takashi Murakami sign my copy of Superflat. (But I did backdoor a piece of Arturo Herrera’s All I Ask when it was taken down after Painting at The Edge of The World.) I worked on everything from Franz Marc and The Blue Rider to Murakami’s Superflat to tiny cards for WACTAC.

My favorite professor at school was Sue LaPorte, a WAC intern with Laurie Haycock-Makela. Kindra Murphy was an intern from 1997-1998. My wife, Erin Mulcahy, was an intern from 1999-00.

Hello everyone!

It’s me Alex… or Alejandro, as I was known back in my Walker days. I was a Walker intern from 2001-2002 with Alex DeArmond and the rest of the very missed clan (Andrew, Lisa, Linda, Santiago, David, Kathleen, and Pamela). I am now in Toronto, as a partner/designer at an interdisciplinary studio called Work Worth […]

It’s me Alex… or Alejandro, as I was known back in my Walker days. I was a Walker intern from 2001-2002 with Alex DeArmond and the rest of the very missed clan (Andrew, Lisa, Linda, Santiago, David, Kathleen, and Pamela). I am now in Toronto, as a partner/designer at an interdisciplinary studio called Work Worth Doing.

mmm… perhaps i’ll share some thoughts on the design scene here in Toronto and whatever other projects I encounter on this side of the border.

I look forward to meeting other Walker alumni :) Later!

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