Friday, December 10, 2010

Most Posters in Basel

Both of these posters were placed side by side and were an interesting use of size hierarchy. From far away, parts of the poster are not invisible, such as the pattern in the text on the top poster and the small descriptive font in the bottom one.

Student Presentation in Basel

I returned to Basel to observe student presentations to see more of the practice side of the program. The project was a proposal for a rebranding of the kunstmuseum (art museum) in Basel. The idea for this presentation was to show the groups ideas for possible themes that can be applied to the rebranding. The first group chose the theme of "light" and had several ideations of this theme. Some groups had three or four ideas for themes and used the presentation to get a class reaction to find the own they should expand on.

The structure of the presentation was an inDesign presentation, and primarily showed their thought process and progress of the project. The first part showed their brain-stroming session in a flowchart sort of fashion. Next they displayed their research, light being a main part of exhibits, way finding, and other museums. They also showed how light is used in fine art and in physics, to give examples of how it works and how it is used in other mediums. After the research section, they showed their own ideas of how light can be applied to the rebranding. They had videos of different experiments they had with a projector, showing how objects can cover thing and then once removed the light shows what was missing. They had sketches of different ideas, which were very clean and organized. They also had possible new logos, which were derived from they're research of light.

It was a great presentation to sit in on, it was all about the students ideas and how they came to those ideas. There was a lot of work behind the research of the project and it was clear they spent a lot of time as a group working on ideas and trying new things.

Theory class in Basel

Nicolaj invited me to a lecture in Basel, every week on Monday, the students learn about a different topic and talk about the theory behind it. This week was about signs and symbols, which of course fits soundly into the broad master of iconic research. What I learned is this:

The study of signs and symbols is a facet of Analytic Psychology, called semiotics. A sign is an item that suggest presence of fact or a figure that stands for a word, phrase, or operation. They have been created and changed for hundreds of years. It is a form that a person can sense (look, smell, fell) about the object that it signifies.

The sign, the concept, and the object are all related to each other. Metaphors are a sort of sign, and can be used verbally or visually. When designing with images, using metaphors in images is often called Visualizations and can be seen all the time, some are more sophisticated that others.  Here is an example, the image is trying to warn against drinking while pregnant, the sign is the beer with a bottle nipple, the concept is a that a baby drinks from this, and the object is the beer being given to a baby. The signification is that when you drink while pregnant, the baby is drinking alcohol too.

This initial information was presented by a small group of students are the beginning of the lecture. Different examples were given and explained in such genres as fine arts, graphic design, and advertisement. After the students presentation, Nicolaj gave a more in depth lecture based on the book: Architecture and Symbols: Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Venturi. The author described architecture in Las Vegas as either being 1) architectural features submerged in a symbol (think a building shaped like a tea pot) or 2) ornament being applied independently of architecture (cesar's palace). Venturi argues that the architectural structure itself should be a symbol of what it is, so that a hotel is visually a hotel and that the ornament act independent from it. Sometimes, symbols can be derived from architecture, as seen with the first McDonald's store. The arching yellow lines later became embodied in the corporate logo.