allergies ? / getting sick ? / chalk dust.

IMG_2781.JPGFirst post in a while! It’s been a hectic week. Today I did three “installations” across campus… carrying forward this idea of community and trying to engage conversations with people/not knowing what to do. For this unit, how can we design design, I wanted to try a different means of process. I usually think and think and ideate and sketch out and then make. This time around, I’m making and making and then reflecting and making. And then thinking after. It’s been interesting, frustrating, and rewarding all at the same time. Half the time I honestly don’t know what I’m doing.

This first installation I did on the second floor of the design center, where I had done the framing installation with Sylvie and Hannah during wintersession. This time, I tapped the word let’s. Implying a statement that people can fill in the blank when they read it. let’s ____. The blank is emphasized by the blank window.

I didn’t have any discussions about this piece. Bethany and a grad student came in and talked in one of the rooms for a while but ignored me.

Well actually, Xavier L. stopped by and asked me what I was up to. He was working at the Mail Room at the time. He wished me good luck which was encouraging.

I saw John Casserta and his daughter (or was it his niece?) on my way out. And I avoided making conversation about it at that point.

IMG_2792.JPGThis second installation I made with chalk in the Freshman Quad. It took a lot more chalk than I had expected, because the bricks are slightly jutted out from the wall. This statement reads why don’t we, with a similar call to action for people to fill in the blank, emphasizing inclusive pronouns. I had a lot more conversations while making this installation:

  • Talked with Soo Joo and met her friend, Brandon, who I explained my project too and was encouraging him to consider to switch from painting to GD.
  • Spoke with Catherine Hong and met her friend, Esther (Liz’s old roommate).
  • Ran into Rachel and described the project to her.
  • Met Emma, who used to be in GD but switched to Textiles, and was encouraged by her interest and encouragement for the project.

While making it, I observed people watching and people would read the statement out-loud, be it in amusement, inquiry, or scoffing-laughter. Regardless, they were thinking about it. Rachel made a good point that most people don’t observe the ulterior meaning on the first read; and Emma encouraged me by agreeing that when people read it they’ll fill in the blanks in their own minds. Which is part of my intention.

IMG_2820.JPGThis 3rd installation I made on a whim and most likely inhaled too much chalk from or got cold from being outside for too long. It reads, we should. And is at the intersection of Congdon and Angell St. People walked by and noticed it but didn’t really say too much. The tracking and kerning on this one is not ideal. I was pretty fatigued when I made it, to be honest.

A man from across the street yelled “What’s it going to say?” while I was still working on the E. I told him “we should,” and he asked “we should what?” and I said “you have to fill in the blank yourself” and then I think he got it. He made some confirming sound or gesture but I couldn’t catch it.

This was fun. Overall. Physically exhausting to draw typography–be it in tape or chalk. The chalk letters are each roughly 3 feet tall and the tape letters I drew were close to twice that. I have more to do tomorrow; I wanted to post more tonight but I figured it would go against the intention of posting them in public and having conversations with people passing by. I am working on some questionnaire I can hand out to people in the RISD community also. And have in mind a zine I’d like to make… we’ll see.


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