This week I made some progress and had some meetings, shared some meals and good conversations with friends and made some lead-way on collaborations.
–Collab with DoYun (Social)
–Meeting with Anina (Social)
–Hope booklet (faith • hope • love) (Religious)
–DIIRI Update (Political) — progress
–Ruth collaboration (Social) — idea for final collaboration
^ me making notation of what I did this week in preparation for the blog post
I met with Anina Major and shared a cup of tea and good conversation about her thesis and my degree project. We are both exploring the theme of Home, her in relation to her static definition, as the one place she grew up in, and me as a dynamic definition of something that is always changing. Home as a journey, as she described it. We had a good conversation and spoke about doing a collaboration with the ceramic spoons she had made. Funny how Haystack brought us together last year and now we are brought back together for this final culmination to our RISD careers.
I am still making progress on KYR for Dorcas. I went to volunteer last Thursday, ready with the branding boards and new directions to show them, but neither of my bosses were there. After 2 hours of almost falling asleep, and then finally getting some work done, I left early. Cyrus is helping me refine the typography and it is making ways and means to become the best that it can. Cyrus mentioned how being a designer means you have to be a writer/editor/reader, and to shape language in a way that is visual and makes logical sense. I hope to have an even stronger version to show tomorrow.
After small group crits last week, Ruth and I met to discuss our collaboration and the final form. We are going to do two more weeks of passing back and forth and then collaborate on a poster/documentation to present for the final critique.
Do Yun and I took our photos based on the 25 objects we had gathered last Wednesday, and are in the process of editing the photos. After 5 hours of shooting, the editing process seems a lot smoother, though less tactile. We are considering a collaboration on some “design” form of the photos, i.e. a poster or some sort. But we shall see.
For my religious lens this week, I worked on making a hope pamphlet, incorporating short narratives from the bible on the topic of hope. I am also steering my ISP into works about religion and Christianity. I lost my prayer journal today, but I am hopeful I will find it.
A lot is happening right now and this blog post does not really do justice to all that is going on, but I only have 26 minutes until it is Tuesday. Lots happening, things moving in the right direction, I hope.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.And you know the way to where I am going.
–John 14: 2–4
Oh! Also, I had birthday dinner with Aneudy at Mokban tonight. It was really fun catching up with him and making/spending that time. NUA was quiet today. The annual event was last Friday, I didn’t stay long.
Home in the vernacular. Written 1 hour before the day of Week 8’s meeting.
A lot happened this past weekend. Easter weekend! I volunteered with set-up the night before service and to help out with the egg hunt afterwards. It was a fun, warm day. (But not much work was done on the weekend consequentially). The Easter message was about Hope—Hope Wins.
Post-Thursday—I’ve been brainstorming with Ruth and Do Yun on collaborations (social lens), working on the KYR packet for DIIRI (political lens), and have been thinking about the Hope · Faith · Love poster series. I also did a brainstorm earlier this afternoon on defining the lenses and trying to start thinking about how I will synthesize my degree project. I also met up with Kendra and Grace, who gave me some interesting feedback and encouragement for my DP this past Saturday.
On Tom’s encouragement, Ruth and I are planning on doing separate data visualizations of our postcards and then collaborating on the documentation. She is willing to continue the series post-graduation, and I am excited for that!
Do Yun and I met earlier tonight and talked about collaboration. Her DP is about mapping and she is interested in time/identity for our collaboration. After throwing ideas back and forth, we decided to each gather 25 items and bring them together to make spontaneous sequence visualizations both collaboratively and individually. First, we won’t explain the meaning behind the objects and will have to make compositions using all 50 objects (both hers and mine), then we will collaborate on a composition together, and then repeat the process after explaining why/the meaning behind each piece. I am excited for it! We are planning on using the photo room and documenting it a-la-Todd McLellan.
During my ISP meeting with Cyrus this morning, I asked him to look over my KYR packet for DIIRI. He was brutally honest, but very supportive. On his encouragement, I am going to present an alternate design strategy which separates some of the information for “KYR At Your Home” and “KYR Outside Your Home.” I also worked on carving the typography and creating a mini-identity system to help emphasize the emphatic nature of the project (upon Tom’s critique). I will present the branding boards and strategy to DIIRI this Thursday. The fist is not appropriate.
I’ve been thinking about the religious work all week but haven’t made much lead-way on it yet. My ISP has diverged towards more religious work too. I was considering retitling or emphasizing all the lenses underneath the religious lens but I don’t know if there is enough time. I hope to wake up early enough tomorrow to finish the faith poster and reprint before critique.
Whatever happened to: —NUA UNO: probably won’t be happening. There is no class (for HS students) this week, and the semester is coming to a close rapidly at NUA. It was a good, genuine idea. But things like that take more project managing and directing than I we are often immediately willing to invest in.
—The Home Survey: I am still trying to do that data visualization of it… it may just be an idea that I will develop post semester-DP. I am unsure if I will get to it during the semester.
I felt pretty depressed today, but I know situations could be worse and the enemy is discouraging me because of the uncertainty in my job search. Grace was encouraging this evening though in mentioning that many people spend months in the job search phase. I need to trust God and be more patient. I am confident He has a plan.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
—John 16:33, NIV
Earlier this evening I attended the first part of a presentation on an ongoing exhibition in the Fukushima exclusion zone in Japan. Jane from Design Agency forwarded me this invitation, and Ron was willing to let me leave class a little early to attend the first part of the presentation. It was really interesting to learn about and see the work the artists are making in response to the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear power plant destruction and the subsequent release of radiation. The artists discussed how they are tackling the question of “what can art do to confront catastrophe?” and in situations such as these, what is the role of art?
Thousands of people were forced to relocate from the affected area, and the border of the radiation zone itself is very political. The aftermath from the disaster is still evident in Japan today.
The artists spoke about the separation the families are experiencing from their homes and the sense of displacement and separation. “Invisible” destruction—just as the radiation itself is not visible. Gave me some interesting ideas for DP—the relationship to Japanese Internment in matters of displacement and evacuation, the sense of losing one’s home, physical and mental/emotional separation. Very interesting food for thought that I am still processing.
At DIIRI this morning, I received the edits on the KYR packet that Cecily (one of the DIIRI lawyers) had made, and adjusted the pamphlet accordingly. Fortunately, the changes were not too drastic and there were no major additions. I sent the revised copy to Susan to have it translated through Pinpoint, and I also presented her with the Family Preparedness Plan draft 1 I had prepared. Progress seems to be going pretty steadily, but time is moving fast. It will be challenging and interesting trying to incorporate different languages into the design.
Tom mentioned that the guides are very ‘practical’ but could hark more at the ‘poetical’ with an emphasis on what kind of rights are being asserted. And to create a sense of urgency and design that is distinctive from other documents. I am considering carving the type out of linoleum and adding the symbol of a fist. I like the idea of “Your Rights” being carved out, and then maybe having “Know” in black-out typography like the headers in the pamphlet. The word “know” being typeset, can be interchanged with other imperatives: “protect,” “understand,” “assert,” etc. Similarly, for the FPP, “family” and “plan” could be carved. I will give it a shot this week and present it to Tom, and to Brandon and Susan for their opinions and feedback.
Another week flew by. I cannot believe it is Friday tomorrow. After the panel discussion, I had ‘family dinner’ with Bruce and Maria at Ran Zan (with Three Sisters Ice Cream afterwards). This weekend is Easter weekend (meaning tomorrow is Good Friday), and I am volunteering with setup Saturday evening (6–9pm, meaning no homegroup), and with the Easter Egg Hunt after service on Sunday. I have a few job interviews tomorrow and I am hopeful they will lead to something. I know God has a plan.
Quick recap on the feedback from Tom and Andrew this week:
– Tom suggested Ruth and I could each have our own separate narratives created from the postcard series, and then see how we each interpret the works. I emailed Ruth and we were discussing a bit over email. I like the idea of having separate interpretations and a collaborative documentation, or some element that involves us coming together again.
– Tom emphasized the documentary experience, what it means to give meaning through responding to a conversation
– the Faith poster was well-received, minor adjustments/suggestions: to make each perforated unit a circle (mocking the shape of a seed) and to play with the transition of the typography across the poster
– Andrew commented that it is hard for him to critique/comment on the effectiveness of the poster when he understands it coming from a Christian background/upbringing. I wonder how it would be read by someone not Christian and not a designer?
– DIIRI: emphasize the feeling of human rights/constitutional rights; practical vs. poetical
– should be meeting with Do Yun Monday? Couldn’t meet Wednesday or this weekend
I recently finished Luke, and have been reading John. Jesus is a confusing man to follow, sometimes. I wonder if I’d be able to keep up if I had been living and one of his disciples back in the day.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
— John 4:13–14
This weekend was RISD Unbound—hosted by the RISD Library, GD, and Illustration departments. I tabled with Olivia, and fortunately our table was stationed in the GD Commons. It was a bit quiet at times, but overall it fun. It was nice to see people in the community, and I made pretty good money (not nearly enough to break completely even, but I managed to sell all of my NUA charity prints!). We were caddy-corner to the NUA table, and many NUA students were tabling in the ISB. Honestly, just glad last week’s long-haul of preparation is over. I don’t think I have the stamina to do the spring student sale.
Many people read and commented on the Dwelling zine, they found it compelling (not-enough-so to purchase it per-say) but the reception of my work was positive. Anina Major came by and read the zine, we chatted briefly. She mentioned her thesis is about Home and the ‘feeling of belonging’—aka my DP! Hopefully we can get coffee and talk about our ideas sometime. Besides that encounter, lots of other friendly faces from NUA, RISD, Brown, etc. James and Ben (from GD) commented that they liked my Inventory sheet design (Ben mentioned that that was the best piece on my table).
I went on a ‘vision journey’ on Friday to Roger Williams conservatory—essentially I spent a couple of hours roaming and reading the Bible. And in sustained prayer. It was really nice to align myself more to God for an intentional period of time, in an environment I am not often at.
Feeling encouraged by Anna and Mitch’s critique last week, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for more posters promoting faith. I have some sketches and ideas and worked out a composition for the first poster in a triptych about: Faith • Hope • Love.
The first poster, Faith, is playing off of Matthew 17:20 and will be a large composition that is perforated with pieces that can be torn off. It’s large format (roughly 40″ x 50″?), and I hope to have a test print to show in the small group critique tomorrow. Making work about my faith has been rewarding, presenting about it, can be challenging.
Earlier today I got lunch with Do Yun, and we caught up and discussed ideas for a collaboration. Her DP is about Mapping and expanding data visualization and making it more nontraditional and visually compelling. I approached her with the idea of using the survey results to map where people ‘are geographically living’ vs. where their ‘home’ is. But I told her I don’t want it to be so one-sided in favor of my ideas/topic. We are planning to have our first kick-off brainstorm Wednesday, so she can present some ideas to her section on Thursday.
Ruth sent the next postcard—I think keeping that collaboration weekly is a good pace.
NUA is closed until further notice. I felt like a fish out of water this afternoon. Really makes me realize how much of a part of my schedule and routine is centered around NUA, and how much I miss it when I’m not there. NUA Uno will have to be postponed for now.
I mocked up the first draft for the Family Preparedness Plan (as a part of the KYR campaign for DIIRI). There is so much more information to cover in this pamphlet, including additional forms to have people fill out. I am unsure of how to tackle all of it in a cohesive form. Brandon won’t be there this Thursday, so I can present my ideas and sketches to Susan and show her what I’ve been working on so far.
I find myself having difficulty describing my DP in a concise way—and I need to begin thinking about how to synthesize all the information and work that I have done cohesively. It is important for me that the work I make and present is accessible, comprehensive, cohesive, and concise. (Asking for a lot). But I don’t want to have to over explain myself—I want the work to speak for itself and for the connections between the there lenses and the entire scope of the DP to be evident. I hope to ask Tom for some direction with this tomorrow. On how to synthesize it all together.
For tomorrow (1pm meeting with Andrew and Tom), I will be presenting:
— Family Preparedness Plan and updated KYR pamphlets for DIIRI (political lens)
— Faith poster and idea for Faith • Hope • Love poster series (religious lens)
— Update with Ruth and start of ideas with Do Yun (social lens)
— Questions for synthesizing the project as a whole, and moving forward
Maybe the reflection document/process book/thesis book? can be the synthesis??
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. —Matthew 6:34, NIV
Mentor meeting last night—also: Aneudy’s birthday! The mentor meetings always seem to sneak up on me. Alan agrees and can attest to this sensation. We discussed the upcoming events (there are many) including the annual event, spring break, and the end of the spring term! Mid-May. Already! Emily mentioned that if there are any projects we’d like to accomplish, we should start them now! (i.e. NUA UNO! but Kah wasn’t at the meeting last night). After the announcements, we wrote letters: either to a politician (in light of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts of the NEA), to ourselves, or to a NUA student. I chose to write both to a NUA student, and to myself. Opposite sides of the same spread. As I was writing to the fictional NUA student, I found myself giving the advice and encouragement I wish I had received while I was in high school, and currently with where I am at in my life. So I wrote a letter to myself opposite to the NUA student letter.
We reflected as a collective group, and many mentors shared the cathartic experience as both reflective and encouraging. Lastly, Dan pulled out a surprise cake for Aneudy—who turned 29 this Wednesday. He claims to be old, I still feel like he is young. I told him I’d take him out to Mokban (old Teriyaki House), as we’ve always been talking about doing.
So much happens, so quickly. I almost forgot I had volunteer at DIIRI this morning.
I presented the newly revised KYR pamphlet to Brandon and Susan—they had minor changes but after some tweaks, we left it to present to Cecily and Robert (?), the two lawyers who work at DIIRI and gave the KYR workshop a couple weeks back. They will hopefully have edits for next week. I am also going to get started on the Family Preparedness Plan in the meantime. Brandon won’t be there next week so I’ll check in with Susan and hopefully the lawyers will have some feedback on the KYR pamphlet.
I called Sojourner House and the Catholic Diocese of Rhode Island to inquire about the legal and immigration services they offer. Sojourner House exclusively works with victims of domestic violence, so we removed them from the list. It was challenging for me speaking with the woman from the Catholic Diocese, but she confirmed that they offer similar services to DIIRI. Brandon and Susan mentioned this briefly today, but it’s incredible how political it can get even between nonprofit organizations that are all helping the same people. Immigrant help vs. refugee help also butt heads a lot too, apparently, though DIIRI does both. I understand nonprofit organizations need the grants and funding, but can’t we all work together and get along?
Once the lawyers approve of the copy, we can have Pinpoint Translations make translations of the text in various languages and then adjust the design accordingly. Things are moving along! And it’s very exciting to see it come together. I feel like I am learning a lot.
Tonight was the SeeUS show, I could only drop in quickly before I sat for an hour in the Dwiggins talk. Then I facetimed Lauren and bantered a bit with Mom and Dad over text. I miss my family. I printed out some stuff for Unbound, and am mostly done collating the postcards at least. Final preparations tomorrow for the sale Friday. This week blew by.
By your endurance you will gain your lives.
—Luke 21:19, ESV
We had our midterm DP presentation/crits today—with Anne Jordan and Mitch Goldstein as our guest critics. It was really great to see everyone’s presentations and how we’ve progressed since our first meeting. Anne and Mitch were great critics, and had lots of supportive criticism and helpful references to look into.
They commended me on making design work about religion—it’s a very touchy subject that many designers shy away from. I would like to explore it further, and try to incorporate other religions or expand the lens of spirituality. Mitch suggested I try to convey less of the dogma of religion, but rather what it provides for people or its function one-could-say. I understand what he means, and I believe it could be a fruitful endeavor to explore. It reminds me of Hayon’s DP.
They also spoke about the fine line between doing impactful design work, versus work that is self-serving and inconsiderate—not addressing the issues that need to be solved. I am trying to be careful to be aware of myself and the work I pursue, not to be condescending or using my privilege in an abusive or offensive way. It is important for me to make direct impact, and to remain humble and not prescriptive.
Tom further encouraged me to explore the visual language and subtlety in my designs—he even emphasized making the posters larger. I definitely think I can be more poetic in my design work. Tom emphasized: how do you get a person engaged with the experience? And all design is experiential. How to get people to draw-in?
Alex mentioned that the Christian perspective is evident in all of the lenses and work I am pursuing, and it is really rewarding to have that be evident (I hope it doesn’t go to my head). She also suggested researching the visual language of the communities and use the vernacular in my design.
Moving forward, I need to delve further into the lenses and work on synthesizing the work together cohesively. I want to have a presentation that can convey the richness of the topic effectively, efficiently, in language that is accessible, and understandable.
I especially enjoyed Ruth’s presentation and the work she has been making; and there are apparent overlaps with my project and that of Jane and Denise. Maybe the potential for future collaborations?
After DP today, Anne and Mitch gave presentations on their work in the GD Commons. I really enjoyed their emphasis on process in their work—they approach design projects as a team and have a similar analogue/digital approach to Nancy Skolos and Tom Wedell. They emphasized four key ideas behind their work (largely book cover designs): 1. the hand—the trace of the hand in the work; 2. analogue & digital synthesis; 3. materials; and 4. the camera.
I am grateful and thankful that this presentation went well and is now over. There is a NUA Artist Mentor meeting tomorrow evening (Wednesday), and I have the next check-in with Brandon and Susan at DIIRI Thursday morning. I hope Unbound this weekend will be successful and fruitful in generating content and ideas (I still have some preparations that need to be made and done for the sale). Looking forward to moving forward with these ideas—hopefully will get lunch or dinner with Dodo next week too to talk collaboration. OH! Discipleship class tomorrow morning. I hope I can make it this time around…
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
—Psalm 19:14, ESV
It has been a jiff—spring break came and went. But weather-wise, spring seems to finally be here in Providence! Though this break wasn’t as productive as I would have liked, I feel well-rested, and as prepared as I can be for the final stretch. Can’t complain also that this Monday back has been such a blessing seeing familiar, warm faces. This may be a long post (due to my procrastination and lack of posting the last two weeks).
Quick recap of Week 5 Critique (March 21st) with Tom O. and Denise:
—Tom mentioned the difference between self-driving/interactive pieces vs. delineating/dictating to the audience
—emphasis on the discovery in the process of learning
—separate the Bible verse name from the text of the verse: more evocative and less direct
—critique the process: is this making and what I’ve done thus far leading or going somewhere conclusive? what does it mean? how does it relate?
—be critical of what receiving/making: the value it can add
—Denise suggested I travel to places I would potentially identify as home on a cultural/identity basis
—”And justice for all…” Jan Van Eyck/Ole Baumann (???)
—be open to the possibility and explore the process, but be critical. assessment
—pull it together: synthesize
—don’t limit with hierarchy: experiential for the reader/viewer
—take advantage of the experience
Following the critique that week, I attended the Design in Action panel discussion, volunteered at DIIRI and attended the KYR Workshop held at Dorcas, and then it was spring break! All these things fed into my DP subconsciously I imagine. During spring break, I had a couple of interviews: taking day trips to NYC and the greater Boston area. I also spent time with Joe and D.Rhee in Cambridge, and Rikio came to PVD for two nights. It was really great spending time with them and waxing poetic about the past and ambiguous future. Being around them and reminiscing on the past, reminds me of a home and a sense of belonging associated with where I grew up in California. Time with old friends definitely made me not going back to California this break much more bearable.
In terms of DP progress since last-last week (Week 5):
I missed NUA during spring break, but it was nice to come back earlier today. Kah made progress on the poster, and I spoke with Mel and we plan to launch the project next week. Today was especially quiet at NUA because of the beautiful spring weather (and it being Monday), and the studio is preparing for RISD’s Unbound sale later this week.
I will be selling some Spam prints, the collage postcards from my ISP, the Dwelling zine, and other printed goods. I picked up the postcards from Moo earlier today. Unfortunately, due to my laziness/procrastination, I couldn’t order the stickers in time for the sale (this Saturday). I am considering throwing out the idea of crowd-sourcing drawings of people’s homes from the sale, because I will not have the stickers as an incentive. I suppose I could do prints of the houses as a give-away in exchange? I am unsure. I already have a lot to prepare and a lot of money I need to make up for at the sale (God be willing, I pray).
I still need to analyze the results from the survey, I am hoping to receive more submissions but I can’t use that as an excuse forever. I need to sit down, process, and consider how to translate the results in some form. Currently 120+(?) responses.
I just received Ruth’s next response. She says she is enjoying the process too! I still need to respond to it. I had meant to grab dinner with Do Yun and discuss a collaboration during spring break, but I neglected to reach out (are you catching the theme about me during spring break yet? L A Z Y). I hope we can find time to discuss the possibility still. The collaboration with Emily doesn’t seem to be happening any more?
I got some feedback from Cyrus today on the posters, I feel good about them. But I don’t know how to pull the religious lens (Christian lens) further. More involvement with Sanctuary? I attended the Easter Service Rally, and have been meaning to wake up early enough and register for the Discipleship class. Enoch reached out to me and we are both considering confirmation; walking with Joanna has also been really encouraging as we prepare our hearts for May. I am considering studying another religion? Or more form making to translate Christianity and the context of home—Earth and Heaven (and Hell?)—in other forms.
The KYR workshop was really insightful and helped me generate better content for the handout I showed Brandon and Susan at DIIRI last week. They had some great feedback and showed me this powerpoint they had recently received advising people on how to give KYR presentations and what to say, etc. It was really insightful to read through. It’s challenging and exciting to be working on a project that is really needed, but also really vaguely defined. Brandon and Susan talk about it as if we are still formulating what it really is and the extent of what information needs to be present on it. But having the first draft to show them last week was really helpful to get the ball rolling. I am working on a second draft to show them next week and a really crude spanish version.
Reading this material on KYR (Know Your Rights) is surreal. Part of me cannot believe that this is real and needed, and the other part of me is stunned with how basic/sad these rights really are, and the fact that a product like this is genuinely needed and people are unaware of their rights. It’s all pretty scary. But really empowering to be a part of this and to help out as I can. That in itself is what I sought to find through this degree project—using graphic design to make social impact and promote social good.
Tomorrow is our mid-term presentation/critique in front of the whole section, Tom (our advisor), and a guest critique. We have to make an 8-minute digital presentation, supplemented with printed materials. I have the presentation mostly laid out, I need to write in what I want to say and print out some final materials. I feel confident in my topic and the work I’ve done—my only concerns are the fact that I don’t have much tangible/visual progress from before spring break, but I am progressing. I hope to receive some insight and direction in terms of suggestions on where to pursue further and things to look into/consider.
I am grateful for this lack of worry, but pray to be humble and open to criticism (both harsh and negative), and to present to the best of my ability and articulate my project, in its complexity and ‘richness’, in a way that is concise and accessible. Those are my goals for my presentation and for the synthesis. That this degree project would tie itself conclusively in a way that I can articulate it efficiently and effectively, without using unnecessarily fancy language or taking up an exorbitant amount of time.
God be with me tomorrow, be with me always.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
—Luke 18:14, ESV