Skull DIY Design Theory Event | Design Gallery | Kalamazoo, Michigan
The Skull Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Design Theory project allowed the public to showcase their views on the theory of design. The Skull project featured a short introduction on design theory, two drawing stations and a 7’ x 12’ skull painting where participants could post their design theories. Four inch spikes laid out in a grid format in six inch intervals across the entire skull created an efficient posting area.
The Particpatory event on design theory is a meditation on our societal role in the creation and defense of our societal norms and values. More particularly, it points to our responsibility as citizens to create the future we imagine. Pythonesque in nature, “my brain hurts!” the spiked skull satirically references the importance of informed decision making. We can either create or resolve societal injustices.
The Skull DIY installation exists through the design theory displayed and created on site by the participants. The collection of drawings served to enable the audience to participate in the conversation on what problems designers should address. Continue reading “Skull DIY Design Theory Event”
Participatory Design Installation | Design Gallery | Kalamazoo, Michigan
Tabula Rasa participatory event invited viewers to become participants and to create their own patterns, texts and images through the use of large wall grids. The grids were made of tree-limb slices painted either white, black or left as bare untreated wood. The public interacted with the wall grids by removing, turning and/or moving individual slices to make use of either the white or black sides of the pieces or in some cases the bare, untreated wood.
The organic, informal quality of the grids helps to overcome cultural conventions regarding interacting with creative work. The playful environment lowers the threshold for participation and welcomes viewer involvement. The informal wood slices with their irregular organic shapes create a point of contrast from the more often seen digital media exploration on participatory pieces. It brings participatory design, now common in the digital world, to the analog, physical world. The participants interacted not only with the work but with each other, collaborating and socializing while they removed, flipped and rehung the slices. The installation undermines the traditional distinction between maker and viewer. The public venue undermines the exception of the gallery space, opening the exhibition venue to the entire college community–directly entertaining Enzenburger’s notion of emancipatory media.
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Collaborative DIY Installation | Electron Cultural Foundation | Breda, The Netherlands
Over 300 people participated in this International Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Collaborative Cultural event in Breda, The Netherlands. Joining DeYoung were Gerrit Westerveld, international designer, artist and publisher, and Rotterdam designer Circe Penning-Devries, and Eltine Peterse, Project Manager and Community Organizer. Designers and artists as well as community members created work on-site, over a two-week, “do-it-yourself,” period of installation. The event was open to the public over the two weeks and featured the “making of the work” as the event itself. The installation evolved hourly/daily throughout the two weeks as the participants changed and work in process evolved. Visitors could interact with and/or join the participants. All work was made through sustainable processes and using locally acquired reclaimed materials.
Inside Out revolved around a participatory environment, conducive to social exchange and encouraged cultural enrichment and the exchange of ideas. Inside Out undermined the traditional distinction between maker and viewer, artist and amateur, democratizing and valuing the making of things. The inclusive, culminating “Festival of the Arts”celebration included food from the across the socio-economic and ethnic spectrum of Breda. During the collaborative event, works were created and featured from all levels and ages: from elementary kids, to adults, from troubled teens, folks in reintegration projects as well as professional artists.
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DIY Design Theory | Helsinki Design Week | Helsinki, Finland
The Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Design Theory Helsinki project featured an entertaining event where audience members, come participants, made T-shirts themed on design and design theory.
Existing as a kind of analog as well as digital social media experiment (Twitter, Facebook), responses ranged from amusing and fun, to profound and provocative. The event took place in the International Design Council 2012 designated World Design Capital Helsinki, during the Pecha Kucha night, which was the Helsinki Design Week culminating event.
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DIY Design Theory Breda | Graphic Design Festival Breda | Breda, The Netherlands
The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Design Theory Breda event was held at the Graphic Design Festival Breda. All comers, designer and non-designers alike, were welcomed to create a sign and participate in a protest focusing on “designers” concerns. Across the city different design theory drawing areas enabled participants to give voice to their concerns. The results were then “wild-plakt” on the outdoor, billboard/poster exchange centers in the city center. The event democratized the conversation on design, enabling the audience to exchange their role as passive viewer and to engage. The voices were now in support or in contrast with the chosen speakers featured in the speaker sessions.
We create the future we imagine. This DIY participatory project is one way to enable a design that makes connections, encouraging a positive, creative response. The event gave voice to the (citizen) designer no longer accepting of the idea of serving as mindless mouthpiece for authoritative industry. Participating design theorists through the community and dialog built in the creation of the works and the wild-plakt display were able, at least briefly, to find solidarity.
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DIY Design Theory Event AIGA| AIGA Think Tank Conference | Nashville, Tennessee
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Design Theory project where conference attendees were invited to create a design theory “drawing” and express their opinion on design. The title of the show, Everything is Design & Everyone is a Designer, refers to our societal role in the creation and defense of our societal norms and values. More particularly, it points to our responsibility as designers in creating the future we imagine: a responsibility design has often times eschewed.
The think tank lounge environment consisting of a rural visual vocabularly display, lounge seating area and was site specific. Design theory commentary was created on site by the participants. Participants were asked to first create a “drawing” on design theory at one of the drawing stations and then post this commentary on the the walls of the lounge environment. The collection of drawings served to enable the audience to truly participate in the conference and served, not insignificantly, as a curious kind of reality-check, a polling of concern or lack-thereof outside or in addition to the scheduled speakers. The event connected AIGA national president Doug Powell’s “Design for Good” to the AIGA Nashville Think Tank.
This cultural event was one in a series of DIY Design Theory projects undertaken in collaboration with artist Brad Reagan.
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Participatory Cultural Event | The Downtown Gallery | Clarksville, Tennessee
¿Despedida? cultural event transformed the gallery space into an eclectic participatory environment, a great space for a breadth of cultural events conducive to social exchange and cultural enrichment. This community-based installation of Art + Design celebrated “object” creation, giving the viewer and/or participant the experience of the hand-made/self-made object through the use of local resources and local, reclaimed materials. The event blurred traditional distinctions between maker and viewer, artist and amateur, democratizing and valuing the making-of things. The event set the stage for an participatory experience including craft, a children’s lemonade stand, diverse ethnic food, and diverse alternative music central to the event in a created environment. ¿Despedida? evolved depending on the participants across the span of time encouraging an inclusive environment of community and creativity.
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Art Installation | Pictura Gallery | Groningen, The Netherlands
The Adequately Theorized Painting Installation in full consists of 225 black panels with phrases painted in white. The space is illuminated by an intense, single tungsten light bulb. In the space, the viewer takes in the bric-a-brac collage of the rectangle-ish signs which, lacking square corners and straight edges, create rhythm through alternating size, slight angles and the contrast of white on black on white. The subjects of the text vary touching on philosophy, art, reflection and social commentary.
The installation plays with the idea of debunked universal meaning through the to-and-fro of contradictory texts, e.g. “This painting demonstrates my reluctance to conform” vs. “This painting demonstrates my inability to resist.” The text visuals, relating to hand-painted for sale signs and other rural visual communication are open and without pretension, encouraging the viewer to question, add to, accept or reject. The cacophony of panels is what Jan van Toorn would call “emancipatory,” encouraging exchange and enabling the viewer as opposed to closing down the option of dialogue.
Philosophically, the work imagines a world outside of closed authoritative metaphysics and posits an idea that a “philosophy” could be created through the expression of diverse, and divergent thought made visible. A grounding principle, as in well-grounded, that perhaps progress comes through dialog and an (eventual) level of agreement.
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Installation | Museum Stadt Oldenburg | Oldenburg, Germany
Matter of Fact is a painting of an American Semi-tractor trailer truck combination, actual size. The painting is on 1,362 cardboard boxes, which when assembled, form a semi-tractor trailer truck combination, actual size, 13’6” x 8′ x 60.’ Depending on the type of exhibition space and visitor demographics, the work can be exhibited as a easy-to-understand, populist culture realist painting or as a networked theoretical, conceptual installation.
Populist Cultural Realism. Get more bang-for-your-buck through this easy-to-understand installation of 1,362 cardboard boxes assembled to exactly match the dimensions of a semi-tractor trailer truck combination. The realist nature of the work and the quantity of paintings gives the museum visitor value for their money. The MOF: Populist Cultural Realism, through size and the sheer quantity of paintings, ensures the technocratic, quantifiable efficacy of the exhibition. This in turn justifies its presence to the executive leadership team and the board of directors.
Conceptual Installation. The conceptual installation consist of 1,362 paintings on flat cardboard boxes stacked flat on 22 wooden pallets. Only the top painting on each pallet is visible. Arranged in the industrial formation that would fit in a 48’ semi-tractor trailer the installation challenges the viewer to identify internal, versus external and the potential for utility. Engaging what O’Doherty/Irleand might call the “uber viewer,” the work satisfies the discriminating gallery need for conceptual exclusivity.
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Coham Man | Frans Masereel Centrum | Kasterlee, Belgium
The Coham Man is an ongoing series of prints and drawings/combines that as a point of motivation deconstructs “machismo.” That is to say, this series deconstructs posturing of strength in contrast, or perhaps instead of, a man’s legitimate search for independence of body and mind, i.e. the effort to become strong. The works have been exhibited in Europe and in the U.S.
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Environmental Installation | Kunsthuis de Permanente | Groningen, The Netherlands
Suck in Groningen consisted of a 8’ x 15’ freestanding painting on riveted aluminum plates. A copy of Ploeg member Jan Altink’s city scape, “Visserburg” was created on a floor of the gallery with pastel and pigment. In order to view the aluminum freestanding work, the gallery visitor had to walk across the city scape thereby displacing pastel and pigment on the floor piece in the process. There is an ambiguity in the work that is resolved depending on how the work is interpreted. Some viewers may see walking on the copy of Altink as the destruction of the work while others may view this as participants activating the installation in a process of transformation.
The installation was based on contemplation on how cultural heritage is treated and exploited for personal/organizational gain particularly as related to a technocratic perspective (Bell).
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Diverse European and American Venues
The American West series is an exploration of the industrial road landscape of The United States.
The works on canvas cut-outs are apparent in their substrate as is the process of making in the final works. Rabbit skin glue to seal the material, and then oil gessoe to provide for a surface to accept the oil color is visible in some of the cutouts. The loose canvas cut-outs contrast the traditional, formality of stretched linen rectangles. The exposure of process and construction makes apparent my presence as the shaper of the visuals. This and the work-a-day subject matter of the work provides for an egalitarian body of paintings.
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