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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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 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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