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No. 189: A Three-part Symposium in the Form of a Book, South London Wildlife Designs, an Online Network for Creatives + More

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Design Diary, a collection of five projects from across the world that have impressed us this week. 

For more creative gems along these lines (and so many others) follow along all day, every day on Instagram @AIGAeyeondesignFacebook, and Twitter @AIGAeyeondesign.

SprachFormArt, by Mado Klümper

What’s all this then? Well, it’s a “three part symposium in a form of a book,” the fruits of graphic designer Mado Klümper’s labors in his final project at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart. The book/symposium is divided into three sections with text drawn from discussions about “the lost art of linguistic understanding” between experts in activism, journalism, communication, medicine, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and economics.

“I have chosen a book symposium to create an exchange of opinions which might not take place in reality, because the members would probably not sit together. Their background and ages differ a lot,” says Klümper. “Quite a few typographical details are used to visualize the talking rhythm, the language, the experts’ fields. Like a symposium leader helps [you] to follow the conversation, the type follows rigid rules. But as well as a conversation, [it] has its own unpredictable tension, so every book page leads to a unique layout.”

Alphabetical Studio, Thamesmead project

If you’re a Londoner, you’re probably aware of Thamesmead: a social housing estate in south London known for its Brutalist architecture and, lately, as a site for a fair amount of performance art and photography projects. It’s also known as a bit of a hot spot for crime, anti-social behavior, and homelessness, thanks in part to the fact that it’s divided by a giant concrete dual carriageway that overshadows the homes that surround it and make for a few poorly lit, derelict spaces.

Alphabetical, Thamesmead project

To try and amend that situation, London-based studio Alphabetical was brought in by the local housing authority to work with the community and generate an exterior structure to cover the space beneath the 120 meter long flyover. “These environments will be transformed into exciting venues for local arts, fitness, and recreation projects, as well as homes for local start-ups and not-for-profit services for the local community,” according to Alphabetical.

“We commissioned illustrator Rebecca Sutherland to work in Thamesmead and study 10 animals thriving locally, including: the Thamesmead heron, kestrel, swan, water vole, and chaffinch. We then re-created them as a series of giant sculptures, which were cast in concrete to reflect the distinct architecture of Thamesmead. The animals scale the exterior of the flyover which we cladded with earth-toned soft wood panels, to counter the industrial feel of the concrete.” 

Alphabetical, Thamesmead project

(Ab)normal, a graphic novel without chronology

A group of architects working together at OMA found themselves “frustrated every day with the huge amount of photorealistic renders” and decided to depart from that through a personal project called (Ab)normal. The project produces images that are processed on the base of normal maps. “It is a pastiche of 3D scraps combined to build narratives about gaming, religion, and internet” the architects explain.

They describe the project as a sort of graphic novel without chronology; instead the images and ideas form “spatial narratives” that visually explore ideas around a culture revolving “obsessively around internet, gaming, and religion.”

Peter Coffin, Imaginary Concerts

Peter Coffin has created a beautiful and FOMO-inducing set of prints: he took the bold, black letterpress type and brightly colored split-fountain backgrounds of L.A.’s famed Colby Poster Printing Company and combined them with the sort of band lineups dreamed up in pubs and boring uni classes.

Now collated into a book, Imaginary Concerts, these prints are the product of experiments with the attention-grabbing color inks that the Colby Poster Printing Co. used in collaborations with more than 100 artists, musicians, writers, directors, producers, DJs, and fashion designers. Each of the posters advertises a lineup for an “impossible” gig only viable thanks to earnest imaginations and printing technology. Among the collaborators in Vol. 2, for example, are Yoko Ono, Larry Clark, Noah Lennox (Panda Bear), Space Lady, and Mike Sniper.

CreativeGuild, a new online platform from CreativeMornings

Earlier this week, CreativeMornings—the breakfast lectures for creatives that have grown from a small event in Brooklyn to a worldwide series—launched a new branch of their operation. CreativeGuild is an online network for creatives billed as “LinkedIn, but for the creative world.” At the moment, the site functions as a global directory of creative companies and open positions, though the plan is to evolve into a place for designers to meet and network virtually. As CreativeMornings CEO Tina Roth Eisenberg puts it, “[CreativeMornings] has been bringing together people who are driven by passion and purpose, who support one another, and are collectively raising the bar on what it means to be creative… we’re translating our face-to-face community values to an online network.” Find it here

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