Browsing articles in "Blogs + Criticism + Publications"
Apr 11, 2010
Zelda Harrison

Harry Pearce’s Schizophrenic Road

Musings from Harry Pearce, Pentagram

Over the next few weeks, AIGA XCD recounts escapades in Cape Town, South Africa at Design Indaba with interviews of speakers who generously shared their thoughts and experiences designing across cultures.

We start with Harry Pearce, Partner at Pentagram, UK.

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Apr 6, 2010

AIGA XCD Recycles!

Out with the Old, and in with it too.

Yes, dear reader, it’s April, the month we celebrate all things green culminating on Earth Day, April 22. Research in our archives on revealed some oldies but goodies — thought– provoking discussions on cross-cultural design. Over the next few weeks, we will post links to these articles. Feel free to join the conversation, pass on or share an article of your own.

Let’s start with a bit of controversy: Willy Wong’s post on Design and Social Justice.

Jan 2, 2010

AIGA XCD Student Showcase: Erik Peterson’s Qeej Hero

Peterson reviews “Qeej Hero,” his new game concept and interface design.

The relatively fresh Hmong Diaspora in the United States has been forced to adapt quickly to American culture. The generation of Hmong people that fought in conjunction with the CIA in the jungles of Laos is now battling to preserve elements of its heritage in the suburban cul-du-sacs of California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.


Through visual, verbal, and musical poetry, the Hmong Diaspora has defended traditional cultural heritage and synthesized new forms of aesthetic production outside their homeland. The tradition of oral storytelling is combined with abstract needlework “flower cloths” to form representational “story cloths,” the ancient practice of chanting poetry (kwutxhiaj) flows through hip-hop songs by urban youth, and the age-old wind instrument, the qeej (pronounced GHENG), is integrated into B-Boy dance competitions.

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Nov 30, 2009

TalkingDesign: London’s Tube Map Gets a Facelift

Is it the end of the line for London’s iconic tube map? Jonathan Glancey would like to know…

Might the Oyster card swipe the world-famous London Underground map off the walls of tube stations for ever? From the beginning of 2010, Oyster cards can be used for travel on all public transport services in Greater London including tube trains, buses, trams, suburban trains, the Docklands Light Railway and Thames Clipper river boats. What this revolution in ticketing means is that Londoners and visitors to the capital will be able to travel seamlessly above, below and across the city, as well as out to its farthest-flung suburbs.

For the full article, click here.

Many thanks to Ronald Shakespear for forwarding this article.
Oct 7, 2009

Dan Formosa, Designing for Humans: The Average American

Entry #2

The Average American is female. When I’ve mentioned this to groups of females in the US, they applaud – women as majority. When I mention this to males in the US, they also applaud – under the misconception, I suppose, that their odds of getting a date have suddenly increased. The fact that the average American is female seems to be a win-win statistic – something in it for everybody. Continue reading »

Jun 1, 2009

This Chair is not a Chair

The Masterstudio Basel explores the idea of Furniture

What makes The Chair a chair? The fact that someone’s sitting on it? And if a person sleeps or eats on it, would that make it a bed or a table?

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May 13, 2009

Design Diplomat I: Daniel R. Smith on Curating America’s Most Dangerous Poster Shows

Acts of Self-Censorship

As the organizer of a series of Seattle-based international design exhibits, I’ve witnessed the power of graphic design to breakdown stereotypes and unite cultures. I’ve coordinated projects with designers in countries that are politically difficult for Americans to visit much less maintain sustained contact with. And I’ve seen the joy on each side when an audience realizes that what we do is radically interconnected, despite government attempts to limit information, to keep us apart. To make these exhibitions possible, however, I have to admit to a certain level of self-censorship.
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Feb 5, 2009

Aaron Marcus Celebrates the History of Information Graphics


Every decade, it seems, there are valiant standard-bearers for effective visual communication of data, information, and knowledge, of facts, concepts, and emotions,  who arise and publish guidebooks for business people, computer and information-technology professionals, and others who have not been exposed to the philosophy, principles, and techniques of information design and information visualization.

Currently, Edward Tufte and Richard Saul Wurman in the past decades have been promoted in the media and garnered attention from the general public, having demonstrated unusual entrepreneurial zeal and showmanship in promoting their publications. One benefit is, to be sure, increased attention by the business world and by the general public to information design and information visualization. Continue reading »

Dec 11, 2008

Finding Your Rwanda Part II

What about the human condition needs improvement?

Claiming a personal and a collective uniqueness can be achieved in the participative action of designing our environment.In its essence, this declaration of uniqueness through the design and transformation of place, speaks to the power of branding and is illustrated in the Rugerero Genocide Survivors Village in Rwanda (see my previous blog post, Finding Your Rwanda, designing and debating our role in social responsibility). The cooperative design and building of a genocide memorial and the painting of murals on the mud brick homes of the village changed the spiritual and physical essence of this wounded place.

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Nov 16, 2008

Can Design Shape the Political Landscape?

Measuring the Power of the Visual.

Chaz Maviyane-Davies, 2008

Chaz Maviyane-Davies, 2008

This poster by Chaz Maviyane-Davies was the first to run in the 30 Reasons internet campaign. Mr. Maviyane-Davies is originally from Zimbabwe, and for more than two decades has taken on the issues of consumerism, health, nutrition, social responsibility, the environment and human rights.

Join us in evaluating the role of the graphic designers in shaping the political dialogue or in promoting political agenda around the world.