Browsing articles in "XCD"
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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Mar 1, 2010

Dan Formosa, Designing for Humans: the Museum Question

What is the Museum’s Role in Design and Social Responsibility?

Entry #4

Several recent conversations with curators of design collections have radically changed my thinking about the role of museums in our world. The conversations raise the question of a museum’s influence. My classic view has been that a museum’s role is to amass collections of designed items. Historically (although certainly not exclusively) that focus has been on aesthetics.

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Feb 16, 2010

Erin Moore: Cross-Cultural Design = Living on the Edge

“There is a difference between good design and good cross-cultural design…”

I have spent a lot of time these past months living on borders. I woke up the other day to the realization that each place I have lived or visited in the past year has allowed me to look out a window not far from where I am staying and see into what the maps deem to be a different place or a foreign land. And while, somewhere, in the back of my head, I have always realized that these lines, drawn on maps, have, over the centuries formed distinct cultures and customs, I have only recently started to grasp what happens as these cultures overflow their designated borders and begin to connect and overlap. Continue reading »

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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Jan 1, 2010

Greetings from AIGA XCD: Welcome to 2010!

Culture, as a product of all human beings and a common heritage of mankind, and education in its broadest sense, offer men and women increasingly effective means of adaptation, enabling them not only to affirm that they are born equal in dignity and rights, but also to recognize that they should respect the right of all groups to their own cultural identity…

La culture, oeuvre de tous les humains et patrimoine commun de l’humanité, et l’éducation, au sens le plus large, offrent aux hommes et aux femmes des moyens sans cesse plus efficaces d’adaptation, leur permettant non seulement d’affirmer qu’ils naissent égaux en dignité et en droits, mais aussi de reconnaître qu’ils doivent respecter le droit de tous les groupes humains à l’identité culturelle et au développement de leur vie culturelle propre…

…and the development of their distinctive cultural life within the national and international context, it being understood that it rests with each group to decide in complete freedom on the maintenance and, if appropriate, the adaptation or enrichment of the values which it regards as essential to its identity.**

…dans le cadre national et international, étant entendu qu’il appartient à chaque groupe de décider en toute liberté du maintien et, le cas échéant, de l’adaptation ou de l’enrichissement des valeurs qu’il considère comme essentielles à son identité.**

**Declaration on race and racial prejudice. The General Conference of  the UNESCO meeting at Paris at its twentieth session, from 24 October to 28 November 1978. Article 5 § 1

Remerciements a Guy Schockaert, Visual Media Designer, HFDIA, UDB, Membre de la Libre Académie de Belgique

Wishing you Peace, Joy & a Wealth of Exchange in 2010.

Nov 30, 2009

AIGA XCD is Back From ZhongGuo!

And we’re exhausted….

Photos and tall tales to follow soon on our Facebook page and Flickr photo pool, but in the meantime, we suggest following Ellen Shapiro’s coverage of the Icograda Bi-Annual Congress in Beijing for Print Magazine.

Day One: The venerable National Art Museum of China attracted both public dignitaries and students for the opening of the exhibition “Design as a Second Productive Force.” The spectacular titanium and glass “Egg,” meanwhile floats in an artificial lake amid the angularity of Tiananmen Square, where today’s opening ceremonies and keynote talks were presented.

 Approximately 1,500 graphic designers are gathered here.

Day Two: On the second day of the World Design Congress, CAFA, Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, is decorated for the biggest party in China’s young design history. Banners with the “Xin” logo and conference graphics hang from almost every building on the spacious campus, which is dotted with information kiosks and tents for tea and lunch breaks. A small army of helpful students is ready to assist visitors.

Day Three: “The water bottle is a perfect example of the bigger problem … Is the only solution a plastic bottle sold by the Coca-Cola company? What if design students here develop a better delivery system for clean, fresh water? How and where can they sell it?” The students may have been seeing for the first time how respectful disagreement can lead to creative solutions.

Sep 1, 2009

AIGA XCD Goes to ZhongGuo!

Join us in October as we travel into the heart of China’s design scene.

We’ll visit Hong Kong, Shanghai, Suzhou and Beijing. It’s a trip not to miss.

For more information, download pdfs here. Ask about our one week discount option.

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

E Pluribus Unum

Or, Why I Voted for Barack Obama: Identity Politics for the 21st Century

I am a middle-aged white man, and I voted for Barack Obama. I did not vote for him because he was African-American, young and charismatic. I voted for him because he addressed the most difficult issues of our troubled time in a reasoned manner based on concrete analyses that offered the possibility of pragmatic solutions. I voted for him because he transcended the histrionics of fear-based ideologies on the left and the right and spoke to all sides with the respect and concern that the citizens of a representative democracy deserve. I voted for him because he placed intellect above emotion without sacrificing his humanity. I voted for him because he harnessed the power of words in order to defeat the demagogic populism that pandered to our most easily frightened fellow citizens.

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