Sep 16, 2010
Zelda Harrison

Design, A Viable Tool For Social Innovation?


Philosophy, Motivation and Inspiration

XCD: Could you please share your background with our readers? How did you launch a career in Design? As someone who arguably has many career options, what has been the most compelling aspect of being a Designer?
WD: I began my career with a decade-long stint in advertising, working at Saatchi & Saatchi in Italy, Canada and the U.S. I then launched a design firm, Drenttel Doyle Partners, in 1985, and latter mutated into an online designer when I merged with my future wife, Jessica Helfand, to form Winterhouse.

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May 2, 2010
Zelda Harrison

Sebastian Guerrini: The Social and Political Life of Images

Our contributor from Argentina formulates a theoretical framework on how identities are shaped by images.

Identities are built in a process of identification which is related to the social life of images. For this reason, it is important first to analyse what an image is.

There are many definitions of what an image is. As Mitchell pointed out, Plato relates the definition of image to that of an idea, whose root idein means to see (Mitchell, 2006: 348). Likewise, the image has also been defined as imitation in itself relating its name to the Greek term imitari, to imitate (Barthes, 1991: 21). Later, Maimonides defines the image as likeness such as in the “man’s creation in the image and likeness of God” (Mitchell, 1986: 31), as a series of predicates, listing similarities and differences, as an essential reality of a thing.

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May 2, 2010
Zelda Harrison

Stefan G. Bucher: The Monsters Made Me Do It

AIGA XCD catches up with Stefan G. Bucher in Cape Town

Editor’s note: a slideshow of Stefan’s work is available on our flickr page.

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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 9, 2010

Ronald Shakespear shares his Green Wayfinding Dream

Tren de la Costa. More musings from Diseño Shakespear.

From Melancholy to Rebirth

The sun comes from the East. From the river. And so does the train. This was the source for the design of the brand, and all its implementations have been technologically treated to reflect that adequately. The research around the iconography of the English sun was a manual in itself. Some sort of semantic diving for ancestors.

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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.

Mar 22, 2010

It’s Springtime! New Beginnings!

Join Mondher on his slideshow of Iran

Yes, Beautiful People, it’s officially Spring. Or as the Persians among us would say “Happy Nowruz!”

In case you didn’t know, The UN’s General Assembly in 2010 recognized the International Day of Nowruz, describing it a spring festival of Persian origin which has been celebrated for over 3,000 years. During the meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage of the United Nations, held 28 September–2 October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, Nowrūz was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

AIGA XCD is choosing to celebrate another beautiful chapter in humanity’s journey with a slideshow of Mondher’s 2009 trip to Iran and the Caucasus. Click here to view the slideshow. Mondher is an engineer and amateur photographer with a passion for living at the crossroads of cultures.

Enjoy! Or as Shervin would say:

I wish you a colorful spring as crisp as the morning dew.”

Mar 12, 2010

ACCESS-ABILITY Conference: Graphic Design for a More Accessible World


Hosted by RGD Ontario, the Access-Ability Conference was created in response to proposed Ontario standards for accessibility in information and communications. Looking for people to share guidelines and tools to achieve accessibility in graphic design, I was asked to speak on the topic of cross-cultural design

Presenting alongside a great panel including: CNIB, Enspace, Further Ahead, Forge Inc., Entro, Royal Ontario Museum, A+a and Mies Hora, I discussed the importance of ethnography and authenticity in design.

Check out videos of the event now on Vimeo or download a PDF of my keynote from my personal blog.

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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