Feb 20, 2010

Design Indaba!

Africa’s largest forum on Design opens next week!


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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.

Jan 1, 2010

Talking Design: Featuring the Taiwan Graphic Design Association

AIGA XCD chats with Jason Fan, member of TGDA.

During the AIGA XCD 2009 China Expedition, we caught up with our Taiwanese colleagues at the Icograda Design Congress. Here’s a glimpse of a Designer’s perspective from a country previously known as Asia’s Little Dragon.

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Dec 26, 2009

TalkingDesign: TURN interviews Paola Zini

Reflection on the Torino World Design Capital initiative.

The TURN Design Collective gets its name from its birthplace, Turin. Located in the north of Italy, with a population of about a million people, Turin was designated World Design Capital in 2008, the first city to receive the designation for an entire year.

TURN: How did Turin acquire the designation of the first World Design Capital?

Paola Zini: Already within the first strategic plan of the City of Turin (2000), design was considered as a potential area of development, promotion and innovation. Thus begins a journey that in 2005 brought the city of Turin to run as a candidate to host the headquarters of ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design). Turin was in competition with many other cities around the world and finished second place.
However, the city had a unique chance to tell its story and the process of transformation, to highlight the many creative hotbeds of the city. I believe this is reason it was chosen by ICSID to become the pilot project of World Design Capital. Continue reading »

Dec 14, 2009

Profiles at the Junction: an interview with Ronald Shakespear

“Dying is easy….Comedy is hard.” -Sir Donald Wolfit

Shakespear Design is a family owned design consultancy founded by Ronald Shakespear half a century ago.

When Ronald Shakespear initiated his studio, he felt there was little or no information at all about graphic design as a professional practice. Inspiration for Argentinian designers seemed to come from Europe more than anywhere else, and Ronald was no exception to this. Evolving relationships with Alan Fletcher, Forbes Gill, as well as the work of Jock Kinneir, and German designers like Otl Aicher, Muller Brockmann, Armin Hoffmann… and the American Milton Glaser, consolidated a vision but, above all, confirmed an intuition.

“Design solutions for Argentine problems” he used to say, drawing and writing his own conclusions based on what he saw. He made hypotheses about what he found and experimented with typography, photography, illustration, cinema and different materials to test his ideas. Enhancing the perception of design, he realized, required offering an absolutely clear visual structure that allows the viewer to have access to information. Continue reading »

Dec 14, 2009

Dan Formosa, Designing for Humans: Femmes

entry #3

From left, Erica Eden, Agnete Enga, Yvonne Lin, and Whitney Hopkins are pushing for designs that reflect what women really want. | Photograph by Christopher Sturman.

Just a quick update to my previous Designing for Humans: The Average American blog post.

Fast Company ran an article on Smart Design’s Femme Den, a group within Smart that focuses on design and gender. It would be easy to say that they focus on design for females, but in actuality they are studying gender and gender differences, males and females, and opportunities for design. For more detail, check out the  Fast Company article or visit Fast Company’s blog.

Femme Den has website dedicated to the subject as well.

Daniel Formosa, Ph.D., is a consultant in product design and research, and a founding member of Smart Design in New York City. Dan’s education includes design, ergonomics and biomechanics. He has received numerous design awards and his work has been selected for national and international exhibits.
Dan was a member of the design team that developed IBM’s first personal computer, OXO Good Grips kitchen tools and XM Satellite Radio. His work has been included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Dan recently worked with Ford to develop SmartGauge, an instrument cluster for Ford’s 2010 hybrid cars designed to influence driving behavior and save fuel – an innovation for the auto industry.

In addition to his design work he lectures worldwide on the physical, social and emotional aspects of design and innovation. Dan also recently co-authored and illustrated the book Baseball Field Guide, employing principles of information designed to explain the intricate, vague and confusing rules of Major League Baseball.

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.

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.