JUNE 22-28, 2014, Vinalhaven, Maine
DESIGNINQUIRY June 11. 2014,
SUN EVENING (how to eat a lobster / welcome )
Anita Cooney / access to maine aka lobsters and more
Peter Hall / Sets the Access stage
MONDAY a.m. (gaps / anticipating & inviting access)
Emily Luce / Access to DesignInquiry
Peter Hall / The Twittering Machine (intro & OG)
Arzu Ozkal / Remedy, Gossip, Teach, Persuasion, and Room for Surprise (intro & OG)
Heidi Cies / The Ethnography of Willingness (intro & OG)
Josh Singer / Hacking the Landscape (intro & OG fieldtrips/expeditions/losing or locating) Emily Luce / Warped Perspective (into & WS)
Charles Melcher / Bread (get your hands dirty WS & daily practice) Monday EVENING
Nick Liadis / Unseen Boundaries (contribution & provocateur) Show & Tell > Warped Perspectives
TUESDAY a.m. (repository / measuring access)
Sheila Pepe / Reading Deeply (prompt)
Krishna Balakrishnan / Value of expertise (intro & workshop)
Patrick Gosnell / Grass Roots Archive (intro & OG)
Margo Halverson / Data as Currency (intro & OG)
Steve Bowden / Then & Now (intro & workshop) Tuesday EVENING Nathan
Ross Davis / Open House (dinner)
WEDNESDAY a.m. (frontiers / accidental access)
Sara Perrault + Susan Verba / The Pain Project (WS)
Joshua Unikel / An Invisible Elastic Net (prompt & OG)
Chris Fox / Considering Exposure (intro & OG)
Gail Swanlund and Sarah Shoemake / Cataloging the Now and Future @ Poor Farm (walking intro in anticipations of further conversations around dishwashing) Wednesday EVENING
Charles Melcher / Proprioceptive Writing & Bread (WS)
THURSDAY a.m. (limits made manifest / can’t find the entrance access) Once around the Barn
Andrew Twigg / Sharing the Table (intro)
Mark Zurolo / Utility Play (contribution)
Anita Cooney / Enveloped play / (conversation workshop and costume fitting) archivists, journalists, gang of accessers / rally & identify friday adventure Thursday EVENING
Sarah Shoemake / Prophecy through Dessert (WS & ritual)
FRIDAY a.m. (channels / opening access)
Ben Van Dyke / The Enigma Machine (intro)
SATURDAY a.m. (au revoir / bait and switch access) Final ACCESS & Clean-up (please try to take the 1:00 at the earliest ferry)
Master of Design student
I am a graphic designer and a visual enthusiast. I am also a first year Master of Design student at Toronto’s York University. I am exploring visual narratives of cultural memory and diasporic identity of Tamil Canadians. One of the methods I employ is reinterpreting cultural and historical sources to a contemporary context. I am interested in participating at ACCESS, because as a grad student and a graphic designer I am concerned with participatory design. It is a much discussed topic. I am doubtful whether Participatory design will eliminate expertise in our profession. As a graphic designer, I am acknowledging a demise in our expertise – clients who expresses their critique (whether in the visuals or concept) or worse, they incorporate their family member’s opinion, who happens to be in the target market. As a graduate student, I understand that my thesis exploration is much a self-inspired entity and a reflection, but I need to get validated by allowing others to access my work. In order to be validated, I need their approval. I articulate the concept and design, giving them access to the cultural reference but I am constantly wondering how much of my work is understood by my audience. The question of who my audience is also a concern. Is it for the Tamil-Canadians? The western audience? Who exactly are these western audience? How much of that is relevant to them? How and why is this topic important to me and the field of graphic design? Design with a specific cultural topic is always a challenge and the question of whom I am influencing and designing for is at the heart of my thinking and making process. I am hoping that ACCESS would be one of the platforms in which I can discuss the importance of cultural memory and diasporic identity through graphic design.
DesignInquiry is a great organization dedicated to creating dialogical discourse on design issues. It is a great platform for one to be among individuals who share a wide range of thoughts on a topic relevant to the design field. For a graduate student, DesignInquiry and ACCESS will allow me to learn many perspectives, challenge my own ideology on the topic of access and participatory design and also allow for change. What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
I propose for an image-making workshop inspired by the Vishnudhamottara that contribute to the dialogue on participatory design. Using the rules on image making prescribed by the Vishnudhamottara, how would the members of ACCESS interpret the visual form of a given subject and narration?
The Vishnudhamottara is a quintessential Hindu text from 6th century India, which prescribe rules on Indian painting and image-making of Gods and Goddesses. It deals not only with the religious aspect, but also, and to a far greater extent, with its secular employment. The text follows the traditional pattern of exploring the various dimensions of a subject through conversations that take place between a learned master and an ardent seeker eager to learn and understand. The Vishnudhamottara prescribes textual narration but is void of visual guidance.
The Vishnudhamottara enables imagination by prescribing the form and keeping the rest of the representation vague. This amount of prescription leaves the image-maker to imagine and have their inspiration, creativity and intuition complete the image. The Vishnudhamottara is also an excellent vehicle for making inquirers aware of their own understanding and design assumptions. The conversation between the Master and the student creates a discourse. As graphic designers, architects, interior designers, artists, writers, performers and photographers, we too must contribute to this discourse. We are at time when collaboration between professions is seen as innovative and more accepting. We are able to explore discourses within different professions interchangeably – something the Vishnudhamottara claims for. The collabor- ation of different professionals, or open design has been described to enrich and make somehow stronger or more interesting when it is completed by participatory design. As image-makers and visual enthusiasts we need to embrace different aspects from different fields to enrich our work and teaching. Vishnudhamottara argues for such collaboration across different fields but remaining mindful of the importance of expertise within our own profession. Vishnudhamottara being a text about a particular art is a testament to the value of expertise. What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I would share my point of view on the topic, which is that open access in design allows for one to learn about themselves while creating product or service for others to use. Within this process openness comes from the designer, in which they must allow the learning to happen – whether it is about their way of working or about a subject. I would also introduce the members to the inspiring text of the Vishnudhamottara (treatise on Indian painting and image making). It is through designing old documents to the contemporary context that I learn much about myself, graphic design and culture. Perhaps the Indian gurukul system where teachers and students lived and studied together and looked after each other like a family would allow for an Indian perspective on open access. I also enjoy bring together typography and the context behind design (language, culture, society, politics and economics etc.) which DesignInquiry allows me to do.
I come from York, Maine originally. I have been designing since I graduated from MECA in 1997 and it has taken me all over the world. I have worked for huge and tiny organizations and now freelance and teach in Boston. My interests continually turn to making objects and letterforms and most recently I have merged the two and begun making movable type on my CNC machine. I am particularly interested these days in where old and new technologies meet and what kinds of new forms and techniques arise when they do. What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here? 1. Access – to new technologies (cnc/laser) is growing as rapidly as the old dot com days. Hyper accelerated, cheaper and faster by the day.
How to bring this to the group without A. bringing up the cnc machine, which would be a nightmare if I messed with its calibration in transit. or B. just talking about stuff and leaving with a lot of production work to do. For the record I don’t mind leaving with production work of this sort at all, but I thought it would make for a lackluster participatory experience for vinylhaven describing what people might see a month down the road.
2. Access – to browser based web tools (squarespace/webydo/wix/weebly etc.) is also accelerating as you might imagine. In my humble opinion I feel I could make a better site alone than I could with a programmer involved in half the time and price for any brochureware like website short of an online service. That is a good 75% of the sites I have built.
Although this is true and relevant today.This is a relatively boring and shallow observation, and everyone in the room knows this crap.
William Morris’ essay Useful Work Versus Useless Toil can be read as a way to illuminate this return to the authentic in contemporary design, music and art (like Tanamachi, Daft Punk and Deller). I can see this return to the authentic as a human response to access to the infinite (via the internet). As our access to infinite opportunities, speed and affordability grows it seems it is our more and more our desire to want to slow things down and make them more tangible. To try to loop this back to the beginning, I try to make these infinite possibilities more accessible to me by making correlations to older models that share similar characteristics. I can safely say my attraction to Morris’ essay is to use a historical example to help me make sense of how people have previously made sense of similar situations. Things that are common now but were once every bit as overwhelming and accelerated. Morris’ assessment of the impact of machines to society makes the big picture smaller and more accessible to me. What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I could write an essay about either of the above and around any collective reflections around the subject from the week. I think a visual essay on obsolescence and its relationship to access might be fascinating.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, I traded in an equal number of rainy days for sunny ones when I relocated to Denver, Colorado. For the past 20 years, I have been the principal of a small design studio with a mission to deliver strategic visual communications and design solutions to a balance of for-profit and social-profit clients. In 2008, I earned a master’s degree in Advertising and Design from Syracuse University, and began teaching part time shortly thereafter.
My graduate thesis project was “The Inclusion of Social Responsibility in the Visual Communications Curriculum.” Whether interpreted as civic engagement, sustainable choices or ethical actions, my goal was to report on the prevalence of this topic in the visual communications classroom, the means educators have developed to integrate these concepts into their coursework, and the methods they utilize that best engage their students in sustainable, ethical and civic concerns. 84 educators from nearly 70 colleges and universities around the country have contributed to this research project.
When comparing and contrasting each educator’s approach to offering socially responsible design opportunities to their students, no two tactics were alike. What was discovered is there is no single ideal solution as each educator will go at this differently, creating his or her own model. Taking into account their school’s administrative support, their student’s willingness to get involved, the needs of their surrounding communities, and their own philosophies on the topic, each educator contributing to this research study developed his/her own pedagogy on the topic. Throughout the course of this project, many educators requested the opportunity to review the research results in order to compare their processes to the work of their peers and to learn what additional resources are available that others have found helpful in relaying the concepts of socially responsible visual communications to their students. In an effort to be responsive to these requests, I created a resource website, creativeforacause.org. This site provides ACCESS to a wealth of information submitted by contributors to this project. The website makes available to educators resources for effecting social responsibility in their classrooms, a means to compare and contrast various methodologies developed by other educators, and ideas to expand their current efforts.
The education of today’s civically-engaged, sustainably-aware, and ethically-minded visual communications students requires a solid, well-rounded curriculum that includes instruction in the importance of socially responsible design. As a result, educators require ACCESS to current, relevant materials that deliver useful information on the topic, as well a forum for which to gather and share information.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
My interest is in sustaining ACCESS to the collective body of knowledge on this topic through trusted content curation.
This will be accomplished with the contribution of each participant’s unique approach to ACCESS that culminates into a resource created in real-time.
Through the processes of observing, collecting, documenting, ordering, and linking, the goal is to ultimately make sense of the myriad and disparate means in which each member of the group defines ACCESS. Engaging all participants in the art of ethnography will reveal hidden knowledge, experiences, processes, applications and other vital ingredients that can lead to a better understanding of “how we know what we know” and “why we do what we do” in order to transfer knowledge beyond the group and advance the starting point for others who are in pursuit of similar paths to ACCESS.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? Contributions from ACCESS participants and others will be added to the online resource at creativeforacause.org on an ongoing basis as they are submitted. Additionally, continued efforts will be made to publicize the site and it’s contents and contributors.
Designer, educator, cruise director of the interior design department
I am an administrator, educator, designer and design inquirer based in New York City who has come to regard participation in DesignInquiry like food, nourishment for my creative and communal well being.
What interests me about the topic of access is the exploration of the limits and assumptions that we fall into, exploit, engage, or challenge. So often stimulating work asks us to reconsider our assumptions about appropriateness, use, beauty, and audience. So, a focus on access is an opproutnity to look into the creative mirror and check out the reflection.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
Live lobsters – in an effort to reconsider the DI arc of the week of the gathering, our inaugural meal will be a lobster dinner. I am the unofficial maestro of this meal and the preparation of these crustaceans. The nexus of food and design that is a meal cannot help but be an experience of accessibility – it’s got to be eaten – or not – to be completed. Nothing could be more local and authentic to Vinalhaven than lobsters. And most people have opinions about them, usually pro or con, indifference is rather uncommon. Our first meal will bring us all up close and personal with our own preferences and tastes. An open invitation to all to participate in the making of this event.
Neuroscientist Maria Witek has done extensive research and concluded that particular types of drum patterns, irrespective of cultural and geographic specificity, practically invite people to dance. What types of rhythms? “Not the ones that have very little complexity and not the ones that had very high complexity, but the patterns that had a sort of a balance between predictability and complexity.” In other words, there needs to be space between beats for the body to want to engage. A short look at the ubiquitous security envelopes that contain private data will be the prompt for future work.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? Since 2012 with the topic of fast forward, the DI topic has been a prompt for a series of drawings/work that becomes a theme for the year. This year, I have been working on a set of drawings/works using security envelopes, those envelopes that are meant to obscure the contents inside the envelope. I will develop these efforts into a body of worth that touches on privacy and veils. Consider it a dance of limited access.
Unfinished efforts that I intend to kick into form to recognize the 10 year anniversary: station drawings transformed. A field guide to joy. Make/do scarves documented and presented. A small book of fingerprints that was part of the passport year could use a new life.
Where you come from, what kind of work you do, why you are coming, what are your interests in the topic ACCESS:
I grew up in Bloomington Indiana and have lived in 8 states since I turned 18. Now I have moved my family, my creative practice and my teaching career to a boomtown in the Middle East. Access is something I deal with daily, being a white male teaching design to mostly Islamic Qatari women. They argue about their work in Arabic when they don’t want me to know what they are saying, and they rarely get my humorous cultural references.
I currently teach in the foundations program at VCU in Qatar. My undergraduate education was in art at Oregon State, focusing on sculpture and performance. My MFA in Design was from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, at a time when formal experimentation and open-ended research were the focus. My current creative projects are diverse, but include vernacular typography, short-form documentary film, and mixed-media installation and video. I run a small and intermittently busy design studio called Arcadian Studio that does branding, print and web design. What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
Access is a concise term used to describe a complex system of relationships that either include or exclude based on some form differentiation. The more general (less differentiation), the more “accessible” the more specific, the more “restrictive.” Design inquiry is a very specific group of designers who share a similar creative and community impulse, who gather to discuss ideas of similar interest with a sympathetic and curious approach to design thinking. Access to Design Inquiry in this sense is used to limit participation in the event to a group of like-minded and similarly motivated individuals in order to produce a shared experience that is of mutual benefit.The stated goal of disseminating the experience is not about replicating the experience for others but instead sharing the results with larger, less specific audiences.
In light of this, I propose as a counterpoint, to invite members of the local community to come participate in a social and conceptually structured “open house.” In doing such, we test the notion of access, and make an effort to share our conversation with a community, which may or may not share similar interests.The two images that I am associating with this proposal are initial sketches of invitations based on the idea of a social gathering where the DI group “hosts” the members of the community. I am curious to see how this act of sharing something specific with a more general audience will influence our conversations and thoughts about access throughout the rest of the week.
This is also a good time to recognize the 10th year of DI in Vinalhaven. Budget, timing, participant interest etc. will all play a part in what this becomes. I am open to suggestions from DI veterans who have an idea about how to make this happen, or how to structure the event itself.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I am happy to contribute a paper/write-up regarding the results of this experiment. I envision gathering a kind of feedback from visitors about what they think DI is, and their impressions during and after the event (the customer comment card is very apropos) and might produce an interesting artefact.
Assistant Professor of Design, Kendall College of Art and Design. Director, Not Design. Education Director, AIGA West Michigan.
I am an educator, designer and maker of material and spaces and opportunities. I seek reasons to collaborate with individuals and groups both like me and unlike me. The DI experience, which I have a little taste of from DI DC:Detroit, revealed to me a group of people open minded and opinionated, critical and expectant, direct and reflective who remind me of me. It is a “Community” experience in a reality of expanding access but fragmenting focus.
ACCESS is a topic I have been teasing since the beginning of Not Design in 2008/ 9. Not Design was formed through exposure to Project M at an AGI conference and studying (from afar) The Rural Studio project developed by Sam Mockabee. It started with a “You know now we know” lecture series, focused on getting graphic design students access to knowledge of processes and materials outside of their regular vernacular. We did a screen printing workshop with a local printer, we had plans to bring 2 tons of sand into our building and build frames and set paving stones the PROPER way, so for instance, if we were ever to be working on a public space project, we would KNOW how to do that. It was about sharing knowledge and increasing wisdom.
Currently ACCESS is on my palette as a conversation with my freshmen students about the availability or lack of Art Education in primary school, Counseling for art students by HS counselors, the mis-understanding of the creative field and its role and options in society by teachers, counselors and students at the high school and college level and we are raising a series of questions: Why is there so little exposure to the “art” experience in primary school? Why are high schools so ill prepared to give advice and options to artistic students?
Why are there so few options?
Some high schools have graphic design specific courses, some educations end at participation based pottery and drawing. How can this be? Why do college tour guides, counselors, advisors, credit transfer reviewers, etc have such a lack of understanding of what the creative educational field looks like /does/ is?
This list is ongoing and we are now considering how we might get a dialog started with students in current high school creative classes. We want to show them what their options could be and this is BEING INITIATED BY MY recently graduated high school students who feel completely unprepared for the reality of creative education and the options their skills present them. Considering: the reality of Academia, My personal battle with it and within it, student expectations of the learning experience, the mis-connection of ideas brought through to completion all can be described by illustrations of meetings perplexed, glances missed. Imagine the vision of our realities being a series of spinning plates, all in rotation at the same time. If you stop and focus on one plate long enough to read what it says on the face, you drop all the other plates. This leads to a paralysis of indecision, a lack of focus, a lack of access…
My proposal would include narratives, either visual or spoken, collected from Inquirers. Visual manifestations might include short film studies responding to the content where resolutions never quite arrive, expectations are never realized, the information necessary for satisfaction are never completely available.
Blank pages, cold coffee, maps to nowhere (expected). spinning plates you cannot read. spinning plates you cannot read without sacrificing something else supposedly important or very important.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
I might talk about the value of collaboration between professionals and students, professors and students, outside of the classroom in a collective environment of mutual benefit / sharing. I might talk about higher education making inroads to the primary school experience to give focus and opportunity to younger artistic / expressive / creative / process specific / writing / editing / mathematical experimentation / thought manipulative individuals who have never heard an honest / effective / appropriate articulation of what they could be / should be doing.
There may be case studies / results to discuss by this summer.
I may have plans I can share.
I may be looking to lead an intensive workshop on how this cross platform education can happen.
This may be about providing clarity and access to information to an audience that is telling us it desperately needs it but feels like no one is asking the right questions and no one is listening.
I may make something that reflects that sense of searching, frustration and miscommunication.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I think the above collection of thoughts probably hits on a lot of these points, I apologize for the running narrative. Essentially what I am doing may be a test run / model for engaging design thinking and education at an earlier / critical / underserved developmental level. The Vinalhaven retreat may develop a series of meta statements, or lead into actual curriculum.
Husband (to one), Father (to one), Designer (to many), Student (to as many who will teach), and Teacher (to 40 kids a semester). I am currently working on my Master’s Thesis in Communication Design at Texas State University where I also teach undergraduate courses in typography and art direction. My background is in fine art photography, and I taught photography for five years at the high school level. I spent my first 30 years in Atlanta, Georgia, and the last three in Austin, Texas. I’m a true southern boy who’s only had lobster once, and would like to try it again. I love the notion of learning and engaging with a group such as DesignInquiry, having such a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. My creativity is heavily inspired by place. While traveling to new cities and towns, I often find myself initiating new projects, sometimes using photography, or video, or perhaps focusing on typography. From what I’ve learned about Maine and DI so far, I feel that this would be a valuable creative opportunity that is different from the norm. I also play the drums and bake some pretty tasty beer bread!
The Grassroots Archive – Lecture / Workshop
In the world of academia, we are always interested in the ACCESS we have to information. Some information is kept under lock and key, while other bits are scattered to the four winds. Archives attempt to regulate information, and in doing so impose systems that, while noble in their inception, end up restricting the public’s ACCESS in some way. Increasingly, the archivist’s role falls to individuals outside the boundaries of sanctioned institutions. They create blogs or Flickr pages and convert their homes into suburban museums. But does all of this deregulation increase one’s ACCESS to the information, or does it simply increase the static one must sort through to find the station they’re looking for? Can we derive a system that puts the most valuable information in the unrestricted hands of those searching for it? More importantly, can we increase the public’s desire for information and erase the notion of dusty flat files sitting untouched for years at a time? These are the questions we will tackle at DesignInquiry 10, by taking a multifaceted look at the “grassroots” archive and applying unconventional methodologies to the problem of developing a valuable and ACCESSable DesignInquiry archive.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
I hope to engage in open-ended discussion about this topic, and will bring various printed materials to explore the idea of personal archives with the group. As a potential alternative, since this is DI’s 10th year, and there may be several returning participants, we could ask those returning to bring with them past work and updated projects to explore the idea of what a DesignInquiry archive would look like together.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I love to write! And I’m pretty good with a camera. I would love to contribute thoughts or an essay to the DesignInquiry online journal, as well as helping to “archive” the experience through photo and video. Another possibility, since I will be entering my final year at Texas State (2014-2015), would be to organize a mini- DI event at Texas State or possibly even Austin, perhaps with guidance of one of my professors, Maia Wright, who is a past DI participant.
lecturer Griffith University/DesignInquiry
I am the head of the design department at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. I am coming to Vinalhaven because it’s a magical place and because I want to contribute to the DI 10th anniversary ACCESS project combo.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
In 2010, intrigued by the patchy cellphone and wifi access on Vinalhaven, I introduced a challenge to DesignInquirers to find an access point and then Tweet what they observed in front of them. This was meant as a modern-day development of the Mass Observation Group’s methods from the 1930s, through a kind of brief, imagistic observation of the here-and-now. The implication that we would not be tweeting links or comments on other tweets was part of the joy, perhaps the subversive joy of the project. It countered the distraction of social media with a blast of the here-andnow. The project did accumulate a healthy handful of submissions from Inquirers (see below) but was never published. Access 2014 presents a great opportunity to revisit the project with the benefit of four years of technological “progress” and hindsight. Most literally there will be more access points on the island. But also, I am more conscious of a critical perspective on social media, one that might better inform the project. How, for instance, does it confront or support the fragmented, industrialised time that we inhabit?
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I will contribute the project of gathered tweets from 2010 and 2014, led by a introductory set of musings on time, disorientation, fragmented attention spans and the creative possibilities of short form social media.
Pleasant River Observations 6-22-2010
INTRO to come (also names could be dropped) In the field across the street, there are smaller rocks on top of the big ones. They may have been placed there by people, but maybe not. (Emily)
A dog bounding through tall grass, tail wagging, ears flopping, tongue hanging. Two girls hanging a paper rainbow celebration in the barn entrance: “Happy Joy” replaces “Happy Birthday”. They run down the grass path to the shore. (Charles) What I thought at a distance was a milkweed pod exploding, turned out to be a piece of silver duct tape stuck to a blade of tall grass, near the garden, to the east of the lilac tree. (Debra)
Wind moving through the leaves of the tree. Birds. A mechanical sound in the distance. Silence regained.(??)
Lying prone on the warm wood slats of the deck, feeling the sun on my face. Eyes closed. (Anita)
In the barn, bark is peeling from a piece of tree trunk, chopped to make a cutting block: ax marks scour the surface. A game of ping pong is beginning, a discussion. A colleague walks through the barn, in his right hand a camera, recording footage of pockmarked floorboards. (Peter)
At the closest tree to the double barn doors. Laughing. A “caution” pesticide sign printed in green ink, disguised by green roots. (Chris, Rick)
Following wet panting dogs on the mowed path circling past the water’s edge, a boulder. Letters made of wood, weathered and attached to the granite: “Christopher Grant Sparrow, April 25, 1956 – September 10, 1979.” (Margo)
A candy-colored paper garland crackles in the breeze, a threshold to JOY. (Chris) Water, trees, grass, a colleague walking in the grass. Trees rustle. A dog sunning in the wildflowers. A cool wind. A smile. (Meghna)
Ospreys dive, a bulldozer thumps, children shout, crows caw, water shimmers. (Johnny) TWEETS (Still draft…trying to get more data & reorganize chronologically) pete5000
Eating the last piece of Charles’ olive bread on the plane #dijoy 14 days ago via Twitterific pete5000
After the rain, oily fish tacos and a double rainbow in Rockland Harbor. #dijoy 4:39 PM Jun 27th via web from Jeffries Point / Airport, Boston debraparr
# Walking along the marginal way on Lane’s Island. Wild iris, rock cairns.#dijoy 5:10 PM Jun 27th via Twitter for iPhone pete5000
#dijoy morning sun reflects off last night’s party streamers; a dance of colors across the flip flops on the wood floor 2:48 PM Jun 25th via web from East Bayside – India Street, Portland pete5000
#dijoy Four email-thirsty Inquirers pop up at the ARCafe to drink their data. Chris & Debra suggest it’s a pop-up DI within DI. 2:32 PM Jun 25th via web from East Bayside – India Street, Portland accnacnyc anita cooney
The crabapple tree next to the new granite path and new granite benches at the library provide perfect shade from the sun #dijoy Jun 24th pete5000
#dijoy 3 white-haired ladies eat salad at the Gawker. “It’s awful good,” a croaky voice. “Haven’t had a real good salad in a long time.” 4:56 PM Jun 23rdvia web from Vinalhaven, ME Chris Moore?
I’m no longer self-conscious about my lack of a mobile phone. One bar, half a bar, no bar… Frantic e-mails, tweets, and messaging among boisterous youngsters, new friends, and kindly locals at the #Vinalhaven Public Library. debraparr
popup DIJoy: coffee, ice, worldcup…#dijoy 2:40 PM Jun 25th via web debraparr
light island air, sun, another day ahead of thinking about design and joy#dijoy 8:49 AM Jun 25th via web debraparr
Rocky coast. Wind from west. Seaweedy formations. 2:27 PM Jun 24th viaTwitter for iPhone debraparr
nice accents in the library#dijoy 1:34 PM Jun 23rd via web debraparr
at the library in vinalhaven. sitting a table with Chris & Beth observing fog rolling in after a morning questioning joy…#dijoy 1:13 PM Jun 23rd via web pete5000
#dijoy twisting sandbar to LTG island becomes visible with sunglasses 2:36 PM Jun 22nd via Twitterrific seanwilk seanwilk
Found a signal, state beach, vinalhaven. #dijoy http://yfrog.com/f178725934j2:32 PM Jun 22nd via Twitter for iPhone John DeGore Diggy
enJOYed an ice cream cone John DeGore Diggy
#dijoy my twitter app is evil, saying it didn’t post when it did 1 minute ago via mobile web from Vinalhaven, ME pete5000
#dijoy Espresso in the cup leaves a brown stain on the index finger 14 minutes ago via web from Vinalhaven, ME pete5000 pete5000
#dijoy At the ARCafe (High St & Mountain). Feverish tapping of keyboards, delicous breezes through the open window. 16 minutes ago via web Gabrielle Esperdy GEinNYC
Mud on the beach turns a dog’s paws black. #dijoy 18 minutes ago via TweetDeck pete5000
#dijoy On the rocks at vinalhaven state beach: seabird vomit (clumps of chewed crab shells) 20 minutes ago via web Ben Van Dyke benvandyke
#dijoy sea kayaks and playful seals… Closest loc: 44.102671,-69.109350 Oak St Knox Maine US 22 minutes ago via API Gabrielle Esperdy GEinNYC
Roses by the shore have no scent. #dijoy 22 minutes ago via TweetDeck Gabrielle Esperdy GEinNYC
Walking on the beach while talking on the phone, Anita fails to notice the driftwood. #dijoy 27 minutes ago via TweetDeck John DeGore Diggy
#dijoy we cling to the network even though we have more freedom with out it 28 minutes ago via Twitter for Android from here John DeGore Diggy
#dijoy we cling to our connection with the network, even though the lack of it provides freedom 37 minutes ago via Twitter for Android from Vinalhaven, ME pete5000 pete5000
#dijoy On the Poor Farm deck; a snail with a golden shell; I move it into the sun 11:44 AM Jun 20th via web from Vinalhaven, ME
I teach graphic design and 2D foundation at an art college in Maine. In my studio practice I design museum books and whatever comes my way. I love this too. Doing either job alone, I doubt I’d enjoy. Before, after, and during a DesignInquiry we’re allowed together to wallow, play, and poke a topic with open ended non-conclusions that introduces new ways of design thinking and working to translate back into my other curious lives of making and doing.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
In what forms could we imagine access to the ACCESS gathering itself? If content is the currency of exchange at DesignInquiry, how does ‘content’ manifest physically in the time and the space of the Sparrow Barn? What is lockable content, not moving or merging? What content becomes fluid and malleable? How does the content become represented objectively and/or subjectively? Let’s make Access accessible and alive and woven into a visual, frame the questions that emerge, intertwine and rise to the surface of the week.
A JOURNALIST collects and writes and distributes news and other information. TASKS OF A JOURNALIST includes:
A REPORTER is a type of journalist who researches, gathers information as well as writes.
A PHOTOJOURNALIST uses photographs to tell the news, illustrating the written story or presenting images as a story themselves.
An EDITOR selects and prepares media to convey information. In the PewResearch Journalism Project, 9 core principles of journalism emerged out of three years of listening and talking with journalists around the country. 1. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth 2. Its first loyalty is to citizens 3. Its essence is a discipline of verification 4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover 5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power 6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise 7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant 8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional 9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience DATA VISUALIZATION is the presentation of data (that has been abstracted in some schematic form) in a visual, graphical, format. The main purpose is to communicate information through a balance of form and function. So: wearing the hat of journalist, during ACCESS I will collaborate, poke, prod, and work to make the ebbs and flows of the week’s entries into the topic represented visually as data emerges and content surfaces. What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? TBD but it’ll be publishable on DesignInquiry.net by September 2014.
Nick G Liadis
Designer/Architect Springboard Design (current employer) and Carnegie Mellon University (adjunct faculty
I am a designer in Pittsburgh primarily working in the medium of architecture, space, music, and sound. At my day job, I work in an architecture firm doing work at all different scales, from small gallery spaces in museums to larger urban buildings. On the side, I teach, do installation work, and compose music. I continually seek to find opportunities to connect the spatial world with the aural world.
Much of my work as a practitioner and as an academic is charged by the multidisciplinary. Armed with an inquiring spirit, I am excited about collaborating with my creative peers in a serene landscape to do design. The alignment of ideas from different disciplines, especially ones that are seemingly unrelated, produces an especially powerful moment of realization for me as a designer.
My interests in the topic ACCESS are varied and include ideas and questions:
1. I’m fascinated by the idea of gaining more access to the everyday spaces and mundane objects that create and fill our environments. For example, some use only the eyes to passively see the door, pull it open, and then cross the threshold. But what if we use our ears and our eyes equally in that activity? Can we access more from simply opening a door? How far can we push it?
2. There are many things stifling our access: the limitations of our bodies, our habits and presuppositions, and those outside forces we can’t control. How do we overcome physical thresholds and/or the ones within our minds to gain access to those spaces we don’t or can’t inhabit? What does it mean for the designer and the user?
3. How do we discriminate by preventing access? What boundaries need to be broken and thresholds crossed for inclusion? What are the social implications of this? What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
I propose a talk that will identify ways in which we have limited our access to the spaces and objects around us because of the predominance of our vision in our day-today interactions. How could design increase access to things if it coaxed us to listen more, smell more, and touch more all together? Our spaces and the objects within them could deliberately have many more features to open up access; when they do, what is heard might actually be seen, and what is seen might actually be heard. Images, photography, and music will be included.
Additionally, John Rajchman and his book Constructions has influenced a good bit of my thinking and has application to my talk; he might respond to Umberto Eco as follows: “What if the architectonic in Kant were not an overarching system but something that has itself to be constructed anew, in each case, in relationship to fresh problems— something looser, more flexible, less complete, more irregular, a free plan in which things hang together without yet being held in place?”
Inspiration The most mundane experiences can be the most profound: I was about to enter a grocery store like I did every other time. The first set of double doors opened with the second set offset a moment, anticipating my approach. I stepped towards the final threshold to leave the vestibule and enter the store when my passage was interrupted by air—fast moving air. Nothing solid; nothing seen; just a wall of air forming a boundary. I had never felt it as a wall before, but it was! It could have been brick and done the same thing—but now I could move through it.
As an architect working with space and visible material, and also as a musician working with time and invisible material, the meaning behind the experience at the grocery was telling. What if architecture’s solidity could be made more invisible? What kind of material could we access? What kind of new sensory experiences could we access? These are the questions I’d like to pose and begin to answer for Design Inquiry.
Theory The mass of a brick bearing wall hitting the ground; the structure of a soaring steel canopy aimed at the horizon; the plane of a vastly sprawling concrete plinth covering the earth. These three parts form a familiar hierarchy in architecture. Buildings and their subdivided components have often been designed to be solid | heavy | insular | weighted | bound | static | defined
Architects have standardized the convention of producing representations of walls, canopies, and plinths for their buildings; these are defined by physical boundaries creating conditions on two sides. The geometries and shapes that express those boundaries result from the designer exercising material control with wood | metal | glass | concrete | masonry | earth | thatch
I am critical of traditional hierarchies and physical boundaries in architecture. It forces an overreliance on the eyes to see something solid. I propose an unfamiliar stock of constructive material that can better open access to sensory experiences beyond the visual. These materials are somewhat absurd, less precise, and not easily seen like sound | air | aroma | humidity | light | shadow | energy
Imagine unseen boundaries in architecture. These are walls of moving air; corridors formed by moving sound; paths defined by scent and light. What power does the boundary in architecture have when it can no longer be seen? What access is opened up when sight in architecture is ancillary? Architecture can be light | invisible | ethereal | tenuous | ambiguous | energetic | temporary
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? Moving between academia and the profession has offered me tremendous visibility over the disciplines of architecture and design. As we all come to realize to some extent, the academic world and the professional world have their own shortcomings. When an idea can be prodded, provoked, and grappled with in both settings, it has been my experience that the applicability of the idea is more refined and better tuned to be used by people. I could imagine increasing the applicability of emerging ideas and questions from DI by positing them in both academic and professional settings.
I’m an artist and designer cultivating a hybrid practice out of Port Alberni, British Columbia. DesignInquiry is a critical area of reflection, calibration and work for me; it is my honour to serve on the Board.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
This past year I traveled through what can only be described as a perspectival shift, as I chose to take an extended break from academia in order to cultivate a more responsive practice that was better able to accommodate collaboration and interdisciplinary exploration. As a result my relationships with the fundamental things, sleep, food, money, work, relationships, have entirely changed. This leads me to conclude that a large component of ACCESS to anything is perspective: how you approach the problem, and look at it in process, affects the results.
What happens if we deliberately distort or warp our perspective in order to get at the problem in a different way?
I would like to explore DIY kaleidoscopes this year, maybe tiny ones that we can attach to our cameras or phone lenses. I want to figure out how to do this very simply, using minimal tools. This work draws upon some earlier unfinished work started at DI >>FASTFORWARD>> where I was trying to figure out how to put images of lichen through a time warp accelerator. [ Maybe if I approach the problem differently? ]
DesignInquiry continues to explore ways to disseminate and share our processes and work online. We (Rachele Riley and I) propose a field trip to the historic Vinalhaven Library (we have internet ACCESS there,) where we will introduce and provide access to the test module of the new DesignInquiry website. We would like to work with everyone to experiment with generating new forms of all-access exploration to the topic and the larger work of DesignInquiry via an online portal. This session will simultaneously be a practice-based form of critique, and an immediate publishing platform for all of us; we are looking forward to playing with you all on this.
What could you imagine contributing to the topic and DI’s mission of disseminating the questions, immediate or longer term outcomes after the gathering?
DesignInquiry’s website is a component of our long term plan to share our work in accessible and adaptive ways.
The Kaleidoscopes are sharable tools for everyone to experiment in image-making with; we can collect these and share them on the new site!
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work?
A series of kaleidoscopic images.
Huge steps forward on the website.
I am co-owner of Alice Design Communication 1998–present with Margo Halverson. I received a BFA in photography from Mass Art and a decade later followed with an MFA in graphic design from Yale University school of Art. I am currently an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Maine College of Art. I grew up sailing on Cape Cod working in the summer community of my family’s co-ed sailing camp, I learned to bake bread from my mom. This experience of community still influences my life.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
I will introduce (part 1) then lead an evening workshop (part 2) in Proprioceptive Writing®, a meditational discipline. It is a method of listening to thoughts and feelings, a method of reflection. In this process, we can slow down, notice details, and give ourselves permission to experience emotions as they arise. Over time, the writer is able to reflect more clearly. As chatter dissipates, access to stories emerge and the relationship with the inner self becomes more familiar and more intimate.
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design San Diego State University
I’m a Turkish born designer and educator with a background in Critical Theory, Graphic Design and Social Practices. My work involves working with underserved women communities from Turkey, Europe and the USA. I design platforms for social exchange. The topic is very interesting to me because my work is about providing tools and technologies to organize; exchange skills; share opinions, and discuss issues and concerns about their local communities.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
During ACCESS, I will present two iterations of the project “Gün”, which I have been facilitating in the past three years. I will talk about the first gathering that took place in Istanbul, Turkey during ISEA 2011, and a second one in Athens, Greece, which was part of the Home/s Exhibition at Benaki Museum in 2013.
“Gün” draws from the Turkish tradition of women’s social gatherings that involve conversation, activities and festivities accompanied by the serving of Turkish food. (“Gün” literally means day; sun; sunlight, sunshine; daytime; today, present; time; age, period; good times; date; at-home day.) “Gün(s)” are informal hubs of social networks where women exchange recipes and skills; share opinions and remedies, and discuss issues and concerns about their local communities. The gatherings often involve the collection of gold or money among the members of the social group and generate a micro-economy to support the host family.
At ACCESS, I will present an organizational framework—an informal network protocol— using social elements from the Turkish tradition. Elements such as “Remedy, Gossip, Teach, Persuasion, and Room for Surprise,” will be used to structure and catalyze an event space for discursive dialogue. The participants will collectively work on a visual document that can capture a social, cultural, historical or political narrative based on their shared interests. There will be 4 sessions, and each will take 30 minutes.
This project intends to challenge designers’ contributions to the formation of socially aware communities, and how design thinking can be utilized to build communities, organizations, neighborhoods, and networks that can transcend disciplinary boundaries. The current manifestations of “Gün(s)” are in the form printed publications, however the project is a good example of traditional design thinking and problem solving can be used in relation to abstract topics such as information theory, social networking, and protocol design while creating culturally grounded experiences.
I will be using this method at the next “Gün” event, and I believe that ACCESS will be a good opportunity to receive feedback from peers. What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? “Design as Social Process” is the subject matter I have been researching since the beginning of my tenure track at San Diego State University The School of Art and Design. IN the future, I am planning on disseminating the outcomes of this discussion session in academic publications.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, FINE ARTS PRATT INSTITUTE – PEPESTUDIONYC
I’m an Artist that works primarily in installation, drawing and sculpture – with a wide range of knowledge in other disciplines. I also teach with Interior Design when I can, acknowledging that the framework of most installation works sit at the edge of many disciplines – including Interior design and architecture. My work’s goal is “Meaning” — however I am often working as a designer – as most sculptors are asked to do at the start of projects, if not at the conclusion. ACCESS is for me a social concern, driven by the construction of identities and societal norms. I’ve lived issues of access as a lesbian who came out before “Ellen” – before gay marriage and before gays were thought of as a market with disposable income.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
Gaining ACCESS requires an ability to read deeply for the codes and terms that allow (or bar) it.
We live in a world defined by cultural hierarchies made real by a wide spectrum of gates, stiles, and similar structures– both concrete and virtual. Some of these, like fish ladders, assist passage incrementally – others allow entrance all at once. Many devices are designed for a select population.
This is an investigation of reading in pursuit of a vocabulary of/for access. The origin of this investigation is traditionally practiced among artists as a tool for reading in a daily context. It lies at the intersection of language + space, image making + thing, and points to the power of meaning and interpretation. The aim here is to broaden this language of observation and interpretation as a basic civic-cultural “program” located beyond the “Art” context. Using an intersection of Philosophy’s linguistic turn as a parallel to Duchamp’s’ spatial turn – we will share knowledge, connections and analogue though shared readings + discussion + a “studio challenge” – TBD.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I am an ambassador from the traditional Fine Arts world to bridge and open the dialogue between art + design on the highest level of inquiry possible. For example, I am on the board of CAA and a strong advocate for growing the design presence. This, and similar activities in teaching, in pursuing dialogues concerning craft and making – that involve flattening cultural hierarchies while pursuing intellectual rigor, is one of my ongoing projects. If you knew me – you’d know that my daily interactions are rife with questions! (pls. read a bit of humor there).
Assistant Professor, University Writing Program and co-director (with Professor Susan Verba) of the UC Davis Center for Design in the Public Interest University of California, Davis
I grew up in Massachusetts, moved to Oregon for college and stayed 15 years, lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the three years of an MFA program, lived in Reno for the five years of a PhD program, and now am in sunny, flat Davis California. I am an assistant professor of rhetoric and writing at UC Davis, and my work focuses on how to make public science communication more inclusive. This work, while grounded in rhetoric, is also highly interdisciplinary, reflecting my many-year journey to rhetoric via a BA in anthropology, ten years as a technical writer, and an MFA in nonfiction writing. Since coming to UC Davis in 2009 I have, through collaborations with design professor Susan Verba, also come to see my work as related to design.
Why you are coming, what are your interests in the topic ACCESS?
Rhetoric has many definitions, but for me, rhetoric is about improving civic discourse by making public discussions more inclusive and by working to identify and remedy causes of misunderstanding. In this sense, it aligns with and complements publicinterest design, as both are focused on making sure members of the public have input on those things that affect them. Both also are interested in identifying and solving problems, as illustrated in the Pain Project that Susan and I are working on. What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
If I am accepted to attend the access workshop, I will have a chance to further our project in a collaborative environment, and also a chance to learn more about design and its intersections with rhetoric by participating in this intense immersion experience. I would in return offer insights from my own perspective as a creative and a scholarly writer and rhetorically-trained member of a design team.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? In addition to working with Susan on the publications she has mentioned (e.g. an article for a design journal), I would use what I learn to contribute to one or more publications in rhetoric and/or in writing pedagogy. Because this would be my first time at a design-focused gathering of this kind, I am not sure exactly what form this publication might take. That said, I can anticipate writing about design’s influence on my writing pedagogy for the journal Composition Studies or for Teaching English in the Two Year College. (Although I teach at a research university, the latter will accept articles from any school as long as the focus is on lower-division courses.)
Soon-to-be Master of Graphic Design CalArts
I just graduated from the graphic design graduate program at CalArts this spring. In 2008 I graduated with a BFA from Sarah Lawrence College. The college does not have majors but my primary areas of study were studio art and the history and theory of film, architecture. In 2011, I enrolled in the three year graphic design program atCalArts and first heard about DI from Gail Swanlund. My work often combines by my love of reading and research with graphic design. One of my favorite design strategies is to make work based on or inspired by a text; for example, my thesis was a series of pattern experiments derived from the Ernst Gombrich book, “The Sense of Order.” I have pursued other projects based on historical materials, folklore and fiction such as, designing a typeface based on the character Catherine Earnshaw, from Wuthering Heights or attempting to channel then California bandido, Tiburcio Vasquez through a textile pattern I designed.
The major reason I’m interested in participating in DI is the people. Both Denise Gonzales Crisp and Gabrielle Esperdy recently lectured at CalArts and I found them to be deeply inspiring. Although their work is very different, one thing I took away from both of their lectures was the ability they share of allowing their lives outside of design to shape their work and approach it with fresh eyes informed by, say, the practices of drumming or cooking. Gail shares this trait with them. I remember asking her if there were any graphic design books I should read. Instead of giving me a list of graphic design books, her suggestion was to read anything and try to think of it through the lens of graphic design. I believe that DI would give me an opportunity to learn to cultivate this quality and better translate outside inspirations into my design practice.
So much of the work that graphic designers do at the graduate level tends to be overly conceptual and with that the ability for a range of viewers/users etc… to access these works is often lost. This loss of access can push the work from being a piece of design to being more of a work of art. I believe having the opportunity to explore this topic for a week with others working in the various fields of design would allow me to see the strategies my fellow designers are using to approach this issue and develop my own tactics for creating accessible work as I enter the “real world” after graduation.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
In addition to collaborating with Gail Swanlund and one or two other ACCESS Inquirers on a present day reimagining of the Whole Earth Catalog, I would like to explore how accessing our split second reactions to a suggestion might help us work through design ideas. Using the 1942 book, Fortune Telling for Fun and Popularity, as a guide, I will create fortune telling charts that will provide us with potential answers to design questions. This activity is based on the idea that the most compelling thing about the one-line fortunes found in fortune cookies (and the ones I’m proposing) is that the recipient can’t help but try to fill in the gaps between the broad language of the fortune and his/her own circumstances to make the fortune applicable. It is the way in which we position these fortunes in the first seconds after reading them that is often more helpful than the fortune itself. By writing these one-liners myself and framing them for DI, my hope is that we use the suggestions given to us during the operation and our individual tendencies in split second thinking as tool for providing us with one possible way to better understand our aims for the week.
Because a “prophecy” provided by a fortune teller at a traveling carnival feels more significant than one in a fortune cookie from a local restaurant, the exercise will be conducted as a ritual in triangulating the past, present and future. We will bring our attention to the present by eating something I’m calling a “time based dessert” (or a dessert that must be consumed immediately such as a soufflé or cherries jubilee) on fortune telling placemats I’ve designed using the book from the past as a starting point and the future will be represented by the fortune telling itself.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I would like to make our revisiting of Whole Earth Catalog easily available via free download. I see this platform as being the most in line with both the original aims of the catalog and today’s structures for sharing information. The fortune telling placemats would be a potential product available in the catalog.
Coordinator Visual Communication Design program in the Department of Design and Industry San Francisco State University
// I am from the island of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay (originally from NJ/NY.) // An ungodly commingling of editorial and identity design for arts organizations, scholarship in the areas of critical design, and experimental design research and creative work investigating the graphic semantic landscape. Why you are coming // They made me come. <seriously> // I am deeply interested in the work of DesignInquiry and their ongoing experiments in the practice of design and design research.
What are your interests in the topic ACCESS // Access allows movement, from point to
point. In a way, it is a journey. Access then implies that the journey is not a simple thing; there is something to get over or around or the distance may be significant enough.
// Accessing a critical stance should be a simple thing, but apparently it’s not otherwise you might expect that more would be holding that pose (maybe reification is a stronger drug than we thought?)
// I am interested in how one can access criticality through practice. How does doing, responding to and reflecting upon place, in the form of journey and exploration, become critical? Hacking is a nice model to use. Not hacking in the common usage (which is actually cracking), but hacking as modification. Hacking repurposes its object/subject for a different means or end. Hacking is accessing an object/subject for a different means or end. It is a method of access, but one that is clearly imaginative and critical.
// to “express the virtuality of nature, to make known some instance of its possibilities, to actualize a relation out of infinite relationality, …”2 What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here? // In order to access a critical stance, and to offer a simple model of how, I will access/hack critical texts (Alfred Jarry, but maybe not) and operations (situations, likely) and recuperate and modify these as a form of both empirical research (but not so much), living theater, and archive.
// A small stable of bicycles will be used to explore the landscape of Vinalhaven. Objects and places and agents will be assigned theatrical roles: the bicycle as the prosthetic probe; the geographic landscape as the critical field; their purposes hacked. The specifics of the physical, cultural, and historical geography will define critical frames or parallel contexts; the riders as the protagonist catalysts (or something like that.) DI participants will be asked (cajoled, bribed, or shamed to) take on the role of probes and protagonists using the critical prosthetics (bicycles, remember?) to explore and track a critically inflected landscape (and asked to inflect themselves upon it.) Prompts (offered by me and also anyone – a bulletin board will be provided for DI participants to post these) will stage situations for the probes to follow. Probes will be asked for documentation of their expeditions by way of image (moving and otherwise), sound, track (GPS tracking equipment will be provided), drawing, poem, collected artifacts, whatever. The results of the week will be documented and mapped resulting in a final document and narrative; a fictional work of design research which aims to model of critically hacking the landscape into a critical space (or failing to do so.)
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? /
/ This could (should!) be posted online as a collection of documents a mash-up of images, words (sounds and moving images?), and digital maps – an atlas of sorts – that realizes a newly formed landscape positioned in parallel critical universe. footnotes
1.SI’s situations and dérives are obvious precedents, but I don’t want to dwell on this. I think that they are however excellent starting points that allow experience and imagination to converge.
2. Wark, M.K. A Hacker Manifesto. Harvard University Press, 2009.
Graphic Designer and Design Faculty
I live in Los Angeles where access to locations is determined primarily by freeways and secret routes, and access to outstanding tacos is easily walkable and available all day, all night, all week. I teach graphic design, and practice & make design. The work of DesignInquiry is essential and vital to the life of my practice and body of work; I want to participate in the ACCESS work/ project/inquiry as a collaborator, reader and active audience member. What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
The instant I saw the subtitle “access to tools” on the cover of The Last Whole Earth Catalog, I was utterly spellbound by the Power for the People that the Catalog represents (not to mention, being a fan of the exuberant & crunchy DIY catalog design/text/tech too).
ACCESS Inquirer Sarah Shoemake and I would like to make a new Catalog for now. What do we need to gain access from “where we are to where we want to be?” What do we need to make a place for ourselves in the world (or to escape the stupendous, shapeless mass of global corporate greed and manipulation)? What do we really need for access–now? And doesn’t the internet render these questions absurd? Is there anything we can’t already easily find on the internet? Wildness? Quiet?
These are obvious questions that we don’t wish or intend to ignore, but instead, to find something else that we are not quite equipped to describe. Sarah and I wish to invite one or two ACCESS Inquirers to join us for the nottoo- long haul: to decide on and set some sincere, real deadlines; and then, to compile and make The Next Last Whole Earth Catalog (or whatever it becomes or wants to be). Spontaneous conversations with Inquirers around meal prep and dish washing may–and most likely, will–feed the content; other prompts? A potential starting point is the first line of David Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress, which reads, “In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.” Where are you now and where do you want to be?
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? We will contribute a Catalog for Now, technology and format(s) TBD. Sarah wishes to make an online version too.
Teacher/Designer/Entrepreneur Carnegie Mellon University School of Design/Self Employed
Andrew Twigg, Pittsburgh, entrepreneur/educator (educator/entrepreneur?), this is my 4th(?) DI; I was at the first one 10 years ago, and I’m on the board.
I have interest in ACCESS for a few reasons: I feel like I live on the edge of education and business, not wholly in either, and I think a lot about the divisions between the two. I make things for the internet a lot, and I think about how economic standing affects access to information and services. I’m concerned with net neutrality. I think about opportunities for design and technology to bridge gaps while ever watching it also broaden them.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
I’m thinking along the lines of ACCESS along two axes:
1) Education: how does formalized education affect the way we share information, who is “let in” and who is left out? I think this is particularly relevant to DesignInquiry, as the organization has a lot of the same kind of people involved at the gatherings (yay! boo!). I’m not totally sure where I’d go with this.
2) Economic factors: the reality of how one’s economic standing affects access to information/the internet, and the ramifications of that access or lack thereof. I’m doing some volunteer design thinking with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and one of their core issues is connecting their constituents with services that would benefit them. I think there’s a great deal of potential for design to help the organization. Although the issues they face are not exactly about sharing information in a manner aligned with ‘Access’ as a topic, I feel it’s a relevant tangent to the ideas of sharing and could spur thinking about the topic from a different perspective. What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? Some obvious things here (hooray, internet!) where my skills can help further develop the platform for sharing content, as well as in the development of a strategic and tactical plan for dissemination.
I can see sharing an essay or design thinking shared via an essay or visual essay format on this topic. I have a few design future/fiction pieces I’m working on related to my work with the food bank and I think this kind of thing would be appropriate for sharing within DesignInquiry’s platform.
Assistant Editor / Co-Editor Seneca Review (SR) / Beyond Category Special Issue of SR
I’m obsessed with words. Writing creative essays, designing books and journals, studying the history of literary/visual art hybrids, and now hand-lettering largescale replicas of documents. I’m captivated by finding more ways of engaging with words and language in as many facets as possible.
It’s this obsession with words that led me to an MFA in creative writing at the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and to study text-as-image art and graphic design with Ben Van Dyke in the University at Buffalo’s MFA program in Visual Studies, a program which I’ll complete this May. Finally, it’s this obsession with words that makes DI 2014 feel deeply exciting to me.
Where: Pittsburgh, then Iowa City, and now Buffalo.
Work: Creative nonfiction writing, text-as-image art, graphic design, hybrid forms.
Why: To be questioned and to ask questions.
Interest in ACCESS: I’m determined to allow the literary and design worlds to better access one another.
In our experiments, our theories, and our approaches to making and perceiving words. Also, I’m deeply invested in expanding access to the hybrid spaces between creative writing, design, and visual art. To me there are huge creative and scholarly opportunities for professionals, students, and practitioners alike.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
–An Invisible, Elastic Net: Of Access and Essaying For some an essay has to be in words, lineated, topical. For others, an essay can be a building, a typography, an ephemeral drift around an island. Some define the essay as Montaigne did, as “an attempt” while others say that an essay, instead, is “a discovery or a turn.” And some add that the essay is “an experiment.”
Instead of using any single definition (no matter how open the term), a homology of multiple possibilities, a rhizome or network of choices, “an invisible, elastic net” to crib a phrase from Virginia Woolf, is likely more useful in the densely interwoven contemporary moment.
At the start of DI 2014, I would create a visual, open-ended map of what an essay can be. Once posted in the DI house on Vinalhaven, DI participants will use this map as a prompt or a kind of launching place for their own accessing of the essay, or for using the essay as a shape for accessing the world, or for allowing an inter-accession between design and essaying and visual art making.
Throughout the conference, work and thoughts, artifacts and notes and the like will be situated onto the map in relation to their point of access for the essay. The map itself, then, will become a collaborative visual/literary essay on access, essays, design, and on the experiences of DI participants.
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? After DI 2014, I will publish the visual map as a collaborative work—a work poignantly stuck between design, image, prompt, experience, and essay—in the “Beyond Category” section of Seneca Review, a national literary journal that specializes in forwarding the essay and a journal I am the assistant editor of. The authors of the essay will be listed as “Design Inquirers,” with their individual names, an explanation of the DI 2014 topic of ACCESS, DI’s general mission, and a URL to DI’s website in the issue’s “Contributor’s Notes.”
In addition, I will write a critical essay about the need for forms of access like the DI access map. The critical essay will be featured on Essay Daily, a leading blog dedicated to advancing the essay, a blog which I have contacts with. Both of these essays—the critical one and the visual map—will allow forward-thinking essayists to better access forward-thinking design and designers. So access in one direction,…
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work. Past Inquirers have contributed work in the form of videos, essays, photographic essays, links to work on their own essays, exhibitions.
…but I also want to enable access in the reverse direction. That is, I want forwardthinking designers to have better access to forward-thinking essays and essayists.
To accomplish this, I will write a creative essay about the topic of ACCESS, about DI 2014, and about the ways in which fusing essaying and designing can be a worthwhile hybrid approach. I will submit this essay for publication in a major design peerreview journal.
This complementary gesture will enable that reverse direction, adding essayists and essaying to the contemporary conversation in design. Access in both directions.
A collaboration between Ben Van Dyke and Gary Nickard BEN: Designer, educator and contributor to DesignInquiry’s Board of Directors. I teach design history, theory and practice, obsess over the game of basketball and coach little league baseball.
GARY: I am a conceptual artist committed to exploring the intersection of visual art and literature while engaging such diverse topics as science, philosophy, psychoanalysis and various historical knowledge systems. I works in photography, installation, performance and various other time-based media as well as electronic music. I joined the UB Art Department in 1995. I have a PhD in Comparative Literature and an MFA in Studio Art.
Where you come from, what kind of work you do, why you are coming, what are your interests in the topic ACCESS:
BEN: Every minute of my life is governed by a single idea: Benevolent Flux. I am inspired by complexity and suspicious of all smooth shiny surfaces. On my sunnier days, I believe that we all have the capacity to observe and absorb a deep and chaotic existence but perpetually perform acts of shallow simplicity. Access taps into a very primal and difficult characteristic of Benevolent Flux: Control and Power. Who has it? Who gets it? The promotion of Flux empowers the fringe and continually neutralizes existing power structures. Randomness is the enemy to those with access and a weapon for those without it.
GARY: My interest in access is about the denial of it – the blocking or gatekeeping of access – Winston Churchill once remarked that he would protect the truth with “a bodyguard of lies.” Cryptography and total surveillance are currently at odds in our society and therefore the “ACCESS: Denied” project I propose to undertake with Ben Van Dyke will engage this issue with a direct yet poetic sensibility. What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here? ACCESS: DENIED
Information, ideas and knowledge are all codified and as Niels Bohr stated: “suspended in language. “ Language simultaneously represents and mediates – it interposes a layer between raw reality and the human mind. Such language is hierarchical – that is, hierarchical language is knowledge regulated by those whom society has designated as having authority. Umberto Ecco touched upon this in his famous novel The Name of the Rose where knowledge of certain ideas deemed “dangerous” was restricted by ecclesiastical power. Keeping “dangerous” knowledge out of the hands of the masses or one’s political opponents is a fundamental requirement for maintaining power. This is the reason for secrets. Initiation into professional societies, guilds, etc. is to be given access to secrets – to privileged knowledge. Even in contemporary technocratic society, who can say what with credibility is governed by power.
The project “ACCESS: DENIED” by Ben Van Dyke and Gary Nickard will employ a pair of replica Enigma machines to encode an on-going dialog concerning the notion of ACCESS and its relationship to knowledge of our physical reality – is the universe truly chaotic (i.e. random) as Quantum Theory suggests or is it governed by “hidden variables” (i.e. deterministic) as Chaoplexity Theory suggests. Van Dyke and Nickard will each present their arguments through a coded discourse via social media such as Twitter and Criagslist. Van Dyke in Vinalhaven, ME and Nickard in Buffalo, NY. The purpose is to present pubic representations in coded language of the discussion that can only be decoded by the recipient in possession of an Enigma machine set up with the proper rotor & plug settings for any given day. Discussions will be held daily and transmitted in code via the aforementioned social media for the opposing discussant to decode and continue the dialog. In the end, a comprehensive essay will emerge from eavesdropping and observations during DesignInquiry in Vinalhaven and decoded (conceptually and literally) in Buffalo, NY. This essay will only be accessible by password to those with the ability to decode the enigma cyphers.
The performance of this complex encoded communication will engage issues of who has access to knowledge, the denial of access (gate-keeping) and of public vs. private speech. In addition, the entire dialog flirts with the question of can there be free speech and open information exchange in a surveillance state obsessed with identifying “enemies.”
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? Our collective essay will be comprehensive and highly visual. Our goal is to create a small book containing all of our cyphers, our process, images, and, of course, the complete essay. We believe this book will be of interest to indie publishers and/or for distribution by DesignInquiry. In addition: This concept also lends itself to a physical and visual iteration appropriate for future exhibitions.
Associate Professor, Department of Design Co-director, UC Davis Center for Design in the Public Interest University of California, Davis Principal and co-founder, Studio/lab, San Francisco and Chicago
What does democratic design look like? That’s the overarching question we seek to address at the newly funded Center for Design in the Public Interest at UC Davis (see also http://dateline.ucdavis.edu/dl_detail.lasso?id=14529). We are working in crossdisciplinary teams to create accessible, user-centered design outcomes—design tools, guidelines, prototypes, and best practices—that are disseminated as open-source models to be further adapted, improved, and shared. Our projects explore how design expertise can inform the process while empowering the participants, especially when issues of expertise and agency intersect with issues of social power (e.g. related to gender, socioeconomic status, (dis)ability status, ethnicity, and education). That this question falls within the discourse of ACCESS is wonderful and exciting, and the timing is perfect as we look for ways to invite designers, artists, writers, anthropologists, and others — a broad community of practitioners, scholars, and citizens — to probe this question together.
I’m a designer and a teacher (who landed in California by way of Ohio, Boston, and Milan). The visual communication courses I teach at UC Davis focus on issues in typography and information design, experimental form making, and civic design—a series of investigations related to the notion of design for understanding. At Studio/lab, a design/research consultancy in San Francisco and Chicago, we engage in collaborative partnerships with clients for projects and programs where systems thinking and research play an important role.
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
I would like to propose a specific lens through which to examine democratic design processes. For example, a project we have just started to frame focuses on rhetoric, design, and pain: the “Pain Project.” Pain is a crisis, the more severe or confusing the pain, the greater the crisis. The way we communicate pain can determine the kinds of medical and behavioral interventions we have access to. And yet, pain is difficult to communicate, and pain perception and communication vary across ages, genders, and cultures. I propose to lead an experimental workshop where the activities themselves interrogate democratic design processes and include collecting stories of pain and creating prototype pain communication tools based on tactile, movement, and experiential models.
If this is too specific a project (since this would be my first time attending, this is something I’m not quite sure how to gauge), another possibility would be to look at the classic 1977 text, “A Pattern Language,” as a prompt. Christopher Alexander (and co-authors) analyze and synthesize how people influence and interact with their cities and neighborhoods in the face of a built environment that may attempt to impose or to dictate. Drawing on this work as inspiration, might it be possible to develop a “pattern language” equivalent for models of access?
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work? I would like to use the raw materials (including video and photographic elements if possible) and insights from the gathering to reflect on democratic design processes and to share these reflections as a way to continue the conversation. This might be in the form of i) a conference presentation (for example, an AIGA conference or the Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference), (ii) an essay submitted to the DesignInquiry website and to Medium.com, iii) a snapshot inviting comments on the website (in progress) of the UC Davis Center for Design in the Public Interest, and iv) a journal article for Design and Culture, Communication Monographs, Journal of the Learning Sciences, or Information Design Journal.
DESIGN/ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF DESIGN SML GRAPHIC DESIGN/UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT COMMUNICATION DESIGN PROGRAM
I AM A DESIGNER AND EDUCATOR. I TEACH GRAPHIC DESIGN, TYPOGRAPHY AND MOTION GRAPHICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT AND EVERY OTHER SPRING TERM SERVE AS VISITING TUTOR AT CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS IN LONDON. I EARNED AN MFA IN GRAPHIC DESIGN FROM YALE UNIVERSITY. I ART DIRECT THE YALE ALUMNI MAGAZINE, AND THROUGH MY STUDIO PRACTICE PRODUCE VIDEOS, MOTION GRAPHICS, PRINT AND ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHICS. EXAMPLES OF PROFESSIONAL VIDEO WORK CAN BE SEEN HERE: https://vimeo.com/72973239. AND EXAMPLES OF STUDENT MOTION WORK HERE: https://vimeo.com/channels/677764. I AM A HUSBAND, SON, BROTHER, FATHER, UNCLE AND FRIEND.
AT HEART I AM A STUDENT.
I AM COMING TO COLLABORATE WITH INDIVIDUALS, CHALLENGE MY PERCEPTIONS AND CHALLENGE THEIRS. I’M COMING TO LEARN ABOUT THIS TOPIC OF “ACCESS” AND EXPLORE WHAT IT MEANS. I’M INTERESTED IN THE IDEA OF ACCESS AS A TERM OF BOTH PERMISSION (SOMETHING GRANTED) AND ALLOWANCE (SOMETHING TAKEN). MY APPROACH TO THE IDEA OF ACCESS IS MOST DEFINITELY GROUNDED IN THE IDEA THAT “HAVING ACCESS” DOES NOT IMPLY ONE SHOULD. IN EDWARD SNOWDEN’S “ALTERNATE CHRISTMAS MESSAGE” AIRED IN BRITAIN FOR THE HOLIDAY 2013 SEASON, HE SPOKE OF CHILDREN TODAY GROWING UP IN A WORLD IN WHICH THEY WILL NEVER KNOW PRIVACY. THEY WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE A TRULY PRIVATE MOMENT. WE HAVE ACCESS TO AN UNPRECEDENTED AMOUNT OF INFORMATION TODAY. OF EQUAL CONCERN IS THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE WILLINGLY VOLUNTEER MUCH INFORMATION AND GRANT BROAD AND UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO IT.
DH LAWRENCE WROTE IN “THE DEATH OF PAN” “MAN HAS LIVED TO CONQUER THE PHENOMENAL UNIVERSE. TO A GREAT EXTENT HE HAS SUCCEEDED. WITH ALL THE MECHANISMS OF THE HUMAN WORLD, MAN IS TO A GREAT EXTENT MASTER OF ALL LIFE, AND OF MOST PHENOMENA. AND WHAT THEN? ONCE YOU HAVE CONQUERED A THING, YOU HAVE LOST IT. ITS REAL RELATION TO YOU COLLAPSES. A CONQUERED WORLD IS NO GOOD TO MAN. HE SITS STUPEFIED WITH BOREDOM UPON HIS CONQUEST….WHAT’S THE GOOD OF CONQUERING EVEN THE NORTH POLE, IF AFTER THE CONQUEST YOU’VE NOTHING LEFT BUT AN INERT FACT? BETTER LEAVE IT A MYSTERY.
CAN WE HAVE IT BOTH WAYS? CAN WE SUPPORT OPEN ACCESS INFORMATION IN OTHER AREAS OF OUR LIVES (POLITICS, THE PRESS, SOFTWARE, IE), BUT LIMIT ACCESS IN OUR OWN PERSONAL LIVES? DO WE HAVE ANY CONTROL OVER THE OUTSIDE ACCESS INTO OUR LIVES?
LAWRENCE’S ESSAY RELATES TO IDEAS OF ACCESS – – WHAT’S THE GOOD OF ACCESS IF IT CREATES EMPTY LIVES AND LIVING? I WATCH STUDENTS WITH TREMENDOUS ACCESS BECOME LOST IN THE SEA OF INFORMATION AND, TO USE LAWRENCE’S ADJECTIVE “STUPEFIED” IN THEIR COMMUNICATION OPTIONS, TOO OFTEN PREFERENCING THE DIGITAL OVER THE HUMAN. CAN WE REACH A BALANCE OF RESPONSIBLE ACCESS? AND CAN WE PREVENT ACCESS ABUSE? DO WE WANT TO? RAY BRADBURY’S SHORT STORY “THE PEDESTRIAN” IS A SHORT VIGNETTE OF A WORLD IN WHICH A MAN GOES FOR A WALK AND IS ARRESTED FOR TWO REASONS (1) HE DOESN’T OWN A TV, AND (2) TAKING A WALK AT NIGHT. BRADBURY DESCRIBES A NEIGHBORHOOD OF EMPTY STREETS, ALIGHT BY THE BLUE GLOWS OF SCREENS SHINING THROUGH WINDOWS. THIS WORLD HAS STARK SIMILARITIES TO OUR CURRENT ONE. THE BLUE GLOWING SCREENS IS THE HYPNOTIC ACCESS CONDUIT, BUT ACCESS IS LIMITLESS. IT’S IN MOST OF OUR POCKETS ALL THE TIME. PERHAPS THE DEBATE ISN’T ONE OF IS ACCESS GOOD, IT’S ADVANTAGES ARE CLEAR, BUT HOW USEFUL OR HEALTHY IS CONSTANT ACCESS?
What would you contribute to ACCESS while you are here?
I HAVE NOT FORMULATED A SPECIFIC CONTRIBUTION AS YET, BUT I CAN IMAGINE MINE TAKING THE APPROACH OF A WORKSHOP, EXHIBITION OR PRESENTATION, BUT I’M EQUALLY COMFORTABLE WORKING IN OTHER MEANS AND MEDIUMS. LEADING UP TO ACCESS I WOULD FORMULATE A CLEAR APPROACH.
OVER MY TERMS SPENT TEACHING IN LONDON I HAVE AMASSED A TREMENDOUS COLLECTION OF UTILITY PLATE COVERS. THE STRUCTURES, PATTERNS AND FORMS ARE ENDLESSLY INTRIGUING TO ME AS FORMAL ELEMENTS; THEY REPRESENT PRINTING PLATES, SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE URBAN LANDSCAPE. THE TYPOGRAPHIC MESSAGE ON MANY OF THEM IS CLEAR “ACCESS FOR AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.” THE AUTHORITARIAN NATURE OF THESE PLATES IS MITIGATED, IN SOME CASES EVEN SUPPLANTED, BY THE BEAUTIFUL FORMAL DESIGNS STAMPED IN METAL. I HAVE BEEN CREATING WOOD-, AND LINO CUTS OF THESE PLATES, AS WELL AS SCREENPRINTS WHICH I AM EXPANDING AND REINTERPRETING. I AM INTERESTED IN THE IDEA OF ACCESS AS IT IS MANIFESTED IN THESE PHYSICAL OBJECTS AND FAR FROM THE TYPICALLY ASSOCIATIVE DIGITAL RELATIONSHIP OF THE TERM “ACCESS.”
What will you contribute after the gathering in the form of publishable work. I AM EAGER FOR THE GATHERING AND HOW IT AN INFLUENCE MY PEDADGOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT AND HOW I CAN BRING THE IDEAS EXPLORED BOTH INTO MY BRIEFS FOR THE FALL AND SPRING TERMS, AS WELL AS HOW IT CAN IMPACT MY OWN PERSONAL WORK. I WOULD BE EXTREMELY EXCITED TO REALIZE A PUBLICATION ON THIS TOPIC THAT WOULD COMBINE BOTH EBOOK AND TRADITIONAL PRINT TECHNOLOGIES TO DYNAMIC EFFECT. THE TECHNOLOGIES THAT EXIST TO TURN PRINTED PAGES INTO VIDEOS WITH OUR SMALL DEVICES IS TREMENDOUS AND I CAN IMAGINE A USEFUL EXHIBITION PIECE THAT CROSSES THIS BOUNDARY TO HIGHLIGHT BOTH THE ADVANTAGES AND PITFALLS OF “ACCESS”