library library explores publication as a graphic design practice. Each issue orbits around a literary text, and experiments with form and materiality through formats that challenge the dominant models of commercial graphic design and mainstream publishing. This project aims to build a community through collaborative making, and to connect with a small yet engaged public. The design of each issue considers the performative potential of publication, and explores diverse methods of dissemination from exhibition to multiplication and distribution.
(this is a project by Toront-based graphic designer, Rebecca Wilkinson)
FIRST WEEK NOTES — RW
The Language of Design Imperialism:
—What even is "humanistic design"?
—Bruce Nussbaum on Design Thinking & Humanistic Design: https://www.fastcompany.com/1663558/design-thinking-is-a-failed-experiment-so-whats-next
—What does this mean? "humanitarian designers are the new imperialists"
—"Even the term "humanitarian design" bespeaks a fundamental limitation — incredibly anthropocentric, it fails to recognize the importance of design that lives in a complex ecosystem of humanity and nature, society and environment, which are always symbiotically linked to one another's well-being."
—Biodiversity and cultural diversity as fundamentally linked
—"Let's stop hiding behind industry jargon. Let's invent a new language that allows us to better think, talk and care about indigenous cultures and microcommunities before we try to retrofit them to our projects and our preconceptions." --DUH!
Searching for a Black Aesthetic in American Graphic Design:
—"Is there any such thing as an African-American design aesthetic?"
— "Lack of exposure to the prevailing aesthetic traditions also puts them at a disadvantage."
—The link between self-confidence, role models/leadership and success "working with built traditions by others like themselves)
—Not about content: "the styling and expressions common to people of African descent."
—cultural appropriation by white designers of black design vocabulary
—"black design students would benefit greatly from a study of their design traditions"
—History: Cubism, Jazz style (Winold Reiss & The New Negro, Aaron Douglas & Fire!!! Magazine)
—1040s to 50s: racism in publishing & commercial art
—1970s Black power & the aesthetics of resistance: "socialist protest art forms with black in-your-face bodaciousness to create a graphic design product that was uniquely African-American"
—80s & 90s Tribal chic: "public vernacular expression such as graffitti and rap"
—Current: YSB Magazine
We Must Topple the Tropes, Cripple the Canon:
—"What would a queering of design education look like? How can it interrogate the margins and interrogate within the margins?" —Nicole Killian
—"How does our engagement outside in our world manifest itself in our art and design narratives (the field, the work, the examples) that we advocate, exemplify, and teach?"
—"Make spaces (big spaces) in your book shelves, leave spaces in our syllabi, literally leave spaces blank
to explore this idea/action responsibly; leave spaces for other to talk and share their non-western, nonbinary, non-“designed” work."
REORIENT: Graphic Design History from. Global Perspective (bio: https://www.mica.edu/research/center-for-social-design/people/dr-wen-huei-chou/ )