Skip to content

RISD MFA Graphic Design exhibition 2013

Rhode Island School of Design MFA Graphic Design exhibition 2013
RI Convention Center, Providence
May 17 – June 1, 2013

Statement: «Graphic Design as product and process occupies territories of the studio, the gallery, and the marketplace. Our exhibition demonstrates design’s hybrid character, functionally linked to commerce while producing expressions of cultural and aesthetic value.
Shop displays work created by the 18 graduates in the program, produced in multiples, available for purchase. Shop highlights graphic design as distributed and circulated —in books, posters, products, video, and other ephemera.
Show exists as a catalogue [via Lulu] of the same graduate works displayed in hypothetical space and time. Here, the work is represented on the white page as white cube, with the 18 students as curators, designers, artists, narrators, 
and publishers.
These two ways of seeing the same work explore the complicated status of contemporary design at the intersection of “fine art” and “commercial art” by simultaneously framing graphic design in the everyday and the curated encounter.»

RISD Grad Show 2013

RISD 2013 Grad Thesis Exhibition Setup Timelapse from RISD Media on Vimeo.

Rhode Island School of Design Graduate Thesis Exhibition 2013
RI Convention Center, Providence
May 16 – June 1, 2013

Statement: «Open to the public, RISD’s annual Graduate Thesis Exhibition features work in a wide range of media created by the 194 master’s degree candidates graduating on June 1. Each student showcases a final body of work produced as the culmination of his or her experience in one of RISD’s 16 graduate departments: Architecture, Ceramics, Digital + Media, Furniture Design, Glass, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Jewelry + Metalsmithing, Landscape Architecture, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Teaching + Learning in Art + Design, and Textiles.
With custom-constructed galleries within the large exhibition hall, students are given the opportunity to showcase multiple pieces or large installations from their thesis work – the manifestation of two or three years of research, experimentation, critical thinking and honing of their craftsmanship and expressive capabilities.
Approximately 430 graduate students are enrolled in RISD’s 18 master’s degree programs. They come to RISD to be part of an extraordinary creative community and to work with exceptionally dedicated faculty members who are also leading artists and designers in their respective fields. RISD’s graduate programs were rated #1 in the country in the 2012 U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of the best graduate schools for fine arts and design …»

As for graphic design graduates, see also

Pencil to Pixel

Pencil to Pixel
first held at Metropolitan Wharf, London, November 16-23, 2012
later on show at Tribeca Skyline Studio, New York, May 3-9, 2013

Statement: «Monotype started to produce typefaces for its type-casting machines back in the late 19th century. The production process at the time started with a set of technical drawings to establish the design and dimensional characteristics of each letter in a typeface that would eventually be cast in lead. Initially, designs were based on existing foundry typefaces in common use in the printing trade at the time, but within a few years new designs were developed, some based on historical types, some completely new designs such as Gill Sans and the iconic Times New Roman, which started as a bespoke family for The Times in the early 1930s before achieving widespread popularity in the following decades.
Monotype’s office in Salfords, Surrey, is on the site that used to be its sprawling factory, which has made it possible for the company to hold onto the complete archive of its Type Drawing Office, even as the company’s manufacturing activities ceased.
The archive records about 80 years worth of typeface development (plus material from other sources gathered over the years), containing detailed drawings for all of Monotype’s hot metal typefaces from 1900 onwards, as well as original artwork, correspondence, production records, and promotional material.
Today the archive is a storehouse of information about many of the world’s classic typefaces currently in common use, as well as being a source of inspiration for contemporary designers both within the company and elsewhere. This month, Monotype is hosting an exhibition of this historical material and forward-looking recent work at Metropolitan Wharf in Wapping. On display will be a selection of rarely seen drawings, artefacts, and publications that capture the history the company alongside examples of the typographic contributions still being made at home and abroad.
— Dan Rhatigan — Type Director, UK Monotype»

Below a video of the making of the first installation in London

Thick as a Brick


Thick as a Brick
Giò Marconi, Milan
April 9-14, 2013

Curator: Maria Cristina Didero
Design: Kuehn Malvezzi, Mousse Publishing and Petersen
Statement: «Thick As A Brick presents a selection of more than 100 catalogues, books, art editions and zines published by Mousse and shown within three brick structures conceived by Kuehn Malvezzi and produced by the Danish company Petersen Tegl.
At the end of the last century, it was thought the new millennium would be represented in design and architecture by incorporeal values such as lightness, transparency, and evanescence, inspired by the fluidity of communication as well as the intangible nature of finance. The world seemed intent on becoming liquid. Instead, in the last few years everything has changed.
The economic crisis has profoundly modified our society and hence transformed the approach to architecture and culture at large: the world is seeking a new firmness, a solidity that both architecture and design (as well as art, fashion, and cuisine – some of the most interesting expressions of human culture) are making the center of their practice. Human beings are looking for reliable new touchstones, getting back to basics, to find that stability in which it seems necessary to root (or maybe better to re-root) our society. Traditions and history serve as a point of departure to grow and develop, better than before, and concreteness is the new manifesto for contemporary cultures in Western and even in the Eastern world.
Thick As A Brick goes back to simple, manual practices and ancestral materials – such as the brick used here as a narrative device – and to ancient, basic ideas in order to rediscover their potential: projected into the future, such renewed values serve as a groundwork to literally build a new encyclopedia of balance, strength, and positivity. In this project, these basic materials are replaced by books, iconic tools for spreading knowledge down through the centuries. The bricks produced by the Danish company Petersen serve as the base from which culture symbolically evolves, and the modular pieces in the show, conceived by the Kuehn Malvezzi architectural studio, open a door to the hope of continued growth. The link between bricks and the books presented here by Mousse – a publisher at the cutting edge of the international scene – reinforce this idea of a solidity built on knowledge, a concept embodied by material nature of the object-book itself.
At the invitation of curator Maria Cristina Didero, Kuehn Malvezzi has developed a unique architectural concept for Thick As A Brick: three brick structures, titled Brickolage, are aligned with the gallery spaces so that they double our perception of the space. This intervention marks out places of interchange, introducing elements like a shelf, a counter and a bench – furnishings that allow for storage, interaction, and dialogue, and are neither architecture nor objects. By leaving out every third brick, the structures can be used to hold books and invite visitors to exchange information.

Permanent Loan


Permanent Loan
part of the After the Museum: The Home Front 2013 exhibition
Museum of Art and Design, New York
March 12 – June 9, 2013

Designers of the installation: Project Projects
Statement: «Project Projects was invited by guest curator Dan Rubinstein and manager of public programs Jake Yuzna to create an installation at the Museum of Art and Design as part of its annual Home Front series. The 2013 theme, “After the Museum,” encouraged participating designers, thinkers, and writers to speculate upon how the role of arts institutions may expand and evolve in the future. Created in response, Permanent Loan proposed an alternative model for the distribution, curation, and presentation of artworks as a commentary upon the increasingly digital age, and the new collaborative approaches that such technologies may enable.
The installation takes as its main provocation the idea of a “Museum of Reproductions,” which can be traced at least as far back as the writings of Aby Warburg, Otto Neurath, and Andrew [André] Malraux, each of whom conceived of modes of viewing art that would democratize and even revolutionize the experience. The urgency of these ideas has only intensified in recent history with the growth of digital museum collections, the widespread distribution of online images, and the availability of low-cost production technologies such as 3-D printing, all of which allow anyone – inside or outside of a museum – to reproduce and distribute multiple copies of an image or artwork.
Following pre-contemporary ideas of organizing by more metaphorical affinities, Permanent Loan presents an unorthodox selection of works from online museum collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Rijksmuseum, The Tate, Walker Art Center, and Yale University Art Gallery. Reproduced as black-and-white digital outputs and 3D-printed objects, the selections span both historical eras and stylistic genres. The diversity is highlighted by a formal looseness of presentation, and suggestive of a more associative curatorial practice that nonetheless acknowledges the nondigital, 1:1 physical scale of the original works.»

Metamuseum (tumblr)



Statement: «Teaming with a group of 13 American museums and cultural institutions with design, craft and architecture collections, writer and critic Alexandra Lange has woven together the Multi-Museum, Multi-Curator Tumblr project MetaMuseum.
Each week, work chosen by curators at each institution will be presented on tumblr and released through other social media outlets. Loosely grouped by themes, these works will culminate with a final survey of American design, and so the Tumblr serves as an experiment to see if any “American aesthetic” will arise, and if it does, what shape will it take?
Metamuseum is part of After the Museum: The Home Front 2013 exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design.»

Image above:
Buttons, 1990–1992, buttons for visitors created by the Walker Art Center design department

Image below:
Performing space designed by Arata Isozaki and Eiko Ishioka, 1986, commissioned installation for the exhibition Tokyo: Form and Spirit (1986), organized by the Walker Art Center in collaboration with Japan House Gallery.

Both projects selected for the Metamuseum by Andrew Blauvelt, Chief of Communications and Audience Engagement, Curator of Architecture and Design, Walker Art Center


Couture graphique

Couture graphique
MOTI Museum of the Image, Breda, NL
February 16, 2013 –

Curator: José Teunissen (Professor in Fashion Theory at ArtEZ in Arnhem, Holland and since 2009 visiting professor to the University of the Arts in London)
Statement: «CoutureGraphique is the first exhibition ever about fashion and graphic design; an exhibition in which we present the communicative and decorative aspects of clothing and accessories as a means of communication.
Our mission is to spread both the knowledge and the experience about visual culture and thus contribute to a society that is aware of the objects and means of communications. We want to inspire with new insights by showing, side by side, both the communicative power of this profession and the stimulating artistic aspects of it. We connect modern forms of visual communication with the archetypical historical artefacts like posters and logo’s. It is quite possible that today more fabric is printed than paper. Clothing has become an important means of expression; clothing represents the person who wears it and what he or she wishes to project and communicate. Graphic design plays a role in fashion right up to wearable technologies where clothing is used as interface for communication technology.
We no longer only see shop advertising, traffic signs and billboards as informative images; buildings, cars, high-speed trains, airports and clothing are now also objects of information. We live in an information society. In the past, our environment was made up of things; now it is made up of information. Objects in physical space can become a medium and assume a communicative significance.
The relationship between graphic design and fashion, however, arose in the twenties with designs by Sonia Delaunay. In the strategy of the major fashion houses, the relationship has become very intimate: the brand and the brand identity are treated as a fashion product. Hence we took the initiative to or organize an international exhibition that shows how the relationship between graphic design and fashion design developed in the last century.»
Publication: The museum has invited Along with the exhibition, an extensive book on the topic of graphic design and fashion will be released, designed by Paul Boudens.

Poster Art 150
London Underground’s Greatest Designs


Poster Art 150 – London Underground’s Greatest Designs
London Transport Museum
February 15 – October 27 2013 extended to January 5, 2014

Statement: «Since its first graphic poster commission in 1908, London Underground has developed a worldwide reputation for commissioning outstanding poster designs, becoming a pioneering patron of poster art – a legacy that continues today. Our blockbuster exhibition Poster Art 150 – London Underground’s Greatest Designs, showcases 150 of the greatest Underground posters ever produced. Supported by Siemens, and forming part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the London Underground, the exhibition features posters by many famous artists including Edward McKnight Kauffer and Paul Nash, and designs from each decade over the last 100 years. The posters were selected from the Museum’s archive of over 3,300 Underground posters by a panel of experts; the 150 that appear in the exhibition show the range and depth of the Museum’s collection.
Poster Art 150 is a fitting exhibition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the world’s first underground railway, as the last major Underground poster retrospective was held in 1963 to celebrate the centenary of the Underground. Well-known posters, including the surrealist photographer Man Ray’s ‘Keeps London Going’ pair, feature alongside lesser-known gems. The exhibition also offers a rare opportunity to view letter-press posters from the late nineteenth century.

The Exhibition Themes
Finding your way includes Underground maps and etiquette posters. It also includes posters carrying messages to reassure passengers by showing them what the Underground is like. Brightest London celebrates nights out and sporting events, showing the brightest side of London. Capital culture is about cultural encounters, be these at the zoo or galleries and museums. Away from it all looks at the way London Underground used posters to encourage people to escape, to the country, the suburbs and enjoy other leisure pursuits. Keeps London going features posters about how the Underground has kept London on the move through its reliability, speed and improvements in technology. Love your city shows the best of London’s landmarks as featured in Underground posters over the years.»


Some images of the London Transport Museum – and the graphic ephemera it preserves and displays – can be seen via timeout

Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things


Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things
Design Museum, London
January 30, 2013 – January 4, 2014

Statement: «The Design Museum has the UK’s only collection devoted exclusively to contemporary design and architecture. This new permanent collection display reveals intriguing insights in the most exceptional of everyday objects.
The opening of the museum’s permanent collection marks an essential milestone in the journey towards the future of the Design Museum at its new home in Kensington, where the entire top floor will display the museum’s collection of twentieth-century design.
The exhibition presents six key stories through hundreds of items, offering a diverse investigation into the impact of design on our everyday lives. The exhibition will show the surprising origins of famous and lesser known designs, alongside contextual images and documents.
National identity is explored through objects that define a nation such as the phone box, road signage, the post box, the London 2012 logo and the Euro. The story of the development of the London 2012 logo tells how for the first time in history of the Games, the Olympics and Paralympics embraced the same logo. The logo was created to be a ‘design for everybody’ – the exhibition will reveal the design process and thinking behind this symbol of Britain as a world stage and allow audiences to interact with it. […]» (press release, 2013)

Exhibition design: Gitta Gschwendtner
Signage and Identity design: A2/SW/HK

Frozen Lakes

Frozen Lakes
January 20 – March 24, 2013 (then extended through March 31, 2013)
Artists Space, New York

Statement: «In his essay accompanying the 1977 exhibition Pictures at Artists Space, and in a subsequent text published by October in 1979, the art historian Douglas Crimp introduced the work of a generation of artists, and their use of “quotation”, “excerptation”, “framing”, and “staging”, that has since become synonymous with the postmodern relationship to pictures.
Frozen Lakes examines the prominence that these artistic strategies have for a generation of artists born after Pictures. It equally attests to the changing nature of critical inquiry within today’s economy of image production, and the shifting relationship between information and meaning.
The temporalities that Crimp identified in Pictures – “the staged tableau”, “the freeze frame”, “the historical fragment”, and “the fascinated, yet perplexed gaze” – sought to highlight the picture as a “signifying structure of its own accord”, usurping the reality that it claims to interpret. The contemporary experience of images is saturated with a heightened notion of temporality: signifying structures circulating and performing through networks of value, desire and exchange. The sense that pictures occupy very distinct places in culture, and reveal a vertical “strata of representation”, has been replaced by fluid, maybe even liquid, modes of accumulation and aggregation.
The artists featured in Frozen Lakes shift their attention from the dialectics of production towards the conditions of circulation. Here, the image can be seen as a series of gestures; as a vessel inhabited by, as much as it conditions, behaviors. Filmmaker and writer Alexander Kluge has used the phrase “frozen lakes” to speak of montage, as a means to create “still images” as a technique of focusing.
By addressing the conditions of circulation as a sphere of exchange and value attribution, and as a site for the formation of desire, Frozen Lakes focuses on the blurred states between opacity and transparency. From the mediations between information leaks and brand images, to the rendering of digital surfaces as an extension of corporeality, these processes question the experience of “presence” as integral to the “establishment of meaning.”»

Participants: Shadi Habib Allah, Ed Atkins, Banu Cennetoglu, Aaron Flint Jamison, Tobias Kaspar, Metahaven, Ken Okiishi, Charlotte Prodger, James Richards, and Slavs and Tatars.

Image showing Metahaven’s Transparent Camouflage