Monday, April 16, 2012

AIGA Chicago’s 2012 Design Thinking Series I — Rob Giampietro: designer, writer, critic, curator, and educator.

Rob Giampietro’s fast-paced presentation at AIGA Chicago’s Design Thinking Series took place last Thursday night in the classy glass auditorium at Morningstar, Inc. AIGA Chicago’s biennial Design Thinking Series promotes the idea that “Design is always changing. It continually transforms how we engage with each other and our world in new and exciting ways. New processes, strategies and technologies are invented. Historical precedents are reevaluated and critiqued. Innovative storytelling and narrative techniques are formed.”

The April 12 event was first in the 2012 series. The summary and essence of Giampietro’s thesis is how writing informs graphic design practice—specifically, how the cooperative of writing, criticism, and graphic design articulate metaphorical ideas as messages to audiences. For Giampietro “metaphorical systems” are directly correlated to the design process and linked to form making. As a graphic designer and educator Rob Giampietro’s research and writing helps him, as he says, “reflect on ideas more deeply.”

Concerning criticism and metaphor here are some excerpts from Rob’s presentation slides:

Criticism at its core is merely the act of revealing links between objects. —Rachel Rosenfelt, Editor-in-Chief, “The New Inquiry” 
In addition:  
The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one thing in terms of another. —George Lakoff & Mark Johnson, “Metaphors we Live By”
  1. Metaphors are conceptual; they’re not just a matter of words. 
  2. Concepts are not always literal; many ontological concepts are highly metaphorical.…

Rob Giampietro, a principal at Project Projects, helped to design the SALT identity system in 2011. Above is a photo of the SALT identity installation (centered) as it appeared at Walker Art Center’s, Graphic Design: Now in Production show earlier this year. The identity is comprised of the “suggestive” (allusive) typeface Kraliçe, designed by Timo Gaessner. According to Ellen Lupton, in the exhibition catalog, “The graphic identity for SALT, a cultural institution in Istanbul, avoids the idea of a logo altogether.” photographs by versluis.

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