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Architecture as Catalyst: Design Systems: Identity, Information, + Environmental Graphics

Author(s) Participants in 2012 Catalyst
Date Posted March 28, 2012 7:37 AM
Program M. Arch
Instructor John Comazzi (host), Hilary Dana Williams (guest instructor)

Students in this workshop combined their architectural perspectives with various graphic design principles, processes, and practices employed in designing visual systems. Throughout the week, they explored aspects such as color palettes, icon design, mood boards, typography, gestalt principles, photographic mock-ups, and layout.

In teams of two or three, they applied this learning to the development of graphic components for a hypothetical farmers' market site in Minneapolis: the former train shed at The Depot (at the corner of 5th Ave S and S Washington Ave). Students were invited to realize their design solutions in any medium (or multiple media), and they were advised that a thorough conceptualization phase would entertain components both on-site (interior and exterior) and off-site (physical, virtual, or otherwise). Successful design solutions to this challenge demonstrated the following: an understanding of the multiple contexts in which a farmers' market (and, in particular, a farmers' market in this locale) operates; an understanding of the multiple systems (such as cultural, economic, and social) in which this site resides; consideration of how people might approach, view, and use this site both when the market is happening and when it is not; intentionality in the relationships between form, material, siting, and communicative function; and the potential to inform, inspire, educate, or otherwise engage the public with the site and the temporal happenings of a farmers' market.