1.4 – 1.5 Form + Content (or structure) = Graphic Design

RISD GD Studio Providence, RI

1.4 Form
Ephemera Collection is just a small sampling of everyday objects that inspire me; initially, they inspire me in a formalist tradition—how something is made, looks or feels based on my canon of aesthetics: imperfect surfaces, vernacular typography, kitsch iconography, repetition, scale, nostalgia. I take great pleasure looking at these objects; first, in their indeterminate haphazard state in my studio. Second, understanding that creating them in an organized poster composition decontextualizes each object; thus, each signifies structure and meaning. As contemporary artist Deborah Fausch states “The very act of labeling a part of experience as ‘everyday’ alters its fluid character and its immersion in an ongoing stream of events; substituting a hypostasized mental object formed according to the rules governing theoretical operations.” Therefore, I feel nothing is really an everyday object. Everything has meaning and falls under the umbrella of structuralism no matter how mundane.

1.5 Structure
Structuralism is a theoretical paradigm that emphasizes that elements of culture must be understood in terms of their relationship to a larger, overarching system or “structure.” Alternately, philosopher Simon Blackburn summarizes Structuralism as “the belief that phenomena of human life are not intelligible except through their interrelations. These relations constitute a structure, and behind local variations in the surface phenomena there are constant laws of abstract culture.”

Form + Content (or structure) = Graphic Design is nothing new, but my work aims at being conscious that we are completely surrounded by these elements everyday. Furthermore, it is not just about the function of the object or how it looks, but the intangible lives in how it feels. I ask myself metaphysical and epistemological questions when observing these things. Why is that object inspiring? Where does this inspiration come from? This is where the Japanese tradition of Wabi-Sabi plays an important role in my methodology.

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