This assignment was quite open—the final product was to be a series of posters, but it was up to each of us to develop a concept. The class was named Idea Lab, a highly collaborative class where we worked on a rapidfire series of projects on tight deadlines, focusing on expanding our ability to approach problems in novel ways for unique solutions.
Although we knew the project was to be collaborative, the first thing we did was to individually begin sifting through a collection of American and Asian newspapers, pulling content out by a variety of methods including scanning, sketching, transfers, and cutting out.
After I had a pile of material to work with I began making digital compositions.
Back in class I made a lot more marks with random objects: cellophane, rocks, glue sticks, a fork, and I used those objects to make marks on top of some of my previous sketches. With my group, I went through the newspapers again to search for content, but with a focus on words instead.
At this point we had a lot of material, so we looked through it and started narrowing it down. We noticed that a recurring theme regarded collections of elements: character sets, colored dots, circles, etc. As we moved toward the poster-creation stage, we decided to guide all further creation by exploring pattern through collections.
To help guide a more systematic exploration I did some writing. As I did so, a number of specific questions emerged, such as “Can the transition between two patterns be a pattern itself?”, and “How do sub-patterns affect the perception of pattern?”
I included the questions verbosely on my posters and then visualized the questions as well to create a dialog between the question and possible answers.
Comparing our posters as a group revealed key similarities between some of them, but a significant differences in tone from others. To help pull the posters together we swapped posters and began work again. The final two we printed drew strongly from all of our work and elaborated the idea we originally had of exploring what pattern is.