Member 1495
4 entries

Contributor to project:
The Voyager update project
Tracy Ingham
Immortal since Jan 15, 2008
Uplinks: 0, Generation 3
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  • racyt’s project
    The Voyager update project
    Description has not yet been created.
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    From racyt's personal cargo

    Project: The Voyager update project
    Lost and confused about what to initially create my group opted to send the Internet to aliens. Realizing that this served little purpose to the aliens and us, not to mention we had no idea how to go about it; we then decided upon cooking or rather a cookbook. What ensued after and what that idea became was for me, something more.

    Initially a joke that we came up with, the cookbook was actually (at least for me) a kind of middle finger to the assignment. I figured it was something obvious, could be considered cliché, and something that at the time we could secretly brand for Urban Outfitters. The task at the time was not to lean towards a specific brand but I thought, we thought, we were so smart and were going to quietly go about creating an object we knew could sell or be produced. At least the book was easier, more realistic and tangible than the sending the Internet to outer space. Ha...were we wrong.

    Instead it turned out that our secret plan would end up being the project. Now it seemed like my middle finger was folded down and the project was going to become more philosophical. No longer was our book to remain a hypothetical of what would be a fun project but rather it took on a seriousness and tangibility that none of us had expected. Topics of recipes had to be considered. How broad was our spectrum? How would we decide what would or wouldn’t be included? To what depth should we delve into each recipe? What became important wasn’t the humor but more so the representation of humanity. We went from having a broad, all-inclusive, multilingual, multi-media, book to a focused snapshot of random things we thought were important and back again. Turns out that the snapshot was a more crucial aspect to our project, as it meant that it would be incredibly personal to us at that time and place in which we created it. It became what we fought for and what made us believe in the work. This piece would be something representational of not just humanity but who we were and what we thought at that time. It was our personal gift to the future.

    Before the snapshot the book seemed like a ceaseless task of documenting humanity and coming up with some concoction of making it a recipe book/manual. But through the snapshot we narrowed down the human tasks and events we wanted to incorporate. The topics we picked we thought would be important or fun to present to future humans, but in all honesty I think it was more about what was most entertaining for us. Writing the recipes and manual instructions became a test or challenge for ourselves in how detailed and exact we could be as well as how we could top the person sitting next to us.

    The book could stand as a design piece depending on what occurs in the future class, though I feel it will just turn into a design nightmare. I’m sure there’s a museum or a prejudicial professor who will covet it even so. Yet, I would say more than anything the piece stands as a sociological one. It represents humanity, which is the most obvious reason. If you look at it closely though, it is a mirror of my group. Each person has a topic, a recipe, a set of instructions or icon concepts, or design layout or branding contribution to the piece. In that way it is a sociological piece in that it’s a glimpse, a small study of whom we are as a group and as individuals. To know how we worked together, how we thought, what we laughed at and what we didn’t is to look at our brief, our slides, our outfits, and our presentation.

    It is also unfair of me to say that it could stand as a design piece based on what happens in the future class. Merely based on what you can see in this class, the work can stand for design too. It serves as a study of how close to “fascism” you can get just by aligning your branding, tone, and design with IKEA. Who knew that you could corrupt your soul, stagnate your creativity, and undermine your integrity as a designer by simply adapting IKEA’s branding to a book on humanity? Simply by using bold fonts, newsprint and my school colors in designing we have created a monster. Its narrow range of colors, images, overall implementation of IKEA branding will show how limiting and detrimental a company image can be to one’s work. Mao’s (or I prefer CF Braun’s) little red book is now blue and gold. The design feat in that is for those who can find humor in life, might be able to find the irony of the book, but if not then you will see it as a fascist, narrow-minded piece of work simply through its color transformation; the power of design.

    My biggest fear with this concept and project is that it wont come to fruition the way that I have conceived it in my mind. What started off as a joke has evolved into a full-fledged project, and now, it is almost as if it is my child. I would like to say that I wasn’t irrational and developed an emotional attachment to the piece, but I have. After watching the piece be attacked, I can’t help but feel territorial and want to rescue it from the persecution of misunderstanding and judgment. There is something to be said for new ideas and concepts to be born out of the design process of this project, but where the fear lies for me is that the initial concept will have been so lost before the designing begins that there will be no concept to be conceived. I know this sounds incredibly vague but I don’t know how to put this in any other way without being incredibly blunt and in my traditional way, brutal.

    This “book” can be created in any medium. The medium may have an effect on how it is perceived and handled on a superficial, materialistic level. The topics of the recipes can be about anything. The randomness of the book enables and in many ways encourages this. However, what cannot be lost with this piece is its tone. In order for the work to be completely successful it has to have the contradiction of tone with its subject matter. It has to hold some form of irony in what it is talking about versus how it is saying it. That is where the joke does not die in the project, where it keeps its authenticity of what the work is and what we brought and thought about it. The affect of the tone with the topics chosen creates the mood of the piece, the idea of what it is and suppose to be, and it is what makes the work a representation of who we are (as my group and humans at that moment) versus a curated work made to be a beautiful piece of art. A piece of art is an aspect of what the book can be, but in my head and in what my group decided, that is not what the book is. To lose any of the things I have listed would be to lose the idea itself.

    The Handbuk has taught me so much about design. Not only how to work with designers, come up with creative or the lack of creative ideas, the usual design group experiences, but also what it means to own your work. I know when we started, the book was our way of actually not having to care about the project. As long as it stayed light and humorous so did we, and the group experience was good and the work was not heavy. Yet the more real the book became the more invested we were in it. The project was no longer about the grade or how perfectly designed it could be, but rather how credible and authentic could it be, how true to us could we make it, how much integrity and conviction could we bring to the work we did on it and the reasoning behind our decisions. Through that experience the Handbuk became ours. I may not be able to design the end result or stand by what eventually is created, but I can stand by the research and the work we did to conceive it.

    Sun, Mar 23, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The Voyager update project
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