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Play, Practice, Prototype, Critique

I collaborated with Annaka Olsen to design the RISD GD Triennial exhibition catalogue. It was conceived and printed in ten days, which allowed for the design to be messy and not precious. The publication included a catalogue and four newsprint posters (one for each curatorial section of the exhibition: Play, Practice, Prototype, Critique). These works were wrapped in the curatorial statement and housed in a large ziplock bag filled with shiny black-and-white confetti. With the design, we were interested in questioning existing formal design structures and hierarchy. The first page of the catalogue starts on the cover; the centerfold becomes the cover. What is important about a book is its content—starting the content before the cover puts the content first and subverts the cover’s function. Because the publication is stapled, the reader can flip the book inside out to “right” the cover—but now its structure is broken by the reader and its content, initially organized alphabetically, is out of order. The design of the entries in the catalogue mimic the Excel sheet we extracted text from, and we used a script that automatically placed this text into our InDesign document. The entire publication is set in 22-point Graphik Medium (without italics). As we pushed against normative hierarchies, we discovered that it did not remove them, but instead, introduced new and unconventional ways of creating hierarchy.

Designed in collaboration with Annaka OlsenJoel Kern, and Goeun Park

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