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Archive for the ‘cultural identity’Category

“We’re A Culture” Campaign Creates Good Citizen Designers

 

In a wonderful article published on the COLORLINES blog the writer Jorge Rivas shares the critical stance taken by “We’re A Culture, Not A Costume,”  poster campaign initiated by determined group of good citizen design students from Ohio University willingness to tackle such a severe subject surrounding the commodification and objectification of race and identity. This campaign challenges who possesses the cultural ownership of ethnic groups. Apparently, sporting Halloween costumes mocking African, Mexicans, Asians, Native Indians, and Blacks by white college students who in turn post disparaging images on Facebook pages has become the norm. But, these Ohio University design students offer us a refreshing directive that challenge stereotypical perceptions and encourages positive solutions aimed at college population are building brand reflective of social and global design. Who will you be this Halloween? Click here to learn more aboutSTARS students endeavors at Ohio University.

Also featured on the COLORLINES blog, UrbanOutfitters’ Indian Chic, addresses Native Peoples outrage over having their culture pimped by major retailer. As a designer of color who has takes issue with major brands continuously pimping off the ethos ethnic cultures feeling it’s okay to hack scarced symbols and patterns to produce new line of products like flash lighter, tee-shirts, handbags and trash cans. Another major culprit of commodification is Urban OutFitters introduction of products ripping off the iconography from Native American culture. More fuel on “UrbanOutfitters’ Indian Chic.” Please share your thoughts on both Colorlines articles. Make sure to read  Sasha Houston Brown, 24 year old Native American living in Minneapolis published a scathing open letter on Racialicious addressed to Glen T. Senk, CEO of Urban Outfitters, Inc. I’d be interested to find out what you think about both articles, and why people freely feel it’s okay to appropriate another culture.


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Media Review of GLIDE’10: Global Interaction in Design


GLIDE’12  rev’s up planning for the next symposium promises to surely be loaded with stellar presenters and topics. If you are interested in receiving information just leave me a comment, I’ll add you to our contact database. For now you’ll just have to settle for reading advisory board member Gloria Gomez’s review on GLIDE’10. The compelling and exciting work that was presented at GLIDE’10 can make designers feel proud of the powerful design contributions we can make to society on a global scale. The presentations mainly represented work on the facilitation, consequences, and challenges of cross-cultural collaboration in indigenous and underserved communities, and the effect of such on human/user experience. This review summarizes the conference facts, the conference schedule as well as discusses the presentationsblogging comments, and the virtual conference format. The review ends with concluding remarks and a summary of each presentation, photographs, and a hyperlink to the video recording published on YouTube –http://www.youtube.com/user/glideconference.

GLIDE'10: Presenters and Topic DescriptionsTable 1: Presenters and Topic Descriptions of GLIDE’10

CONFERENCE FACTS
GLIDE biennial virtual conferences disseminate cutting-edge research on global interaction in design. The virtual format bridges cultural and geographic divides in an eco-friendly manner. Truly interdisciplinary, GLIDE’s review committee invite submissions from design and design-related disciplines including: art, architecture, human-computer interaction, communication, information technology, computer science, and STEM disciplines. The first GLIDE’08 conference was held on October 22, 2008 and details can be found at http://www.glide08.org/.

For more click:  Indigo Design Network

 




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The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

You will be moved by this new film, The Black Power Mixtape an award winning compilation feature documentary that displays the story of the African-American community 1967-1975, the people, the society and the style that fueled a change. Told with sparkling, beautiful and deep footage, lost in the archives in Sweden for 30 years. Check out the website for Screenings.

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09

09 2011

IRAAA Special Issue Merges Science, Technology, Art + Design

The International Review of African American Art just published a special issue which shows how aesthetic, scientific and mathematical configurations can be perceived in everything and experienced in many ways. This full seeing and being is a spark for innovation in art, science, technology, engineering, architecture and mathematics and, more broadly, in education and business… and life!

This Spring issue features a spectacular group of design and cultural critics, and theorist writing on science, Afro Futurism, STEM Education and the Interplay of Patterns are just a few of the amazing features highlighted in this issue. Pick up a copy and delve into creative intelligence!

 

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STEM Education from Life

 

Article from IRAAA Special Issue on Science, Technology and Art
By Michele Y. Washington

A dynamic husband-and-wife team is creating innovative, technology-based projects that merge design, art, computing, and social justice. Both work at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Ron Eglash is a professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, and Audrey Bennett is an associate professor in the Department of Language, Literature and Communication.

Audrey Bennett’s efforts span scholarly research (in communication design theory); social activism (in participatory design that involves users in the design process); professional design for clients; and creative, graphic arts that reflects her Dartmouth College studio art background. She has an M.F.A. in graphic design from Yale University. Her work in participatory design led to a book, Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design (Princeton Architectural Press), and the development of GLIDE: Global Interaction in Design, a biennial, virtual forum and research hub on our ever-changing world of design and technology.

The October 2010 virtual conference brought together a distinguished group of design educators, graduate students and researchers from across the globe in real time communication. Covering a broad range, the topics included the use of design solutions to help the indigenous, marginalized people of southern Mexico build business capacity; green design concepts in Asia; and the use of digital technologies in teaching and research in Pacific communities.

During the GLIDE 10, keynote presentation, Ron Eglash discussed his research on the vernacular knowledge systems of global, indigenous cultures and the need to dispel myths about these groups as being backwards, “primitive,” illiterate. He also discussed his world with African American, Puerto Rican and Native American cultures in the United States. In applying these systems for use in design and education. Eglash cautioned that sensitivity is required to make sure that these users are beneficial to the people who created them.
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The Afro Talks Back

Present Tense: The 2011 D-Crit Conference: Michele Washington, Untangling the Naps: The Afro Talks Back from D-Crit on Vimeo.

“Untangling the Naps” investigates the cultural and historical significance of the Afro, and how the afro is expressed today. I explore images of the Afro/’fro/Natural and how they were used to define blackness, racial pride, and ultimately, the black design aesthetic.

The themes for this work focus on identity, hair, blackness and power, ideas expressed in the statement by Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC College.

“No matter what we might think about culture and style as a terrain of struggle, hairstyle politics, particularly in the Black community, reveal a great deal about power—the power of white over black, men over women, employer over workers, state over citizens.” — By Robin D. G. Kelley, Nap Time: Historicizing the Afro

 

My field of enquiry is based on my long-term research into the black aesthetic influence on graphic design in the twentieth century. The title, “Untangling the Naps,” suggests how I have used the Afro as a graphic narrative, in the next phase of my quest to understand the black aesthetic. In my research I investigate the historical and cultural significance of the Afro in the past, and in its current expressions. I have also researched the struggles that describe the “politics of style,” and explore the images and signifiers of the Afro/’fro/Natural that are used to define blackness, racial pride, and the new black design aesthetic of hip. My objective is to illustrate the ways this natural hairstyle has been used as a significant graphic element in the black vernacular narrative and in social media to brand black hipness.

 

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Parsons Challenge: The Dearth of African-American Artists, Designers

Architect Craig L. Wilkins, design scholar Carol Tulloch, and art historian Kymberly Pinder at the Parsons conference (photos by Jonathan Grassi, courtesy of Parsons

Last weekend March 26 Parsons School of Design presented Black Studies in Art and Design Education addressed arguably the the disproportionate number of students and faculty of color in Design Schools not just in the United States but across the globe in countries likes England, Canada and South Africa. This major event was organized by Coco Fusco and Yvonne Watson professors at Parsons School of Design. I was not only in attendance, but I also spoke on a panel addressing the troubling gap that persist within the classrooms of design and art schools. Bill Gaskin, of Parsons moderated my panel Curricular Reform in the Foundation and Advanced Studio Courses presenters included Janice Cheddie, from UK, Van Dyke Lewis from Canada,  Mabel O. Wilson of Columbia University and myself. It was such an exhilarating experience for me to interface with some of the best black scholars in design, architecture, art history and fashion, it is not often that such opportunities happen in one setting.  I must commend Coco Fusco and Yvonne Watsons for taking a strident position and challenging the needs for an overhaul in the academe of design and art schools which is seriously long overdue for revision. Many of the big design and art schools had major showing of faculty and administrators from Pratt Institute, Yale University and MICA.

As reported  in the Chronicle of Higher Education by By W. Ian Bourland

Why are there so few black artists and designers?  The conference, Black Studies in Art and Design Education: Past Gains, Present Resistance, Future Challenges, held last weekend at Parsons The New School for design, investigated both the causes and possible solutions for what is arguably a disproportionate paucity of students and instructors of color in the fields of art, architecture, and design.

Although many of the themes discussed by panels composed of veteran educators and practitioners were not new, Black Studies was notable for its emphasis on concrete and pragmatic solutions for educators.  The timing, moreover, could not be better: On the one hand, humanities and arts budgets within higher education have been roiled by recent economic challenges; on the other, the wider marketplace has capitalized on work by black and other minority practitioners during the past five years. The Phillips de Pury’s 2010 “Africa Auction” was highly lucrative for the auction house, and artists such as Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, Yinka Shonibare, and Julie Mehretu have been the subject of marquee exhibitions in major global institutions, including the Whitney and Smithsonian museums.

For more checkout chronicle.com

Van Dyke Lewis standing, Mabel Wilson, (seated) and Michele Y.Washington.


 

 

 

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