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Workshops
Design College, Nanjing Arts Institute and the typographic exploration book and information diagram
Nanjing Arts Institute 2011

In May 2011, the Design College, Nanjing Arts Institute, hosted a second workshop led by international designer and educator Richard B. Doubleday. The first project explored the structural nature of letterforms through a series of typography investigations. The objective was to achieve greater sensitivity to letterform structure and exploring multiple solutions under detailed constraints. For the second project students could choose a theme for a personal timeline and design a visual representation communicating their path up until 2011 or develop an information graphic illustrating major cultural and art events across one decade. The objective was combining multiple analyzed layers of data into an organized visual representation, enabling the viewer efficient navigation and use of information. The student work created during the workshop was printed, assembled and exhibited in the Design College art gallery.

Thirty-five graduate students participated in the two-week workshop. To carry out the assignments, the students were encouraged to explore alternate methods of typographic expression for the type book project and consider multiple diagrams, timelines, and map construction for the information graphic project. The students were required to use English text and Chinese calligraphy was optional. The students spent the first week of the workshop drafting rough sketches of their typographic books and working through preliminary ideas for the information diagram. The second week was spent creating the books and completing the projects. The results were truly extraordinary. The individual and group critiques enabled the students to get instantaneous feedback, critique their classmates' design solutions, and articulate the ideas behind their own projects. It was a remarkably good collaboration and cross-cultural exchange of ideas in the graphic arts.

Universidad del Valle de Mexico and the Cultural Tourism Posters and Postcards
Mexican students

In March 2011, the Universidad del Valle de Mexico (Laureate International Universities), hosted a workshop led by international designer and educator Richard B. Doubleday. The objective of the workshop was to brand the city of Hermosillo through a series of three campaign posters and postcards. The campaign is intended to grab the viewer's attention, express the personality of the city, attract tourism, and explore details that the viewer might have overlooked about Hermosillo. Doubleday arrived in Mexico bearing items representative of Hermosillo including postcards, magazines, newspapers, and photographs of historical landmarks.

Eight students participated in the one-day workshop. To carry out the assignment, the students cut and pasted the Hermosillo material with drawings and sketches. They also integrated text from historical narratives. The students were encouraged to explore alternate methods of visualizing narration: continuous text, typographic expression, diagrams, timelines, map construction, and text/image combinations. The students were allowed to use either English or Spanish text or a combination of the two. Doubleday demonstrated different working methodologies, for example, experimenting with multiple images at different sizes and collage techniques.

Although Hermosillo, located centrally in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora, is 349 kilometers south of Tucson and 1601 kilometers southeast of Mexico City, is a large modern city, one can find a network of government buildings, museums, a Neoclassical palace, cathedral and mountains surrounding the entire city. Doubleday challenged the students to think about how living in or visiting a city influences how we think and how we see. The students were encouraged to think about how to convey visually the mood and temperament of the subject matter and their experiences in Hermosillo from their point of view.

The final designs comprised a variety of posters and postcards that included handmade shapes, expressive typography, statues and architecture of Hermosillo. The cultural tourism poster series were portrait format at 11 x 17 inches and the postcards series were landscape format at 5.6 x 7.6 inches, and double-sided. The final designs comprised a variety of cultural campaign posters and postcards celebrating the unique characteristics of Hermosillo. The final solutions included a tagline, 'I Love Hermosillo' for the city and a wordmark identifying Hermosillo Turismo Cultural Center.

Design College, Nanjing Arts Institute and the cultural concept book workshop
Nanjing Arts Institute workshop

In November 2010, the Design College, Nanjing Arts Institute, hosted a workshop led by international designer and educator Richard B. Doubleday. The objective of the workshop was to compare and contrast the Western and Eastern cities of Boston and Nanjing by taking a closer look at these two cities' personalities. Doubleday brought items representative of his hometown of Boston including photographs, postcards, stamps, newspapers, assorted sports paraphernalia, including memorabilia from the world famous Boston Marathon. The student work created during the workshop was printed, assembled and exhibited in the Design College art gallery.

Thirty graduate students participated in the weeklong workshop. To carry out the assignment, the students scanned and photocopied the Boston material and combined them with their own drawings, paintings, and digital photographs of their city of Nanjing. They also integrated text from the historical Boston narratives and poetry. The students were encouraged to explore alternate methods of visualizing narration: continuous text, typographic expression, diagrams, timelines, map construction, and text/image combinations. The students were allowed to use either English text or Chinese calligraphy or a combination of the two. The students also focused on the cinematic aspects of multi-page design, unity, pacing, contrast, and rhythm. Doubleday demonstrated different working methodologies, for example, experimenting with multiple images at different sizes and collage techniques.

Although Nanjing, located 254 kilometers northwest of Shanghai, is a large modern city, one can find a network of Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) city walls, bridges and classical gardens. Doubleday challenged the students to think about how living in or visiting a city influences how we think and how we see. Doubleday asked them to create short, multi-page books integrating images from both Boston and Nanjing that would visually communicate the similarities and differences in the visual culture of the two cities. Doubleday asked the students to think about how to convey visually the mood and temperament of the subject matter and their experiences in Nanjing from their point of view and conversely, their impressions of Boston. Doubleday calls this approach a cultural concept book study.

The final designs comprised a variety of books that included handmade sculpted shapes, expressive typography, postcard images, statues and architecture of Boston. The students spent the first two days of the workshop working through preliminary ideas and drafting rough sketches. The second half of the week was spent creating the books and completing the project. The results were truly remarkable.

The solutions combined Eastern and Western imagery with English text and Chinese calligraphy to form a unique and unusual juxtaposition of design elements. The individual and group critiques enabled the students to get instantaneous feedback, critique their classmates' design solutions, and articulate the ideas behind their own projects. It was an excellent collaboration and cross-cultural dialog in the graphic arts.

Icograda World Design Congress Pre-Conference Workshops School of Arts, Soochow University
SoochowU workshop

Icograda (the International Council of Graphic Design Associations), the world body for professional communication design, held its biennial World Design Congress 2009 and General Assembly 23 in Beijing, China from 24-30 October. Hosted by the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and the First Beijing Design Week, this first ever large-scale design event in China was an opportunity to promote design industry and served as a public forum to exchange ideas on advancing design education in China. The World Design Congress examined contemporary viewpoints and presented challenges in the visual communication field. The General Assembly, led by the Icograda Executive Board, officially put into effect a model for best practices in sustainable development, and was attended by delegates representing member organizations from over 40 countries and regions.

The main focus of the Congress was the international conference. Under the theme Xin, (an ancient means of communication), the speakers discussed four topics in lateral sessions: Access, Balance, Communicate, and Define. A distinguishing feature of the Congress was the series of Pre-Conference Workshops, which were held in cities around China. The workshops were led by international designers and design educators, and the student work created at the workshops were collected, exhibited and printed during the Congress in Beijing.

As part of the Icograda Congress, I conducted a cultural concept book workshop at School of Arts, Soochow University. I arrived in Suzhou bearing items representative of my hometown of Boston including photographs, postcards, stamps, newspapers, assorted sports paraphernalia, including memorabilia from the Boston Red Sox baseball team and the world famous Boston Marathon.

Thirty-five students participated in the weeklong workshop. To carry out the assignment, the students scanned and photocopied the Boston material and combined them with their own drawings, paintings, and digital photographs of their city of Suzhou. They also integrated text from the historical Boston narratives and poetry. The students were encouraged to explore alternate methods of visualizing narration: continuous text, typographic expression, diagrams, timelines, map construction, and text/image combinations. The students were allowed to use either English text or Chinese calligraphy or a combination of the two. The students also focused on the cinematic aspects of multi-page design, unity, pacing, contrast, and rhythm. I demonstrated different working methodologies, for example, experimenting with multiple images at different sizes and collage techniques.

The objective of the workshop was to compare and contrast the Western and Eastern cities of Boston and Suzhou by taking a closer look at these two cities’ personalities. Although Suzhou, located 32 miles northwest of Shanghai, is a large modern city, one can find a network of 16th century canals, bridges and classical gardens. I challenged the students to think about how living in or visiting a city influences how we think and how we see. I asked them to create short, multi-page books integrating images from both Boston and Suzhou that would visually communicate the similarities and differences in the visual culture of the two cities. I asked the students to think about how to convey visually the mood and temperament of the subject matter and their experiences in Suzhou from their point of view and conversely, their impressions of Boston. I call this approach a cultural concept book study.

The final designs comprised a variety of books that included famous Chinese water townships, expressive typography, postcard images, statues and architecture of Boston, and Chinese 'stamp' motifs. The students spent the first two days of the workshop working through preliminary ideas and drafting rough sketches. The second half of the week was spent creating the books and completing the project. It took them a while to understand the concept, but about halfway through the week they just took off. The results were truly remarkable.

The solutions combined Eastern and Western imagery with English text and Chinese calligraphy to form a unique and unusual juxtaposition of design elements. The two class critiques enabled the students to get instantaneous feedback, critique their classmates’ design solutions, and articulate the ideas behind their own projects. It was an excellent collaboration and cross-cultural dialog in the graphic arts.

The 5,000-year-old artistic traditions of China, including strong calligraphic and graphic arts, make it an exceptionally fertile area for cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration in the graphic arts. I look forward to further involvement with students and artists in China in the coming years.

Website: Icograda

Suzhou Art & Technology Institute and the cultural concept book workshop
Suzhou Art and Technology workshop

In May 2008, the Suzhou Art & Technology Institute, hosted a workshop led by international designer and educator Richard B. Doubleday. The objective of the workshop was to compare and contrast the Western and Eastern cities of Boston and Suzhou by taking a closer look at these two cities' personalities. Doubleday brought items representative of his hometown of Boston including photographs, postcards, stamps, newspapers, assorted sports paraphernalia, including memorabilia from the world famous Boston Marathon.

Thirty-five undergraduate students participated in the weeklong workshop. To carry out the assignment, the students scanned and photocopied the Boston material and combined them with their own drawings, paintings, and digital photographs of their city of Suzhou. They also integrated text from the historical Boston narratives and poetry. The students were encouraged to explore alternate methods of visualizing narration: continuous text, typographic expression, diagrams, timelines, map construction, and text/image combinations. The students were allowed to use either English text or Chinese calligraphy or a combination of the two. The students also focused on the cinematic aspects of multi-page design, unity, pacing, contrast, and rhythm. Doubleday demonstrated different working methodologies, for example, experimenting with multiple images at different sizes and collage techniques.

Doubleday challenged the students to think about how living in or visiting a city influences how we think and how we see. Doubleday asked them to create short, multi-page books integrating images from both Boston and Suzhou that would visually communicate the similarities and differences in the visual culture of the two cities. Doubleday asked the students to think about how to convey visually the mood and temperament of the subject matter and their experiences in Suzhou from their point of view and conversely, their impressions of Boston. Doubleday calls this approach a cultural concept book study.

The final designs comprised a variety of books that included handmade sculpted shapes, expressive typography, postcard images, statues and architecture of Boston. The students spent the first two days of the workshop working through preliminary ideas and drafting rough sketches. The second half of the week was spent creating the books and completing the project. The results were truly remarkable.

The solutions combined Eastern and Western imagery with English text and Chinese calligraphy to form a unique and unusual juxtaposition of design elements. The individual and group critiques enabled the students to get instantaneous feedback, critique their classmates' design solutions, and articulate the ideas behind their own projects. It was another wonderful collaboration and cross-cultural dialog in the graphic arts.

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the cultural concept book workshop
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the cultural concept book workshop

In March 2009, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, hosted a workshop led by international designer and educator Richard B. Doubleday. The objective of the workshop was to compare and contrast the Western and Eastern cities of Boston and Hong Kong by taking a closer look at these two cities' personalities. Doubleday brought items representative of his hometown of Boston including photographs, postcards, stamps, newspapers, assorted sports paraphernalia, including memorabilia from the world famous Boston Marathon. The student work created during the workshop was printed, assembled and exhibited in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University art gallery.

Twenty-five undergraduate students participated in the weeklong workshop. To carry out the assignment, the students scanned and photocopied the Boston material and combined them with their own drawings, paintings, and digital photographs of their city of Hong Kong. They also integrated text from the historical Boston narratives and poetry. The students were encouraged to explore alternate methods of visualizing narration: continuous text, typographic expression, diagrams, timelines, map construction, and text/image combinations. The students were allowed to use either English text or Chinese calligraphy or a combination of the two. The students also focused on the cinematic aspects of multi-page design, unity, pacing, contrast, and rhythm. Doubleday demonstrated different working methodologies, for example, experimenting with multiple images at different sizes and collage techniques.

Doubleday challenged the students to think about how living in or visiting a city influences how we think and how we see. Doubleday asked them to create short, multi-page books integrating images from both Boston and Hong Kong that would visually communicate the similarities and differences in the visual culture of the two cities. Doubleday asked the students to think about how to convey visually the mood and temperament of the subject matter and their experiences in Nanjing from their point of view and conversely, their impressions of Boston. Doubleday calls this approach a cultural concept book study.

The final designs comprised a variety of books that included handmade sculpted shapes, expressive typography, postcard images, statues and architecture of Boston. The students spent the first two days of the workshop working through preliminary ideas and drafting rough sketches. The second half of the week was spent creating the books and completing the project. The results were truly remarkable.

The solutions combined Eastern and Western imagery with English text and Chinese calligraphy to form a unique and unusual juxtaposition of design elements. The individual and group critiques enabled the students to get instantaneous feedback, critique their classmates' design solutions, and articulate the ideas behind their own projects. It was an excellent collaboration and cross-cultural dialog in the graphic arts.