Youth Designers and Alumni infront of the RISD Museum
Youth Designers viewing the exhibit
“A major exhibition of graphic design work featuring over 100 designs for posters, books, fonts, logos, etc. that provides a view of some of the coolest, cutting-edge work currently being created.”
As soon as I opened my email and saw that sentence in a message from Alisa, I knew that the trip to see Graphic Design: Now in Production at the RISD museum in Providence, RI was something that I could not miss. I got to Back Bay station on Saturday, May 17th at around 9:45 am and met with about fourteen other Youth Designers and alumni to begin our journey to Providence by way of commuter rail.
When we arrived to the RISD museum, the first thing I saw in the lobby was a set of images on the wall that showed the before and after versions of logos for major companies that had been recently redesigned. There was also a box of plastic coins and small boxes beneath each logo where you could vote for the before or after version of each logo by placing the coins in the respective boxes. It was really interesting to see the changes that had been made to each logo and speculate why the designers had chosen to make the changes they did. Even before we had entered the actual exhibit I already knew I was going to enjoy the experience.
We then took a huge elevator up the third floor where the exhibit was being shown. As the elevator doors open I caught glimpses of posters strewn all around the walls and glass cases with beautifully made book covers and screenprinted illustrations. As I walked around the space one of the most captivating pieces I saw was a video being played on loop on a screen. It showed a giant chalkboard with a set of cables attached to pulleys on each corner of the board and a piece of chalk being held by the cables in the middle. The pulleys were attached to motors that moved the cables so that the chalk would draw simple contour line drawings of chairs on the board. Basically, it was an automated chalkboard drawing machine, but the way it drew looked so human and child-like that it was hypnotizing. It was a really interesting combination of digital and traditional design because it took digitally created drawings, and used an automated machine to render them onto one of the most primitive drawing surfaces of all, a chalkboard.
Of course, there was a multitude of other amazing pieces in the show, ranging from interesting brand redesigns to crowd-sourced stop-motion animation music videos. All in all, the exhibition was a really amazing experience and It was a great opportunity to see some of the most recent and cutting-edge work up close and personal. It was like going on a design blog, but instead of scrolling down a webpage, you got to actually see and interact with the work in a real life environment. I had an amazing time visiting the RISD museum, and look forward to seeing what suprises the next Youth Design trip will bring.
~ Daniel Smelansky, Youth Designer