BANKSY ATTACK!

I’m a huge Banksy fan.  Love Love Love it!  Banksy has been running amok in New York City for the past month causing all kinds of controversy and gaining new fans and enemies along the way.  He turns the art world on its head by making art part of the public domain and taking it out of control of the upper classes.  He mocks the established rules.  The painting below, the picture is from his website http://www.banksyny.com, was painted on his first day in New York has since been painted over. Some suspect he painted over it himself as some sort of performance piece.  His shenanigans have included setting up a stall to sell signed canvases with his stencils on them for $60 a piece without informing anyone.  Only making around $400 for the day, he then announced that these were indeed legit and the  three lucky buyers now have pieces or art that have been appraised at around $40,000.  Good investment.  The cops are after him, the mayor has denounced him, and yet he still finds a way to make these works without being caught.  Some are being destroyed, some are being preserved. Brilliant people are guarding walls and demanding cash for the opportunity to take pictures. So good.Image

Street Designs

For designathon, our not-for-profit organization is ROOF- reaching our outdoor friends.  One service they offer is a skills and work experience program called street designs where people they help design merchandise that is available for sale in online.  This is a great idea and one that they should really work to expand.  They only have a few items as examples online right now, but if they took a lesson from another not for profit organization I volunteer for- Bracelet of Hope- They would see how selling hand crafted items made by the people that they help can help generate huge funds as well as give an added service to those in need by helping them to empower themselves.

Feathers

UNREAL PHOTO!

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

Photo taken by contributor Kait Mauro, a 21-year-old Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native who has lived all over the country. She is trying to see all 50 states and has been to 38 so far. Kait has a diagnosis of major depression, severe and recurrent, as well as having experienced anxiety and disordered eating during her teenage years. She is currently an undergraduate at Washington University in Saint Louis where she studies Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Creative Writing. Her primary mediums are poetry and photography, though she has also been known to dabble in printmaking and other genres of writing. She seeks to understand her experiences and to connect with others through her art. Her photography can be seen at kaitmauro.com or nowandnowandnow.wordpress.com.

About this photo: “I took this photograph at the World Bird Sanctuary in Saint Louis, MO. I have always loved feathers and have a bit of…

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Amazing Podcast- Harry Pearce, Pentagram

http://www.rgdontario.com/resources/videos.php

Here you will find a fantastic presentation by partner at Pentagram Designs Harry Pearce about how he finds inspiration all around him, and how ideas have found him.  He talks in this video about how looking in strange areas have inspired great ideas, how he can find meaning and beauty that was not intended by looking at things in a different way.  He illustrates this by showing examples of “beautiful typography” he has found in places like India, Cuba, and the middle east that were not intended as beautiful typography, but caught his eye. 

His message is to look at everything you see with aesthetic interest.  Try to find beauty in everything.  Stop and smell the roses.

Quiet

I’m reading a book called Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.

It’s brilliant. It should be required reading teachers, HR, managers, anyone who has to manage groups of people.  The books is particularly relevant to  the design industry because it recognizes that “creative types” are often introverted types.

One point that the book makes that stands out to me is the need for introverts to have peace and quiet and how modern offices are often designed with “open plans” to encourage team work.  The book describes how a few decades ago, managerial types came up with theories about group work being more productive than individuals working together based on the logic that more brains are better than one.  They encouraged offices to break down their walls so that everyone would work together to come up with the best idea.  The trouble is, these theories about productivity have been proven wrong.  Studies have shown that people working on their own in places where they feel comfortable allow them to generate more good ideas than a group of people working together.  People working together were often subject to peer pressure, group think and the fear of their idea being rejected by others in the group, even if they had a much better one.  Introverted people suffered the most in these situations.  Despite the evidence, many workplaces are still designed to encourage constant social interaction

This brings me to the way our classroom is set up.  The author, Susan Cain explains how classrooms at all levels of education are focusing more and more on encouraging group work with the way desks are arranged ( in pods now instead of the old school rows) and other tactics.  For introverts this is a NIGHTMARE.

I like group work, and I like bouncing ideas off people.  I do not like working in our classroom.  Even when we are working in groups I prefer to go somewhere else with the group.  The amount of people, the complete lack of privacy, the noise, the running around ( I could go on but this is not intended as a rant).  I just simply do my best work on my own, in my studio with something playing in the background, usually at night.  I simply don’t get anything done in class and I am usually itching to get home so I can get some real work done.

Cain also talks about how for many people, work environments where everyone can see you and your screen at all times can create anxiety. It doesIt’s interesting how many people work on their personal laptops instead of the much bigger screens on their desks in our class.  I find the classroom physically exhausting to try to work in compared to working in a more private setting.

What I love most about this book is how it makes you feel a bit better about being introverted and liking to work quietly and alone.  It’s just how some people do their best work and we should have flexibility in how, when and where work is done.

Extraordinary Spaces

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I found this when picking up Oktoberfest tickets.  It’s a neat package with different trails you can take to see public art in the Region of Waterloo.  It’s nicely designed by local firm Machteld Faas Xander.   http://machteldfaasxander.com
I checked out their site and I really like what they do.  Wonder if they take on interns????

This package tells the stories of the public art around the area and is a great resource for anyone looking for something different to do on a weekend.  I like that the different routes are separated into separate booklets, that way you can just grab one and take it with you rather than fumbling with the whole thing while out walking or riding your bike. I would love to see someone come up with a similar idea for the “unofficial” public art in the area.  It would be a challenge keeping up with changing nature of street art, but I think it would be worth it.

Environmental ignorance

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This crazy graffiti is behind  the building I work in in Cambridge.  I didn’t notice it until recently ( its about eight feet high) but for some strange reason I thinks its great. It brightens up this dark alley, It’s funny, It’s creative, it’s strange, it looks like it was preplanned and not designed on the spot.  I have no idea what it is or what its screaming at, but it’s colourful and I appreciate that.  I like graffiti that evolves past “tagging”.  I hope no one takes this person’s spray paint away.