Monday, November 29, 2010
I'm gonna have to figure out a 2011 variation on the print ads I designed for Alphabet for 2010. Something different enough to be... well, different, but not so much as to change the entire identity we've been building here.
One of these days, I'm going to build my rejected bike rack myself.
I had originally designed it as an entry for a competition held by Nahdet El-Mahrousa. The winning bike rack is supposed to be built in Cairo's Smart Village and at the Sawy Culture Wheel in Zamalek. My design unfortunately didn't win, but the "honorary mention" felt nice anyway.
Due to lack of public seating in Cairo, and lack of bikers, I thought I'd hit two birds with one stone, creating a design that could function as both a bike rack and public seating. When slots aren't used for bikes, there's enough room to act as a seat, which I figured could come in handy.
When Mohamed Said of Ebony & Ivory furnishings asked me to design a Season's Greetings email graphic for Islamic Feast celebrations on November 16, 2010, I don't think he expected I would come up with this:
But I'm glad he was impressed anyway. I'm even gladder many of his clients put forth the effort to tell him how much they were impressed by it. It's always satisfying to be working with such a cool client, which hardly ever happens really.
I just came across the poster and CD packaging I designed for a joint project between the Anna Lindh Foundation in Alexandria and the Goethe Institute in Cairo back in May 2010 called the Hip Hop Connection.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
The good folks at Mediamatic have finally sent me some sweet documentation of my mapping installation.
Big thanks to Robert Keil for making such a nice photo series. I made a little animated gif of his photos, but Blogger is too retarded for animated gifs, so I'll just leave it for my new website, as soon as Tarek Shalaby is finished with it already.
But yeah, the mapping project. It as quite fun turning the neighborhoods of Amsterdam Noord into characters, and using the art of character design for urban mapping. Doing this required not only extensively research Amsterdam Noord today, but as much as I could about Noord and the details of its neighborhoods across history. This resulted in a total of five character(istic) maps; 1770, 1915, 1945, 1986, and 2010.
I would've loved to do more, but this would have required more research, more drawing, and more time beyond my three-month stay in Amsterdam.
During the opening, I noticed many visitors carefully analyzing map characters and how they changed over time. To my surprise, there were a lot of bits peeps picked up right away.
Not to my surprise, a lot of things went by totally unnoticeable, which is cool, because I know I put in a lot of subtleties that seemed to be relevant to me during the process, without really thinking a whole lot beyond that.
Like in some cases, I attempted to mimic the popular illustration style of the period (above). In other cases I would try to draw direct architectural references, such as the 1986-2010 character for Tuindorp Nieuwendam (below).
A lot of the Amsterdam School of architecture still remains in Tuindorp Nieuwendam, which is considered to be a very expressionist style of architecture. The presence of this architecture surely has a strong effect on the character of the neighborhood, which had to somehow exist in the realization of the neighborhood's depicted character.
Some of the things the Amsterdam School of architecture is popular for is "Ladder Windows," which I used for the character's eyes, and a typographic style that was used for house numbering. I thought it might be cool to use the same typography on the character's shoulder for the neighborhood's area code.
A dinosaur seemed like a good enough vessel to express the grandness of this architectural style. Wanting to depict how relatively trapped in time the neighborhood is, the bike with square wheels seemed expressive enough. But I am using the term "trapped in time" quite lightly really.
Whenever I put together an "art piece" that isn't particularly "salable," I'm always asked what I intend to do with it after the exhibition is over, and indeed it's something I surely think about, even though I totally love the idea of the exhibition-as-temporary-show, because I do believe there's beautiful value in a show just for the sake of putting on a show, as in theatre and music concerts. There's no reason why we shouldn't treat em... "contemporary art" the same exact way sometimes.
That, however, does not seem to be the case for my Noorderlijk Character(istics), as I've been informed by Tina Evers, the Arts & Culture Policy Advisor for the district of Amsterdam Noord, that my work will be displayed in the
Lars Wannop (who had to deal with last minute printing), Ingunn Jonsdottir, Dido Reijntjes, Edwin Gardner (all three who have helped with research), Amber Verstegen (who prepared an intricate welcome package upon arrival in Amsterdam Noord), Robert Keil (for post-opening documentation), Sebastiaan Klaasen, Justin Linds, Julia Luczywo, Lucy Luxton, Alberto Marchioretto, Tommy Vermeire, Simona Tenko, Bas van den Broeke, Ista Boszhard (all of whom were very kind and helpful during my 3-month long stay), Anne Margriet van Dam (who made contact with the Stadsdeel Amsterdam Noord), Femke Vos (who impeccably managed the whole project), Nat Muller (who suggested me to Mediamatic for the Noord project), and Willem Velthoven (who gave good advice and let me do my shit).