Conversations Through Mediums | Sahil Mroke

Sahil Mroke is a Communication Designer whose practice focuses on Collaboration, Creative Direction and Branding.

“Conversations Through Mediums” explores how the processes of art / design can be integrated into the processes of making music, creating in response to one another.

To view Sahil’s Grad Thesis project, “Conversation’s Through Mediums”, please click here.


dis•enchanted | Begum Gorgulicten

dis•enchanted examines the interconnected relations and the hidden notions around commodities through the lens of philosophy and critical design. Its focus is on self-consciousness.

The capitalist mode of consumption glorifies products through channels of media, trends and advertising methods such as manipulated images, distorted slogans, embellished store displays, saturated colours. This glorification manipulates consumers by casts an illusion—almost like an enchantment—over the true function of products, to serve consumers’ needs: it replaces reality with the false truths, actual needs with artificial ones and use-value with exchange value, thereby creating a state of hyperreality.

Distinguishing hyperreality from reality is possible by examining the steps in the evolution of the human-commodity relationship, beginning with the creation of an idea, its promotion, the commodification of that idea and the mass production of the resulting commodities and finally the sales of these commodities. After this project guides its viewers through all of the steps that are enumerated above, they will experience the stratification associated with the enchantment of human-commodity relation. Once they become aware of the enchantment of commodities and realize if and why they truly need these commodities, their enchantment will be broken and consumption will become conscious and free.

“Nothing is wholly obvious without becoming enigmatic. Reality itself is too obvious to be true.”                              -Jean Baudrillard

STEP 1:

Creation of an idea

The living room is the heart of a house, it is the place where everyone in the house spends time together or where one can host their loved ones. Thus, the living room creates an opportunity for its owners to showcase their most precious possessions, in other words to create their own spectacle. This is why I chose to create my art piece in the form of a living room, to make sure that its audience can create a relation between the artwork and their everyday life. However, the truth about the living room is hidden by the spectacle—the truth that it was created with the sole purpose of being commercialized—through its representation as a precious work of art.

STEP 2:

Promotion

An exhibition catalogue gathers the introductory descriptions about the critical apparatus behind the art pieces and their images, which are showcased during an exhibition. Thus, I used the exhibition catalogue as a way to legitimize the furniture pieces as a valuable collective art piece. In other words, I increased the value of the living room and promoted it through the exhibition catalogue. 

STEP 3:

Commodification

A t-shirt is a commodity that has a potential to be printed on and altered easily. This is why a t-shirt can be used as an advertising tool, a collateral of a brand, a fashion piece or simply as a cover for the body and so on.  I altered simple black t-shirts as representations of the commodification and as the decontextualization of the art piece. Through the t-shirts the art piece was commercialized and transformed from being an art piece into a commodity.

STEP 4:

Mass Production

In the digital age, online platforms are one of the easiest ways to commercialize and sell mass produced product, this is the reason why I created a website to sell the t-shirts. Since the aim of this project is not to encourage people to stop consuming but to question their everyday purchases and make conscious decisions, I set the pricing of the t-shirts in the mid range and make them economically accessible in order to allow a wide range of consumers to think about the dilemma between purchasing them or not. 

Thank you for your interest in my work!

If you would like to be a part of the discussion regarding dis•enchanted or to know more about my work, click the button below to visit my website.

begumgorgulicten.com

Recuperemos Colombia | Alexandra Garcia

How might design educate and inspire behavioral change and more environmental consciousness towards recycling and waste in Colombia? 

Because of my Colombian background and growing interest in taking care of the environment, I decided to begin my secondary research on the waste systems in Colombia. My extended family lives all over the country and I knew that I could get real, lived experience information through interviews with them. I was able to get a wide variety of answers and insight from my friends and family members who’s ages ranged from 15-85.

The Campaign

The best way to involve the community and people of Colombia would be through a visual campaign that encouraged users to engage with the repurposed materials and learn from the information to make necessary changes in their everyday lives.

 

My hope was that the community would relate to the quotes displayed and be inspired to get involved in the changes towards respecting their environment.

Collateral

The campaign would be highlighted through the materials used to communicate the message. Using recycled materials such as cardboard and paper is the main form of production for posters and stencils. As a visual staple for the campaign, I decided to build a cart from recycled cardboard that resembles the carts used by waste pickers in Colombia. I then painted the cart, representing Colombian pride through the colors of the flag.

A Better Tomorrow

When Colombians begin to empathize with the waste pickers and take accountability for their own recyclable materials, the country can generate more income and have a cleaner, healthier environment.

Alexandra J Garcia

Communication Designer
Vancouver, Canada
New Jersey | New York, USA
ajgarcia.myportfolio.com
ajgbdesign@gmail.com


Fern | Emma Brickstock

Working to protect and promote British Columbia's vast biodiversity.

Fern is a non-profit organization that works with British Columbia based environmental non-profits who’s goals are to protect, promote and preserve the biodiversity of British Columbia. Fern creates the branding and marketing collateral that the non-profit organizations need in order to raise awareness, funding and the opportunity to continue to develop and grow.

The Big Picture

British Columbia has a diverse ecosystem and biodiversity, as it is home to more species than any other Canadian province. Unfortunately, many of the species in British Columbia are at risk of extinction. My goal was to create a platform to promote and bring awareness to local organizations that work to tackle environmental issues within British Columbia.

Bring awareness

Generate conversation and bring awareness to environmental  issues within British Columbia.

Inspire donations

Inspire donations and funding towards environmental based organizations.

Encourage connection

Encourage a sense of connection to the natural world.

The Chosen Non-Profits and Their Branding 

Below you can view the three British Columbia based non-profits that I chose to rebrand and create marketing collateral for. You can view the style sheets, the information about each non-profit and the products created.

Ancient Forest Alliance

The Ancient Forest Alliance is a registered non-profit organization working to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and to ensure a sustainable, value-added, second-growth forest industry. 

Living Oceans

Living Oceans mission is to inspire the global community to become Ocean Wise by increasing its understanding, wonder and appreciation for our oceans. Achieving this by engaging in scientific, social and economic research to ensure campaigns are grounded in fact and their solutions are science-based. 

Marmot Recovery Foundation

The Marmot Recovery Foundation works to bring the Vancouver Island Marmot back from the brink of extinction, and ensure it has a sustainable future. The Vancouver Island Marmot lives only in Canada, and is just one of five mammals to occur nowhere else in the world.

Fern's Website 

Fern’s website is where you can access information about what it is Fern does and the objectives and goals they have. You can learn more about the non-profits they support as well as donate through their shop section.

Click on the images to see a more in-depth look through the website. 

Hi, I'm Emma!

I am a Communication Designer based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. I am an adaptive creative thinker who focuses on communication design as a tool for creating modern design solutions. My work is often inspired by natural elements and my love for the outdoors.


Portfolio

Pressed & Printed | Annaka Cox

Pressed & Printed was created as a step to further enhance a design students education. From my personal experience as a design student at an art and design school, there were no classes dedicated to design history, yet countless art history classes. As a Communication Design student, I had very little knowledge of how designers before my time worked and the incredible processes that were in practice before the normalization of computers in the workplace. My hope for the publication is to provide a glimpse into the rich history of production methods and technologies that helped guide graphic design to where it is today. I spent my final year of undergrad gathering research, organizing and synthesizing it to be put into this publication, in a way that it can be quickly and easily comprehend-able. I know not everyone wants to scan countless textbooks and websites or even sit through a history lesson. I wanted the reader to experience a history lesson that is visually enjoyable, and be able to walk away with a broader understanding of how quickly technology’s advancements can change a field of work.

 

To view the full publication click HERE


KINOVARЪ

KINOVARЪ is an editorial magazine that explores bittersweet post-soviet aesthetics.


Softee - Character Design & Branding | Yulun (Alan) Wu

I designed a series of designer toy characters as visual identities related to various types of personal insecurities that are faced by the younger generation nowadays. Further, I branded each of the characters by designing different products derived from them, including buttons, tote bags, stickers, and phone cases, for people to carry on with and reveal these messages about insecurity to the society.​ 

More Info: https://www.alanyulunportfolio.xyz | https://www.instagram.com/alanwylb_98/


Objects That Talk! | Wan-Ya (Megan) Chen

Overview


Objects that Talk! is a print publication that is dedicated towards re-examining the souvenirs in our lives. How do everyday objects, practices, foods, and rituals become anchors for cultural histories — both personal and shared amongst a collective group of individuals?

By sourcing stories from the community, Objects That Talk! is a publication series that showcases how everyday diasporic objects can be reclaimed in a way to shape alternative ideas of cultural history and authenticity. With each newspaper taking on the form of an individual’s story, audience members are invited to read and collect the stories to take home.

Stories sourced from multiple people in the community. Many thanks to Alex Bloom, Carol Yin, Byron Camacho, Selena Ho, and Pablo Clairmont Salvatierra for taking the time to share their experiences with me!

Scroll down to the very bottom to read each story! 


Final Deliverables: Series of six 22″ x 17″ single sheet newspapers, RISO printed on newsprint and Canson 20lb paper, editions of 100

Creative Direction, Typography, Print & Publication Design, Copy Editing, RISO Print Production, Illustration

how can I employ design to share stories about cultural identity in a way that is reflective and representative of their complexity, humanity, and individuality?

Some objects in my life that inspired me to think about the nature behind everyday objects and the stories they tell.

(Left to right) a jar of tiger balm, lucky cat statue, and Taiwan’s famous ChiaTe Pineapple Shortcake

So what? 


Growing up, I remember being constantly annoyed and slightly embarrassed at how “Asian” I was…which led to me spending lots of time pushing away my heritage – so much so that by the time I became interested in reclaiming that part of my identity, I felt a bit hopeless, given the fact that I knew almost nothing about the Taiwanese part of myself. Was it too late? It felt like it was. Years of stubbornly refusing to pay attention in Chinese school had led to broken mandarin, which just widened the communication gap. Years of awkward teen angst also meant not wanting to talk to my parents – much less inquire and listen to their immigration stories. 

Which brings us here today. I was curious about this question of “is it too late? Because, if I’m being honest, it wasn’t like I knew absolutely nothing about my Taiwanese heritage. How had I come to possess these different fragments of my culture? As I began to dive deeper, I thought about how, growing up, and even today, I often associated the “Taiwanese” part of myself with certain practices, rituals, foods, and objects. 


As someone who has come to associate her cultural identity with certain objects and practices, I was curious to see if that was the case for others with hyphenated identities as well.


I also think about what it means to live in a country like Canada that is often touted as a multicultural ideal. While we are lucky in so many ways, it seems like national multiculturalism only values cultures as novelty acts, food in the ethnic aisle, and costumes on holidays, while skipping over the often turbulent history and unresolved narratives of lived experiences. In fact, we don’t often think of personal stories as a part of Canada’s history at all. Although often used as signifiers of our own alienation, perhaps everyday diasporic objects can be reclaimed in a way to shape alternative ideas of cultural history and authenticity.

Process


Large format newspapers gave me room to tell each person’s story (with the depth and detail I wanted), and also allowed for accessibility when it came to reaching a wider audience. By not creating a precious and expensive singular book object and instead opting for a lo-fi mass produced newspaper, I could print out multiple copies on a small budget and distribute them quickly — all without sacrificing any quality, since the RISO inks always turn out pigmented and bright.

Next Steps


Along with the newspapers themselves, I also printed some “extras” that would fold into each story. Below, you can see examples of what I eventually hope to produce for each story: large format reproductions of photos, illustrations, recipes, etc. will act as inserts to bring to life each featured object.


(Below, starting from the top) Illustration of tiger balm for Objects That Talk! Foreword, 8.5″ x 11″ poster

4-colour faux CMYK RISO print of my own family’s restaurant, an insert meant for Issue #5 of Objects That Talk! The Lucky Cat, 8.5″ x 11″

Hello there!


Megan Chen is a Communication Designer & Illustrator currently based in Vancouver, BC.

Her work includes print & publication design, illustration, creative direction, and type design. At the moment, she’s especially fond of collaborative projects that use design as a vehicle to examine cultural identity and social issues. 

She’s worked with The Health Design LabG Day for GirlsLunapadsImagine Create Media, and Contrast Collective.

megchen.com

Tattooed Tramps | Olof Eythorsdottir

What is Tattooed Tramps?

Tattooed Tramps is a community, a movement and a critical piece where I want to shine a light on the perception of women in our society through the lens of tattoos. The project started to take shape as I read multiple comments describing tattooed women as crazy, heavy drinkers, unreliable and so on. I read comments where women were considered less likely to get a partner if they had tattoos … as if that is the only reason women exist. Women are criticized for almost anything they do, makeup, nails, hair … tattoos are just one of many things.

The objectification of women suggests that they only exist to please others. The full identity of women is discarded and value is determined by their body alone.

Tattooed Tramps is on Instagram to create a sense of community, where viewers can submit their stories and experiences as tattooed women. This allows for quick and easy sharing of stories, as well as a platform to promote and advertise upcoming events and goals for the movement.

Click here to visit the instagram

The website serves as the main hub for the project, or an archive of sorts. You can access the written portion of Volume.1 of the Tattooed Tramps publication for free on the website. I would also like to use the website as a space to write specific posts that surround the subject of tattooed women in our society.

The publication is split into two parts, written content on the left and photography on the right. The content features interviews and quotes and opinion pieces relating to the subject. The ideal place to sell the publication would be at Artbook fairs or similar venues.

Click here to read through Volume.1

Future Goals

I can see Tattooed Tramps going into many different directions. One idea is a podcast. Regular photoshoots with different themes. Perhaps documentary-style storytelling. All I know is that I want to continue exploring the possibilities of Tattooed Tramps.

Why Tattooed Tramps?

Tattoos are a hobby of mine, and something I hope to practice in the future and be more involved with. As a woman, I experience objectification or criticism regularly. If not directly then through social media, comments and public discourse. I should wear makeup so I don’t look lazy, but not too much because then I’m a slut. “Your hair is so beautiful and blond don’t dye it blue!” “Tattoos ruin natural beauty”… Women do not exist to be pretty. Women can’t seem to win, no matter what they do they are criticized, and through my project, I hope to bring people to the understanding that women are individuals, allowed to do whatever they please to or with their bodies. A tattoo on your body will not change your value as a person.

I knew I wanted my grad project to be tattoo related. My initial research was looking into the stigma around tattoos, and if there was any stigma. The answer is yes, but I also noticed women were judged more than men for their tattoos. I narrowed my research to women and tattoos and came across some bizarre opinion pieces and incredibly sexist articles. A lot of it suggested that tattoos ruin a woman’s beauty, that they are an eyesore. Tattooed women were also labelled alcoholics, overly sexual and so on. 

I decided to interview some tattooed women about their experiences as well as reflect on my own. I mostly spoke to students at Emily Carr but also interviewed two tattoo artists, Sally (Bebop Ink) and Nikki (Liquid Amber) while in the early stages of my research. The interviews were used to help shape the project, but also as content gathering. With consent from the participants I have shared some of their quotes on instagram. A full interview with Becca Schile, a student at Emily Carr can also be read in Volume.1 of the Tattooed Tramps publication. 

Along with the interviews I wanted some visuals. This came in the form of photography. I scheduled a photoshoot on February 8th, 2020 and advertised it around the school some days prior. The goal was to show tattoos in a different light, and highlight the artistic aspect of tattoos while also celebrating women’s bodies. The response I received was incredible, I received a lot of messages from tattooed women wanting to participate. We only had space for about half of the women that reached out. However, this inspired us to plan future photoshoots with different themes and props. Each model was scheduled for about 20 minutes which turned out to be almost too short. More time with each model would have been better and something I will watch out for in the future. 

The publication was one of the biggest struggles I dealt with throughout the project. The stories I had received from the interview were powerful and deserved to be heard. The photos from the photoshoot also turned out incredible. Trying to puzzle the stories and images together without one overshadowing the other was difficult. My solution was to separate the images and the stories. They are a part of the same volume but the written portion is its own “booklet” on the left and a photograph “booklet” on the right. 

I am thankful for all the connections I made through this project and appreciate the trust of the participants, to share their stories and their tattoos. Tattooed Tramps will continue, with more volumes in the future, Instagram content and conversations. There is a lot of work to be done to break down the objectification of women.

ABOUT ÓLÖF EYTHÓRSDÓTTIR

Ólöf (pronounced O-luv) is born and raised in Kópavogur, Iceland and currently located in Vancouver, British Columbia where she will graduate with a Bachelors in Design from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2020). Her latest design work focuses on social movements and female empowerment. Ólöf wants to continue focusing on societal issues in her career and use those skills to create positive change.

https://oeythorsdottir.myportfolio.com/