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Design notes: the 2012 Fellowship Poster

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

I want to share some notes on the 2012 Summer Design Fellowship poster and some thoughts on design communication. But before I do here’s just a brief introduction for those who are new to the program. Years ago the firm established a ten-week paid Design Fellowship for an exceptional architecture student to work with us over the summer. The application is open to all students who are, at date of submission, enrolled in an accredited professional degree program in the field of architecture.

At some point, to keep things fresh we decided it might be interesting for someone new to design the poster each year. This year, Non-Format was selected because of the collaborative nature of their design process with one partner working in Oslo, Norway and one in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the name [Non-Format] says it all.

It pains me to see many of my colleagues rely increasingly on graphic software programs such as Prezi as they search for more meaningful design communication. Tufte seminars aside, they clearly shift emphasis away from the communicator and even the design. Some (yours truly included) believe the design is the communication, so there is no need for whiz-bang, flashy presentation techniques.

In many ways, that same self-evident quality is sought in the Fellowship candidates’ portfolios. In my design brief to Non-Format I tried to emphasize that. Ideally, the candidate is highly collaborative, quickly and intuitively showcasing and grasping ideas, patterns, research and detail.

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