Tag Archives: Visual Communication Design

Defence of Doctoral Thesis in the Field of Visual Communication Design, MA Ulla Björklund – Friday 19.11.2021

MA Ulla Björklund will defend her thesis “Changing the Old and Designing the New. Contradictions in Visual Communication Design” on Fridat 19 November 2021 at 12:00 in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Media.

The defense is organized as a hybrid event, and will be held live at lecture Y203 B-hall at Otakaari 1, Espoo, and online in Zoom (please click here for link).

Doctoral Candidate: MA Ulla Björklund
Opponent: Professor José Allard, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Custos: Prof. Teemu Leinonen, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Media

Information at Aalto University web page: EnglishFinnish

The doctoral thesis is available and publicly displayed 10 days before the event here.

ABSTRACT

This study looks at change in visual communication design from two points of view. Firstly, it locates the underlying need for change that motivates the collaboration with visual communication designers. Secondly, it recognizes how the actual design work is changing. The purpose is to better understand the work of visual communication designers and the challenges that are present in the design processes.

The main contribution of the study is the methodology for studying change. This means the way concepts from cultural historical activity theory are used to study visual communication design. Further, the two ethnographic case studies, a visual update of a publication and the visual communication design of think tank Demos Helsinki, describe visual communication design work, which is not yet documented. The case studies have historical value in creating knowledge of the profession.

The main results of the study show a historical contradiction present in visual communication design: How to use craft skills in collaborative processes and concept development? The designers’ skills include knowledge that is focused on the making of visualizations that is not easily verbalized or shared. Meanwhile, in order for the design process to be collaborative there needs to be tools for working together. While craft type of knowledge is useful, it is not easy to include others into the design process, even if it would be relevant for the end result.

The information gained from the study helps us to understand how the context of the designer influences the design process. Further, the study gives conceptual tools to locate where in the design process the collaboration between the designer and the other participants of the design process need support, in order for the collaboration to be better.

In conclusion, changes in the design context affect the need for design. Understanding the changes taking place in the context of the design work can help the designer to understand what is expected from the design and improve the collaboration with clients.

THE DOCTORAL CANDIDATE

Image of doctoral candidate, MA Ulla Björklun

MA Ulla Björklund.

Ulla Björklund has an MA in graphic design from the University of Art and Design and has studied graphic design at the Institute of Design, Lahti Polytechnic. She has spent four years studying activity theory at CRADLE (Center of Research on Activity Development and Learning) at Helsinki University. Her special interests are ethnography and the design process.

Contact information: email / +358 40 830 4578

FIRST NEW MEDIA AND VCD JOINT DOCTORAL SEMINAR OF THE SEMESTER – THURSDAY, OCT 21

WELCOME TO THE FIRST JOINT DOCTORAL SEMINAR OF THE AUTUMN!

This first joint seminar for this academic year will take place on Thursday, 21 October, and will be held virtually on Zoom starting from 15:15 (UTC/GMT+3, Helsinki. Please see link below).

Mediated by Professor Masood Masoodian, we will be starting strong with two very interesting presentations by VCD DA candidates Nicola Cerioli and Dohee Lee.

Zoom link: Click here to join the seminar!

PRESENTATIONS

“Understanding complexity to improve the visualisation of complex datasets”
by Nicola Cerioli

ABSTRACT

In the context of information design, the term “complexity” is often used without a clear definition. This implies a lost opportunity to frame the design problem and structure the design process in a way that is conscious of complexity. My research aims at building a coherent design framework to work with complex datasets in the domain of information design and data visualization. Firstly, a definition of complexity is proposed; drawing from the work of Murray Gell-Mann, and hybridizing his definition with semiotic theory. This will open up different design possibilities on three different, although interconnected, levels: the nature of the represented data, the interface, and the mental model of the user. By adopting this new perspective, several tools and paradigms from philosophy, cognitive psychology, mathematics, and computer science will become available as support to the design process. The object of this research is to explore the different possibilities that a comprehensive understanding of complexity can bring to the information design and the data visualization design process.

BIO

Nicola Cerioli is a doctoral candidate in the Aalto Visual Communication Design group. He is interested in the visualization of complex data, to further the understanding of multifaceted phenomena. For this purpose, he studies the synergies of design methodologies, mathematical methods, and philosophical frameworks.He is collaborating as a project researcher in the FINNGEN project, exploring new methods to visualise molecular biology and health care data.

Image of VCD DA candidate Nicola Cerioli

VCD DA candidate Nicola Cerioli

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“A systematic co-creative approach to evaluating arts and health interventions for creative well-being of older adults”
by Dohee Lee

ABSTRACT

Although older adults’ engagements in arts and design-based interventions have shown positive outcomes in terms of their health and well-being, evaluations of such interventions have rarely taken into account various elements that they consider important in contributing to their creative well-being and quality of life. We will present a narrative interview-based study we have conducted in Korea and Finland with multiple stakeholders, investigating ageing-friendly co-creative approaches to evaluation of arts and design-based interventions for health and well-being. By considering a range of factors – such as artistic and aesthetic values, ethical concerns, and evaluation measures – we propose an evaluation framework that would enable multiple stakeholders – including older adult participants, arts and health practitioners and facilitators, and arts organizations and agencies – to monitor, support and inspire each other systematically through better partnerships in resolving transdisciplinary challenges in such interventions. In particular, we focus on the potential of late-life creativity in supporting older adults in becoming more active participants in such processes, by utilising the knowledge they have accumulated through their own ageing. The aim of the framework is to take a cyclic approach to fostering collaborative co-creative relationships that seek alternative solutions, while dealing with the complexity of implementing arts and design-based interventions.

BIO

Dohee Lee is a doctoral candidate in the Aalto Visual Communication Design group. She has a MA in Material Futures with international working experiences in different communities in collective forms. She believes in the combination of design narratives and social aspects that she has been doing qualitative social design research and project coordination in various geographical, ecological, cultural, and social contexts. Her research aims at developing design strategies for social integration and social well-being of older adults through arts & design practices.

Symposium on Aspect Change – October 21 — 22, 2021, in Bern, Switzerland

Image for Symposium on Aspect Change containing an apple and the Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB logo.

Symposium on Aspect Change

Next week, starting October 21st, VCD MA student João Emediato and head of MA programme in Visual Communication Design Arja Karhumaa will give talks in the “Symposium on Aspect Change” in Bern, Switzerland. The symposium is arranged by Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB. The event is held in English.

The multidisciplinary event will be streamed live and there is no admission!

TIME & PLACE

MORE INFO

Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB – Symposium on Aspect Change

COMPARING CULTURAL PRACTICES AND VOCABULARIES RELATING TO SHIFTING MEANINGS
With interdisciplinary contributions from international researchers in THE ARTS, PHILOSOPHY, GEOGRAPHY, DESIGN, LITERATURE, COGNITIVE SCIENCE

Hosted by Tine Melzer, INSTITUT PRAKTIKEN UND THEORIEN DER KÜNSTE, HKB

*** Please note: On site attendance with valid COVID certificate ***

Streamed on Youtube on the dates: http://www.tinemelzer.eu/aspect-change/

Online attendance registration for Zoom link via here.

https://www.hkb.bfh.ch/de/aktuell/fachveranstaltungen/forschung-aspect-change-21-10-21/

Contact via email

PROGRAM – Thursday 21st of October

9.30 Registration

9.30
Batia Suter
artist, Amsterdam
Film: Radial Grammar, 2018
(excerpts)

10.00 – Welcome
Tine Melzer
artist and researcher, HKB
»Towards Aspect Change «

10.30
David Zürcher
singer & film maker, Bern
Film: »Prekäre Dinge« 2017

10.45
Tobias Servaas
philosopher, Amsterdam
»It is always before one’s eyes – Wittgenstein on aspect change«

11.15
Silvia Maier
cognitive scientist, Zürich
»What you see is what you expect – A brain’s perspective on aspect change«

12.00
Alexandra Leykauf
artist, Berlin
»Both Sides Now«

BREAK

14.00
Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes
art historian, University of Amsterdam
»Aspect Change, Oscillation, Parallax, Untranslatability: Approaching inconsistencies in Joseph Beuys’ work«

15.00
Uta Eisenreich
artist, Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam
»It goes without saying«

BREAK

16.00
João Emediato
artist, graphic designer & performer, Aalto University Helsinki
»Atlas of Work«

16.45
Alina Maria Frieske
artist, Berlin
»Tracking Connections – Imagined Recordings«

17.30
Broersen&Lukács
artists, Amsterdam
Film: »Forest on Location« 2018 (10m)

PROGRAM – Friday 22nd of October

9.30 registration

10.00
Hinrich Sachs
visual artist and writer, Basel
»Taparanco yaycuuan or To my Fellows in the Future«

11.00
Benjamin Hennig
geographer, Reykjavik, University of Iceland
»Rediscovering the world: New maps and visualisations of a changing planet«

12.00
Lizzie Ridout
artist, Falmouth University UK
»Little clouds: Speech balloons and the air of language«

12.45
Tanja Schwarz
artist and researcher, Bern
»Panic for Beginners«

BREAK

14.00
Arja Karhuma
graphic designer & text artist, Aalto University Helsinki
»The horizon of typographic expectation«

14.45
Ilse van Rijn
art historian & writer, Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam
»Diatomaceous meditations«

BREAK

15.45
Raymond Taudin Chabot
artist, HKB
Film: »Cigars«, 2021 (14m 13s)

16.15
Florian Göttke
artist, writer & researcher, Dutch Art Institute Amsterdam
»Performance and Perception: Make Belief and Aspect Change«

17.00
Leila Peacock
artist, Zürich
Audio: »Factual Uncertainties« with Robin the Fog, 2011

17.15 Closing Panel

 

 

Defence of dissertation in the field of Visual Communication Design, MA Arja Karhumaa

Cover image of EPÄGENESIS: Tekstin muotoilu uusmateriaalisena kirjoitta/umisena. Tutkielma Y by Arja Karhumaa.

Cover of Arja Karhumaa's Dissertation second book Epägenesis: Katalogi X.

The audience is kindly asked to join at no later than 12:00. The defence will be recorded.

Zoom Quick Guide

Event language: Finnish 

Event page: In English In Finnish 

The dissertation is publicly displayed online 10 days before the defence here.

TITLE OF DISSERTATION

EPä/iGENESIS: Tekstin muotoilu uusmateriaalisena kirjoitta/umisena. Tutkielma Y

ABSTRACT

This is an artistic research into the materiality of typographic text. In everyday settings, the conventions of ordinary text documents render their writing almost transparent for their reader. However, at the same time, those conventions are so visual in nature that texts often become recognised even before reading, just by looking. As a designer and researcher, I expose these conventions in Epägenesis, an experimental writing project which is set in motion by appropriating found text from ordinary text documents.

In Epägenesis (eng. “Ungenesis”), the persuasive power of form is illuminated by my entangled gestures of writing, designing and reading, calling into question the established categories of ”form” and “content”. What is subsequently exposed is the situated knowledge and skilled practice of a text designer.

The dissertation consists of two books (X and Y), where X marks the practice-based part, and Y is this study which sheds light on the project. Together, X and Y define a space where practice and theory make new diffractive patterns, producing new knowledge where those two are inseparable.

The book Epägenesis: Katalogi X is a compilation of my experimental texts in four series: Alfa, Beeta, Delta and Gem. In writing these texts, I borrow methods and constraints from conceptual and procedural writing.

In this study, I reread my experimental writing in Epägenesis through theories and concepts which have been used in examining the visual and material aspects of typography. Linguistic and literary studies, art history, and visual and media studies have previously shown interest mainly towards textual artifacts that are recognisably material, i.e. unconventional. Multimodal research also recognises how texts are produced through various practices. In my research, I read typography through new materialist concepts, which suggest that text is always material-discursive regardless of whether its form is conventional or unconventional, transparent or prominent to its reader. New materialist thinking provides a frame where typographic writing is entangled with language and matter, with impact from both human and nonhuman. In my research, I am particularly interested in how this impact gets entangled with the notion of the public.

The history of typography is the history of printing, which carries with it many preconceived ideas about origin, author-ship, and value. The entanglements of writing, printing and typography deserve to be examined carefully in this exact moment when typographic practices and conventions migrate onto digital environments, where they emerge and transform in networks devoid of subjective authorship or discernable origin. This might be a turning point which will reveal that us humans never did our writing on our own. Not only do we write, but through material-discoursive agents something is always also epigenetically written into the world.

Showing evidence of the extensive impact of typography on the lives of publics is not easy, however my thesis begins to propose a certain “sociology of texts”. This is a space where categories of language and image, form and content, convention and invention, collapse. Instead, new differential, entangled relationships are recognised in how typographic choices impact our shared world and its patterns of variation and change. With multiple shifts in perspective, scale, and method, this thesis points to how the smallest punctuation marks are entangled with the vast phenomena of knowledge and power.

 

Image of Arja Karhumaa's work 'Nocturne'.

‘Nocturne’ by Arja Karhumaa.

THE DOCTORAND

Image of the doctorand Arja Karhumaa.

MA Arja Karhumaa.

Arja Karhumaa is a graphic designer who works at the intersection of writing, education, and research. Karhumaa has a history of design practice both in agencies and as an independent entrepreneur. Since 2010, she has focused not only on developing education in visual communication, but also on publication design, and writing that spans the territories of poetry, design, and scholarship. Karhumaa has been awarded with prizes and honorable mentions as well as prestigious jury positions both in Finland and in international competitions. She has worked at Aalto University since 2011 as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor.

Contact: Arja Karhumaa