Follow my Existential Exile. . .

Thursday, July 29, 2010

you are the example!

Precedents; it's what my students ask for. It's what I've been looking for while researching for my company so I don't do the same ol' ish. It's what we tend to rely upon when trying something new.

But to make history, to be revolutionary, evolutionary, transitional and contemporary you have to look left when the rest of the world looks right. I spoke of the Bauhaus school this past week as a reference to a project I created for my basic Graphic Design class. One major aspect of the success of Bauhaus becoming a major factor in Modern design history was not-teaching history. The instructors at Bauhaus did not want their students to know what was, they wanted them to create what is, and what will be. They expected the students to challenge the traditional views of their society, and the result was avant garde thinking and a new style they could call their own.

So I am challenging my students to challenge the traditional rules of graphic design. Quite frankly, I don't think it is fair to teach a Westernized view of design to students that use characters and extra symbols in their writing systems. Vietnamese does use a Latin alphabet, but with extra letters and an embellishment of accents. But even when I clearly state to my students that they are free to use Vietnamese words, they instead choose to use all English words, even making up words that don't even exist all in an effort to "please the teacher." Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?

Fortunately, some of the students are brave enough to challenge the norms. One girl in my graphic design class decided she did not want to inherit her family's business; art school was her alternate choice.

"My parents are getting older, I'm an only child, and they want me to inherit the business. But being a businessman in Viet Nam means being sneaky.  I've seen a lot of shady things happen under the table, and I don't want to be that type of person, I don't want to run a business that way. So, the family business may have to close down."
"What do you want to do?" I ask.
"I want to work in advertising, just do something creative."

Well, at least she's willing to be the change. . .

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