Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good Design Begins at the Office

Like a fashion designer wearing sweatpants or a chef eating at McDonalds, I sometimes worry that in my personal life I fall short of professional expectations. I work with artists and photographers all day, yet come home to walls covered with tacked on band posters and cartoons. I have chairs from Ikea, a candelabra from Linens N' Things (RIP) and a desk that's been with me since I was 10 (it still bears the marks of the glitter stickers I applied).

Luckily, our office is a little more representative of the kind of art and design work we want to inspire our students to create. Great posters, postcards, fliers and books come through all the time, so it's easy to surround ourselves with good work. What do we currently have decorating our cubicle walls? Follow me on a tour through the UCLA Extension Visual Arts workspace.

This poster sits directly behind be, watching me write e-mails. Scott worked a bit on in, and said that it was an interesting experience from a design perspective, since the poster essentially breaks through the fourth wall and draws the viewer's attention to the details of the process as opposed to just the finished product (by leaving in the yellow notes, which were originally intended for internal editing purposes only).

Here's another awesome poster, this one for the Illustration Conference ICON 5. The art is by Edel Rodriquez, and incorporates caricatures of several well knows artist and illustrators (who I assume were represented at that year's conference).

Our calligraphy instructor Carrie Imai is a superhero who wields a mighty pen, and is responsible for me one day opening my mailbox to find the Coolest Envelope Ever waiting for me. This is just a regular letter for her. The combination of a) beautiful calligraphy and b) myself make it one of my favorite things.

Karen keeps this sweet color chart above the bookshelf. It's like the periodic table of art. Also, it will come in handy if we ever decide to sneak in under cover of darkness and paint all the walls.

The other day my office-mate Steve came up to me and asked me why I never wear the "blue sweater with the polka dots" anymore. I told him that I didn't have a blue sweater with polka dots. He went on to describe it at length, saying that it had 3/4 length sleeves and a cowl neck, etc. I repeated that I do not own any article of clothing even remotely like that. Then I went to the bathroom and when I came back, this was waiting for me. A picture being worth a thousand words does not make me own this imaginary sweater, and does not make Steve any less crazy.

And finally, when I'm having a tough day or need some practical advice, I know that I can always turn to Cornelius, Zira and Dr. Zaius. They've seen it all.

1 comment:

Sandra Suzanne said...

that's a nice looking sweater that you definitely don't own.