X IS METHOD
Graphic design is shifting away from objectification, to a non-format, non-medium approach to design. Instead of focusing on the graphic design object, this approach is based on designing systems and methodologies that lead to design. In an era of template culture and on-demand production, we must shift our focus from the physicality of the objects that are produced (the surface), to the research that leads to the product (the process).
In this scenario, (graphic) design can be seen as a set of visual, linguistic, social, philosophical, and political tools implemented to a dataset. A dataset which represents the content that needs to be communicated. Therefore the same dataset can manifest itself in any format or medium the designer, or even user, sees fit, often times taking on multiple iterations. The guiding principles then become the research question and the research methodology applied to achieve the answer.
Heuristic methodologies in design focus on developing the vocabulary of a project (iterations), as opposed to focusing on just on a singular form. Design versioning, if you will.
Successfully implementing this heuristic approach to design, necessitates a set of research tools which help with our inquiry. We can borrow these tools and methodologies from related fields of research (such as planology or anthropology) and reinvent them for our own discipline. This introduces rigor to design research yet still allow us the necessary latitude for uncompromising creativity
Led by a team of 8 tutors from the teaching faculty of Graphic Design Arnhem, the 2018 edition of Summer Sessions will be devoted to exploring different design methodologies with the goal of re-evaluating and developing of one's own personal methodology. Through a series of intense workshops given by tutors, participants will be introduced to each tutor's specialised practices and skill sets, and will in turn be encouraged to experiment, play and (re)invent their own.
X IS METHOD is not only the theme but also the format of this unique edition of the GDA Summer Sessions.
Fieldwork / Digital Archeology and Ethnography / Design Anthropology / Critical Mapping / Speculative Design / Design Fiction / Data Scraping / Hacktivism / Open Source / Digital Forensics
Imagine a horizontal line symbolizing a line of design research.
Each iteration in this research grows the line further. A new idea based on this research branches off a new line parallel to the original. Each iteration in this new line of research grows this new line further.
This process can repeat indefinitely, resulting in as many lines of inquiry needed. These lines of inquiry represent the total vocabulary of the research.
If, at any time, a designer is ask to show work related to this research, he or she need only to present the current results on each line of inquiry — a symbolic vertical line bisecting the horizontal lines of inquiry at any given moment.
This bisection results in an array of words culled from the vocabulary of the research that represents the project from a variety of perspectives.