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Design School Confidential by Lita Talarico, Steven Heller

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Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
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project brief
In Spring 2007, The Walrus asked Fabrica to com-
ment on visually and raise awareness of the Dar-
fur humanitarian crisis. This Canadian magazine
is intellectually rigorous, politically engaged, and
committed to the use of excellent imagery.
The preliminary brief from the magazine’s
creative director, Antonio De Luca, and picture
editor, Bree Seeley, was very stimulating and
challenging. It required us to focus the com-
mentary on those decadent Western world
distractions that keep the developed countries
from acting concretely against the crisis. The
brief stated:
“There is a fundamental lack of urgency to
protect the most vulnerable on our planet. The
size of the crisis in Darfur mocks our civility. We
want to make our readership painfully aware of
the number of innocents killed in this crisis, the
veritable malice of the Sudanese central govern-
ment showing through the unwillingness to pro-
tect its people, highlight the ‘sub-plots’ of mass
rape, sickness and hunger which pour out of the
displaced/refugee population situation, and also
illuminate the sources backing the Janjaweed.
We wish to point generally (or specifi cally)
to aspects of our western culture that distract us
from addressing the genocide (celebrity media,
housing boom, designer objects . . .).
Thereby ask yourselves; ‘what on earth
does it take’ to see the rich West accept part
responsibility for the prolonging of immense
suffering. To address our value system and lay
it bare. Whether this is done through the design
of symbols, plain text, through juxtapositions
of imagery, history or whatever, we are open to
your inventions.
project goal
The Walrus creative team asked Fabrica to
design a powerful poster addressing the crisis
in Darfur that readers could tear out of the pub-
lication. The message of the poster should make
readers aware of the urgency of the Darfur cri-
sis and let them know they can do something to
help the suffering.
project outcome
A group of Fabricans from the areas of visual
communication, photography, and product de-
sign were engaged for six weeks, working in
teams and individually. Critiques and research-
sharing meetings were frequent and packed with
intense debate around the cultural, political, and
geographic specifi cs of the Darfur crisis, but pri-
marily concentrated on determining what could
be the most emotionally impacting messages
for The Walrus readership. The fi nal result was a
multiauthor, eight-page visual essay published in
the September 2008 issue.
Contributors: Namyoung Ann, Michael
Ciancio, Scott Heinrich, Priyadarshini
Khatri, Edward Tad Kimball, Piero Martinello,
Daniel Streat, Lars Wannop, and Parick
Waterhouse
Project Director: Omar Vulpinari, Head of
Visual Communication
Duration of Project: Six Weeks
15
Fabrica, the Benetton Group Research Center
Treviso, Italy
To Die For
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Student: Scott Heinrich
Photograph: Piero Martinello
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Student: Daniel Steat
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Student: Daniel Sreat
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Student: Namyoung Ann
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Student: Michael Ciancio. Photograph: Piero Martinello
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Student: Michael Ciancio. Photograph: Piero Martinello
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Student: Priyadarshini Khatri. Photograph: Piero Martinello
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