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Design School Confidential by Lita Talarico, Steven Heller

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(RAY)
Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
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(RAY) Text
Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
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project brief
Students will investigate the effects of making
personal (private) messages public and explore
the way environmental typography can establish
new channels of communication.
project goal
By conducting extensive research, including a lit-
erature review of cultural and media theory and
a series of visual experiments focusing on the
interpretation of visual/typographic messages
(both private and public), students will set about
collecting fragments of overheard conversations,
with a view to assessing potential interpretations
of these messages. Drawing into question the
role of the designer in controlling the perception
of messages, this project explores the notion of
design as a mechanism for cultural change. It
examines how the recontextualization of over-
heard dialogue into new forms of media alters
the meaning of its message and affects those that
view/interact with it.
project outcome
The project was achieved through a series of pub-
lic installations in urban areas in Australia, based
on the reinterpretation and repositioning of over-
heard dialogue. A continuation of the project in
the form of a blog, www.listencarefully.net, invites
further interpretation of the messages, allows for
comment on the project, and provides an oppor-
tunity for ongoing discussion.
Class: Design Research Studio: Designer Agency
Level: Bachelor of Design Honors
Faculty: Nicki Wragg, Tony Ward, and
Keith Robertson
Duration of Project: One Semester
Swinburne University of Technology, Faculty of Design
Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Listen Carefully
37
This installation comments on existing forms of
media by taking a private message and placing
it in public. The stencil cutaway reveals layers of
texture, color, and tone, and invites you to look
closer. It refl ects the density of visual communi-
cation in our urban environment and the multi-
plicity of meaning found beneath.
Listen Carefully
Students: Daniel Peterson, Samantha Austen, and Meg Phillips
This installation focuses on an inherent conver-
sation. Handcrafted and personal, this media
and context creates a sense of voyeurism—that
you have overheard something most private.
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(RAY)
Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
06-AC51736 #175 Dtp:160(P) Page:165
n dential
Page:164
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(RAY) Text
Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
06-AC51736 #175 Dtp:160(P) Page:165
n dential
Page:164
f
g
f
k
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s
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a
t
Adjacent to a car park and
surrounded by buildings ap-
proximately six stories high,
this location receives regular
high-density traffi c. This mes-
sage is made visible to those at
ground level as well as in the
surrounding area, referencing
road markings and challeng-
ing the audience to question
the regulatory nature of our
daily commute.
The handwritten note, seem-
ingly torn from a diary and
then discarded, speaks of dis-
posable media. The transition-
al nature of this media working
in harmony with the nature of
the message, while also draw-
ing attention to the apparent
desperation of the question,
adds a degree of emotion ab-
sent from the source material.
To confound expectation in a rapidly changing media environ-
ment, where work is painted over frequently, we opted for a return
to the traditional. It’s a play on preexisting visual media in a lo-
cation often classifi ed as an artist space. The message is framed,
which offers alternate meanings and questions whether the mes-
sage is or is not art. The positioning of this statement also calls
into question the meaning of “reading,” transposing it from a liter-
ary to a visual context.
By placing this message in
a dark alleyway populated
by overfl owing rubbish bins,
this message speaks of noth-
ing, communicating a sense
of uselessness and referenc-
ing the often vacuous nature
of visual media.
Melbourne is a city of laneways
and hidden locations, so direc-
tions are often a part of over-
heard dialogue. The recontex-
tualization of commonly heard
directions in an offi cial media
draws into question whether
the message is communicat-
ing a destination or direction.
the projects 165
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