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Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
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43
project brief
Senior students are assigned sites to research in
the Honolulu area. These sites encompass a range
of areas, including Chinatown, Manoa (a residen-
tial district), and Mapunapuna (an industrial park).
Students are asked to research their sites and any
typography that they fi nd there. They then design
two books (11 × 16 inches [30 × 40.5 cm]; twelve
pages each—including cover) that consider the
site as both a “place” and a “space” (as defi ned by
the French literary theorist Michel de Certeau in
the quotes below). The books need to work in tan-
dem, and students are responsible for the actual
content of the text as well as any images. After the
books are designed, the students work together
to design an exhibitionary map of the combined
sites in a small student gallery. Students are asked
to explore the notion of the map in its widest pos-
sible terms (conceptually and physically) as well
as the unique qualities of exhibition and display.
Readings on the nature of display and mapping
are assigned and discussed to help students imag-
ine possibilities. Students are responsible for the
development, design, and production of the books
as well as the concept, design, and implementa-
tion of the gallery installation.
A place (lieu) is the order (of whatever
kind) in accord with which elements are dis-
tributed in relationships of coexistence. It thus
excludes the possibility of two things being in
the same location (place). The law of the ‘proper
rules in the place: the elements taken into con-
sideration are beside one another, each situated
in its own ‘proper’ and distinct location, a loca-
tion it defi nes. A place is thus an instantaneous
confi guration of positions. It implies an indica-
tion of stability.” —Michel de Certeau
A space exists when one takes into consideration
vectors of direction, velocities, and time variables.
Thus space is composed of intersections of mo-
bile elements. It is in a sense actuated by the en-
semble of movements deployed within it. Space
occurs as the effect produced by the operations
that orient it, situate it, temporalize it, and make
it function in a polyvalent unity of confl ictual
programs or contractual proximities. On this
view, in the relation to place, space is like the
word when it is spoken, that is, when it is caught
in the ambiguity of an actualization, transformed
into a term dependent upon many different con-
ventions, situated as the act of a present (or of
a time), and modifi ed by the transformations
caused by successive contexts. In contradistinc-
tion to the place, it has thus none of the univoc-
ity or stability of a
proper.
—Michel de Certeau
project goal
The goal of this project is multifaceted. Students
learn to document, analyze, and interpret ty-
pography in the landscape, particularly as such
typography signifi es the unique identity of an
urban site. They then explore the book as a typo-
graphic “site” in its own right, and in its relation-
ship with the actual site. Extending the notion
of site to a gallery space, students imagine an
exhibition space as its own landscape—one that
maps the relationships between all urban sites
assigned in the projects and incorporates all the
books. Students learn to see the urban environ-
ment and its texts as a dynamic dialogue—one
that integrates public and private messages and
readings.
Class: Typography III
Level: Fourth Year
Faculty: Anne Bush
Duration of Project: Sixteen weeks
Reading the Urban Landscape
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University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Graphic Design Program
Honolulu, Hawai’i, USA
the projects 183
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