Learning by Design

Week 2 is just about wrapping up and I’ve had a blast so far in the studio! I would love to share some things I’ve been working on for anyone who might be thinking of studying design in Copenhagen. I know that that when I was considering it, I didn’t quite know what to expect. So far, it’s been a really rewarding experience!

On the first day of class, we had gone to visit Cisternerne, or The Cisterns in English. Originally built as a water reservoir back in the 1859, Denmark’s only stalactite cave has since been drained and now houses contemporary art. Each year, an internationally-renowned artist is invited to host an exhibition which plays off of the unique space. When we visited Cisternerne, we were able to view Chiharu Shiota’s exhibition, “Multiple Realities.” It was an eerie walk through a place in the process of being reclaimed by nature, the caverns adorned with Shiota’s ghostly yarn sculptures and floating dresses. Our task as a class is to design a new visual identity for the museum, so this visit was a great opportunity to get a feel for what direction I wanted to go in.

“Multiple Realities,” the exhibition by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota.

It’s all part of the process

Studio time is so nice because I find myself getting lost in what I’m doing throughout class. It is a very collaborative space where I can share work with my classmates and get feedback on ideas. Our instructor, Nina Park, challenges us to explore as many concepts as possible and justify our design choices. The first two weeks were mainly focused on ideation and sketching. At this point, I feel I have a clear direction in where I want to go with my project. Below, you can see a bit of my process in coming up with some initial logo and word mark sketches.

What’s been different?

My home program, Graphic Communication, is a combination of graphic design and the technical aspects of design reproduction. I learn a lot about printing technology, sales and marketing, and preparing files for print or web. At DIS, the Graphic Design Foundations Studio has been a great opportunity to explore my design and fine art skills more in depth. There is so much creative freedom, and it has been really interesting to explore design from all different perspectives while I’ve been here. What I like about the program is that I’m often exposed to all types of Scandinavian design, like furniture and architecture, which has also been a big influence on my recent work. 

60’s and 70’s design featured at Designmuseum.

In the field

As with Week 1, I’ve had opportunities to get out in the city and explore the Copenhagen art scene during class in Week 2. On Thursday, we visited both Designmuseum and Copenhagen Contemporary, both very different and interesting experiences! These visits are accompanied by the Visual Journal portion of our project, in which we take in our surroundings and sketch what stands out and inspires us. Both museums are placed I would highly recommend visiting for anyone interested in design and contemporary art. I ended up purchasing some architectural stamps from the Designmuseum, and I’m super excited to use them in my visual journal going forward. 

One of my biggest takeaways from this week is how different disciplines of design can inform each other. My favorite part of the museums we visited was the portion of Designmuseum that focused on object and furniture design. I was obsessed with so many of the unique chairs on display, and you can bet my journal is now full of various chairs. It got me thinking about how I can use the architecture of Cisternerne to inform my visual identity project. I take inspiration from the curves and organic shapes found in unique furniture designs, from the pops of color and greenery that can be seen on buildings all over the city.

This weekend, I am wrapping up some sketches in my journal and packing for our study tour to Sweden and Finland. I am very excited to visit more museums and even a few design studios while we are there. 

A Tebirke and collaging in my visual journal, great way to end the week. 🙂

Study Abroad This Summer with DIS:

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