Stefan Sagmeister issued a challenge to RIT students; to touch somebody’s heart with design. Working with Francine Sorrentino, I helped create an outdoor installation encouraging students to take a little time to relax and shift their perspective.
Assembled out of cardboard, acrylic paint, and a lot of tape, plus a borrowed love seat. We braved the cold Rochester October morning to set it up, and stayed to watch the entire day. We interviewed students periodically to get their impression, and Mr. Sagmeister himself even came by.
The idea behind the installation was to use heavily skewed type to force the user to sit and relax in our very comfortable couch. From the bottom up, the “poster” features progressively vertically stretched messages, each requiring a more extreme angle for visibility. The issue we didn’t predict, however, was that the type was legible if you simply stood behind the couch. Still, we had plenty of visitors, many of whom sat to look at the piece.
Text reads (from bottom to top): “Please have a seat.” “No, really, we insist.” “There, now isn’t this nice?”
This project also turned out to be a lesson in securing display space. I ended up sparking a dialogue in the bureaucracy that was staging the event on campus, by pushing my pitch to use the particular space. It turned into a long, long chain of emails discussing liability, the event, using funding for facilities management aid, and the like. In the end, a system was set up for projects to request outdoor space, as well as use grant funding to pay for facilities management workers to help put up and take down displays.
Role: Created original concept, worked on design iterations, created a pitch for and secured display space, helped create final installation piece
Goal: To meet Mr. Sagmeister’s challenge, and create an engaging and unique installation, which would be visible and approachable given its location of choice.
Programs Stuff used: Adobe Illustrator, cardboard, tape, paint, a handful of Xacto blades, a slightly used couch, and a delicious pizza the night of assembly.
Scope: 4 weeks