For the end of year show, the department of graphic design (students) create a publication/yearbook of the work being exhibited. In past years they have made a book where they take your picture, and some sketches and photographs of your exhibited work. They have also featured interviews with some teachers, and head of departments, in a more traditional yearbook type of publication.
This year, however, they came up with an awesome idea. Instead of taking a picture of the designers, they would take a picture of our work tables, or desks. The process is such a big part of the design, and this type of yearbook photograph would show that. I had an issue with this, however, because they had set “types of pictures” for each discipline. Interior architecture/furniture would be pictures from a corner perspective, looking at converging walls where they could place their final piece, or work desks, etc. The focus was three-dimensionality. For fashion they would use mannequins, on a portrait kind of photograph, and for visual communication (my area) the picture would be taken from the top, overlooking a desk, because “we work with sketchbooks/print material only”.
I explained that visual communication doesn’t limit itself to that, and that my project dealt with space and body movement, and to communicate that I didn’t need to be catalogued as “just show a sketch”, when my sketch is code and applying that through visuals into people’s movement, in real time!
I guess we still have a long way to go in graphic design (and design in general) to overcome labels and stereotypes of each specialized area, and embrace hybridity and working between boundaries of what design or graphic design “should be”.
I decided then to show my real desk: the environment I have when I work, and that was what they captured for the yearbook.