Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tibor Kalman on Charlie Rose

Though not directly related to this class, Tibor Kalman was definitely a stalwart supporter of socially conscious design in the 90s.

Rough Draft of US+THEM mission statement

I sent a rough draft of the mission statement and goals of US+THEM through facebook to some students. I didn't have access to everyone so here is the rough draft for all in case no one forwards the message to you(which I asked someone to do). Please feel free to make suggestions on the statement or just edit it and send it back.
Thanks guys:


This statement represents an awareness of individualism, and the relationship between individuals and all communities. It is a positive discourse that celebrates discussion, and discovery of all cultures within communities, embracing disconnect and asking for individual response.


1. Positive discussion.

2. Positive realization.

3. Positive celebration.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I did a quick google streetview down just a few of my favorite streets in downtown Chicago and found more than 30 lovely Chicago flags. A quick search in downtown MPLS and I found none! sad sad.

So to recap the idea from class:

We've been talking a lot about bringing people together, and how difficult that can be in such a diverse (and cold) city.
The presence of a city flag is, at least to me, a really simple way to show pride and unitedness. I can honestly say I care about the Chicago flag and have talked to strangers just because of its presence.

Everyone who is in Minneapolis is here for a reason, and everyone can unite under this banner. It means something to each resident. It's something to start conversations, take pride in, and care about.

It seems like no one really knows there is a MPLS (or St. Paul) flag until they're told. But there is a flag! So let's make, hang, and distribute tons of these flags and add some intrigue and pride to our city's streets!

OLPC -- One Laptop Per Child

This laptop is distributed to children in third world countries. Design with a purpose that I think is effective.

Friday, February 26, 2010


The conversation about the creation of what an identity is and the association to community unity and acceptance through through the use of symbolic imagery is still interesting. We must search further to address questions around how can a flag can unite people, or can a flag represent a community. There is not doubt that flags are important to national identity-the first thing protestors do is burn the flag. With that said we need to consider more important questions on how this conversation relates to the typographic discussion about culture and politics and region and how these issues inform US +THEM. For example, the idea of typographic relevance to culture leads me to ask what is the font that symbolizes the Mid West or Minneapolis and/or the Twin Cities? Does such a font exist and if not then surely it needs to be produced. What a wonderful research undertaking for a senior class project. What would such a font look like and how would that font be able to connect and represent all cultures and communities. The research/investigative component would have to look at, for example the Somali, Liberian, etc.cultures uses of type, lettering styles, script choices. The research would consider all ligatures and special characters associated with cultures as well as writing directions. The result could become a beautiful font that would be seen as a vehicle to unite and bring pride.


THE FACE Magazine

The relationship to the Frankie tee shirts and Neville Brody was paramount for me becoming a graphic designer. What is interesting to me is the typographic treatment and how typographic representation is always related to culture. It is, and always should be, an exercise in time. Typography is cultural and social-it marks time with the socioeconomic and political climate. Typographic choice and typographic knowledge have power. Baskerville, Caslon and Gill Sans, for example, speak to me, in a way that they do not speak to someone from a different country and culture. It is not that I use these fonts all the time it has more to do typographic vernacular. Sometimes typographic conversations remain in style and not substance and force mediocracy as the powerbroker. These covers and this magazine became a symbol of pride in the UK. People purchased this magazine because it celebrated design. People (designers and non designers alike) would want to be seen carrying this magazine. US + THEM should have and could have and will have a similar effect.

Ces Soirées-lå

Another Limited Rebellion



Thursday, February 25, 2010



Africans In Minnesota

Soccer and Culture
Imagine the World Cup Soccer Tournament LIVE in your own backyard.
Hundreds of screaming fans, side-by-side, vying for their favorite team as
ten top countries compete for the ultimate trophy.
Time stands still as a moment is carved out in history...
you have the opportunity to be part of this historical event.

African Vision 360 and AIM (Africans In Minnesota) present


Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis, MN

The African Community is inviting the nation to be part of their annual African soccer tournament and festival. Expect to experience African cuisine, traditional dances, and live music. This tournament celebrates African culture by highlighting its many contributions to the world, both past and present. African Cup USA is a, once in a lifetime, historical event where countries and cultures come together to celebrate life through the common language of soccer.

Featuring African teams from

Sierra Leone

Design Ignites Change Winners

Design Ignites Change Winner: Kansas City Art Institute


Design Ignites Change Winner: Kansas City Art Institute


Design Ignites Change Winner: PIE Lab


Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food | Video on

Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food | Video on

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010


Hi all,

I don't know if everyone has decided on groups yet, I haven't. I thought
it would be helpful for people to reply on the blog as to what
they are interested in doing/groups.


Thursday, February 18, 2010


Wayne Hemingway



Sunday, February 14, 2010

Just Thinking Out Loud

Well I have been milling this Idea in my head for a while now, But really like the radio station KMOJ 89.9 "the Peoples Station", and when I ask peeps about it, usually they don't know about the station. So I was thinking that it would be hella cool to do some posters/ flyers, whatever (this part would involve some interaction with radio station), but I think it could be a good stepping stone into a community that I dont know much about and a just an over all cool possible project.

Let me know what you guys think about this, if you even think it's valid whatever get back to me yo! thanks peace onelove!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Girl Effect


I am also reading an incredible book right now dealing with this issue.

There are 600 million adolescent girls living in poverty in the developing world. By giving one of these girls a chance, you start the girl effect. When girls have safe places to meet, education, legal protection, health care, and access to training and job skills, they can thrive. And if they thrive, everyone around them thrives, too.

Women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty. Parents in many cultures don’t want their daughters to be educated. Research shows that an educated girl will invest 90% of her future income in her family (compared to 30-40 percent for males), yet less than a penny of every international development dollar is spent on her. 70 percent of the children out of school are girls. Many laws are discriminatory. Sexual violence is a big problem that is greatly underestimated. 75 percent of adolescents with AIDS are female, and they’re contracting the disease not from boys but from older men.

A young girl who has a baby before the age of 20 she is five times more likely to die in childbirth than if she is over 20. So family planning is important. In many countries women need their husband’s approval to get a passport, own property, get divorced, and do other things, including even the right to work.

Leopold Kessler

This is an act similar to that of Mierle Ukeles (the women Alex wrote about). One of my favorite public interventions which affects everyone and no one all at the same time.

Simple, honest and elegant, Leopold Kessler decided to trim the over grown hedge that was blocking this road sign (he does not work for any government agency). I can't remember when or where this took place and kessler's pressence on the web is very scattered, but its worth a little google trail if you ask me.

Bamboo Bikes

john talked about this briefly during his lecture today, and i thought it was so interesting!


The Problem: How to build bicycles cheaply, using sustainable materials.

The Solution: The Bamboo Bike Project. Grow the materials used to make the bike frame out of native bamboo and teach these skills to local communities.

The Designers: A collective of designers and engineers at Columbia University


Katie had shared a link on social design site about saving the world. I think this idea is great. There is something in all of us that seems to want more out of a pursuit in life and our creative endeavors.

I dont know much about this book but it discusses the idea of saving the world and how to do it.

Has anyone read it?


The best option that fits most seems to be RED DRAGON.

They have food and booze and are located by three other bars if we grow tired of this place.

Beyond that we will discuss in class the logistics of the night.


Also I have a special drinking game I learned from some Thai hill tribesman that
I think would fit the night well. I will bring it up in class.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

We Cannot Not Change The World

I found this website while perusing the web and it's pretty interesting. As they describe it,

" is a non-profit organisation that aims to foster a discourse on social design through our international online platform and the organization of and participation in projects, exhibitions, conferences, lectures, etc."

Basically, it allows for anyone to venture into the realm of social design and become aware of what projects are being worked on all over the globe. Pretty cool.

the vote! (how do we do?)

Here are thirteen options. Obivously there are more but heres some for sure good times. Think extravaganza. Some bars are by others. Bar hopping is fun. Most have food, and if not there is food near by.

(Also you can post a series if youd like. note: alcohol+ big group = fluid adventure)

1. matt's bar
(big group wont be able to sit together; home of the juicy lucy)

2. Bryant Lake bowl
(bowling and more; need to make reservations)

3. Black Sheep Pizza
(not walking distance)

4. The Local
(great pub atmosphere)

5. Pancho Villa
(2 for 1 beers)

6. King and I Thai
( Dj at 9)

7. Best of India-Axeman
(not walking distance)

8. The Herkimer
(in house brewed beer)

9. Moto-I
(in house brewed sake, only place outside of in world outside of Japan)

10. The Cowboy Bar
( this is a bar!)

2, 8-10 same area

11. The Red Dragon
(the real deal bang for your buck condusive to big groups)

12. Leaning Tower
(pizza as well)

13. Mortimers
(three bars in one)

11-13 same area

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mierle Laderman Ukeles

Another artist to note-- Mierle Ukeles. She has a few beautiful social projects, including:

Touch Sanitation (1970-1980)
In which she shook the hand of every sanitation worker in New York (around 9,000, I think) and thanked them.


Hartford Wash: Washing/Tracks/Maintenance (1973)
Where she publicly washed the steps of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Connecticut.

Unbelievably rich statements made with such simple gestures!

Santiago Sierra

Since we're talking about social design, engaging with the community, and addressing problems, why not recognize the much loved and much hated Santiago Sierra! He's an extremely controversial Spanish artist who's work often deals with capitalism and exploited or ignored peoples.

His website:

His work is unabashedly extreme and pretty often terrifying, (and he is often using the very tactics he is warning against) but he certainly involves the community and gets his points across loud and clear! Always interesting.

Some of his more well-known pieces:




4.000 BLACK POSTERS (2008)

100 BEGGARS (2005)

any thoughts?

The Old Glory Days

Time is Running Out

We’ve now lost 8.4 million jobs in this recession, and a vast majority of them are gone for good. The politicians are clambering aboard the jobs bandwagon, belatedly, but very few are telling the truth about the structural employment problems in the U.S. and the extremely heavy lift that is necessary to halt our declining living standards and get us back to an economy that is self-sustaining.

We don’t hear a lot that is serious about the sorry state of the nation’s infrastructure or the trade policies that crippled so many American industries or our inability (or unwillingness) to compete effectively with China when it comes to the new world of energy for the 21st century or our abject failure to provide a quality public education for the next generation of American workers, scientists, artists and entrepreneurs...

The New York Times

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Best of India + Ax Man

I know this might be a little out of the way but I love the Ax Man & Best of India coupling in St. Louis Park. Ax Man is hilarious and weird while Best of India makes some of the most delicious Indian food I've had in a looonnnng time.

Neighborhood Spots

There are several great spots, fairy close to school (Lyndale and Lake Area): (They brew their own beer) (they brew their own sake!)

I think they all have weekday, late-night, happy hours as well! And they are all in walking distance from each other!

Local does it

The Local in downtown
From what I remember about this place is awesome, and they have some pretty good irish car bombs to boot!

Sweet Lucy

There is also the famed Matt's Bar on Cedar, this could be a groovin' place to start the evening.


Just throwing this out there...
I have been hearing a lot about this place and it looks hella good! but Black Sheep Pizza is a pizza place that uses coal to make the ZA, its on Washington downtown MPLS.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Right now the plan is take our guest out on the town on Thursday night after class. The honcho says we've got to own it, and that is precisely what we will do. SO SPIT SOME IDEAS OUT! GIVE THEM TO WE! once we figure out the destination(s) the rest is cake frosting.

deadline is Monday 1159AM. After they have been compiled, there will be a vote on Tuesday morning decision by Wednesday morning. This will be fun. One more thing, Think walking distance (definition unknown).

(stolen from a sample from a rap song by Eyedea & Abilities...I think)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Design Revolution Road Show

Unfortunately The Design Revolution Road Show won't be stopping in Minnesota, however it will be at Cranbrook April 2, 2010 (friday). Anyone interested in road tripping it? It's Spring Break week and would be an excuse to check out Cranbrook for those interested in pursuing higher education.

Design for everyone

Oil-filled lenses bringing sight to those who can't afford eye care.

Adspecs from Joel on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Textile Cooperative

I was doing some research on the Somali community within Minneapolis and I stumbled upon the East African Women's Center. They hold several different programs including The Textile Cooperative, where women share old weaving tradition.

"The unveiling of Somali elder women’s textile art in the US occurred in an exhibition, Stories in the Cloth, at The Textile Center of Minnesota in June 2006.The Somali weavers, who are refugees from the war in Somalia and who were notable to weave during the years spent in camps because they did not have materials,are now beginning to recreate the art they learned from their mothers and grandmothers as teenagers. The women are thrilled to be able to practice their art again, re-introducing designs that are thousands of years old. Twined weavings have been used for hundreds of years in Somalia for baskets, bags, and rugs as decorations for homes, and saddles for camels and horses."

read more here:

Refresh Everything

If you haven't checked this out, go to Pepsi's Refresh Everything and vote on some pretty interesting projects worthy of receiving seed money. Some notable projects include Project M's proposal to get 1 Mil young adults on bicycles.