Post-Pandemic Studio

Projects developed within this hybrid research and studio initiative explore the expansive possibilities for studio practice within pandemic conditions, with a focus on design practice and education.

Design in the Age of Social Distance

Working reflexively within the very conditions to be explored, participants in the summer intensive worked to develop projects responding to the social, cultural, political, and health challenges of remote design practice. They referenced concepts of design as translation and as a form of meta-reflection in forming more conscious approaches to practice. Final projects were developed through new approaches to studio work, straddling home and virtual environments while also remaining embedded in educational, community and other contexts.

This project takes an expanded approach to studio practice in information design and is supported by exchanges with practitioners, potential audiences or collaborators, and undertaken within contexts of community and environment. Projects employed a range of graphic, material and other means to develop responses to complex issues, systemic experiences or processes. Formal outcomes were not limited and included visual and diagrammatic formats, concepts for indoor or outdoor environmental representations, interactive pieces and speculative/critical works. These are currently being compiled in an online exhibition space that will be shared here soon.

Theory and Practice

This initiative examines the nature and potential for studio practice in the age of remote practice. Within this constraint, or perhaps through it, how may we ‘build a theory of practical design’? Here, theory and critique merge with practice. The aim is to develop a practical epistemology of design, one that is reflexive, responsive and adaptable to complex challenges.

Read more about the Information Design Summer Intensive, and about the themes framing this initiative through a public conversation presented for OCAD U’s Contingencies of Care residency, viewable online.

The summer intensive project team included Danni Li (teaching assistant), April Nguyen (teaching assistant), Jihyun Park (research assistant), Kelly Small, and Katherine Gillieson.

Keywords: information design, intensive/extensive, multiple publics, remote practice, meta-reflection, design education, systems theory