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Monster Mash

sneak preview: an A&D halloween

Teshia Treuhaft is currently chained to her desk documenting the process of surviving senior year at A&D and her obsession with wood veneer.

The Art and Design Halloween Party will return for a terrifying and triumphant second year. This is a costume party, so dig out your vampire fangs and 80s prom dresses; it's going to be fun. 

And because everyone loves a good behind the scenes sneak peak - here are the posters featuring the portrait work of Megan LaCroix with help from Arlene Zhao, Mike Wang and the Society for Art Students (SAS). 

Stay out of Malibu, deadbeat! Hello, Pilar? My name is Walter Sobchak, we spoke on the phone, this is my associate Jeffrey Lebowski. Forget it, Donny. You're out of your element. And let's also not forget—let's not forget, Dude—that keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for domestic, you know, within the city —that isn't legal either. I, uh… money, yeah, I gotta respectfully, 69 you know, tender my resignation on that matter, 'cause it looks like your mother really was kidnapped after all. They call Los Angeles the City of Angels. I didn't find it to be that exactly, but I'll allow as there are some nice folks there. 'Course, I can't say I seen London, and I never been to France, and I ain't never seen no queen in her damn undies as the fella says. But I'll tell you what, after seeing Los Angeles and thisahere story I'm about to unfold —wal, I guess I seen somethin' ever' bit as stupefyin' as ya'd see in any a those other places, and in English too, so I can die with a smile on my face without feelin' like the good Lord gypped me. Darkness warshed over the Dude— darker'n a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom. LOGJAMMIN'. Shomer shabbos. I like your style, Dude. He suspects that the culprits might be the very people who, uh, soiled your rug, and you're in a unique position to confirm or, uh, disconfirm that suspicion. Leads, yeah. I'll just check with the boys down at the Crime Lab. They've assigned four more detectives to the case, got us working in shifts. Vee belief in nossing, Lebowski! Hello. Nein dizbatcher says zere iss problem mit deine kable. I don't like you sucking around bothering our citizens, Lebowski. Ja, it seems you forgot our little deal, Lebowski. You got the wrong guy. I'm the Dude, man. That had not occurred to us, Dude. Regrettably, it's true, standards have fallen in adult entertainment. It's video, Dude. Sir, this is a mortuary, not a rental house. Hey! This is a private residence, man! Wonderful woman. Very free-spirited. We're all very fond of her. I'm saying, Cynthia's Pomeranian. I'm looking after it while Cynthia and Marty Ackerman are in Hawaii. Say friend, ya got any more a that good sarsaparilla? But that is up to little Larry here. Isn't it, Larry? He lives in North Hollywood on Radford, near the In-and-Out Burger. Strong men also cry… Strong men also cry.

A little face paint, a lot of creativity and a nice photo studio go a long way. 

 


 

From Flat to 3D

Kath Weider-Roos is the Creative Arts Producer at A&D. She snaps photos and asks questions.

Spotted in the hall, this:

Performance art? A pre-Halloween party with an all-white, modular theme?

No, these were students TMP (Tools, Materials and Processes) presenting their first efforts in making a wearable sculpture out of both paper and fibers. 

Specifically, the assignment was this:

Using only the provided materials (paper and glue, fabric and thread), create a wearable sculpture that is situated around your head (or head and shoulders). Your sculpture will have a function that you will determine (whimsical/utilitarian, poetic/practical, etc.)

So Kristen Leydig, above, developed this boxed headress contraption to help capture the outflow of ideas that occur in the process of brainstorming.

Instructors Matt Shlian and Beth Hay came up with the assignment for TMP, a core course that requires students to explore a variety of media in a short amount of time. This assignment was designed to introduce students to the basic technique of taking flat materials – in this case, fibers and papers – and exploring their three dimensional potential. Sounds great, except the students would have two weeks to both learn the basics of these materials and construct their project. Then they would move on to other TMP sections in wood, metals, plastics and clay.

First, Matt Shlian, a master paper engineer himself, shows the students some basic techniques for folding, cutting, twisting and shaping paper. (If you've ever seen Matt's work you know this goes way beyond making a pirate hat out of your restaurant placemat.)

Beth Hay guides the projects in the fibers studios.

Students then presented their pieces to the class for a group critique.

Below Sonia Tagari created this 'hat' that spoke to the blinding effects of one's personal fears and how they often translate to the outside world.

Below David Chang created a very useful device to combat what his mother calls a 'chronic forgetfulness'. He created a note-taking device that keeps the notes literally in front of his eyes at all times. A convenient pouch for the pen and the notes are located at the side and back.

Shannon Moss created this representation of her brain and its thought waves. She feels the weight of her thoughts and emotions mainly in the shoulder area.

Below Caroline Marin created about 70 hands, some stuffed fabric and some paper, to address fear – when something scares you, you can cover your face with this handy "hand-mask".

Below Viviana Pernot's piece mimics a fungus and its growth pattern. In this case, the growth is positive, open and receptive as she starts her first year of college, independent and separated from her family.

Virginia Lozano pulled off an amazing feat in this mechanically complicated creation complete with wheels made entirely of paper. Virginia is a dual major in...yes, Mechanical Engineering. What a beautiful combo.

Next, these TMP will be off to the ceramics studio where they will work with clay and mold-making techniques. Stay tuned.



 

For Your Consideration

Controversy ain't dead.

Teshia Treuhaft is currently chained to her desk documenting the process of surviving senior year at A&D and her obsession with wood veneer.


Laura Gillmore

          Consider Magazine has some serious history, dating back all the way to 1983 (which is more than most currently enrolled college students date back). The magazine offers what they call “Free discussion from campus newsstands every Wednesday.”

          Discussion indeed.

          Consider takes your classic point-counterpoint article and pumps it up - Big Time. Each issue focuses on a single topic and presents 2+ opposing viewpoints to shed light on any number of significant, controversial and contemporary issues. In recent issues the staff of Consider has tackled Global Climate Change, Gay Marriage, Legal Pornography, Revitalizing Detroit, The Smoking Ban and many more.

           The talented art staff is led by Art Director (and current A&D Senior) Meirav Gebler. Here are some of the recent covers contributed by a few very skilled A&D students:

Laura Gillmore

Benjamin English

Meirav Gebler

Jill Brandwein 

Laura Gillmore

Rose Jaffe and Benjamin English

Rose Jaffe

consideronline.org

 (Be sure to check out the historic issues form the 1980-90s) 


 

Getting Graphic

Students for AIGA promote in style.

Teshia Treuhaft is currently chained to her desk documenting the process of surviving senior year at A&D and her obsession with wood veneer.

         So many of these you may have seen floating around the School of Art and Design and greater North Campus area. I can't help but give some major credit to Mike Wang, James Reich and Arlene Zhao for making some pretty funny posters to promote the UM Student Chapter of AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts).  There really is never an excuse for poorly designed poster when you have this many graphic design students running around. 

Stay out of Malibu, deadbeat! Hello, Pilar? My name is Walter Sobchak, we spoke on the phone, this is my associate Jeffrey Lebowski. Forget it, Donny. You're out of your element. And let's also not forget—let's not forget, Dude—that keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for domestic, you know, within the city —that isn't legal either. I, uh… money, yeah, I gotta respectfully, 69 you know, tender my resignation on that matter, 'cause it looks like your mother really was kidnapped after all. They call Los Angeles the City of Angels. I didn't find it to be that exactly, but I'll allow as there are some nice folks there. 'Course, I can't say I seen London, and I never been to France, and I ain't never seen no queen in her damn undies as the fella says. But I'll tell you what, after seeing Los Angeles and thisahere story I'm about to unfold —wal, I guess I seen somethin' ever' bit as stupefyin' as ya'd see in any a those other places, and in English too, so I can die with a smile on my face without feelin' like the good Lord gypped me. Darkness warshed over the Dude— darker'n a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night. There was no bottom. LOGJAMMIN'. Shomer shabbos. I like your style, Dude. He suspects that the culprits might be the very people who, uh, soiled your rug, and you're in a unique position to confirm or, uh, disconfirm that suspicion. Leads, yeah. I'll just check with the boys down at the Crime Lab. They've assigned four more detectives to the case, got us working in shifts. Vee belief in nossing, Lebowski! Hello. Nein dizbatcher says zere iss problem mit deine kable. I don't like you sucking around bothering our citizens, Lebowski. Ja, it seems you forgot our little deal, Lebowski. You got the wrong guy. I'm the Dude, man. That had not occurred to us, Dude. Regrettably, it's true, standards have fallen in adult entertainment. It's video, Dude. Sir, this is a mortuary, not a rental house. Hey! This is a private residence, man! Wonderful woman. Very free-spirited. We're all very fond of her. I'm saying, Cynthia's Pomeranian. I'm looking after it while Cynthia and Marty Ackerman are in Hawaii. Say friend, ya got any more a that good sarsaparilla? But that is up to little Larry here. Isn't it, Larry? He lives in North Hollywood on Radford, near the In-and-Out Burger. Strong men also cry… Strong men also cry.


 

Let me see your reaction.

TEDx takes a walk on the green side.

Teshia Treuhaft is currently chained to her desk documenting the process of surviving senior year at A&D and her obsession with wood veneer.

From positive ideas for Detroit to crazy ideas in Ann Arbor, TEDxArb brings a new layer to the conversation we all need to be having. 

One of the major buzzwords around Art & Design Schools nationally in the last few years has been 'Sustainability'.

Sustainable Design, Sustainable Materials, the whole shebang is now inexorably linked with design education in universities.  In light of the success of TEDx Events all over the state of Michigan (over ten coming this year!) we now have a platform for the ideas worth spreading about sustainability at U of M. A like-minded group of students has banned together once again to pull off an impressive feat - a sustainability driven TEDx Conference to be held in the Nichols Arboretum. 

Our own A&D students have been turning out some impressive stuff to support the cause and prove once again the importance of Design Thinking when you're trying to save the world (or at least recycle your solo cups). 

 

More Info : http://tedxarb.com/


 

Senior Studios

All the art you can pack into a 10'x10'

Teshia Treuhaft is currently chained to her desk documenting the process of surviving senior year at A&D and her obsession with wood veneer.

 

    One of the most exciting parts of being a Senior in Art and Design is obviously the all-important and fabled senior integrated project studio (I.P.). IP for those of you new to the lingo, is a year long intensive process where blood, sweat and caffeine (hopefully not tears – but sometimes tears) fuel a project that is the culmination of each of our varied paths through the school of A&D at Michigan.

     In order to facilitate the creation of whatever project each student decides, every single member of the senior class – you guessed it – gets an IP studio of their own. My favorite part of this project (of which I have only had the pleasure of experiencing for a mere three weeks) is watching each studio evolve into the first project for each of the seniors.

     My own studio has become possibly as micromanaged as possible, drawing detailed scaled sketches of floor plans and picking out paint colors since practically freshman year. Here is a small selection of the IP studios and the seniors that will create in them:

 

Dylan Box, Sustainable Design

Andrew Hainen, Digital Design

Ryan Thurmer, Object Design

Jenny Forrest, Graphic Design

Lily Porter, Painting

Tasha Miller, Metal

Teshia Treuhaft, Furniture Design

Stay tuned for how these 70+ projects develop and come to fruition over the next 8 months. 
 


 

Brunette in Scandinavia

Teshia Treuhaft is currently chained to her desk documenting the process of surviving senior year at A&D and her obsession with wood veneer.

If Americans want to live the "American dream," they should go to Denmark.
-Richard Wilkinson (TEDGlobal Conference, 2011)

....Well I don't know about that, but if design students want to live the furniture dream, they should definitely go to Copenhagen.

 

Metal Swan Chair at Republic of Fritz Hansen - Designed by Arne Jacobson. 

I spent this past summer in a land known for its tall blondes and bike riding; Copenhagen, Denmark. The program was dedicated to studying furniture design at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad and personally preparing for my Senior Integrated Project (IP). Denmark also happens to be the birthplace of the likes of Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm and Verner Panton among many, many others and a mecca for good design.

The program draws from schools all over the world, and most recently 3 students from A&D, for a 2 month intensive look into the history of Scandinavian furniture and traditional Danish building methods. It became the perfect place to put a new furniture obsession and love for veneer, begun in John Baird's "Building Furniture" 300-level Studio course, to good use.

The project was to build a chair out of exclusively 1mm (Metric, guys - Welcome to Europe!) sheets of beech veneer for all structural elements. 

Here is a quick look at how it came together in just three weeks from sketchbook to exhibition.

Step One: Sketch like mad. Then sketch some more. Then make some sketch models. Then sketch more.

Step Two: Get a nice desk with a good view to make nice big 1:1 scale shop drawings.

Step Three: Make a template out of steel to bend into the eventual shape of your veneer chair.

Step Four: Take care of sharp edges at risk of harming yourself and others with evil metal splinters.

Step Four point Five: Don't be mad when you inevitably get metal splinters anyway.

Step Five: Fit metal template and backrest template together and admire work in famous "Scandinavian light."

Step Six: Add plywood bracing to keep metal template stiff and retain specific radii for each curve.

Step Seven: Spend hours drilling. Build arm muscles.

Step Eight: File down sharp edges on plywood, cover in plastic to protect glue from the mold and add cotton to create air channels for the vacuum to do its job.

Step 9: Cut veneer to overall shape of seat, leaving a few millimeters extra and add glue between each layer.

 

Step 10: Vacuum bag layered veneer onto newly-build mold, ask good friends/skilled Danes to help.

 

Step 11: Bake entire mold (still vacuum sealed) in giant oven in order to aid in release of water from the glue to speed drying time (approx. 30 minutes)

Step 12: Measure actual dimensions and cut raw veneer seat out with a jig saw.

Step 13: Repeat Steps Three to Twelve for backrest.

Step 14: Sand/File/Finish all surfaces and edges.

Step 15: Take photos. Model your own work (awkwardly) and wear fancy shoes.


 

Berlin Blog 3

Michael Rodemer is spending much of the Summer of 2011 doing a collaborative art project in Berlin with Berlin artist (and former A&D Witt Resident) Franz John as part of Über-Lebenskunst, a symposium devoted to exploring sustainability, sponsored by the House of World Cultures and the Federal Cultural Foundation.

Berlin blog. Entry 3. June 5, 2011

There’s nothing like work to bring a person back down to earth.

Since the first Berlin blog entry, with its fantasies of a polychromed pate and an illustrated epidermis, I’ve been very busy: the workshop for a group of Gymnasium students was followed by preparation for an installation at the “Long Night of the Sciences” event on May 28th. Our host, the Helmholtz-Institut of Berlin-Wannsee, commissioned Berlin artist Franz John and me to make a piece related to their scientific focus, which includes materials and energy research. (They are not technologizing scientific discoveries, but doing fundamental science research.) A report on the event can be seen at my blog entry on the Über-Lebenskunst website. Franz John produced the layout, I wrote the text.

http://www.ueber-lebenskunst.org/contents/projectblog_view/262

Since the Long Night, Franz and I have spent some time planning what we will do for the August festival portion of the Über-Lebenskunst competition; I’ll share some of that in a later post.

Right now, I feel an obligation to explain the multiple puns in the title of the competition*. The parts are by far not the whole: über is over or about, Leben is life, and Kunst is art. But “over-life-art” doesn’t make much sense. Trying again: überleben means to survive. Lebenskunst is the art of living; a Lebenskünstler is someone who really knows how to live (a bon vivant, but without the associations of moral dissipation that cling to that notion).

“Über Lebenskunst” (no hyphen) is a phrase that can mean “about the art of living.”  That little hyphen, however, does a lot of linking: thus, the title is finally about survival, yes, but knowing how to survive well, and maybe art has something to do with that also. And in any case, this whole project is about all of that, conflating art, survival, inventiveness, and sustainability.

If you go to the project website, you can see what all 14 projects are about. Our project is “Raus aus der Biotonne” in German, and “From Waste to Watts” in English. The German title means: out of the compost bin! An explanation of our project is also on the site. At top right, there are two little links allowing the user to choose German or English. (Most content is bilingual, but not all.)

 http://www.ueber-lebenskunst.org

More in a few days. I’ve been taking some pictures and need to organize them for a few blog posts.

Here is a rather scurrilous one from the street.

 

==============

* This paragraph should have a LOT more quotation marks, such as around all the words qua words. If you know where they go, please mentally put them there; it's too humid here for me to type them all in. If you don’t know where they go, what were you doing in high school English class?


 

Paper Sculpture

Andre Grewe makes websites for the School of Art & Design.

Students in Matt Shlian's Winter 2011 advanced course, Paper Sculpture, ran the gamut from A&D freshmen to grad students in Dance and Architecture.  They explored the concept of collapsibility, investigating the physics behind accordion folds and telescoping instruments in a series of projects that included greeting cards, pop-up books, egg packaging, and wearable paper designs.  
 
 
Matt Shlian (left) and Papercraft class at Festifools parade, Ann Arbor.  Images by Melissa Squires.
 
 
Check out some of the amazing work they created in the video and images below - click the thumbnails to view larger versions.
 
 
Amber Kao - Folding/Unfolding: Paper Engineering & Dance
 



 

Berlin blog 2

Michael Rodemer is spending much of the Summer of 2011 doing a collaborative art project in Berlin with Berlin artist (and former A&D Witt Resident) Franz John as part of Über-Lebenskunst, a symposium devoted to exploring sustainability, sponsored by the House of World Cultures and the Federal Cultural Foundation.

Berlin Blog 2            May 20, 2011

Twenty-two years later, it challenges belief that there could have been a long, high, heavily guarded wall that split this city in two, isolating both halves, in different ways.

 

I cross this line of stones every day; it’s between the apartment where I stay, and the S-Bahn (commuter train) stop Wilhelmsruh, which is the starting point for most of my travel within the city. (The plaque says, "Berlin Wall 1961 -- 1990.") Note that the Wall split the sidewalks and the street in two.

The Wall still exists in many ways: as a tourist attraction, yes, but also as a wound in the consciousness of millions of people, as the ghost of an injustice and affront to human dignity that is finally, forever gone. Subtle signs of the long separation of the two parts of the city are everywhere, if one knows what to look for. I’ll show some of this as I write in the coming weeks. I can’t manage a coherent, one-stop journalistic treatment of the Wall, but will keep coming back to it during these blogs, as I get time to go to places like the Bernauerstrasse Wall Museum, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, etc.

To conclude this short blog, here are two photos of the New Synagogue in the Oranienburgerstrasse, former East Berlin. Point of view matters a good deal!

 

I include the second photo because it nicely illustrates the indifference of the camera, and the willingness of our eyes and minds to blot out blemishes in what we wish to see.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Synagogue_(Berlin)