Weekend Heller: Relief and Rand

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How Do You Spell RELIEF?This week it is spelled AIGA/NY as it launches its Design/Relief Teams, which begin collaborations in Red Hook, the Rockaways and South Street Seaport on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.


Design/Relief is a participatory design initiative that aims to support three New York City neighborhoods. This special project of the New York chapter of AIGA explores design’s potential in defining and expanding creative place-making to positively transform communities. Design/Relief is supported by an innovation grant from ArtPlace America.

“This designer-led initiative will establish collaborations with various partners-stakeholders,” states a recent release, “who can reflect the diversity of interests in a given community, but not necessarily with one single client in mind. Each Design/Relief team will work collaboratively with their respective sites to develop an implementable design concept that addresses livability, legibility, navigability and vibrancy.”

How it works: “Each team includes one to two graphic designers tasked to identify an opportunity and a way to materialize a meaningful, neighborhood-specific design project, supported by one or two community engagement strategists who will focus on outreach and participation, along with one or two storytellers who will visually document the design process and create visibility for the project through regular blog reports. Each team will work with the community to leverage existing assets and efforts while they contribute to creative placemaking definitions and build a case study to inspire other AIGA

chapters across the country to take on similar design-led initiatives.”

Team members include:AIGA/NY Executive Board: Willy Wong, Glen Cummings and Manuel MirandaAIGA/NY Design/Relief Program Director: Laetitia Wolff


Red Hook:Designers Anke Stohlman, Lil’Robin, principal with Alicia Cheng and Sarah Gephart,mgmt., principalsCommunity Outreach Strategists Amplifier Project (Jerome Chou, James Andrews and Stephen Zacks)Storyteller David Al-Ibrahim, communication designer and writer


Rockaway:Designers Natasha Chandani and Danielle Aubert, Placement Publication, foundersCommunity Outreach Strategist Daniel Latorre, The Wise City, founderStorytellers Carolyn Louth, art director with Rich Tu, illustrator


South Street Seaport:Designer Yeju Choi, NowHere Office, Creative DirectorCommunity Outreach Strategists Francesca Birks and Josh Treuhaft/ARUPStorytellers Cristian Fleming and Stephanie Lukito, Public Society, infographics designers

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When Rand Roamed the EarthMODA (The Museum of Design Atlanta) has opened Paul Rand: Defining Design, an exhibition that will examine the trajectory of Rand’s career in an entirely new way, juxtaposing his iconic designs with discussion of the design principles by which they were informed. In addition, short films, interviews, and examples of Rand’s persuasive writings will further illuminate this legendary designer’s thoughts on the design process.


The exhibition is on from Sunday, October 27, 2013 – Sunday, January 26, 2014 and is curated by Daniel Lewandowski, creator of the website www.Paul-Rand.com.


And I will be giving a talk, “Learning from Rand” on the evening of Thursday, November 7, 7pm in the Hill Auditorium of the Woodruff Art Center at 1280 Peachtree Street NE, followed by a reception at MODA.

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More Rand, More ModernismCoincident with the MODA exhibition the book dealers Randall Ross and Molly McCombs, Modernism 101, have just released their Paul Rand catalog featuring a slew of reasonably priced Randian artifacts from the Gene Federico collection. You can access a PDF here with all listings and prices.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →