Yasmin Khan Counterspace Los Angeles USA – I Used to Be a Design Student

LOS ANGELES, USA

Yasmin Khan (Counterspace)

PROFESSIONAL YEARS

12

A VALUABLE QUALITY FOR A DESIGN STUDENT + A DESIGN PROFESSIONAL

For both: Scepticism

FAVOURITE FOOD NOW

Peaches in pie, in cobbler, in anything or just by themselves

YOUR MOST VALUED POSSESSION NOW

Not sure

YEAR OF PROJECT

2009

PROFESSIONAL PROJECT BRIEF

CalArts Bulletin 2009– 2011 – design a catalogue for CalArts that visually distinguishes it from peer institutions. The Bulletin must be comprised of one overview booklet and a set of individual booklets to be used by each of the schools within the Institute. A limited edition of all books stitched together was also produced.

CLIENT

California Institute of the Arts, CalArts (USA)

COLLABORATOR(S)

Michael Worthington (Counterspace), Erin Hauber, Randy Nakamura, Cassandra Chae. Photography: Scott Groller, Steven Gunther

TECHNOLOGY

Adobe CS5 and various imagemaking techniques, including photography and digital collage

TYPEFACE

Rolleta

WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS PROJECT?

I think the Bulletin represents the fullness and intensity and exuberance of the programme at CalArts, as well as the bohemian spirit that still pervades the Institute. I think it is beautiful and fussy and loud, and most importantly, it feels committed.

WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE ABOUT IT?

I would make things subtly stranger, less familiar, less polite.

OUTCOMES

A space to make a print object that was full and dense and detailed, and to play out my interests in imaginary worlds, trompe l’oeil and other forms of fake 3D. Also provided a way to explore print ‘special effects’ – use of speciality bindings, inks, materials and formats that distinguish print from screen experience.

FEEDBACK

Feedback was mixed. Designers responded positively. Evidently some people found it confusing.

DO YOU TEACH?

Yes. Senior Lecturer, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles (USA). BFA programme: curriculum co-ordinator for graphic design + instructor for typography, senior project studio, visual language. MFA programme: course in Social Responsibility.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO TEACH DESIGN?

It better be. That’s my day job. What I learned at college and what I teach now: I learned to trust the process, to be curious and sceptical, and how to view my deficiencies (bad taste) as an asset (a particular sensibility). I learned that the difference between nerdy and badass is level of commitment. I learned to like working from a place that is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. I also developed a very thick skin. I teach the same thing.