The event, which was held at the DesignThinkers 2012 conference in Toronto, honored students and educators whose winning projects were selected from 41 finalists out of nearly 5,000 total entries from 70 countries.
Han’s museum re-branding project for the fictional Contemporary Museum of Architecture (COMA), which he created as a seventh term student in instructor Brad Bartlett’s Transmedia course, won the award in the the Print Communications category.
“I’ve always had a very strong interest in architecture,” said Han of his winning design, which utilized a typographic solution inspired by the generative creation of forms in contemporary architecture. Part of the rebranding project included creating a series of posters promoting an (also fictional) exhibition by Greg Lynn, an architect whom Han lists as a creative inspiration.
Han said the main lesson he learned while working on the COMA project was to fully explore every conceivable direction the work could take. “The COMA logo is a fairly simple design, but I created 200 to 300 different variations of it throughout the 14-week course,” said Han. “By exploring the broad range of possibilities, I ended up being more satisfied with the final logo. In short, I learned the importance of process.”
“[Han's] visual identity for COMA is a prime example of the Transmedia design approach within our major,” said Nik Hafermaas, chair of the Graphic Design Department. “He skillfully orchestrated a broad spectrum of media categories–from print and interactive to environmental graphic design.”
“I just started my career in graphic design, so winning this award means a lot to me” added Han. “It helps me realize I’ve taken a step forward since I entered Art Center.”
Han’s colleague, current Graphic Design student Jerod Rivera, was also a finalist in the Print Communications category for his project Reductive Resonance, which he created in instructor Simon Johnston’s Information Design course.
Reductive Resonance is an information graph that takes Rivera’s personal vinyl album collection and reduces each cover to a mere four-pixels. In doing so, Rivera makes a statement on how music as a physical format is almost non-existent in today’s digital world. Or, as Hafermaas praised, “[Rivera's work] illustrates in a striking way the vanishing of music into virtuality.”
“After viewing my work, the most important thing I hope people notice is that I have a point of view,” said Rivera, who says his work explores how people analyze, share and absorb both media and their larger environment. “As designers, it’s imperative we gain a perspective from our every day environments and respond with something enriching.”
“Being a finalist was exciting and an honor,” added Rivera. “It meant a great deal to me and it’s something I will keep with me my entire career.”
“I’m very happy both works received this form of recognition, as they both represent Art Center’s forward looking approach to graphic design,” said Hafermaas.