The Designer As Cultural Curator

Special Exhibition at the Sackler Museum at Harvard University, 2010

It’s been almost nine months since Furman University sent me packing from its beautiful campus with my big purple diploma into the daunting landscape of “the real world.” I must say, it’s true that an education rooted in the liberal arts seems to make you observe the world closely, to take nothing for granted, and to question everything. All of that certainly didn’t go away when I graduated; however, I seem to have lost a good outlet for expanding on everything I’ve been thinking about. So, finally, after a few ill-fated attempts in the past, I’m really leaping into the blogosphere.

As an artist and designer, it is my calling to transform the chaotic world into digestible, clear visual ideas. When contemplating the role of visual artists, the work they make, and the institutions in which their work is featured, it’s amazing to think how much their work affects everyday people. At its most basic level, my daily job as a graphic designer involves carefully combining words and pictures, a task that can be performed infinite ways, even for the simplest projects.  Images, colors, and words are powerful by themselves. When combined, they form tangible cultural objects that become part of the visual context of the world, capturing exact moments in time and place.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the similarities between graphic designers and art curators. They both have responsibilities to sift through the tangle of thousands of years of cultural artifacts to create narratives that effectively speak to the contemporary audience. It’s my goal to use this blog as a platform for gathering thoughts on the cultural landscape.