After a whirlwind of activity of the past week and a half, our class ended yesterday with a journey to the charming town of Breda. Breda is the home of the only (or I should say “first”) museum devoted exclusively to graphic design. Since Dutch design has contributed so much, it is not surprising that the main exhibit at the museum focuses on the last one hundred years of Dutch graphic design. Similar to the Bauhaus visit, being able to see the actual posters and other printed materials that we have, until now, only experienced in our books, deepens our understanding of these important pieces. This concept is turned on its head with some user-driven multimedia exhibits which allow viewers to navigate through important pieces and place them in the context of the time periods in which they were created. The more recent work is represented in user-directed video clips that explain the processes involved in creating the work.
Also interesting was the other exhibit of contemporary work called Infodecodata. This exhibit, while working in the arena of information graphics, includes many piece encouraging viewer interaction and interpretation.
Sadly, this trip marked the end of our class days. I don’t think I’ve regretted the end of a class to this degree before. Our group is splintering this morning as we head in several different directions. We’ll have a brief postscript/reunion on Friday as most of us gather again to attend the opening of the Ira Boom exhibit.
The trip has been an incredible opportunity to deepen our understanding of our field. I am most grateful to the MFA program, my fellow student travelers and, most especially, Professor Roeschmann for this amazing experience. May there many more opportunities like this to come!