DIZAJN is an exhibition concept that shows students' work of the FH Mainz. The visitor chooses among different plates that are lying in front of him and plug the plates into a hole in the table. The RFIDs on the back of the plate lets the computer know which student work needs to get projected on the baldachin. By rotating the plate a new RFID starts sending its signal. Every plate has 5 different RFIDs = projects so the visitor can see a huge number of projects. The projects are categorized by verbs/nouns/adjectives and not by the kind of project.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The starting point of my project was the idea to create a traditional shop for the FH Mainz where the three different disciplines that get taught at the FH Mainz (media design, communication design, interior design) show and sell the work that gets produced at the university. The first idea was to create a shop where you can really buy the projects of the students but my research showed that such a concept would not work. I did some interviews with people at universities that had worked on similar concepts and none of them worked out. So I decided to show the students’ work digitally so more work could be shown and the whole “shop” is now an exhibition that informs people about the FH Mainz and what the students really do there. If someone still wants to buy a project he can do that by e-mailing the students. The second issue I had to deal with was that the three different disciplines work at the moment extremely separately from one another and [DIAZJN] had to be so neutral that the main focus is on the students’ work and at the same time that the three disciplines start to act more as one big organism.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
I worked on the projected from my point of view as a student. I always found it such a shame that really great projects do not get the attention they need. I experienced a few times that I saw in a magazine or on a blog a project that looked like something I had seen months before in one of the courses I had taken. I changed the whole brief after deciding that the projects of the students had to be presented digitally. My first intention to make a traditional shop turned out to be impracticable so I chose a different way. To show the projects digitally brings different requirements but as well a whole bunch of new possibilities. The content of the exhibition can be easily changed but the interaction with the plates can stay the same. One of the main aspects I added to the brief was to make the interaction as simple as possible but at the same time as interesting as possible so the visitor comes back. Something I added to the brief as well was the aspect that [DIZAJN] isn't just a pure exhibition, instead it appears on the first look to be an café where you can buy some coffee and cake. I wanted the people to stay as long as possible in the exhibition and to enjoy their stay.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
My research started with interviews that I did with people who had done a similar project I planned to do. I wanted to know what kind of problems they have had and if the projects succeeded. I found two universities in Germany that once had a shop that sold students’ projects: “10 Liter Design” in Halle and a shop of the KISD in Cologne. Both shops do not exist anymore. I interviewed David Oelschlägel who was one of the students who had organized the “10 liter Design” shop. It was really helpful to hear what problems they have had and that the shop existed so long because 3 students had taken care of everything and organized the whole shop and that it was their initiative that made the shop so successful and not the organization of the university. I did a lot of research about marketing for universities and found out a lot of universities still don’t really know how to make marketing for themselves. They don’t show how good they are and a lot of people don’t really know what Design really means and they think about painting pictures or choosing a curtain when they hear the word “Design”. There are a lot of different stakeholders that expect different things from [DIAZJN]. One group of stakeholders are the students that I want to participate in this project. They have to hand in their work so it can get presented to the publicity and they have to identify themselves with [DIAZJN]. If they don’t see the project as being innovative and cool how can I expect that they take part in it? The second stakeholder is the university. They have to pay the rent for the location because [DIZAJN] won’t make any money for them. The university uses the exhibition as a marketing tool to present for what they stand for and to work on its image. The third group of stakeholders are the people that live in Mainz. I want them to go into the exhibition and to understand what Design can mean and that they open their mind for new things. [DIZAJN] has to be attractive so people who randomly pass by go into the exhibition, have a coffee or two and enjoy looking at the projects.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The value of my project is to give the three different design disciplines a platform where they can start becoming “one” university. I want that the students from the different disciplines start to value the work of the others and start to understand what it means to study communication design, media design or interior design. A lot of students just stay in their design discipline without even trying to understand what the others are doing. [DIZAJN] is supposed to be a platform where not just students start to understand the variety of the FH Mainz. I wanted the people in Mainz to see what Design can mean. That’s why the location of [DIZAJN] is right next to the Gutenberg museum that shows the evolution of books and one of the first mechanical produced bibles by Johannes Gutenberg. [DIZAJN] is supposed to tie on to the past of graphic design and to show how the future could look like.
An interesting proposal which necessarily generates the interaction of visitors; it is a sign that seems to visit and change the perception of space through the use of mirrors. I like resolved viewers for visitors. – Mauricio Lara
I liked the effect of people walking around the room erratically, concentrated on what their eyes discover the viewer specially designed for “understand” exposure. – Sebastián Lara
I think the main idea of this project struck me to make the brain work differently. I think it’s the best project by far! – Michel Rojkind
I love the chance to explore the perception of space in such a simple and useful way. One of my two favorites. – Carla Fernandez
The great execution of the video and the ability to communicate the idea in such an elegant manners it’s remarkable. – Andres Mier y Teran