Workshop (2013) with Hansje van Halem
The students were given a cone with 3 yards of yarn. This sewing machine yarn represents a line. The students were asked to draw with this line and create letters. A session of uncontrolled experimentation followed. Some people got frustrated because the material was not behaving the way they expected, others got lost in labour intensive try outs. The design process was speeded up by demanding quantity over quality. The students produces a rich collection of specimens, failures, surprises and typographic inventions. Quality surfaced by looking at the possibilities of the results, not the results themselves. Students were given more time to concentrate and dig deeper for more options of a single experiment. They were asked to create a systematic sequence to expand their type treatment into a series of results. How can you make a system grow?
Students seemed to be relieved when they were asked to translate their experiment in the computer. How do you Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop behave when you are wishing for a type treatment that includes gravity, three-dimensionality, texture or something else you witnessed while working with analogue material?
This workshop turned out to be a research on how an analogue reference can make you look for a different way to work digitally. Type was a platform for introducing them to an alternative design process.