Mantras

Make your own Mantra, on the road to Vancouver

What a winter! PRESS has taken a bit of a pause after all the effort required to create our fabulous calendars. During this time, I traveled to Vancouver to present a workshop about our the monthly mantra cards that we make that inspired our calendar at the Design Principles and Practices Conference.

Title: Make your own Mantra – Discovering Design As Collective Intelligence Through Designing And Printing Mantra Cards

One of the key aspects of design thinking is that very often it is not purely thinking at all, but it is backed up by a healthy portion of making. Schön’s seminal concepts of reflection-in and on-action as well as generative metaphor will center our workshop. We will explore how as designers and educators we rely on tacit knowledge and how it underpins not only our cognitive thinking strategies but how we think and make in the studio, the classroom and in the world.

In this workshop, participants will examine and evaluate examples of how text and image paired together can challenge and change collective understanding. We will discuss ways of using tacit knowledge, reflection-in and on action and generative metaphor to create new and memorable meaning with overused, out-dated or tired text and image. Text and image will be drawn from design education theory, open-source/stock imagery that designers often farm, as well as vintage letterpress cuts.

Participants will design a number of mantra cards – short, useful and inspiring statements that when paired with different images inspire collective learning, challenge perceived biases and enhance memory.

Here are a couple examples from participant David Short:

Mantra card using packing tape transfer imagery and hand lettering by David Short.

Mantra card using packing tape transfer imagery and hand lettering by David Short.

Mantra card using packing tape transfer imagery and hand lettering by David Short.

Mantra card using packing tape transfer imagery and hand lettering by David Short.

This practice and the workshop spawned additional creative ideas, all based on the mantra idea, these short phrases that we repeat over and over to ourselves. My friend and colleague Alke Groppel-Wegener and I are now working together to continue the practice of making mantra cards and recording mantras in a number of different ways. Click this link to learn more about how!

If you have mantras that guide your practice, whatever it is, teaching, printing, making, please share them with us. More soon about how we are using them.

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