Often, ideas are continually improved through the feedback of others. Other times, an idea is at its best when first conceived, and can only be diluted from there.
That’s part of what Amy Leaman and Ryan Planche wanted to explore by creating Shift:Positions, the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) Student Press’ inaugural book, which launches tonight at the Gladstone Hotel. The book contains fourteen essays written by OCAD industrial and environmental design grads on the subject of their thesis projects. Specifically, the essays are about the shift from designing objects to designing sustainable systems, and explores topics such as the love between people and objects and the dietary neglect of our aging population.
The original idea, says Leaman, was to “record our ideas before they become bogged down in all the work involved to realize them, teacher critiques and the stress of getting through the semester.” The project has some significant collaborators, including book designers Hambly and Woolley, Mark Kingwell from UofT, Alana Wilox from Coach House Press (of uTOpia fame) and Lorraine Gauthier from Work Worth Doing.
In the forward—which Leaman says gave her and Planche chills when they first read it—Edward Burtynsky asks, “what is the role of student designers?” It’s a good question. OCAD students come up with all sorts of design ideas. No doubt, some of them are brilliant while others are awful. But it’s to everyone’s benefit that the work and thought coming out of our educational institutions be more connected with the work and thought of the city. This book is an attempt to facilitate that integration.
Tonight’s event starts at 6 p.m. (with readings at 7 p.m.) on Gladstone’s second floor and goes until close.There’s a $5 cover, which goes towards the purchase of a book. More info on the website.