Illegitimate Worlds: Workshop on Water, Montana, & Fictions

Design-making workshop
AIGA DEC Conference Frontier
Bozeman, MT
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Joshua Singer and I ran a different data design making workshop at the AIGA Design Educator Conference: Frontier, hosted by Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. We had nine participants who created large wall-based map images from packets of materials that we provided. The data packets included color and b/w images related to water in Montana—ranging from images of rivers, reservoirs, collected and contaminated pools, water amusement parks, maps of aquifers, etc.—and showed both pristine and conflicted views of water in the state. There were also several articles printed out—ranging from Montana-specific concerns to world wide water issues.

Each group of three worked in a purely analog way—cutting up images and text with scissors and x-acto knives; taping, pasting, and pinning things together; rubbing letraset, drawing, and tracing elements onto a large folded-out b/w base print, which we also provided. These b/w Océ prints were of abstract linear elements referring to water in the state. After an introduction to the project and approach, groups worked for an hour and then presented. We plan to publish and share the work more broadly.