Long time no see! It was a very busy November, after which I spent a just as busy December and January in the Netherlands. After a week in Shanghai for some departmental meetings I flew to the US for a 3 week research trip.
From XJTLU I received a small research grant to research the history of the DOT-symbols. These were jointly developed by the American Association of Graphic Designers (AIGA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). These symbols are among the best know public information symbols on the planet and were introduced from 1974 onwards. They are still an inspiration to symbol designers.
So what is on the menu during this trip? Among other things research in the archives of the DOT at the US National Archives in Washington, and research in the archives of the Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Also I have planned interviews with a member of the working group that guided the development of these symbols: Tom Geismar in New York, and interviews with the actual designers; Rajie (Roger) Cook in Pensylvania and Don Shanosky in Florida.
The start of the academic year announced itself with an influx of students on the XJTLU-campus. I will be teaching ‘History of Industrial Design’ shortly. The challenge is to develop a truly intercultural module. Continue reading