Workshop Archive

Urban Typography Workshop

Experimenting and iteratively fine-tuning urban designs

17 Jan 2008
17 Jan 2008

A two-day course centered on experimenting and iteratively fine-tuning urban designs with FabLab. Use materials such as frames and stencil sheets in combination with light and mirrors in order to create spatial constructs.

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Urban Typography Workshop -

Workshop approach

The course starts off with several lectures and short presentations designed to act as a catalyst for the brainstorming and concept development process of its participants.

First Mirthe Blussé (graphic designer, maker of Amsterdam Guerilla Art magazine) discusses the use of typography on and off the street as well as its application in creative design concepts.
Also the renown Dutch graffiti artist and graphic designer ZEDZ will introduce his fresh insight on typography inspired by his particular background and know-how of the creative possibilities of graffiti.

The rest of the program is the hands-on experience portion of the program. It is directed at experimenting and iteratively fine-tuning designs. Here you will be assisted by the coach and the technical Fablab supervisor Bernardo Gaeiras and you will receive a short introduction to the Fablab machines.

What is a FabLab?

Pioneered by MIT's Neil Gershenfeld, a FabLab (fabrication laboratory) is a small scale workshop with the tools to make almost anything. This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production. It empowers people to create material objects in line with their own artistic aspirations.

What can you make with it?

"Almost anything!" if we are to believe Gershenfeld. The only real limitation is your own imagination! The FabLab equipment is designed to complement one another so that most aspects of a given project can be developed within one workspace. To see what equipment is available during this Fablab workshop edition click here NB with the exception of the laser cutter.

For who is this course?

The workshop is for people who want hands-on experiment with urban typography , and that have some (graphical) design skills: graphic designers, taggers, fashion designers, exhibition designers.

Trainers

(Graphic) designer and Guerilla Art magazine creator Mirthe Blussé, Graffiti artist and designer ZEDZ and FabLab expert Bernardo Gaeiras.

Workshop Report

fabbing communication

Urban Typography: what does your city say to you and what do you say to your city? This workshop encouraged participants to express themselves through words and text in their urban environments through the use of Mediamatic's Fab Lab.

The Urban Typography workshop took place at Mediamatic over two days. Participants were encouraged to form groups for collaboration. Ideas, inspiration, and brainstorming were the focus of day one, while day two focused on putting ideas in practice on the machinery of the Fab Lab. A Fab Lab is a space where computer controlled machines allow one to build just about anything. The focus of the Urban Typography theme helped reign in the participants to create works using the Fab Lab that shout, scream and engage others using text in an urban environment.

The workshop started out with some engaging presentations by visual artist Mirthe Blusse, street artist and graphic designer ZEDZ, and architect Jack Bakker from Zwarts en Jansma Architects. Participants then were encouraged to brainstorm, share ideas, and form pairs and teams for their projects. Day two was strictly hands-on as the participants put their ideas into practice with the help of Bernardo. Some participants chose to focus on one larger project, while others used their time to pursue more than one computer-controlled medium. By far the biggest challenge was vectorizing all of the design files to work with the various driver software systems for the machines. If you attend a workshop, be sure to familiarize yourself with vectorization ahead of time and come prepared with your designs in a compatible vectorized format.

All in all the two-day workshop was a success for each participant. The Fab Lab made text pop seamlessly from dream into an urban environment-- whether in the form of an interesting object, or lettering on a sticker to place on a building, or words for a stop motion video.

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Horsemove Project Space exterior by Zedz and EHGZ Graphic Surgery at Post CS building. -

With: Zedz
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These letters will be used in a stop motion video by one of the participants in a project about Amsterdam Noord. -

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A piece of paper cut like lace as textural inspiration. - Fabienne Serriere

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An example from Zwarts en Jansma architects showing how to construct 3D pieces with 2D paper cut by a laser. -

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Participants are discussing in front of a red mural by one of the inspirational speakers, street artist ZEDZ. -

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Some laser cut pieces to inspire the participants and get the creative juices flowing. - Fabienne Serriere

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at Mediamatic - Mirthe Blusse spoke about street art and using written word in design for public places. Fabienne Serriere

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Laser cutter results - Jack Bakker from Zwarts en Jansma architects shows some materials that are made with the laser-cutter. Fabienne Serriere

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Vrouwelijk naakt - by Mirthe Blusse

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from left to right: Vinyl cutter, milling machine, and sublimation printer in the Fab Lab. - Fabienne Serriere

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Luuk is sketching. -

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Milling machine -

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Vinyl-cutter -

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Harold and Bernardo vectorize the design to be able to put it into the Fab Lab machines' software. -

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Sometimes there are too many possibilities! -

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The participants brainstorm with the aid of laptops, design software and sketchpads. -

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The Fab Lab entrance, where all the machines live. -

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Architectural details are primed to be used with the theme of Urban Typography. - Fabienne Serriere

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Another participant dreams of some cubed inspiration. -

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Sketchbooks fill up with ideas, letters, typography, and design pieces. -

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Pencils and computer pointers are equally as important. -

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Urban Typography Workshop at Mediamatic - Fabric to be printed on with the sublimation printer should contain polyester. If not, it can be treated with poly paint, shown here.

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Urban Typography Workshop at Mediamatic - The Fnordlicht by fd0 is open source hardware. The file was opened in Rhino and was already vectorized. Fabienne Serriere

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Urban Typography Workshop at Mediamatic - The circuit diagram board layout was then made 3D for the milling machine. Fabienne Serriere

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Urban Typography Workshop at Mediamatic - A smaller bit was fitted on the milling machine to mill the circuit board. Fabienne Serriere

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The un-etched copper board is stuck to the work bed of the milling machine with double sided tape. -

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The vinyl cutter's print screen to make continuous long sheets is a bit hidden in sub menus. -

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As the vinyl cutter cuts a long sheet, it feeds the entire length forward and backwards causing a bit of a workout for the participants. -

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The laser cutter, hard to photograph, but here caught in action cutting some plexiglass. -

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Letters fresh out of the laser cutter. -

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Urban typography was the theme of the two day workshop and many filled sketchbooks with ideas. -

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The laser cutter cutting some cardboard for a book cover about gravestone typography by one of the participants. -

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Luuk's forms were cut by the laser cutter for an urban logo for a hip hop group. - Fabienne Serriere