Open Set - Graphic Design Summer School in Rotterdam

Open Set is a Graphic Design Summer School in Rotterdam, which takes place at the art venues in the Witte de With, including V2_.

Jul 2014
Aug 2014
08:00 to 16:00
location: V2_, Witte de With, CBK, TENT, Showroom MAMA, WORM

The yearly design conference Open Set – Graphic Design Summer School takes place in Rotterdam this year, from the 28th of July till the 9th of August. Open Set has been invited by Kunstblock, a Rotterdam based foundation that has been set up by five cultural institutions that reside on the Witte de Withstraat. The different workshops and presentations that are part of the Summer School take place in the different Kunstblock affiliated locations.

The different program items of Open Set are hosted by Dutch and international designers. This year’s theme is ‘Social Game’ and zooms in on the role that graphic designers play when it comes to public social engagement within cultural production and distribution processes. Open Set 2014 is made possible due to contributions by Andy Altmann, Felix Janssens, Jan van Toorn, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Trapped in Suburbia, Annelys de Vet, Karel van der Waarde, Andreas Gysin, Richard Vijgen, Latitudes and Max Bruinsma.
Theme 2014: ‘Social Game’
As a result of social changes such as economic and creative decentralization, multi-disciplinary collaborations and the ever growing list of societal needs and demands, modern designers are forced to be more and more flexible in order to meet the challenges they face. They are expected to constantly broaden their horizon and develop new ways in which to combine visual culture, social needs and economic demands. Open Set examines this development during a two week program by focusing on graphic designers who are socially engaged and, as a result, create participatory and interactive experiences. 

Kunstblock is collaboration between different cultural institutions that are situated in and around the Witte de Withstraat, namely: Showroom MAMA, TENT, V2_, Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and WORM. Kunstblock aims to enhance the capacity and impact of art and culture on the city of Rotterdam via the commissioning of sustainable interventions in street, art and education projects (including Open Set Graphic Design Summer School) that contribute to the future and the continuity of the Witte de Withstraat, it’s institutions, entrepeneurs, inhabitants and visitors.


Open Set 2014 workshops at V2_

The Void
A space for furtive encounters.

The workshop aims at graphic designers, artists or curious creative minds who want to develop and share their understanding of code based creation or to integrate coding in their workflow.
The theme of this day is focusing on forming and analysing interactive digital strategies and game principles for involving the broad public into the creative processes. The day triggers the question of: What is communication between people in the virtual environment, their behavior and to what reciprocal influences these individuals respond to? How these strategies applied into a virtual environment can be appropriated by artists or designers and applied effectively into their own practice?
In this workshop participants will learn how to program and animate a small character on screen with the Processing programming environment. The final aspect of each character can vary from a representation of it's own maker or it can be totally abstract; it can move fast, slow or in an intermitting fashion.
At the end of the day all the characters created will be brought together and will coexist in a common (screen-) space. Each maker will be able to controlled it's own character through the network.
The core of the workshop will be the exploration of real-time communication between individual characters: there will be opportunity for encounter but also escape as the proximity and the distance between senders and receivers can vary. Custom messages built on top of each character can be emitted in the form of text, pictograms, colors or movement.
The tool of choice for the implementation is Processing as it is a freely downloadable, open-source programming environment which permits to quickly create working prototypes. It has been created with focus on writing programs in a visual context, with artists and designers in mind.
A brief hands-on introduction to the Processing drawing API will be thought during the first quarter of the workshop; some boilerplate code will also be distributed to permit focus on the representational and interactive aspects of the project.
The workshop is aimed to designers with some or little programming skills.

Andreas Gysin lives and works as graphic designer between Berlin and Lugano. Writing custom programs is part of his design process independently of the output medium. When not busy on projects he teaches interaction design and programming at ECAL, Lausanne and in SUPSI, Lugano and in workshops worldwide.

Provoking the conditions of social processes

Within the design field there is a growing ethical consciousness, both in the way it relates to the larger social, political and economic challenges and in the way it reflects on its own production, communication and distribution mechanisms. This societal context positions the designer not as an executor or producer, but as creator of strategies, facilitating the conditions for social processes and even provoking new ones. What does that mean for new design practices? In the context of the growing complexities of our society, in a world with increasing conflicts and in a post-crisis society; how can these practices enable the imagination of a different world?
During the social-game-summer-class we will – with a strongly international group of designers – address these issues from the perspective of different realities, in a three day think tank for visual strategies. On provocative and collaborative manners the participants will investigate and design their conditions for social processes. They will be presented during a public game at the end of the workshop.

Annelys de Vet is a graphic designer and head of the design department of the Sandberg Institute Amsterdam. Her work explores the role of design in relation to the public and political discourse. Since 2003 De Vet designed a series of subjective atlases through which alternative views are developed towards political entities that lack a nuanced representation in the media. Also she was the initiator and designer of the yearly ‘(Con)Temporary Museum Amsterdam’ (2006–2009) which covered the side program of the art fair Art Amsterdam. She was a lecturer and coordinator at the ‘Man & Communication’ department at the Design Academy Eindhoven (2002–2008). 

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