Find your Muse at the Digital Design Exhibition

“This year’s design exhibition has very professional designer oriented work,” said associate professor Naomi Kasumi, the digital design exhibition curator for the last decade. “The students were really conscious about how they wanted to be seen as professional designers.”

The 2016 digital design exhibition, titled “Muse,” will be filling the Vachon Gallery with an abundance of creativity, talent and hard work from the 2016 digital design cohort.


Cam Peters • The Spectator
Cam Peters • The Spectator

Students and family socialize at the digital design exhibition reception.


Named for the many faced inspirations behind each piece, this year’s annual exhibit allows digital design students to showcase pieces of their work.

This consciousness of the designers to be professional certainly shows in their work. Polished, eye-catching designs are on display and though they range from product package design to calendar design, each piece is impressive.

The dominant exhibit in the gallery is the wall of information design, which includes informative infographics on a wide variety of topics like the underrepresentation of Asians in the media, the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe and the growth of Uber as a company.

One eye-grabbing piece was Rachel May’s information design about female genital mutilation (FGM). May’s design uses a map of Africa to show the countries with the highest percentage of women with FGM by coloring them in with darkening shades of pink. The result is a moving, informative piece.

Kasumi thought that the information design displayed all the hard work and effort the students put into their pieces.

“The students really tackle an issue that is important to them and society,” Kasumi said. “They spend quite a bit of time researching and getting data and then they have to visualize the data. They put a lot of passion into it.”

The opposite wall is just as full and includes design for app interfaces that show the designers’ talent and cleverness. The app interface “Tinkle,” by Emma Scherer, shows the user the nearest public restroom along with a rating for how clean the bathroom is. The app is not only humorous, but also well thought out.

Several tables in the middle of the gallery display other works like the colorful and practical package design for a tampon brand named “Flow” by Annie Chang. One clever piece on display was Paige Smith’s greeting card design called “Existential Philosopher Valentines.”

These cards turn the ideas of famous philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard and Fyodor Dostoyevsky into romantic philosophy related phrases perfect for Valentine’s Day. Anyone who has taken a philosophy class will appreciate the witty romantic phrases like the one Nietzsche’s card: “I thought God was dead until I met you.”

Smith, a junior digital design major, said that a philosophy class she took inspired the Valentine cards.
“I had written a paper on existential philosophers and then we had to do a greeting card project and it just fit,” Smith said.

Another humorous piece is a package design for a phone charger called “Undead Chargers” by Kate Burson. The piece plays on the phrase “my phone is dead” by resting a phone in a miniature coffin lined with red velvet while it charges. The packaging for the coffin promises that it will, “Bring your phone back from
the dead.”

“I was very impressed by the artistic maturity within the pieces at the digital design exhibit,” said freshman Criminal Justice major Connor Rice. “It made me appreciate the talent within Seattle U’s student body.”

Sally Underwood’s artist book “My Sweetheart” is a heartwarming tribute to her grandparents and a memorable piece. The envelope-like book contains a pink flowered box that is full of love letters her grandfather wrote to her grandmother.

Kasumi expressed her satisfaction with how the exhibit turned out.

“We work very hard the entire year to prepare this show. I am really proud of how it turned out,” Kasumi said.

Smith echoed this sentiment, commending her fellow student’s work.

“Everyone’s work is excellent. Creating the exhibit was a fun process,” Smith said.

The exhibit will be open in the Vachon Gallery in the Fine Arts Building until May 11.

*Sally Underwood is the Lead Designer for the Spectator*

Callie may be reached at ccraighead@su-spectator.com

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