Graduation is a giant step for students, making it a fitting title for the University of Alberta’s design program’s graduate exhibit.
Giant Steps, this year’s edition of the program’s annual graduate exhibit, is being featured in the Fine Arts Building gallery, April 3-14.
The 26 graduate students whose works are showcased major in either industrial design or visual communication design. As such, the creations displayed include tables, book, photographs and websites.
According to industrial design graduate student Iwona Faferek, this year’s title for the exhibit was inspired by jazz artist John Coltrane’s album Giant Steps.
“He brought jazz to a different level, to a higher level,” Faferek said. “That’s what we want to do with design. We’re ending this point, and now we are going to bring it up to this whole other level and take that and embrace it and run with it.”
Most students start planning for the exhibit in September. With the added pressure of an industry night — where professionals in the design field view the students’ work at the gallery — the graduates are inclined to create memorable pieces.
“We should be the piranhas that attack them and come and get jobs (from) them,” Faferek said.
While established designers visit the exhibit, the display is also an opportunity for the greater university population to see the work of students.
Not many galleries in Edmonton showcase design exhibits, Faferek said, and it’s a rare opportunity to see work of this kind.
“There’s some great furniture and interactive stuff,” Faferek said. “There’s a table that changes colour. It has thermo-chromatic paint so it changes based on heat. It turns from black to clear and it reveals certain messages underneath the paint.”
Design students also have the opportunity to work with other departments at the U of A, including creating posters for the drama department’s plays.
“I think part of it is a little bit selfish that after four years we can just put it all out there and put the flag in the ground and say, ‘This is what we’ve done,’” said design graduate Matthew Satchwill.
“For our own sanity, it is nice to be able to see some progress and to share that, and to prove to other people that we have actually been doing something for all this time — that we have been working hard.”
More information about the Giant Steps exhibit can be found at giantsteps2012.com.
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