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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Undergraduate seniors in Design Department to showcase a variety of work


Pieces range from apps to furniture to fashion

The Department of Design will present its first-ever undergraduate senior showcase from May 22 to June 18. For anyone confused as to what the subject of design entails, fear not — the exhibit’s preparer, Chris Jones, has clarified what it means to showcase design.

“The short answer to that is that it’s a lot of different things, and maybe the basic principle is that everything that we interact with as people is designed in some way,” Jones said. “So this show is nice in that you do see how these things kind of permeate throughout our culture from everything from apps to more straightforward image design or layout or typography or textiles. It’s kind of neat to see how some design principles are overarching across many kinds of disciplines and ways of making things.”

Design is certainly varied in its medium, preparation and context, ranging from textiles and digital media to product design and beyond. The exhibit includes some independent projects, such as a bus that was theoretically designed to transport disabled and elderly people, as well as product-design projects, like a new design for packaging mooncakes.

Brontë Blanco, a third-year design major and assistant exhibition designer, found it rewarding to work on the exhibit, as she was able to collaborate with various on-campus clubs and artists, whose work will also be showcased. For the months leading up to the exhibit, she worked on exhibition design, curation of the materials and organizing submissions from design clubs and students. Blanco said that the showcase is meant to celebrate the works and accomplishments of individuals from the Design Department but also to give the public a better understanding of the variety of design coming from the department.

“I think it’s exciting to know that this is the first of many to come, and the point is that this exhibition is supposed to be reflective of the senior student body, so the seniors are supposed to work alongside whoever is designing the exhibition to put their own feel on the exhibition,” Blanco said.

She also noted that the exhibit may be completely different years from now, but will still be representative of graduating seniors’ hard work.

Marissa Meier, a fourth-year design major, has two pieces being showcased in the exhibition. One is a small wooden chair made of vinyl sheeting and bucket straps, which she created in her furniture design class. The idea is that the chair can be taken apart and carried, since it doesn’t have any hardware. Another is an interlocking seating installation group project that was featured in the Chicago SOFA (Structure Objects, Functional Art and Design). Only five schools are accepted, and UC Davis is the only one from California to be included almost every year. Meier and her peers “tried to being something that’s uniquely UC Davis,” according to Meier.

In terms of the undergraduate senior showcase, Meier noted that it personally motivates her to see what other students are working on throughout the school year.

“A lot of people in the Design Department take different multidisciplinary approaches on the projects that we do,” Meier said.

The showcase coincides with the design commencement on June 17, so many of the seniors will be there to discuss their pieces and answer any questions, including the professors who teach the classes from which the projects were inspired. All pieces include wall tags that note which class the piece was made in for those who may be seeking some inspiration when it comes to signing up for a design class.

The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 12 to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., from now until June 18 in Cruess Hall.


Written by: Pari Sagafi — arts@theaggie.org


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