The Triangle - The Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University

Learning Terrace displays student art

Typographical compositions created by sophomore students in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design will be displayed at the Library Learning Terrace from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5.

The students, all from CoMAD’s Typography I classes, used online templates to create the compositions, according to CoMAD Assistant Professor Shushi Yoshinaga, “It’s all composed of type only, like repetition of words,” Yoshinaga explained. “It was a bit of an ambitious project for a sophomore typography class. They had to learn very fast,” she said, noting that this class is the first typography class that CoMAD students take in their major.

Five classes contributed to the Library Learning Terrace designs. Yoshinaga instructed three of these, and the other two were instructed by CoMAD Assistant Professor Julia Colton. Roughly 55 students created two to four designs each, totaling over a hundred designs made for the dividing screens at the Library Learning Terrace and those on the large stationary hub.

The Library provided the students with a list of suggested words including “communication,” “leadership” and “environment” to use as inspiration for their designs. These words were meant to describe Drexel’s learning outcomes and the libraries.

“Usually for our assignments there’s a lot of structure, and we have specific criteria. This was our first opportunity to do a project that we might have to do in the professional world,” sophomore graphic design student Avery Sohn said.
She added, “All we had was a template and words, and we had to make a successful composition from those two things.”

“I think that the most challenging part was thinking about the text in the actual environment, like what types of words and colors you would want to see,” Chelsea Ennis, a sophomore majoring in graphic design said.

Dean of Libraries Danuta A. Nitecki reached out to Yoshinaga during the spring of 2011 about having the students create these designs for the Learning Terrace. In regard to collaborating with the library, Yoshinaga said, “I think working together is fantastic.”

“I had never worked on that big of a scale before. It was overwhelming at first,” Niki Benedetto, a sophomore majoring in graphic design, said, He added, “It was hard at first to start. The direction was very unclear, and what I ended up with was completely different from what I started with.”

“Design can be a major part of it because you want to be inspired, and you need visual stimulation of some kind without being too imposing,” Yoshinaga said.

Any Drexel student can offer feedback on the designs and assist in selecting a favorite design, which will be permanently installed in the dividing screens in the Learning Terrace. Each design is numbered, and a comment box is provided. The Learning Terrace will be open 24 hours for finals week beginning at noon on Dec. 4.

On Dec. 6, a selective group of people will gather to choose the design to be printed inside the Library Learning Terrace, including Nitecki, Yoshinaga, Colton, Director of Library Administrative Services Lenore Hardy, and other representatives from Drexel and CoMAD.

When the design will be printed and installed in the Library Learning Terrace is yet to be determined. However, there will be a ceremony when it is installed, and the library will acknowledge the students whose designs were chosen.