The NYUAD Design Journal

Pauline Wee, Tonia Zhang, Erin Collins
Publication Design

So, what is design at NYUAD?

For the first few weeks, we had just one question: what is design like at NYUAD?

It was definitely scrappy, self-started, and coming from all over the place. Some of the best design projects we had weren't even made by people who would call themselves designers. The best way any of us could describe it was this: Everyone, regardless of their formal design experience, was using their unique perspective to tackle design problems in the community.

Eventually, that became the direction of our drafts, the spirit of our editorial message, and the title of our journal. At NYUAD, everyone is a designer.

From there, we got to work!

Our team called nearly every week to bounce ideas off each other. We wanted the journal to reflect the messy, scrappy, experimental vibe that we felt from the design community, so every page was designed to stand on as a design piece rather than join a standard layout.

To get the ball rolling, we started a moodboard, I made rough wireframes of each page of the spread on pen and paper, and we discussed our ideas over Zoom.

As for the content, we compiled essays written for design classes from the past 10 years, scraped design work from old Google Drives, and personally set aside time to interview six NYUAD student designers. Since we ourselves had to curate and create the content, and the journal was a relatively short publication, we had to be very selective about what to include.

The picture says it all: we did a lot of experiments.  Our process on Figma went as follows: try things, try again, figure out what the piece was really trying to say, and then hone in on that message with the final iteration.

The entire process was incredibly fun, even online, with nine hours of time difference separating the team. Below are some snippets we left on the cutting room floor.

Three months later, we sent it to print!

After three months of curating, designing, writing, editing, and reviewing our work, we finally came up with a publication we were proud of, and we sent it off to be printed!

Now, the design journal is actually in people's hands, with copies all across campus: in the Arts Center, the Visual Design Lab, and the Art Gallery to name a few. It even took a trip with Professor Goffredo Puccetti for an exhibit about NYUAD design in New York!

If you're at NYUAD, you can find it in the Visual Design Lab (C3-012) on the second floor of the Arts Center (C3) :)

We've done a lot of design at NYUAD. Where is it?

NYUAD (and NYU as a whole) has a relatively small design program, but through various projects, classes, and assistantships, its students have produced a wealth of work in design. Last year, the department started compiling this work with its website, pictured below.

This year, they wanted to take that curatorial and archival work a step further with a physical publication: The NYUAD Design Journal.

As a Design Archive Editorial Assistant, I was tasked with initiating, directing, and designing that journal. With my team of one other designer (Tonia Zhang) and the guidance of Erin Collins, Instructor of the Arts, I compiled essays, curated a decade of class work, interviewed student designers, and ultimately put together a publication that would represent the playful, self-starting, and highly experimental spirit of design at NYUAD.


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