Sunday, October 18

Oded Ezer Weeek

Last week, we had a special quest come work with us for 3 days.  His name is Oded Ezer and he is a famous experimental typographer from Israel.  (A typographer is someone who specializes in working with letterforms.)  Let's just say he was so crazy and out there that he wore a letterform hat during his lecture the first night!  But, the more and more we worked with him, we all realized that he was just a cool guy with crazy ideas about type!

The first task that he gave us was before he even got here.  Here's the stipulations:
1. Get a partner
2. Choose a letter
3. Construct a letter that was 3D and at least 3 feet tall
4. Give it an identity or purpose
5. Take it to various locations around the city, take photos, and record people's reactions

So, Betsy and I made a big "b", drapped it in scarves and called it "B the Begger".  You can see from the pictures above that we took it to many places were you might typically find beggers here in Roma.  People starred at us like we were crazy, but we just laughed.  We then had to present these images to Oded and the rest of the class.

We quickly learned that Oded is a big fan of simple ideas.  He kept telling us, "Let the letterform and materials work for you, not you work for them and force them to be who they're not."  It sounds simple, but that is a hard concept to work with!  It's something that many people struggled with on our next assignment!  Here's the stipulations for exercise two:
1. Work individually
2. Everyone choose a different letter from the alphabet
3. Chose a celebrity or famous personality that's name starts with that letter
3. Creat a 3D letterform of any size to represent that personality
4. Turn that 3D form into a 2D form on the computer.

I choose "w" and after searching through famous names, settled on the Wright Brothers.  My idea and concept... a paper airplane.  How simple is that?  I didn't have to change the paper form in anyway besides folding it.  I experimented with about 10 other ways of making a "w" but they just weren't as successful, so back to my original idea I went.  Oded loved it!  I was so excited to hear his thoughts on it, and later found out that my paper airplane idea was the talk at his dinner that night with our ISU professors!  How exciting!  Who would have thought a simple paper airplane would create a personality profile on the letter "w"!  You can see in the pictures above a bunch of pictures of the airplane "flying in the dark", which was actually the plane tied to a light fixture in the bedroom and me trying to snap a picture so that the "w" was in center front!  It as quite the project...

Next, was the challenge of making that 3D form have the same feeling in 2D.  Once that was figured out, Oded challenged me to take my project one step further, so I created a funny, short video that contrasted my paper airplanes first flight against the wright brothers first flight.  Let's just say that I'm not the best paper airplane maker in the world, as my flight was a failure...

It was a week that only us students in Rome will ever be able to experience and a week that gave me a whole new perspective on typography!  Everyday I'm more and more thankful for this opportunity and realize that it's a once in a lifetime deal!  I think that there are a few other pictures of projects in the gallery above, the black and white on is more progress on my type project and the sketches are for my logo for Tiber Island!  Homework, homework, homework!  I thought that this was supposed to be 4 months of vacation!  Just kidding mom.  Love to all, back to homework now!

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