Cutting edge, not class

Millennials love being at the cutting edge and, for the most part, they are the ones pushing the technological envelope. However, when it comes to education, they have not abandoned the traditional classroom.  

Even though online classroom enrollment has increased by 25% in the past four years, a recent survey found that 78% of college students still value the in-class environment. Although 80% of students use technology while in class, only half of them felt that technology is essential to their education.

What does this all mean? As a millennial college student, I suspect it means that we love our technology, but even more, we value the up-close and personal interaction that you can only find in the traditional classroom.

David Thompson, GCF intern

Stream of Thought

This art installation at Dulles International Airport displays messages related to peace from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism. LED lights within the seven-foot-tall block form the words in a ticker-tape-like stream. It’s a thought-provoking island of tranquility within one of the nation’s busiest international airports.

Timely templates

Powerful imagery and a highly flexible template provide a framework for a wide range of materials we designed for Johns Hopkins’ new capital campaign, “Rising to the Challenge.” Shown are a foil embossed pocket folder, the overall case statement, case statements that are specific to each school and division, and one-page insert sheets. Many of these items are designed for print-on-demand so that gift officers can order the right number of brochures with their own contact information printed on them.

Seeing Beneath the Surface

Photographer Charlie Crane’s book, Welcome to Pyongyang, contains a series of stunning large format photos of one of the world’s most secretive countries. Visitors to North Korea are accompanied at all times by state-assigned guides who escort you on carefully planned tours. How can you create under such tight restrictions? Crane’s solution is straightforward: “If there is no possibility of getting underneath the surface then the answer is to photograph the surface itself.” Even though the state has carefully controlled what outsiders can see, these remarkable images speak for themselves about life in the Hermit Kingdom.

A Ground-breaking Moment

Late in 2012, the New York Times published a multi-media story called Snow Fall, The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek. If you have not yet seen/read the story, we are happy to introduce it to you here. Snow Fall is a ground-breaking moment in multimedia journalism, one of the first articles to illustrate the dynamic possibilities that occur when new media are thoughtfully integrated with the written word. As you scroll through the story, stunning animated graphics, slideshows, and video interviews add clarity to the unfolding drama. My favorite graphic is the vertigo-inducing flyover of the Cascade Mountains with ranges and ridges graphically delineated. What is particularly exciting is that the visuals enhance the story rather than overwhelm it. In fact, the story runs for a whopping 10,000 words, which is well over the copy count of most magazine articles.

I predict that Snow Fall will mark a change in the way we do multimedia storytelling. The possibilities are as vast as the northwestern mountains.

Creative block

Who among us has not stared with despair at a blank page or screen as the Very Important Deadline approaches? That dreaded feeling is the price you’ll pay for working in the world of ideas. This telegram sent by Dorothy Parker—famed writer, critic and satirist—to her editor displays her characteristic wit as she describes her bout with writer’s block.

After we’re comforted to know that we are not alone, what can we do to get the creative juices flowing again? What works for me is taking a breather and getting away from the problem for awhile. In fact, I’ve noticed that my best ideas come early in the morning after a night’s rest. The solution will hit me and I can’t wait to get to the office to explore the solution. What works for you?

Suite Idea

The great minds at Pantone are at it again. Now you can eat, sleep, and breathe color at the Pantone Hotel in Brussels, Belgium. Created to appeal to itinerant designers and other creative professionals, this hotel takes picking your room to colorful new heights. Each floor displays a distinct color palette and walls are adorned with photos and oversize PMS chips. Contributed by GCF intern, Rebecca Madariaga

Accidental tourist 2.0

Panoramic views of the pyramids

Have you ever longed to see the Great Pyramids, St. Petersburg, Angor Wat, or the Vatican but just didn’t have the opportunity? Now there is a way to sit back, relax, and start traveling virtually. Airpano.com offers incredibly detailed aerial panoramic views of some of the most fascinating places on earth. The clarity is stunning, and the 360º angles show you details that you could not see even in person. Take a peek, but be forewarned, this website is addictive!

 

The quaint beginnings of the high-tech brand

Early Apple, Microsoft, and Google cards.

Before they were household names, these high-tech titans introduced themselves with the curiously homey business cards above. As their brands evolved, so did their marketing. Apple changed the entire look and feel of high-tech products. In 2012, Microsoft launched a sleek rebrand, its first overhaul in 25 years. Google dropped the exclamation point and has grown its wordmark into countless whimsical iterations. Perceptions change, especially in the technological realm. What was edgy in 1975 may look corny today. How does your brand hold up in today’s high-tech world?

 

Brick and mortar that inspires

The Waterhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve

Courtyard, the Salk Institute

Courtyard, the Basilica of Saint Francis, Assisi

Several years ago a friend and I visited the Case Western Reserve campus in Cleveland. We wanted an up-close look at the impossibly curvy Frank Gehry-designed building that houses the Weatherhead School of Management. We walked inside, outside, and all around the building taking photos and pointing out radical shapes and crazy angles to each other. The innovative structure thoroughly impressed us, and as it turns out, we are in good company. Recently the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran an article on the building and its connection to the Weatherhead School’s brand of unconventional creativity. One student observed, “When you think business, you think uptight, corporate suits. This building is not uptight. This is where the business world is heading.” Fred Collopy, a professor at the school, notes, “This building says it’s all right to be unique, different, and special. It says to students, ‘You don’t have to be like the manager in the next cubicle.’”

In the 1950s, biologist and doctor Jonas Salk took a much-needed break from his lab in Pittsburgh and spent a few months in Italy. He was deeply inspired by the peace and serenity of the 13th-century monastery that overlooks the town of Assisi. Refreshed, he returned to the US to continue his work and soon after developed a successful polio vaccine. He later built the Salk Institute so that it reflected the architectural rhythm of the monastery in Assisi.

A physical space effects how we think, feel, and create. What do your buildings say about you? Is your campus “on brand?”