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This exercise will require each person to work independently on the computer. Allot as much time as desired- 15mins., or 30-45mins. Then gather the group together to compare your results.

The idea behind this exercise was inspired by photographer Stefan Draschan. His collection of work captures moments where museum-goers match the artwork they are looking at it.

This made me think of how wonderful it is to observe the details in seemingly unrelated things, and find ways in which they connect. This skill is fundamental to the eye of a designer, and I thought it would be good practice for my team.

The challenge is to gather a collection of 4 images that all match, using the article linked above for inspiration and clarity. There should be a clear visual connection between each image, but you can be creative in your interpretation.

In our case we used the internet so we could quickly gather our images. But for an added challenge one could take a camera and go out into the world to capture the same idea.


One page collection of images that satisfies the following categories….

  1. ART




It was really wonderful to see the different directions each designer went. The above collection of images share such a close resemblance with the interpretation being so literal.

Whereas this designer had a much more abstract interpretation and took liberty with the parameters, exceeding 4 images and creating more of a mood board collage. But that's okay! Rules are meant to be broken and these exercises are intended to stimulate each individual's creativity.

When gathered together we discussed what exactly was marrying all these elements. Apart from the color, the main underlying theme is a unique mix of textures. In some ways these images do not necessarily match, but compliment. We talked about the difference and what this means in our work.

This designer made an interesting choice of avoiding color, and worked instead just with black and white images. This allows us to purely focus on the forms, and how the shapes match. Clearly there is a repeating geometry that is an expressed theme. The repetitive lines create bold, striking shapes. And while at first this might seem like a quite structural aesthetic, the reality is these are all organic and natural shapes.

In nature we can always find repeating shapes, this is the way of natural growths. So it is funny how people often describe "randomness" as appearing more natural... a patchwork of random shapes aesthetically is perhaps the farthest away from nature. This observation may explain why so many have such an adverse reaction to the "memphis" design definition it counters our instincts for comfort in repetition and cohesion.

These kind of conversations and thoughts is the purpose of this exercise. Examine the choices one makes and explore the nuances of what defines a cohesive design language.

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