Whiz Kids at New York AIGA

Yoon Park's iPad app for studying type, Typography Insight.

Last week the New York chapter of the AIGA held its second annual “Fresh Blood” event, featuring top graduating students from design programs across the region. Ten students were given five minutes each to dazzle the crowd at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn with presentations related to their thesis research.  Scott Stowell, the evening’s MC, kept things lively, peppering the students with questions about their work and cracking jokes that stoked school rivalries.

All the presentations were excellent, but here are a few that we just can’t stop talking about:

Russ Maschmeyer from SVA’s Interaction Design program showed videos demonstrating his project Motiv, which uses Kinect “to give digital musicians direct control of emotional expression by interpreting their physical gestures in real-time.”

Parsons Design + Techs Yoon Park developed Typography Insight, an addictive app for learning and teaching typefaces.

Juan Astasio of Yale Graphic Design program: a native of Spain, Astasio admitted he was not enthralled with the city of New Haven or its weather, which inspired the interactive project Weather Escape (also bookmark Astasio’s 100 Smiles site for when you’re having a bad day).

Christopher Clark of Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) charmed the audience with his tale of  Web Typography for the Lonely, “the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching story you will ever experience in the wide genre of depressing web-font related stories.” Indeed! Clark draws on personal narratives and his background in fine art to create experimental stories about web design and typography.

SVA Design Criticism grad Saundra Marcel presented a sharp visual analysis and commentary on the design of licensed characters for girls, from the mass-marketing of Strawberry Shortcake to the metamorphosis of Dora the Explorer (yikes!).

Other presenters included Hope Chu from RISD, Pratt ComD’s Brenda McManusMichael Knuepfel of NYU ITP,  SVA MFA Design’s Chris Seabrooks, and Brian Gaffney of SVA’s new MS Branding program–names to watch in the coming years!

Related Stories