Form meets function at CMU’s Generous Feedback design exhibition | Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Form meets function at CMU’s Generous Feedback design exhibition

Carnegie Mellon University design students show off projects at the Miller Institute for Contemporary Art

click to enlarge Generous Feedback poster
Generous Feedback poster

The future of design, in its many glorious forms, will be on display at Generous Feedback, an exhibition in the Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Institute for Contemporary Art. Featuring work by students from CMU’s School of Design Class of 2019, the show includes projects described as “pushing the boundaries of medium and method in the field of design,” all of which “address everyday topics and speculate the possible futures we will face.”

Generous Feedback exhibits the growth of a curious collective with works that probe, provoke, and scope different issues, questions, and topics that span across time and context,” says featured student, Faith Kim, who studied design and fine arts.

Though exact details about the contents of Generous Feedback, which opens Feb. 21 with a reception event, remain under wraps, the previous year’s show, Assemblage, contained a wide array of books, posters, interactive projects, video pieces, installations, industrial and product design, furniture, fabric, and fashion design, and more. 

Dylan Vitone, associate professor at the CMU School of Design, describes the featured students as “designers that will shape our future” and “hopefully they will help shape how we create a sustainable way of life.” He cites a few issues the projects tackle, from improving social networking, to eliminating food deserts, to creating tools that will help first responders better save lives. 

“These students have gone through wonderfully rigorous education over these past four years and this show marks an opportunity for them to present their solutions to some pretty meaty problems,” says Vitone. “Some of the solutions are elegant, some are beautiful failures, but all of them are thoughtful solutions to problems. Their work will make you think.” 

The exhibition promises to present works that combine the students’ individual takes on design with their socially conscious interests. For example, Kim’s online portfolio includes her work Biased Times, an interactive, analog platform that “exposes public opinion influenced by fake/real images and headline texts from the internet.”

The students showcased demonstrate the vastly varied roles design plays. Besides Kim is Lucas Ochoa, who double-majored in design and human computer interactions, and whose projects include a wallet-sized capo for guitar players and a glider device that allows users to size and shape images on tablets. In 2018, environments design and philosophy student, Aisha Dev, designed and curated an experiential installation on the future of AI and religion in India. Also included is Juan Aranda, a graphic designer whose portfolio includes photography, poster design, and album cover art.

Generous Feedback continues through Thu., Feb 28.

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