Myopic Fields of Study

As a designer, et cetera, I usually follow the simple logic of…Do I find it interesting? Sign me up! I guess you could call me a generalist. That’s why I build derby cars, make 3D paper raindrops and go to postcard shows. A wide selection of topics, all of which itch the need of delving into the specificity of a subject. Even though I don’t make my living out of it, spending these short bursts of time on a super-focused theme is very rewarding to me.

Lisa Congdon enjoys collecting, arranging and displaying like items.

I find it fascinating that some people can find a niche so narrow and burrow down so deep, that their entire plane of reference is altered and a new little world is created to support the peculiarities of their interest. This hyper focus not only makes them brilliant (at times), but also creates their myopic perspective. Well, at least that is how I explain these research titles a friend sent me…

Effect of Adjuncts on the Color Stability of Bologna and Fresh Beef Sausages

Calculation, Qualculation, Calqulation: Shopping Cart Arithmetic, Equipped Cognition, and the Clustered Consumer

Making Time: Reciprocal Object Relations and the Self-legitimating Time of Wooden Boating

After reading these and making a few snarky comments, said friend and I spiraled into an email thread trying to best each other with fake inane research titles. Generally specific, or specifically general – you decide. Below I present you our first three topics.

Symbols of Virility and the Cultural Resurgence of Lederhosen

Forskning og Teori om Størrelse og Knuse-metode i Forhold til Klasse, med Hensyn til Smag og Behag

A study of Northern European migration patterns in relation to banal influences, with a special forword by B. Jean on cloud cover and pesky bugs.

Perhaps this should be part of a series called “I’m smarter than you” that is geared toward academia, executed as book slipcovers that hide the fact that you’re just reading the latest Malcolm Gladwell bestseller. Have any research titles up your sleeve that I should add to the collection?

In the process of researching these titles, I came across this photo. Which is just too good not to repost. What is going on? What ISN’T going on? Rocking out in lederhosen never looked more hardcore. In fact, I have danced with a man in lederhosen, and it was all you can imagine and more.

I want an invite to this party.

From the Archives: PSU Shirt Illustrations

Found these in the archives and I thought I would share. These illustrations were created while I worked at Sockeye Creative for Art Director Rob Wees. The starburst was printed mint-teal on a gray shirt and the noodle blob was printed gold metallic on a brown shirt. Rob personally chose the mannequin, Brenda, to sell this short run of custom shirts in the Portland State University bookstore. That’s one hot date, Rob!

Brenda sells hard.

54-40 Packaging Prototype

My dad was a geography teacher, so growing up in a small town in Central Oregon my family participated in the local radio station’s morning Geo Quiz with the 3 other families in town who were also partial to such shenanigans. Over the years of answering questions correctly I collected a world placemat, spin-top globe pencil, globe keychain, and numerous stickers and erasures.

While the days of the Madras Radio Geo Bee are long gone, I still have a fondness for geography related trivia. So when I met Greg Jones at an ADX Feedback Loop event where he presented an idea for a topographic series of state products, I was psyched to help him make it a reality.

After some talk, we decided to collaborate on packaging prototypes for a small batch of products he wanted to sell to gather interest in his idea: a set of magnetic-backed US states made out of laser cut wood that show the topography of America. AWESOME!!!

Continue reading “54-40 Packaging Prototype”

Photos from Danmark, Issue VI

Tiny model houses all dusted in white at the Danish Architecture Center. If it were powdered sugar there would have to be a sign telling people not to lick it.
A field of Danes, kind of like flowers, they only come out in the sunny months. Don't even ask me how they pollinate.
Garbage can to park bench ratio.
Old windows and doors and the parts in between reminds me of a quilt.
The entire Danish army. Their fuzzy hats make me want to take a nap. Perhaps that is their secret pacifist power?