A new collaboratively produced publication has been devised by architecture and design writer Mimi Zeiger, designer Neil Donnelly, and students of the recent SVA Design Criticism Department's (D-Crit) Design Writing and Research Summer Intensive.
#platform presents an anthology of critical thoughts and observations, giving voice to the collective experience of the program. Two weeks of collective experiences, conversations, and relationships were distilled from more than 1,000 tweets, curating 68 for this volume. #platform compiles tweets in a move from the digital to the analog, and is the result of the "Platform Project" course, taught by Zeiger during the intensive.
The project began by exploring alternate platforms for design writing, that would cross between digital and analog, exploiting the mobile, activist, and collaborative potential of web 2.0 tools. The class chose Twitter as a platform of communication: being a way to quickly connect the students to each other, Twitter also gave them the experience of writing in public, and often about public space. The constraint of 140 characters created a not only a challenge, but also an opportunity for students to hone their own point of view and voice.
Students were then given a series of assignments that wove in and out of the other courses held during the program. These were geared to using Twitter in particular ways — conversationally, descriptively, to reflect personality, and for critique — when in class, or in New York site and studio visits.
Designer Neil Donnelly conceptualized #platform as an algorithm, combining four themes developed in conversation with the students. Type, background, and paper color change as the variables recombine. The publication's size reflects the idea that these tweets, many which document moments in urban space, can find their way back into the city as flyers. Donnelly created the publication in 24 hours, and the finalised volume was assembled in an afternoon at the D-Crit department.