Designs in the D: This Week in Design Annual 2022

From an exhibition showcasing a history in style and innovation to reviving a rural village into a hip tourist destination, this week’s featured entries in our Design Annual 2022 competition are sure to rev up your engines and get you ready to go!

The “Detroit Style Exhibition Book” (above) was designed by Katherine Lorenzetti of the Union AdWorks design firm. Union AdWorks is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and was commissioned by the Detroit Institute of Arts to create a design catalog. The exhibition chronicles the artistry and influence of Detroit car designers between 1950 and today. The exhibit features twelve full-size cars as well as experimental show cars on the museum floor, each one highlighting significant achievements in style and technology.

As for the book, Lorenzetti and her team set out to put emphasis on creating a unique color palette and maintaining the “car is the star” philosophy. Chapters were divided by portraits of Detroit car designers with interviews, and a selection of design drawings, paintings, and sculptures influenced by car culture juxtapose the insightful writings of the author and curator, Benjamin W. Colman. The project drew great interest from Yale University Press, who published the book and archived it in their permanent collection. The “Detroit Style” exhibition is scheduled to be on view at the DIA until June 27, 2021.

Now that your engines are ready, why not take a trip? Designers Tabi Aziri and Rogier Bisschop have the perfect destination: the “Dafang Creative Cultural Village” (above). Dafang is one of one hundred and fifty traditional Chinese rural villages in the Jinxi County Municipality in southeastern China. As in many places in the world, the countryside in China is facing a population decline. China is making an enormous effort to revitalize its deserted countryside, and the stimulation of rural tourism has an important place in this effort. To aid in this, Jinxi County council asked the Dutch IVEM (Dutch Institute of Cultural Heritage & Marketing) to transform one of its villages into a tourist attraction, one where the younger generation of Chinese urbanites would like to visit. IVEM chose Amsterdam-based firm Total Design to create the village’s new visual identity.

Aziri, Bisschop, and the rest of the team at Total Design started their project by designing a logo. The development plan for the village was based, among other things, on a specific, iconic building for visual marketing: a beautiful tower in the form of a double helix. So, an abstraction of that tower became the logo! The team took it further with a mix of floral styling based on traditional porcelain motifs, and laid a foundation for the marketing of different products, from bags and clothing to beer bottles and mugs. Finally, they followed up on a request to use gold as the dominant color in the logo and styling; Jinxi means “golden flow,” and that symbolic, almost narrative concept is incredibly valued.

Holland-Dafang Village has recently opened and is already attracting thousands of visitors each day as China has started to reopen post-coronavirus. The project is now regarded as an example project by the province of Jiangxi, and the success will hopefully be replicated in more villages throughout the region.

For more information on these designs and more, be sure to check out all the submissions in Graphis’ Design Annual 2022 competition. The deadline is May 4th, which is TOMORROW, so be sure to submit your entries ASAP!

Author: Graphis

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