York/Sheridan Design display offers a visual treat

Creative work by students at all levels of study in the joint York/Sheridan Program in Design (YSDN) is currently on display in the fourth floor hallway gallery in the sunny atrium of the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Building on York’s Keele campus. Titled Kaleid, the show encompasses works in print, motion and interactive media.

White paper letters mounted on wall with cast shadows. Same text on computer monitor in colour. text: kaleid
Above: The Kaleid title design by Lillian Jia

“From striking typography to innovative packaging, this exhibit is an excellent showcase for the energy, creativity and talent in the YSDN program,” said Professor Wendy Wong, who organized the show.

Lillian Jia, a fourth-year design student who works with Wong on a work/study assignment, came up with the title and theme. “I thought the idea of a kaleidoscope represented the YSDN student body well,” said Jia. “Our many different creative facets, styles and colours all come together to make a constantly changing whole. I thought of shortening the word, and ‘kaleid’ immediately came to mind. Since ‘collide” and ‘kaleid’ sound the same, I thought it was a strong concept to base my design on.”

To create the title display for the exhibit, Jia tested out the new laser-cutting machine that the Department of Design currently has on loan from Trotec Laser. Her innovative design is installed on the north wall of the gallery.

black inky spill on grey sky. text:
Above: Editorial design by Samantha Beck

Part of the impetus for Kaleid was the opportunity to showcase student work to the 600 or so applicants to the YSDN Bachelor of Design program, who come to York for portfolio interviews during the months of February and March. Third-year design student Valida Jafarov, a Faculty of Fine Arts student ambassador, is giving prospective students guided tours of the exhibition and the design studios

“Everyone has been so impressed by the variety and quality of the work in the show,” said Jafarov. “Some students told me that when they went for interviews at other schools, they were simply sitting in waiting rooms. I think our display and the tours are making a really positive impression.”

White text showing from under the surface of disturbed black water. text: DROWN.
Above: Typeface design by Lu Jiani

Jafarov has also offered a button-making workshop to engage applicants while they are waiting for their interviews. Participants pick pictures and text from magazines and Jafarov helps them assemble their selections in the department’s button-making press.

“Everyone’s wearing multiple buttons when they leave,” Jafarov said. “It’s great to see so much creativity and enthusiasm.”

Magazine spreads of infographics and typographic layouts
Above: Information design by Chris Cheong

Each year, YSDN welcomes some 115 applicants into the program. But you don’t have to be an aspiring design student to enjoy Kaleid. Members of the York community are invited to drop by anytime to see the show, which will be on view until April 15.