From A-ha to Oh Shit: From Graphic Design to Glitch Design


Session Title:

  • Interacting with Visual Art and Graphic Design

Presentation Title:

  • From A-ha to Oh Shit: From Graphic Design to Glitch Design



  • (Intro)

    (Long paper)

    As media platforms shift towards more dynamic interfaces, the separation between user and content grows infinitely. While advertised as thin, light, and seamless, these platforms mask a thick and complicated space in which society must navigate. This is what I call the Thick Interface. The Thick Interface is the space between user and content. It is a space that has grown vast, complicated, and consequential through the evolution of society and technology. This space began its growth at the infancy of design practice, the Gutenberg press, but has grown exponentially in recent years to encompass a space that is occupied and lived in. Starting at the Gutenberg press reveals that the practice of graphic design was born out of and is married to technological advancement. While this growth in scale and complexity may affect all professions and all of society, I would argue that it affects graphic design on a deeper level. After all, it is designer’s role to sculpt society’s relationship with content and to narrate and disseminate the information used to guide us through our complex environments. When we design interfaces— books, posters, artifacts, websites, mobile applications, etc.—this thickening space is not only vital, but also a powerful communication tool worth utilizing as a means to understand and relate to the complexity of these engagements.

Related Links:

  • Full text (PDF) p. 704-709

    Previously published in MFA Thesis “Learning to Live in the Thick Interface” at the Rhode Island School of Design