REinvEnting thE whEEl

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					R Ei n v E n t ing thE w hEE l
ON E     OB J E CT    14   DAYS   14   L IVE S

M E G   D R E Y E R
                                                                        0   f Ou N D

                                                                        caster wheel

                                                                        I N “ G R A p h IC   D E S IG N   E DuCAT IO N

                                                                        as a Liberal Art” Gunnar Swanson writes that

                                                                        graphic design is “synthetic” and “integrative.”

                                                                        Lacking its own inherent subject matter while

                                                                        possessing the potential to connect many

                                                                        disciplines, it looks outside itself, he says, drawing

                                                                        together seemingly disparate or unrelated parts.

                                                                        Decontextualizing and recontextualizing,

                                                                        deconstructing and reconfiguring, disconnecting

                                                                        and juxtaposing, it forges new connections

                                                                        to create new meaning.

                                                                        A single found object was cycled through

Ob je c t s mig r at e t O u s ,        burrowing into our lives,       14 designers over 14 days. Though not all the

and we embrace them, investing them with meaning. As they               designers were graphic ones, the process they

change hands they are reinvented; new connections to new people         enacted was graphic design. By recontextualizing

and new meanings are formed. With time, the accumulated history         and repurposing the object, each reinvented it.

of their incarnations is imprinted on their surfaces. They are marked   It assumed new life with each designer it passed

by their lived experience. Every scratch, every dent, enriches and      through, exhibiting the essential achievement

enlivens, investing them with an increasing fascination.                of graphic design.

                REINVENTING THE WHEEL                                   MEG DREYER
                                                                                                                       Items that I have that were previously owned but whose owners I never knew

                                                                                                                       include my bed and armoire and my silverware. I like them because they

                                                                                                                       have character and thus their previous lives have influenced my liking them,

                                                                                                                       but I’m not that curious about the details of their former life. I like the patina

                                                                                                                       they have gathered with age. I like the quality of the craftsmanship. I like

                                                                                                                       the lines of them. Some wear and tear gives them character, but if they had

                                                                                                                       been seriously damaged I don’t think I would have wanted them.
                                                                                                                       A MA NDA DRE YER, INTERIOR DE SIGNER

1    M E G    D R E Y E R     graphic designer

Ke Y fOb

Previous ownership shapes my attachment to many             You need to understand that when my grandfather

objects in my possession. I have two railroad watches       used these timepieces there were no electronic signals

owned by my maternal grandfather who died before            from Washington or Greenwich to serve as a standard

I was born. They are beautiful examples of turn-of-         for synchronization of watches – so at no place in the

the-20th century technology in American industrial          country could anyone be sure exactly what time it was.

development. Both were made at different times by the       The time was what the railroads in any given part of the

same company. The second is more elegant – it has           country said it was. The railroads prided themselves on

more jewels in the movement and Grandma used to             punctuality. Periodically the employees of the railroad

display it in a glass-enclosed case – but the first was     would have to bring in their watches for cleaning and

plainly a workhorse in its day (railroad watches cannot     adjustment by company jewelers. The custom was for

be set by simply pulling out the stem and setting the       the jeweler to etch on the underside of the back of the

hands; you have to remove the face of the watch and         watch his initials and the date of the adjustment. The

set the hands by activating a clutch that is otherwise      underside of both of my grandfather’s watches are

inaccessible. The filled gold face of this watch is         replete with these semi-microscopic etchings.

noticeably worn from repeated loosenings of the face).      WILLIAM DRE YER, L AW YER
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2       E L I S S A   pA R k   graphic designer

                                                                                                                                                                                                    bl ade rest

                                        REINVENTING THE WHEEL
3   C h uA N     L A I    graphic designer                                                                              4   R AC h E L    G O T T L E I B   industrial designer

guard, studiO lighting umbrell a                                                                                        pushpin cushiOn

                                                             My first SLR was from a flea market. It was sold

                                                             to me for $75 and was obviously stolen. I developed

                                                             the roll of film that was in it at the time of purchase.

                                                             It was someone’s Christmas photos.

                                                             NIKKI CHUNG , GR A PHIC DE SIGNER

                                                             I have clothes from my father who has a similar figure.

                                                             From my brother I got a pair of shoes that I am very

                                                             proud of, although I would otherwise think of shoes as

                                                             something that I would rather not have from someone

                                                             else....Definitely not, actually.

                                                             PHILIP RUMPF, GR A PHIC DE SIGNER

                                         REINVENTING THE WHEEL
                  Right now I’m wearing my parents’ ski socks from the late 70’s / early 80’s

                  (not sure which parent they belonged to – did they share socks while skiing?).

                  I love them because they evoke a pre-kid time when my mom and dad did

                  that sort of fun thing with their friends...but I mostly love them because I can’t

                  believe they have lasted this long. Excellent craftsmanship – they don’t make

                  them like they used to! (And I like the pattern)

5   A S h L E I G h     S M I T h      graphic designer

necKl ace be ad

                                                                                                                    6    J E N   M AGAT h A N           gr a p hic de s igne r

                                                                                                                    pen hOlder

                                                                                                                        I have an old drafting set (compasses, leads, and rulers) my grandfather

                                                                                                                        gave my dad and my dad gave me when I went to architecture school.
                                                                                                                        The funny thing is, my grandfather failed out of engineering school (he used

                                                                                                                        the set at Purdue) and my father dropped out of the engineering program

                                                                                                                        at Clemson (later to switch to mathematics)....I was the only one who actually

                                                                                                                        got the degree with the drafting set. Ironically, I am not so much an architect

                                                                                                                        anymore. Still, I still keep it in my trunk at studio to motivate me to keep

                                                                                                                        going...and to prove to my granddad and my pops that the set isn’t cursed.

                                                                                                                        JEN MAG ATHA N, GR APHIC DE SIGNER

                  REINVENTING THE WHEEL                                                                MEG DREYER
                                                                                  I have my great-aunt’s silver demitasse spoons....

                                                                                  I don’t own any demitasse cups, and I don’t have an

                                                                                  espresso maker, I don’t know that I’ve actually ever

                                                                                  used them, but I love them anyway. She was the person

                                                                                  of that generation that I was closest to, and there’s

                                                                                  something important about the fact that they were

                                                                                  something she valued.

                                                                                  I would never acquire a used mattress.

                                                                                  K ATHERINE HUGHE S, GR APHIC DE SIGNER

                        7   C h R I S    M A C R A E    industrial designer

                        tea bag rest

                        8   M E G A N     f E E h A N    gr a p hic de s igne r                                                           9   L E S L I E   k WO k   graphic designer

                        christmas tree Ornament                                                                                           bOOK ma rK

REINVENTING THE WHEEL                                                                                MEG DREYER
                                                                10     N A T A L I E   C L A R k   gr aphic de signer

                                                                cOOKing re s t

                                                                                                                        11   M I C h A E L        T R O V E L A          gR APhiC dEsignER


When a new designer colleague came to teach at Indiana University,

I gave him one of my A-Z books as a friendly gesture to get us to know

each other. This was a common practice among artists. Though I did not
                                                                                                                          I have a collection of dishes and jewelry
expect it, he wanted to give me something in return. Not having himself
                                                                                                                          my grandmother left to me when she died,
any design/art to exchange with me (he had worked at a large corporation
                                                                                                                          along with a black leather trench coat.
for many years) he gave me a small glass elephant, saying he had nothing
                                                                                                                          None of these are things that I would have
of art to give but wanted me to have this small elephant which had great
                                                                                                                          chosen for myself, and I hardly ever use
value to him because it was an “heirloom” from someone in his family and
                                                                                                                          the plates, never wear the jewelry, and will
he had had it in his home for many years. I did not want it, but he insisted,
                                                                                                                          never wear the coat. But I can’t get rid
so I kept it. I actually love elephants (he did not know that), but I did not
                                                                                                                          of them. They seem too precious because
like this one, thought it was rather kitsch and of no particular special quality
                                                                                                                          she left them to me, even though all they
that I could connect with it. I kept it for a while, out of duty, in a drawer.
                                                                                                                          do is take up space.
This person and I never got better connected....He was of little interest to me.
                                                                                                                          MELIS SA SMA LL , GR APHIC DE SIGNER
I even felt some resentment toward him, he had had no experience and

little business teaching. I saw this job as more of an escape for him than a

calling. I eventually gave the artifact to someone from the moving company

who admired it and was about to pack it.
TOM O CKERSE , GR APHIC DE SIGNER, ARTIS T A ND TE ACHER                                                                                    12     A L E x A N D R A          M O O N E Y    graphic designer

                                                                                                                                            sundial watch

                                          REINVENTING THE WHEEL
                                                                                                                    14   C h R I S   RO   graphic designer


13    JOE L   VOE L k E R   graphic designer


                                      I have my grandfather’s leadholder, which I keep loaded with 7H lead

                                      and either tucked into my headband or in my bag.

                                      I was born in 1977, but he died in 1975, of brain cancer. He was a

                                      designer, an illustrator, a writer, and a fireman(!) who emigrated from

                                      Russia when he was considerably younger than I am now.

                                      My mom always said we would have gotten along famously. I think

                                      of him quite often, even though I have next to no idea of what he looked

                                      like (pictures notwithstanding). I use his leadholder – green, painted

                                      steel, semi-matte finish, made by “Kimberly Drafting” in Italy – every day.

                                      I have his oil paints, too...but I don’t paint all that much.

                                      A LE x A NDER “ FISH ” BOHN, GR APHIC DE SIGNER

                                   REINVENTING THE WHEEL

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