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Post St.Joost 2005, Superfacial Kruisplein: A New Advanced Method

Teaching a method makes future designers independent of style or medium. Applying a design method ensures a design process that is controllable, interactive and suited for dealing with the utmost complexity. A method withstands the trap of purely aesthetic assessment of the product. A method implies an abstract level of design development that tilts the traditional understanding of graphic design as a manual, problem-solving discipline. Instead it introduces a much more advances notion of graphic design as an open minded, research-based, strategic approach to visual communication.

Teaching a method makes future designers independent of style or medium. Applying a design method ensures a design process that is controllable, interactive and suited for dealing with the utmost complexity. A method withstands the trap of purely aesthetic assessment of the product. A method implies an abstract level of design development that tilts the traditional understanding of graphic design as a manual, problem-solving discipline. Instead it introduces a much more advances notion of graphic design as an open minded, research-based, strategic approach to visual communication.

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‘05


1.Table of Contents

2. Introducing Superfacial:

New Advanced Method

3. Why a method ?

4. What method ?

5. Why the Kruisplein ?

6. Kruisplein image

7. Invisible Kruisplein

8. Kruisplein Info Map

Design Projects: Part 1

9. Debbie van Berkel

10. Rob de Bree

11. Luis Castañeda

12. Dirk Claessens

Design Projects: Part 2

13. Marjolein Kloet

14. Inka Resch

15. Willemijn Schellekens

16. Maarten Verweij


2. Introducing Superfacial

New Advanced Method

3. WHY A METHOD?

Teaching a method makes future designers independent of style or medium.

Applying a method ensures a design process that is controllable, interactive and

suited for dealing with the utmost complexity.

A method withstands the trap of purely aesthetic assessment of the product.

A method implies an abstract level of design development that tilts the traditional

understanding of graphic design as a manual, problem-solving discipline Instead

it introduces a much more advanced notion of graphic design as a open minded,

research-based, strategic approach to visual communication.

4.

WHAT METHOD?

The Post St. Joost method chooses the urban environment of the city as a prime reference to

gain insight into the level of complexity designers are faced with today in dealing with visual

communication. The city provides both an experience we all share, and a mass of signs that

probably nobody fully grasps. In contrast to television and the internet where navigation

takes place through ‘exclusion’, urban space presents us with the maximum of ‘static’. We

move through urban space by ‘inclusion’, meaning the appropriation of a visual culture we

do not necessarily understand or even want to understand. Still, appropriation is needed

dearly to be able to navigate through urban space.

Graphic designers should prepare to step into the gap between the producers of urban space

and the users of urban space and bring their discipline of interface-design to a much higher

level of political and organizational complexity, and to a much larger scale. It means that they

will have to learn to grasp, read, scan and analyze the city’s facades as carriers and machines

of visual communication.

Central to the training of designers for projects that deal with visual communication of urban

identity is that they learn to immerse themselves in the seemingly endless visual and identity-complexity

of the city, but are also able to emerge with compact packages that they can

design with. This means a temporary suspension of their wish to know, control and understand

everything in the beginning, and also an end to their tendency to endlessly doubt and

hesitate over the why and the how in the second phase of the process.

What needs to be drilled into them is firstly the courage to dive into a situation of total

unreadable chaos or emptiness, and secondly the level of control and assurance needed to

make choices and stick to them.

The method to achieve this type of training of Urban Graphic Designers (an ambition for the

years to come) is coined ‘SUPERFACIAL’. The next 8 individual thesis projects will explain and

visualize the succession of steps that constitute SUPERFACIAL in the current curriculum.


5.

WHY THE KRUISPLEIN ?

The location of the Kruisplein in Rotterdam was chosen for its inherent complexity. It functions

mainly as an assembly point for streetcars that need to reach the central Rotterdam

train

station. So... the main slab of the square is covered with rails, and undesigned pavement

consisting of a catalogue of paving possibilities in the last quarter century and even some

trees and grass. The surface of the square says: “I don’t know, leave me alone”. But around

the square there exists a strange ‘big city’ amalgamate of office buildings, hotels, a large

concert hall, a music and dance conservatory, a cinema megaplex, a mini Chinatown and a

drug shelter in a church. The architecture ranges from late 19th century city construction to

early 21” century expansions with all the periods that are in the middle represented too. The

users range from beggars to hot-rodded petty dealers to senior classical music afficionados

to corporate lawyers that set out during lunch to get their falafel in the street. The nationalities

that roam there are uncountable and so are the different age groups and ‘city-tribes’.

This exercise sets out to cater to only one of the users, to make the Kruisplein more comfortable

for just one subject. We get there by analyzing the place, choosing a user-character,

fictionalizing this character and amplifying his or her view on the Kruisplein, creating

a tailor-made comfort-giving device and introducing this back into the area. During this

process we hop several times from group to individual activity. To assist in this process the

team includes a creative writer and an architectural historian. This project builds on the

preliminary short exercise in Paris and even more so on the ‘Poetry HST Project’ which deals

with the introduction of text and image in the railway station area of Breda. As we will see in

the course of the exercise, the Kruisplein area was expanded to both Kruiskades that sit on

either side of the street crossing that was the original name given to the current larger area.

6.


The users range

from beggars to

hot-rodded petty

dealers to senior

classical music

aficionados to

corporate lawyers

that set out

during lunch to

get their falafel

in the street.


INVISIBLE KRUISPLEIN

In a collaborative effort the students compiled data and information on a broad range of

topics closely related to the Kruisplein, but hardly readable from its surface. The Invisible

Kruisplein project researched themes which included social structures, ownership, history &

7.

urban planning, and infrastructure.


invisible kruisplein_ infomap_title


Zoning


Zoning




oning

Zoning


Ownership

Social Structures


Infrastructure


10. Rob de Bre

Design Projec

9. Debbie va

11. Luis Casta

12. Dirk Claes


ts: Part 1

Berkel

e

ñeda

sens


9.

Debbie van Berkel


Both the initial Kruisplein Comfort project and the investigation leading

up to Lost in Transition, the final thesis, are about patterns of movement

at the Kruisplein. Maybe more precisely put, they are about the sense of

disorientation and the way to escape from there into a state of... A state

of... A state of poetic reassurance. Kruisplein Comfort turns the act of

walking of a single woman into dance with a partner. Replaces insecurity

with ritual. Couples the banal to the sublime. Anxiousness is turned into

enjoyment by the shear change of pace and motion. Single becomes couple.

Vulnerability dissolves into intangibility.

The second case of disorientation is derived from the actual situation

at the entrance of the Kruisplein. Building activities have not only obscured

the views towards the city for all those passengers arriving at Rotterdam

Central Station, they have also destroyed any predictable pattern of

movement from there on.

For the next five years this part of the Kruisplein will be a wasteland

of fences, ditches, machines and other obstacles that will cause permanent

discomfort and disorientation. Temporary signs and notices are meant to

|direct vast amounts of people to their destinantions, but their impact is

low. The aim of manipulation is obscured by the irregularity of the official

routing system. Because signs have to be modified or re-hung practically

every single day an ever more confusing pattern arises.

Unintentionally it seems to give rise to a new approach to this kind of

battlefield signage. Why not cash in on the confusion? Accept that no system

at least in situations like these will be able to direct travellers from A to B

in a proper way and instead explore the possibilities of helping people to

get lost in this archeological site. A change of perspective might help people

realise that walking astray will not only lead to lost time, but maybe also to

new insights. Signs will no longer predict the answer, but rather pose the

question. They will not satisfy their need for certainty but examine why

certainty appears to be such a valuable asset to the modern traveller.

Great findings have resulted from derailed scientific research. And what

about derailed walking? For the next five years the Kruisplein area could

be a laboratory, a poetic circus and a fair excuse for being late.


Poetry in Urban Space

Breda Railway Zone

First year Post St. Joost, 2004

















Superfacial

Kruisplein Comfort

First year Post St. Joost, 2004

Scanning the Kruisplein


Physical_movement

Creating a character from the Kruisplein by writing a poem.

Visualizing the poem: Character is walking home on her habitual route.

Schggggtrrr ting…

Kdngg…kdngg kdngg,

Kdngg kdngg…kdngg kdngg,

schgggtrrr tinggg tinggg tinggg.

Schggggtrrr ting…

Kdngg…kdngg kdngg,

Kdngg kdngg…kdngg kdngg,

schgggtrrr tinggg tinggg tinggg.

Niemand die het hoort,

Hetgeen mij zo stoort,

Geluid, dansend in mijn hoofd,

dat mijn lichaam verdooft,

Nobody heard,

The noise annoying me

Sound, dancing in my head,

That drugs my body,

Zou hij, daar aan de overkant,

na een stevige shot

Altijd muziek horen,

Dat is pas één en al genot,

Maar ook zichzelf verloren.

Would he, on the other side of the street,

after a heavy shot

Always hear music,

That would be pure delight,

But he had also loose himself

Om de hoek

Raakte ik zoek,

Onaangenaam oog in oog,

Hoe hij mijn lichaam op zoog,

Around the corner,

I’ve lost my way,

Unpleasant eye to eye,

The way he sucks up my body,

Nare man, ontwijken, kon niet,

Mijn terugreis zette ik voort,

Hopelijk wordt ik niet weer gestoord,

En concentreer me op wat ik zie,

WOO HING HAY,

Één… twee …drie,

Stap en draai.

HONG KONG GOLD,

Zo elegant zijn hand rolt,

Langst mijn lichaam,

Niet onaangenaam,

HAS KEBAB,

Vier…vijf…zes,

De laatste stap,

Daar was de beleving weer,

Dansen met hem,

maakt mij als een veer

Elke dag keer op keer.

Nasty man, avoidance isn’t possible,

I continue my journey,

Hopefully, I won’t get disturbed again,

I concentrate on what I see,

WU HING HAY,

One… two …three,

Step and turn,

HONG KONG GOLD,

So elegant how his hand caresses

My body,

Very pleasant,

HAS KEBAB,

Four…five…six,

The last steps,

Here comes that experience again,

Dancing with him

Makes me light as a feather

Every day again.

1 flat house

Woo Hing

Chinese haircutter

Videotheek

Hong Kong

travel service

Wah Nam Hong

house

Entrance

Chinese

supermarket

Dim Sum

Chinese Muur

acupuncture

Exit Chinese

supermarket

Bram Ladage

French Fries

Sjoko

Night Shop

Grill resturant

Turkish Speciality

Living houses

to parking

GSM-shop.nl Printshop MulticopyTimpaan

Yildiz Döner

Monditel BV

West-Kruiskade

luxe schoenen

(luxery shoes)

Corbeau

Hotel Restaurant

nr.3 King's Garden

nr.2

Rotterdam CS

used

Kruisplein

tram 3, 4, 5, 8, 23

not used

tram 1, 7 (3, 4, 5, 8, 23)

tram 1, 7 (3, 4, 5, 8, 23)

Loyens Loeff

Holiday Inn

house Chinese shop

Dansacademie

Conservatorium

Happy Sushi

Multifoon

Rijken & de Lange

(piano store)

Pathé

Cinema

Grand Palace

Dim Sum

schouwburgplein

Doelencafé


Time, movement and repetition refer to rhythm. That’s why I built up the poem out of dots.


Lost in Transition

Final project


Today

Future plans

IDEALISED view from the Kruisplein towards the station

Ideal image Great expectations



A five-year period is expected to generate

these ideal plans, but will it mean five years

of discomfort and disorientation?


efore after


Beware of obstacles

and dead ends.

Sorry!

Flyer City Council


The entrance to Rotterdam will be chaotic

The habitual routes

of daily travelers will

change frequently.


Travelers have to avoid obstacles to reach their destination.

For many people the transition period will disrupt

their daily routine. Normally they can walk their route

blindly, without thinking. That won’t be possible during

the transition period. This will lead to disorientation,

alienation, discomfort, frustration, stress…discovery...

DISORIENTATION

...is particularly frustrating

LOSTTIME

...is especially stressfull


‘Ga je mee verdwalen,

ik weet de weg.’

Loesje







imaginationCAN CHANGE PERSPECTIVE

imagination IS STATE OF MIND


A temporary signage system intended to direct the

flow of traffic also has randomness and movement

in it. The exisitng system has a formal visual language

and changes frequently.


PROBLEMEN

ZIJN GEEN

STOPBORDEN

(zij zijn richtlijnen)

OMLEIDING

Ga je mee dwalen

ik weet de weg

HITCH YOUR MIND

TO A STAR

EEN GEEST VOL

VERTROUWEN ZAL ⇤

JE ALTIJD DE GOEDE

WEG WIJZEN

ER ZIJN ALTIJD ALTERNATIEVEN

standaard

IF YOU ARE GOING

THROUGH HELL

KEEP GOING

standaard


10.


SYNTHESIS RESEARCH MAP: The map above was used to plot the steps I took into the research for this

final project. This chart has two beginning points, the first is the SuperFacial / Visible KP Project, in which

I created a character the '20-Cents' man. The images for this character had been created from the visible

scanning (photography, drawings) the group had made of the Kruisplein area. The second beginning point

was when as a group we conducted the Invisible Kruisplein research. The idea to use a map as a guide

came from the layered information map the whole 2nd year group had designed. Myself and a fellow student

conducted interviews of the social organizations which exist in the area. I then charted a course where I

eventually connect both starting points. For this project I continued what we started in the first year of study.


11.


12.


14. Inka Resch

Design Projec

13. Marjolein

15. Willemijn

16. Maarten V


ts: Part 2

Kloet

Schellekens

erweij


13.


fourteen.


15.

Willemijn Schellekens

Wonderment and memory

There is an obvious simalarity between the main characters of the two

projects presented here. The statue cleaner in Kruisplein Comfort and

Mr. Kruisplein in the thesis project both incorporate the capacity to

maintain an overview of the square. His bird’s eye perspective on the

Kruisplein enables the statue cleaner to record different scenes simultaneously.

His position on the ladder detaches him from the crowd, while at

the same time his profession turns him into an unmistakable part of the

square. Hardly noticed, but fully aware of what is going on beneath him.

Still, his main focuses are the pigeons and their excrements – the ultimate

reason for being there. He’s a flyer like they are. His fantasies are built

around pigeons. They are the actual monuments on the square and most

certainly his preferred companionship.

Mr. Kruisplein is almost without companions. Surrounded by thousands

of people he feels neglect and indifference. His image has grown old and

weary. No one seems to notice the stories he has to tell and most of them

have left no trace on him. Mr. Kruisplein has seen the ages pass by. He

knows about the days before the bombing of Rotterdam. He witnessed

the forbidden love affair between the little black boy of the Zoo and the

director’s daughter. He engaged in public song and dance during the early

20th century Queens Day celebrations. Such stories could reclaim their

presence in public space. As an antidote against the shrinking identity

of the place they would make people wonder about the history of the

Kruisplein. Instead of the current alienation – a place of transit, a square

to be forgotten – new perspectives on the Kruisplein would open up the

views, mark areas of interest in this sea of nothingness. They will add

a sense of belonging that revives the Kruisplein without the help of city

planners, demolition experts and fashionable architects.


• 1st year project • Post-St.Joost • Willemijn Schellekens • end of june 2004 • Het Kruisplein; The pigeon Poet •

The statue cleaner










A change of perspective changes one's perception.


The perspective of the statue cleaner, when he is on his ladder, doing his job. The people don't

notice him anymore, he has become part of the city. And this is what he experiences: --->


The statue cleaner is happy when he stands on his ladder and dreams about being the hero in a

fantasy world of his own creation. Creating comfort for him means more statues to clean, more

pigeons to shit, more opportunities for him to hide. But at the same time he would like to get in

touch with the passers by as well. He does not always want to be invisible. So I ceated a language

for him, to communicate in his subtile way. Nobody notices him, but if you look close, he is there!

That's his message.

I am here

my way


• Thesis project • Post-st.Joost • Willemijn Schellekens • june 2005 • Het Kp; Memories of a shrinking man •

I found mr. Kruispleins

diary. He is sad, and he

will tell you why.


Het

Kruisplein;

an old man,

whose

identity's been

forgotten


The perception of a place is

determined by the way people look.

You donʼt need things

in order to see

Things need you

in order to be seen

-K.Schippers


Wonderment

is the key

to make people look

in a different way

at the Kruisplein.

Things are not always what they

seem

Wonderment makes the ordinary

extraordinary.

Harmen de Hoop

Wonderment is also a matter of

perspective.

What you see is what you think

you see.

Context is everything.

Imagination is essential.

And of course you have to believe

or want to believe.


I believe in wonderment.

And I’ve promised to help

dear old friend mr. Kruisplein.






So I’ve identified and redressed 5 of his

memories, to make people look at the square

in a different way and to give 5 elements of its

identity back to public space:
























The Kruisplein was a

place to dance,

I make it a place to

dance again.

Busy bodies reflected the ladies

of the Diergaardesingel, now peak

and wonder again.

An impossible love. The Diergaarde

fence was a border

between two worlds. Come and

find out this hidden story.

Children used to play in the rubble

of the war. Now the Kruisplein is

turned in a building site again.

A new playground?

The Kruisplein was a crime scene.

Mr. Kruisplein was a witness.

The mystery can still be solved, If

you find the criminals portrait...


16.


ZONING + VIOLENCE


17.Colophon

This is a publication of the

Post St. Joost Academy,

Graduate Program in Graphic Design;

Avans Hogeschool, Breda,

The Netherlands

Text: Gert Staal & Gerard Hadders

Design: R.J. de Bree, L.G. Castañeda

with I.X. Resch & W.M. Schellekens

Typefaces: Quadraat Sans

Printers: Veenman Drukkers, Rotterdam

Edition: 400

Year 2005

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