Situated northwest of Hong Kong, the city of Guangzhou is one of the four first-tier cities in China. Though its design scene is not as prominent as those of China’s more well-known cities, such as Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai, there are some studios such as Another Design, hoping to put Guangzhou on the map for its different way of thinking about design, not to mention its beautiful output.
Guangzhou is more a home for advertising agencies rather than graphic design studios. Another Design, one of Guangzhou’s leading studios, takes on a multitude of cultural projects spanning typography, editorial, identities, and everything in between, describing itself as a “transmedia visual design team” challenging the boundaries of design language.
Exploring the diversity of design in different fields, the studio recently embarked on the exhibition design for the 6th Guangzhou Triennial. This year, the theme of the event was “As We May Think: Feedforward”, revolving around the technology-constructed world. Liu Zhao, Another Design’s creative director, explains: “In the summer of 1945, the American engineer Vannevar Bush published an article titled As We May Think in Atlantic Monthly, a Boston-based journal,” he tells It’s Nice That. “In the article, Bush envisions an electromagnetic device which can store and record information, and as well as this, it can also be consulted for speed and flexibility advice.”
Over the past 70-odd years, this hypothetical Memex has actually gone into development, however, evolving into a huge network that enables machines to interconnect all over the world. “Its operation on a global scale has triggered an unprecedented revolution,” adds Liu Zhao.
Drawing on the properties of this Memex, Another Design uses the device as the starting point for the exhibition design. Inspiring some rather “daring thinking” around our transient future, the studio responds to the triennial’s theme through their information-based design. Across the visuals, Liu Zhao and his team play on the unfolding of information through a visual system. Visualising the Memex unfurling throughout the project, the exhibition design creates flexible and beautifully languid compositions with its relaying of information.
The Memex-inspired design generates lettering, amplified by the neon brightness of the work. And, on top of all this, AR technology is also employed throughout the exhibition space to “create a scene where reality and virtuality interweave”. Combining graphic design, speculative theory and the alternation of information, the project certainly does reflect Another Design’s innovative design thinking, as well as creating absolutely great visuals to go alongside it.
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