Finalist, July 2018.
Hanging banners on buildings is a popular way of decorating a bland facade or hiding a messy stage of construction. But while the later is usually taken down after a couple of years, the former can be displayed for 5-10 years. This project promised the design would be displayed for 8-10 years, so yes I was very excited. During the info session with the developer and members of the Durham Arts Counsel, the artists were asked to create a design that was representative of culture, diversity, and history of the city and “please avoid cliches or making a continuous image.” Below is the design narrative for my submission.
Downtown is a place to experience things. You park your car and walk down the street towards you favorite shop, or that new lunch place that just opened, or a small cozy bar for a date after a long week. I created the design to represent some of the things that downtown Durham has to offer. The images are meant to inspire the visitors and the locals to explore and experience the city. Different colors and patterns come together to form an identity, a sense of a place that combines rich culture and a fresh perspective. I took my inspiration for the color scheme from the historic buildings in the downtown area and elements that are strongly associated with the city, such as dark blue for the Duke University.
The images work as a series, each one illustrates an activity. First one is titled “Learn” and is inspired by the close proximity of Duke campus and it’s student population. Second one is “Taste” - a humble nod to all the wonderful restaurants. Third is “Create” - a celebration of Durham’s rich artist community. Forth is “Dance” - whether in a club or in a park, durhamites know how to party. Fifth one is titled “Connect,” and it is perhaps the most important one, because relationships are the salt and sugar of life. The sixth is “Play” - a hopeful message to keep the children safe and let them play, and to keep playing ourselves, be silly, have fun. The seventh panel is “Music” for it connects us all, and experiencing it can be both intimate and empowering. And finally, “Work” is a simple scene that reminds us that as society moves forward we must be prepared to embrace the change and keep up the work of bettering our world through ideas and connections.
I was selected to be one of the 5 finalists. The winning design was picked by the public.