Assignment 3, The Pioneer Plaque
Re-design the Pioneer 10 plaque to convey particular information to an unknown audience and for an unknown time in the future.
This is really a design research project. It is considerably more open-ended and self-directed than the previous two assignments. The goal is to carefully scrutinize the Pioneer 10 plaque, and then to form an opinion around how it can be improved. Your redesign may be incremental, or it may be radical.
Week 1: Starting online and working in groups of three, research the Pioneer 10 plaque. Why did it look as it looked? What do the symbols even mean and who decided that this subset of all human knowledge is what should be sent into deep space. Bring to class a presentation that you develop with your group which reimagines and explains one of the graphics on the plaque. We will assign groups in class.
Week 2: Building individually on what you learned as a group in Week 1, prepare an initial redesign of the plaque. You will be working in Illustrator as the final work will be laser cut on campus into acrylic. Be prepared to speak about what you have done.
Weeks 3: Based on feedback from Week 2, evolve your design. Perhaps it will be useful to have more than one candidate so that you can evaluate these against one another without excessive prejudice. In class, we will review the work in groups.
Week 4: Prepare a final layout for your plaque. Keep in mind everything that your group learned in Week 1, and perhaps use these classmates to get feedback on your final decisions. You will work with Studiolab on campus to lasercut your final work.
This project is as much about analysis and research as it is about what might immediately register more clearly as graphic design. To that end, please keep your analysis and research materials together and bring these together, with your lasercut plaque, to the final review.