Walking into the Pierson Fellows Lounge on Saturday evening was like walking into most typical Friday night dorm room parties: Loud music blared, two students sat playing a video game in the corner and several more students watched a YouTube clip on a projector. But the video game was created by a Design at Yale student and the movie was filmed by a camera that Design at Yale students sent into the stratosphere in a Styrofoam box.
Welcome to DAY at Night — Design at Yale’s inaugural exhibition and magazine launch.
John Kim ’11 said he was surprised by the absence of graphic design organizations at Yale and decided to start one last September. Currently DAY has 25 members and has expanded from designing logos for other student organizations to include engineering, product design and video game design as well as photography, painting and sculpture.
The centerpiece of DAY’s exhibit was a large wooden table covered with printouts of 10 logos for student organizations, including the Yale Undergraduate Economics Association, the Saybrook College Orchestra, Fence Club and Sigma Chi. Six T-shirts are also on display, designed by DAY for organizations such as Yale’s dance group Freestyle eXpressions Crew and the nationwide student organization Nourish International.
In addition to designing logos and sending a camera into space, members of Design at Yale also produced a magazine that showcases anything from toothpick warriors to “iGod” — a Medusa dancing to an iPod painted on a pottery jug.
But the reason LeRoy Cole ’12 decided to visit DAY at Night last Friday had nothing to do with graphic design. Cole heard about the camera that DAY sent into space on a hot air balloon in February and wanted to look at pictures from the experiment. Cole, who said he lacks any form of artistic ability, also appreciated looking at work by talented students “who are willing to put that talent out there.”
Cole also said he liked the club’s ecclecticism.
“DAY doesn’t try to tell people what design should be or this is how design should be done,” he said.
Matthew Dernbach ’13 visited the DAY exhibit after hearing about the camera launch but said he thinks the most interesting piece on display was the video game called “Groove” by Julian Kantor ’11. “Groove “seems like a typical video game where the player shoots at little green moving targets, but every time the player hits a green ball, a drumbeat rolls. Each time the green targets hit the side of the frame, the player creates a different melody. While shooting targets the player creates a unique song — hence the name.
Next to the video game is a humanoid sculpture by Fidel Gurrola ’12, a graphic design major who calls his structure a tactile panel. Viewers are supposed to close their eyes and feel the sculpture, made of a tree branch without bark wrapped in caution tape and capped with a headdress of spray painted cloth and electrical cords. Two wine glasses protrude horizontally from the shoulder area and are supposed to be half filled with water to produce vibrations when someone touches the sculpture. Gurrola said he intended the sculpture to evoke curiosity when touched, but most visitors were hesitant to experience it.
DAY at Night had a constant flow of students moving in and out of the exhibit, with about 20 people in the room at one point. Some students meandered in, took a quick glimpse at the paintings on the walls and the camera launch photos and left. But others climbed on the furniture to examine the artwork lining the walls or talked with DAY members about each design.
The exhibition was dismantled after two hours.