During the last month of 2017 I was a resident in Green River, Utah as a Frontier Fellow. During this residency I was inspired by the region’s history and became interested creating a set of pictographs specifically for the town which meant revisiting this Smalls Stories Project I started in 2014. For years I have been inspired by Gerd Arntz social activism and creative work for ISOTyPE (International System Of TYpographic Picture Education) and it was with this project that I was able to apply the spirit of Arntz’s work to the topics and ideas of: land use, wilderness, and cooperative communities. Small Stories was originally envisioned as a set of tools for design thinking workshops but has sense been expanded. The images in this set from Green River are mostly iconic, but hopefully they also get to the heart of everyday rural life for the residents. The complete set of images are free to those who live and work in the area.
Inspired by the news events of 2015 each week I created a pictographic symbol to corresponds with the stories that most affected me during the week. This website documents these symbols, with each form serving as a link to the related article.
The process of creating these forms gave me opportunity to use graphic design as a way to understand global current events. It connected me to journalism in a way I couldn’t have predicted. The value of good storytelling became increasingly evident. I was also able to see the ebb and flow of my own media consumption.
Please enjoy reviewing 2015 as documented through these symbols and pictographs.
This week I need to write more.
My heart broke by the images and story of Aylan and Ghalib Kurdi who drowned off the coast of Turkey after the boat that they were fleeing on with their parents capsized. Their story is filled with such sadness. In an interview on the CBC radio Aylan’s aunt recounted how her nephew used to call his father Abdullah everyday and request that he bring home a banana. Mr. Kurdi would, for Aylan, bring home a single banana and he would divide it two. One half for Aylan, one half for Ghalib. My sympathies go out to Mr. Kurdi. I weep for his loss. May the world learn.