Contemporary Issues in Design Education Friday, June 8th, 2018

Mi–lieu: Acoustic Map of Winona

Danilo Bojic, Assistant Professor, Winona State University

Reflective acoustic visual map exhibit exploring, evaluating and evoking the soundscape of the city of Winona in Minnesota.

As part of the ART 299 Special Topics course devised for Fall 2017 semester titled Sound & Design, students have engaged with the city and natural environments and community members around the topics of the soundscape of the city of Winona and potential areas of concerns when it comes to sound pollution. We live in a culture dominated by images. As a result, we give priority to our sense of sight. Sound is ephemeral, evanescent, fleeting. As soon as it occurs it is gone. However, it is important to remember that sounds, like images, are products of culture. Whether sound emanates from a digital device or the natural environment, it marks time and place.

Students have learned how to appreciate hearing and listening and become aware of sounds as information, and become capable to visually symbolize an auditory experience. The result is a reflective acoustic visual map exhibit scheduled to open on February 16th, 2018 at Paul Watkins Gallery, Winona, Minnesota. This exhibit titled “Milieu” will have an impact on the local community in such a way to raise awareness and engagement.

Through technology, design evokes and delivers messages. Based on onsite and factual research investigation findings, students in the class will present a series of factual information to the local community with the goal of engaging people on topics such as sound, acoustic environment, etc. Furthermore, students will generate their finding in a series of focus statement pieces presented to the community in the exhibition setting gravitating around the central map of the “Milieu” exhibit.

This project has strengthened the practical aspects of course content by utilizing advanced investigation of the expressive principles and potential of stylistic forms as critical elements intended to convey and evoke a particular message, statement, idea and emotion through different formats of visual communications, digital, analog, video and audio media.