Berlin and Güstrow, Germany
Germany and Poland
MassArt's Communication Design in a Global Village WARSAW, CRACOW, AND BERLIN 2015 A two-week Travel Course with 20 students, and 2 lead advisors to experience design through a new cultural lens.
What I Have Learned:
A Personal Reflection on the Cultural Similarities and/or Differences between American and Polish/German Communication Design
If ever given the chance, I recommend everyone to travel. Traveling gives way to personal growth through experience. This trip to Poland and German was my first time out of the country, and as a graphic designer it was inspiring. When I look back on my experiences I thoroughly come to appreciate certain aspects of each city we visited.
My initial observations of Warsaw were the gray, graffiti and large advertisements. There was a clear distinction between old and new buildings. A lot of the architecture and large monuments that we saw were influenced by communistic rule. The stucco facades of a majority of old buildings reminded me of an amusement park; it didn't look real. I also noticed that the color pink was frequently used in design. Out of the three cities, the one that made the biggest transformation at night was Warsaw. After sunset, the buildings in Warsaw seemed to change significantly. To me, they were more attractive. I found Warsaw to be the easiest of the three cities to navigate. It also helped that we were paired up with the Polish students, because they enjoyed showing us around. Interacting with the Polish students made the overall experience feel more authentic and thrilling.
Krakow had enchanting ancient gothic architecture and veiled in beautiful street typography. It was the prettiest city I have ever been too. While exploring, I found myself constantly stopping to admire different Art Nouveau influenced letters and typographic forms. It was a lot harder to find people who spoke english in Poland than it was in Germany. At times it was difficult to ask for directions and communicate, but I developed a successful method of targeting younger looking pedestrians to ask questions. The main language was Polish, which was reflected in the majority of the signage. Although I could not understand the words, I could still enjoy the lettering.
If I were to go back to any of the three cities we visited again, it would be Berlin. The atmosphere and variety of people was exciting and drew me in. It would be a lot of fun to go back with friends, but it is unlikely that my experience a second time around will be the same. Berlin seems to be a rapidly changing city. Overlooking the skyline you could see cranes everywhere, evidence of new developments.
My favorite aspect of the trip was experiencing it with an amazing group of likeminded artists, with similar interests. I enjoyed how we all described and interpreted new settings through drawing and exchanged our visual descriptions. If I could ever travel with artists and designers again, I would. This experience has helped me recognize the importance of surrounding myself with others that have the same goals and aspirations as I do. Although I did really enjoy my time with everyone and made a lot of new friends, I did wish I could have shared some of my experience with the friends and family I care about the most in my life.
It was exciting seeing my profession practiced in a different culture. I would have never been able to do anything like this on my own. The itinerary was beautifully curated, and it was nice having everything taken care of and planned out for me. It is unlikely that traveling will be this easy for me ever again. Overall, this was an unforgettable experience. I made so many new friends and professional connections.
Medium/Dimensions: Sculptural Installations, folded craft paper and found newsprint from Poland and Germany triptych, 16”× 16”
Visual forms inspired by three cities visited on the two week CommunicationDesign travel course trip to Poland and Germany. Abstract letters for each city
(W) Warsaw, (K) Krakow, and (B) Berlin.