Approximately designing

by: Natascha Tümpel

Approximately designing

An experimental observation of designing graphics in computer-aided design

This practice-based design research explores nonsystematic design strategies developed when using common desktop publishing software. It investigates the structure of entangled design actions and decisions, which do not aim at specific immediate visual results, but can be described as unregulated, open-ended, ambivalent, playful and approximate.
What embodied design strategies come into play when designing graphics to be printed through offset or serigraphy? How does design software allow open-ended, approximate and ambivalent strategies of design? What graphics are possible?
The author’s embodied (self-) experience of designing and printing is used both as research method as well as research subject. Through an auto-ethnographic and sensory approach, her bodily experience is observed and recorded, followed by a microscopic and yet “risky” description. This experimental research is located where visual communication and art practice, image science and design research intersect.

Natascha Tümpel (Dipl.-Des. FH, M.A. Studio Art) is a graphic designer and visual artist focusing on the bridging realm of artistic and applied design methods and aims. Currently, she is doing a practice-based artistic Ph.D. at Bauhaus-University Weimar in collaboration with Academy of Art and Design/FHNW Basel supervised by Prof. Dr. Michael Lüthy and Prof. Michael Renner. Her research deals with ambiguity in digital design practice using common desktop publishing software.

InDesign as observation and thinking tool
printed surfaces/test
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