independent school for the city

City Grids: Research by Design

Friday 03 & Saturday 04 November -  A two day workshop with Team Thursday, developing a font out of found forms and shapes in the city

For this research by design studio we joined forces with Loes van Esch and Simone Trum Team Thursday - a graphic design studio from Rotterdam that also developed the visual identity of the Independent School for the City.

In these two-day workshop participants created typography out of found forms and shapes in the city. We will focus on Rotterdam Central District - the area in which the School is located and which is about to change radically of the coming decade. The workshop resulted in the presentation of a font in a typographical poster containing a slogan or statement based on the participants' observations on site.

Typography can be found in everything. The city is filled with grids that can form the base for letterforms. A whole alphabet can be made of restforms in between buildings, window grids on skyscrapers, pavements, tram lines. A grid can be a line system, but a structure like a tree can also function as an underlying grid.

We went out on a discovery tour in the city. Found grids, shapes, systems that fascinate us and translate these into lettershapes. This could either be an alphabet made out of found shapes, or found materials turned into a tool to make letters. The font consisted of a slogan or statement based on the participants' observations on site. It was important that the letters form a series together and that there is a clear connection between the letterforms they’ve selected.

Workshop Programme

Friday 3 November

10:00 – 10:30 Welcome and Introduction
10:30 – 11:00 Lecture by TT + Conversation
11:00 – 13:30 Walk around RCD Area, observe and make pictures + Lunch
13:30 - 14:00 Print out photos
14:00 – 16:00 Character Club (short typographic exercises)
16:00 – 17:30 Present, conversation and feedback

Saturday 4 November

10:00 – 12:00 Starting the day together
12:00 - 13:00 Work and finalise poster
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 – 15:30 Printing the posters
13:40 – 17:00 Install posters and presentation.

About Team Thursday

Team Thursday is Loes van Esch and Simone Trum, collaborating as a graphic design studio based in Rotterdam. They focus on the design of visual identities, books and spatial objects. They do so with a special interest for typography, a curiousness for materials and the possible performativity of an object. Looking for patterns in everything and all around them, they search for how they can transform these into designs. Next to that they regularly teach Typography at ArtEZ in Arnhem and irregularly host exhibitions and events in the front part of their studiospace, TTHQ.