As part of a teaching exchange, we collaborated with Sven Vogel at HAW Hamburg in developing and delivering a week-long workshop with students in the Brand Design course. The project helped students challenge their assumptions about what constitutes a brand and how brands are constructed, by using design to explore their own identity and myth making.
HAW Hamburg students began their research by selecting 3 Jungian archetypes that they do not think describe their personality. The archetypes they chose from were Explorer, Magician, Rebel, Jester, Lover, Everyman, Caregiver, Ruler, Creator, Innocent, Sage, and Hero.
- Explorer: Desires the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world.
- Magician: Desires understanding the fundamental laws of the universe.
- Rebel: Desires revenge or revolution.
- Jester: Desires to live in the moment with full enjoyment.
- Lover: Desires intimacy and experience.
- Everyman: Desires connecting with others.
- Caregiver: Desires to protect and care for others.
- Ruler: Desires control.
- Creator: Desires to create things of enduring value.
- Innocent: Desires to get to paradise.
- Sage: Desires to find the truth.
- Hero: Desires to prove one’s worth through courageous acts.
Students created a persona of their superhero that combined their chosen archetypes. The persona described a super power, an origin story, a city of residence, a weakness, and an arch enemy. Students also drafted a list of potential names for their superhero.
Arch Enemy: Slow bureaucracy and paperwork
Super Power: The ability to organize, and at the same time analyze stuff in real-life MS Excel lists (some kind of very, very structured telekinesis).
- at day: charming, funny, outgoing, friendly, caring
- at night: egocentric, wicked, mischievous, rebellious
Based on their visual and verbal research, the students created and refined a wordmark for their new superhero.
Application & Presentation
Students further conceived and extended the brand of their superheroes by designing a costume which explored color, shape, pattern, and accessories. Finally, each superhero was announced to the world by a poster.
The week concluded with an exhibition to showcase these new superheroes.
Workshops and charettes are a useful way to embrace quick decisions and intuition, balance craft and imprecision, as well as celebrate a variety perspectives around a single theme. Short, intense projects invigorate, challenge, and expand design process and outcomes.