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Graphic Design with a Minor in Print Media
Fayville/Newton MA

"Advice is always very easily given and very difficult to take."

Erin Hazeltine on Wednesday, 07 October 2009. Posted in Academic Calendar, Advising & Support, Clubs, Majors & Minors, Research, RIT Mission, Student Life, The Arts

As Emily expressed in her post about Stefan Sagmeisters “Touch Someone’s Heart with Design” Sagmeister posed a challenge to the RIT student body, and that was to touch someone’s heart with design. Sagmeister’s challenge went with his presentation here at RIT about “Design and Happiness.”

Sagmeister is the newest winner of The Lucky Strike Designer Award -The Lucky Strike Designer Award is one of the most prestigious international design awards. It is presented to one recipient each year in recognition of either his or her lifetime achievements, or career of an individual whose work in design has helped improve the social and cultural conditions of everyday life. He is also a Grammy Award Winner.

I went to his presentation, unfortunately I did not take part in his challenge but I was an onlooker experiencing the projects across campus. At first I saw this sign that said “If sorry is not enough then I hope this is.” It was probably 8 bed sheets stapled together that had this quote written on it hanging from the SAU roof. Then there was Or there was the “keep your chin up” written in red solo  cups on the baseball field fence, this one I know touched someone’s heart. As my roommate came home last night having a horrible day, from losing her keys, to having her washing machine not unlock, to not getting an A on her test and so on. But as she was leaving campus she saw that sign and it put that much needed smile on her face, she lifted her chin up because of some random student touching her heart. He or she probably doesn’t even know that his small steps touched her heart.

Sagmeister spoke about Happiness in Design in the world. You can not be unhappy and try to portray happiness, if you are not happy then your “happy go lucky work isn’t going to be happy” Sagmeister strives for design that touches the heart.

Sagmeister has the idea that your life consists of 25 years of just learning, then 40 years of working life, then you get 15 years to retire. So no breaks, no changes, no experiences. So Sagmeister decided that every 7 years he would take a year from his retirement quota and go on sabbatical. This was the message on the firms’ answering machine “Hello. We are conducting a full year of experiments and will return September 9th, 2009 please call us then.” So his firms a well know NYC firm was not doing work for any clients but themselves for a full year. When Sagmeister went on his sabbatical this past year he went to Bali. He said he was inspired, he was calmed, he was even surrounded by 99 dogs, the inspiration for his newest works, including his furniture design, which he will not go back to but he tried! Sagmeister said that Bali is so slow and calm and he could mediate whenever he wanted, but coming back to NYC he finds it so hard to release all of his energy, so it’s more important than ever to mediate. And I think now a-days where you can lock yourself in a room and live for ever it is even more important to get out and see what is going on in your work, in the world so that you don’t have the exact same work day in day out and it gets so mundane

                  At the end of his presentation was Question and Answer session, the question that is never missed was, what advice do you have for us designer in and out of school? He responded with saying after a long drawn out pause, I don’t really know what to tell you but "Advice is always very easily given and very difficult to take." But he does stress the importance of hard work and being well rounded. He said that what works for you doesn’t work for me, and vice-a-versa.

So with this I tell you that in your college search process nad the rest of your life, you will be picking up, hearing, and taking in so much advice, and it is up to you guys to see where you want to take it.

If you want to find out more about Stefan Sagmeister this is the website from RIT that will direct you to various sites.


The busy season is fastly approaching, so Best of Luck in all your college application adventures! Don’t forget we have a twitter, facebook pages, and everyone else’s blogs to help you through the process. (Hopefully I will actually be weekly blogging, it’s only week 5 J)