University of Washington (Erin)

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    A belated ending

    By copper_top
    Feb 2, '10 12:47 AM EST

    Clearly I slacked on my blogging duties during my last month of school. So much happened that I didn’t have time to blog, and by the time I did I felt it was too late. However, the powers that be assure me that it’s never to late to end things right, so I thought I’d wrap up the story for the few people who were following along.

    In June, I presented my thesis, previously chronicled here, here, here, and here. It included a redesigned version of the Seattle Bicycling Guide Map, a plan for BikeStops (bus-stop sized structures that deployed the map and other navigation and physical support into neighborhoods), and a plan for new signage and path markings for the City of Seattle.
    Oh, and of course a fatty book explaining and detailing it all. My project was well received, and several members of the Seattle Department of Transportation attended as well. The faculty were most interested in the BikeStops; the city was most interested in the map. As a result, the project has ended up winning an AIGA (re)design Award over the summer, and earning me a contract with SDOT to work with them on a redesign of the Bicycling Guide Map based on my ideas. The city has of course added a lot of content that they wanted to include, but I think it will turn out really well. It should be available here in a few months. A sidenote though, probably the best feedback I got out of all the pieces was on the logo. I’d never thought of myself as a branding person, but maybe I should be!

    I also had the chance to take point on the design of the MFA Exhibit, which was a part of Design ‘09. It was a ton of fun to do, and was a great opportunity not only to get something designed and put up quickly, but to really see what all of my colleagues had been working on. Of course I talked with many of them about their projects throughout the year, but seeing the final results and the detail and depth of ideas presented was really amazing. We laid out the space with an intro wall, and then each MFA grad got a space in which to display their work, which was entirely up to them (though we set a couple of loose guidelines to help people coordinate). Since the six of us plus a few friends and spouses built this ourselves, it was a lot of fun; building walls, dragging other walls up stairs, painstakingly painting all those letters til the finish was right… yeah, can’t say I miss that. But it was very satisfying to see the result.

    So after graduation, go figure nobody was banging down my door to go work for them. I had a whole lot of emails and phone conversations that basically amounted to “Love your work, but there aren’t any jobs to be had here.” So when my lease ran out in Seattle, I drove down to spend some time with my mom in Phoenix. After some seriously lack-of-job-related depression set in, I hopped a bus to Los Angeles and stayed with some absolutely saintly friends for a month. A bit after that I finally landed work in the research department of a respected industrial design firm. I design client presentations and corporate collateral. I wish I could be more specific, but I suspect that most of my stuff is covered under non-disclosure agreements. The exciting thing is that I get to exercise all the grad school theory muscles pretty frequently. Anyway, the point is that after many very rough months, life is finally back on track for me and I can look back on the grad school adventure with fondness, and finally had time to write about it. I miss Seattle and all my classmates and students, but I think I’m where I’m supposed to be. So, I guess this is me signing out. For continued updates, see my website which should be getting a makeover in the next couple of months. I may even add a blog. : )


    • WonderK

      Hooray! It looks amazing! I do enjoy flexing actual grad school theory muscles, don't you? :o)

      Feb 2, 10 1:34 am

      i flipped through the book a few months ago. looks pretty good, although i have to say that i wish there was a cafe/bike storage & rental place somewhere on that map!

      also, your website hatch is off on the left!

      Feb 2, 10 3:06 am

      Hurrah! For work and awards/recognition. Congrats.

      Feb 2, 10 8:32 am

      ahhh, that name is awesome!!! velo_city ! so clever and appropriate!! I love the logo, the color choices, the bike wheels, everything. Very nicely done.

      Feb 2, 10 12:16 pm

      Thanks all! Yes, the grad school theory muscles feel pretty good, especially since I know they're not deteriorating. I'm getting a little spoiled that way by being on a research team.

      holz, there's so many reasons why I'm going to redo the website... basically considering that I'm using shared source code, I don't feel like the results are proportional to the effort I had to put in. So I'm joining the wordpress bandwagon in hopes of a better experience.

      Feb 2, 10 11:30 pm

      this is great, and you made the city so small and tangible for me seeing the place as a foreigner. brilliant job. Although I'm jealous I'd love to see that book (or even buy it)

      Feb 3, 10 12:44 am

      so erin, do you speak french?

      Feb 3, 10 11:45 pm

      um, no. Je suis American. Bonjour. Como talles vous? That's about it.


      Feb 4, 10 12:30 am


      you can download the book from her website.

      although yeah, the photos make me want to hold it.

      Feb 4, 10 1:33 am

      Um.... Awesome.

      Feb 5, 10 4:38 pm

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