Art & Design professor John Luttropp led a group of ten students to London, England. The study-abroad course, from January 6th though the 16th, focused on Graphic Design and was part of this year’s new Winter Session. The course was coordinated through Montclair State’s Office of Global Education, with assistance from Wendy Gilbert-Simon. The student group consisted of eight students from Montclair State’s College of the Arts Department of Art & Design – majoring in Graphic Design, Animation & Illustration, and Art Education, – along with two visiting students from Pratt Institute in New York – a Graphic Design major and an Industrial Design major.
Professor Luttropp arranged studio tours with the famous Pentagram design studio – where they toured and met with one of the Pentagram Partners, Harry Pearce, – and the Wolff Olins Advertising Agency – where they met with two designers responsible for the recent rebranding of America Online. They were also given an in-depth tour of Central Saint Martins University, where they met with several faculty members to discuss the differences between British and American design.
Museum visits were focused on many aspects of design and design history, from early drawing machines to the development of computers at the London Science Museum. Students also viewed an exhibition on new innovations in computer graphics with a historic overview of design from the 1800s to the present at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The group also explored the development of design systems and posters for the London Underground at the London Transport Museum. Other museum highlights included four-thousand-year-old Egyptian hieroglyphics at the British Museum, one of the largest collections of historic-to-contemporary British packaging and advertising at the Museum of Brands and Packaging, and wartime propaganda at the Imperial War Museum that included original artwork for one of the most famous WWI posters, “Your Country Needs You” by Alfred Leete. This piece provided the inspiration for James Montgomery Flagg’s “Uncle Sam Wants You” poster. Unlike many American Museums, London museums combine art, culture, and design into a more holistic picture of the past. In addition to the work on display, students were impressed with the display design itself, which often incorporated new technologies in artistic ways.
Students also toured London landmarks including Big Ben, the Tower of London, Harrods, Covent Garden, and the Tower Bridge. On their free day, students visited Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and stopped at Abbey Road, famous for its connection to The Beatles.
It was an eye-opening experience for the students, most of who were visiting London for the first time. Through visits and tours, their journals, and a class assignment to design a poster celebrating their trip, the students broadened their view of design and the world.
The course will be offered again in 2011. An information session on next year’s class will be held this semester. Please contact Professor Luttropp for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org