After beginning the Senior Exhibition class in the spring of 2021, I was conflicted about which one of my projects I would exhibit. I knew I wanted to incorporate audio, but I also wanted to showcase my graphic design work. The obvious answer was to exhibit my Amplex music project from the previous year, so I started planning how I could present audio in a shared gallery. This led me to acoustic isolation chambers. They solved the problem of keeping the gallery space quiet while providing an individual listening experience, but when researching costs online, I figured it would be too expensive to buy a professional isolation chamber. Therefore, I felt I had to scrap the idea and find another way to showcase my work.
While contemplating my work and what to exhibit, I began thinking of the exhibition as an opportunity to say something, or to promote awareness of a problem I saw in society. In thinking about my relationship with technology and how much information I consume on a daily basis, I found myself disgusted with the amount of information forced upon me in the form of advertisements. As a graphic designer, I started thinking about how these ads drive supply and demand which contributes to the endless cycle of consumption. This consumption leads to pollution, deforestation, and in some extreme cases, slavery. Should designers consider these ethical implications, or should they just finish the job to make a quick buck? I knew that I needed to make something which encompassed that question, but I didn’t know where to start. I began thinking of acoustic isolation chambers as a way to escape the psychologically manipulative advertisements and that lead me to the idea of Some Goddamn Peace & Quiet.
The construction process was a bit more complex than I initially anticipated. I began by purchasing an orchestral stage microphone stand and 48 acoustic foam panels. After days of searching countless Home Depots, I finally found a flowerpot large enough to act as a base for the acoustic foam. I spray painted the flowerpot black and began attaching the foam panels with adhesive spray glue. The first problem I ran into was that the foam panels would not keep their shape when fixed to a curved surface. To solve this, I cut the panels into strips and attached them lengthwise with staples until I had a piece 1 square by 32 squares in dimension. I then created rings from these pieces which would fit better horizontally along the surface of the flowerpot. To compress the rings as they got closer to the top of the piece, I used 8 staples on each individual square and tightened them with pliers to get to my desired size. Around 2000 staples were used and this was the most time-intensive part of the process. Once I was happy with the shape, I attached rings of EVA foam on the top and bottom edges to cover any flaws and provide a cohesive structure.
The final step was to create the accompanying audio and video for the advertisement. Over the course of a week, I storyboarded the film and with the help of some friends, we began shooting. The video process was quite straightforward, but the post processing was much more difficult. Using the skills in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator I learned at Whitworth, I was able to create the backgrounds as well as the product logos for Some Goddamn Peace & Quiet. The humorous nature of the video made it enjoyable to create, but more importantly, I felt I was conveying something important and relevant to modern society. The project left me with a sense of accomplishment, and I was glad that I had the opportunity to bring my idea to fruition.