project

If You Fall...

If You Fall... was installed in the RISD Store Student Gallery on December 10, 2009.

If You Fall.. was a collaborative exhibition curated and designed by the students of Elective Affinities, the graduate elective in graphic design in the fall of 2009. As a class, we sought to create an exhibition that celebrated the dependent relationships that we encounter in our daily lives, as well as question the inherently American focus on independence.

The content of the show was organized into three tiers: diagrams of dependent social structures, quotes about dependency, and small case studies of positive dependent relationships. Each of these three levels were displayed on a system of boxes in three graduated sizes, which were stacked randomly on top of each other in the gallery space.

Content on each of these boxes was intentionally placed so that it broke across one edge of each cube, obscuring readability enough that it invited visitors to pick up elements of the show and move them around in their hands. Our hope was that our visitors would become active participants in the structure of the content, restacking and reordering the modules over time to produce new combinations and new narratives for themselves.

The exhibition also included an online catalog, which was designed to be dependent on the exhibit by offering alternate ways of interacting with the show's content - visitors could see all of the show's content on a single page and navigate based on their formal qualities, or they could choose to read all of the show's content in a way that was linear instead of modular - two ways of navigating that were impossible in the gallery itself.

Visitors become active participants in the structure of the content, restacking and reordering the modules over time to produce new combinations and new narratives for themselves.

The online catalog allowed visitors to see all of the show's content on a single page and navigate based on their formal qualities, or read all of the show's content linearly — two ways of navigating that were impossible in the gallery itself.