Collaborating on “I live here”

I live here, front and centre of Sophia's Art Books, two blocks from the Digital Design campus.

I live here, front and centre at Sophia Books, a block from the Digital Design campus.

The Digital Design program is excited to have Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons teaching ‘Creating Online Magazines’. The pair is renowned in the industry for their creative work — print (such as Art Direction at Adbusters Magazine), interactive, and even combinations of the two.

Most recently, Paul and Michael co-created (with Mia Kirshner and J.B. Mackinnon) the book I live here — sometimes described as a ‘˜paper documentary’, sometimes as a ‘˜multimedia journal’, but intriguing to everyone who picks it up. I live here tells personal stories of those in distress in four different countries: Chechnya, Burma, Mexico, and Malawi.

Paul and Michael were kind enough to answer a few questions about the genesis of the project, as well as their thoughts on design today.

Tell us about the impetus for creating “I live here”.

Mia Kirshner approached us at Adbusters Magazine, where we were working as Creative/Art Directors. She proposed a book project that would focus on unseen corners of the world, in an assertive, creative way. Of course, we were interested. Over the course of the next 5 years, we worked very closely to shape the books into the visual/textual hybrid they eventually became. We commissioned artists to produce some amazing graphic novels, and asked a group of well-known writers to contribute to the creative non-fiction text. We were lucky that J.B. Mackinnon, whom we’d worked with at Adbusters, agreed to come on and help keep the stories on track.

You’ve both worked in print as well as online environments. Why does one project take a print form, while another becomes an interactive experience?

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Perfect The Way We Are

The little ditty above is the creation of a passionate group of VFS graduates, instructors, and their compatriots.

We all know Americans go to the polls in November, but there’s also a hotly contested Canadian federal election on October 14. The Perfect The Way We Are team, hailing from the Foundation Visual Art & Design, Digital Design, Entertainment Business Management, Sound Design, and 3D programs, wanted to deliver one, simple, and decidedly non-partisan – but no less pointed – message to Canadians: Get out there and vote.

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