Winning Design Posted in HCDE Building

Friday, July 15, 2011

Christiana Wu Views the Mural Created from her Design
Christiana Wu views the mural she designed. Photo courtesy: Christiana Wu.

The winning design of the May 2010 mural design contest was installed in Sieg Hall yesterday. Recent HCDE grad, Christiana Wu, created the winning design, which is also displayed as a framed poster on the 4th floor of Sieg Hall, alongside the 2nd-place winning design by 2011 alumnus Brennen Birch.

Christiana's design iterated through several stages before reaching the final draft. The design features many points of interest and represents the department for its mission and its people. The piece is digitally painted in Corel Painter XI and took about 90+ hours to complete

Knowing that the design had to represent the HCDE department, Christiana sought inspiration from the department's mission statement. Part of the statement says that "HCDE is designing the future by considering the role of communication and technology in human activity." We understand that every piece of technology is engineered for a reason. However, the significance of each type of technology is not always clear. HCDE serves to clarify the wants and needs of humans; it bridges the gap between people and technological goals. Because there is a huge range of technological possibilities, HCDE is smack dab in the middle as an interdisciplinary field.

Regarding the design, Christiana initially brainstormed a list of technologies: cellphones/rotary phones, computers, airplanes, robots, automobiles, submarines, CDs/DVDs, electric guitars, video games, "Hello World," etc. Then she started to place these elements in the design using a bottom-up approach. Christiana created the underwater/underground section, then rose to the surface level, then established a skyline/mountainous region, and finally formed outer space. She tried to maintain fluidity and context for most of the design, but as you can see, some of the elements are eclectically placed (e.g., video game cameos, iPad or monitor behind the skyline, giant robot waving). Not everything on her initial list was incorporated into the artwork, but Christiana added plenty of Seattle and the UW, from the state's Mt. Rainier to the campus's Drumheller Fountain. And to keep the art unique to HCDE, she also included elements that were related to departmental programs, research groups, and faculty personalities.

The next time you're in Sieg Hall, be sure to stop on the East stairwell (between the 3rd and 4th floors) to take a look!