Class of 2017: Efren D. Pagan

Sep 25 2015

Each year we ask incoming MFAD students to discuss their favorite work. Today we meet:

Efren D. Pagan, San Juan, Puerto Rico

“‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ is a book that profoundly changed the way I evaluate design,” notes Efren D. Pagan. “It got me relentlessly thinking of what is the meaning of quality. ‘And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good—Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?’

“Having been so influential in my thinking, I decided to make an unsolicited redesign of the cover. I wanted to marry the contrasting words of ‘Zen and Motorcycles’ by bringing symbols of each field together.

The result was a photo composition of a minimalist zen circle serving as the cogs to a motorcycle chain. It makes for a good interpretation of the content of the book where the narrator is on a road-trip grinding through a series of introspection looking to find himself. The imagery is great at referencing a specific passage where the narrator states, ‘The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called yourself.’

“This piece is exemplary of my current process where I try to bring together different disciplines, in this case, photography, painting, and letterpress printing to the same piece. This is a method I will keep exploring during my time at SVA in more ambitious projects within the fields of service design, experiential design, and web desig.”