The logo of Tarayana Foundation Bhutan made from grey, red and yellow polygonal shapes.

The Land of Thunder Dragon

Oct 06 2016

SVA’s Tom Huhn, Chair Visual & Critical Studies, and MFA Design Co chair Lita Talarico, and Esther Ro-Schofield, Director of Operations, leave today for a two- week trek to Bhutan (Oct 7-21). The goal, initiated by Milton Glaser is to explore possible SVA collaboration and support of The Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, specifically in the areas of education and design. With this relationship, SVA hopes to help create projects in collaboration with them, celebrating the school’s commitment to social action, and ultimately offering realistic solutions to develop products.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is nestled in the Himalayan Mountains between Tibet and India.  Since 1971 the government focused on its measurement of Gross National Happiness (GNH).

Glaser believes “it is important for SVA to show a commitment to design for social good, as well as demonstrating the impact graphic design can have, not just for commercial reasons but to make change in the world.” SVA President David Rhodes agrees that the primary goal for SVA is to explore what the country has to offer and support Bhutan in expanding their global reach but always mindful not to destroy their values or impose ours.

Glaser worked with MFAD students to create packaging and branding for Bhutanese specialty products, incorporating their handmade textiles into fashion and lifestyle design, and a new logo for which is currently being used.

Stay tuned for more updates from the exploratory team as thry investigate opportunities for exchanges of ideas and skills between the SVA community of faculty, alumni, students and Bhutanese students and designers in order to build and foster future networks and relationships with the nation known as “The Land of Thunder Dragon.”

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