Tropico Vernacular

With Lobregat Balaguer 7:00–8:30 p.m. 155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY $5, free for members

Writer, publisher, and graphic designer Lobregat Balaguer presents a brief history of graphic design in the Philippines: the popularity of extreme drop shadow, the contributions of United States military bases (and the girlie bars surrounding them), folk typography, and the use of jejemon as a morphologically significant design statement. Drawing on an upcoming essay for Triple Canopy and her work at Office of Culture and Design, a Manila-based social practice platform, Balaguer will speak about how the legacy of dictatorship, post-colonial identity, and uneven economic development have shaped Filipino graphic design. She’ll ask about the relationship between what might seem, to Western producers and consumers of graphic design, to be universal tropes, and practitioners who work in comparatively disempowered and otherwise distinct locales.

  • Lobregat Balaguer is a writer and graphic designer. She has exhibited artwork at Singapore Art Museum, Casa Asia Madrid, Galeria H2O, Ayala Museum, New York University, Hangar, and La Capella; she has lectured at MAD Museum, AIGA NY, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Printed Matter, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Bennington College, Ateneo de Manila, and University of the Philippines, Diliman. In 2010, she founded the Office of Culture and Design, an autonomous platform for artists, writers, designers, and social practice projects in the developing world (primarily the Philippines). In 2013, the OCD opened a design studio and publishing arm called Hardworking Goodlooking, through which it publishes the results of its experiments (and those of others) in print and other media.