MCA Design Lab Unveils Finished Project at Audubon CenterMEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the past year, the Design Laboratory at Memphis College of Art has been working with the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center to create multiple designs including a series of brochures, promotional video and a large-scale wall graphic for the Center’s Cotton Office. The completed designs and wall graphic will be on display at SPAC’s opening reception on Saturday, April 26, 1:30 p.m. at 285 Plains Road in Holly Springs, Miss. The Cotton Office, a historical plantation office dating back to the mid-1800s, was donated by the John I. and Annie V. McAlexander family and moved to Strawberry Plains in 2005. The building was originally the plantation office of Major Josiah Patrick Milledge Stephenson, a cotton planter who purchased land adjoining Strawberry Plains in 1836. In 1894, Stephenson’s grandson, E.L. McAlexander, secured a post office for a general store that he was running in the old office. The store closed in 1932 and was the last remaining plantation office in Marshall County. Strawberry Plains saw the potential of having the historic building on their site and developed preservation and fund-raising plans to renovate the building for the Center’s educational programs. SPAC contacted the MCA Design Laboratory in 2013 for assistance in creating an interior environment that reflected both the mission of the Center and the history of the building. The Design Lab students began their project research with a visit to SPAC during the Fall 2013 semester. By semester’s end, they had completed the re-design of SPAC’s main brochure and their concept for the wall graphic, which brings elements of the outdoors inside through depictions of flying birds and trees and pays tribute to the heritage of the building with a series of antique-style picture frames. The Lab continued work in the Spring 2014 semester, designing two additional brochures, a promotional film and completing the installation of the wall graphic. “This project has been such a rewarding experience for all the students,” said Assistant Professor Hyuna Park. “They have learned not only how to design aesthetically pleasing graphics, but also how to work in a real-world environment. It has been a wonderful opportunity for The Lab to be involved in a project with such rich history.” Photo: MCA Design Laboratory design for SPAC wall graphic
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