The Fresh Eyes Cuba Book

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Jennifer May, Director, Designmatters July 17, 2017

The Fresh Eyes Cuba Book was designed by renowned graphic and book designer Tracey Shiffman, one of the lead faculty for the Fall 2016 Fresh Eyes Cuba studio.

The publication captures the cross-cultural experience of students and faculty from ArtCenter as they collaborated with students and faculty at ISDi on an intensive and immersive workshop in Havana, Cuba in October 2016. Reflecting on her design process, Shiffman said: “As I designed this publication, the last thing I wanted to make was a travelogue. Instead, I wanted to show the personal transformations and deep connections our students shared with their partners at ISDi through a cross section of the visuals we encountered. There were 17 of us documenting the experience through photography, video and writing. The story of our journey can be only partially conveyed in this modest edition. As with the student designed pop-up exhibition at ISDi, the process of imagining this book was grounded in a sensorial experience of making connections while exploring modes of creatively repurposing materials. The design does not conform to a linear narrative. Rather, it offers a sliver of visual insight into the stark polarities between our historically divided countries while exploring our shared humanity—perhaps contributing to the bridge that is even now being built between our two cultures.” The book was presented by Shiffman at the FORMA conference in Havana in June 2017, and was celebrated with a pop-up exhibit at the Ludwig Foundation Gallery, designed and executed by Nik Hafermaas, Chair of Graphic Design and faculty for Fresh Eyes Cuba, and students Nico Ramirez (PROD), Suyu Ren (IXD) and Ricardo Imperial (GX). You can see photos from the exhibition and download the PDF of the book on the Fresh Eyes Cuba project page.


To download & share the Fresh Eyes Cuba Book, please visit