University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery: Playful Application: Designing the Elements of a Notion of Utopia, July 15 - September 24 - Curatorial Tour and Design Relay Race September 22

Playful Application: Designing the Elements of a Notion of Utopia

Curated by Shaneela Boodoo

July 15 to September 24, 2021

The 1972 Munich Olympics had high hopes to convey to the world a new image of peace, coexistence, and friendship for Germany, a recovery from the 1936 Berlin Olympics held during the Nazi regime. With a playful colour palette, minimal security, and a record number of athletes and sporting events, "The Happy Games" were set to be the biggest and best Olympic Games ever. Branding by the graphic designer and typographer Otl Aicher proposed a synthesis between art and sport that would offer visitors an opportunity to "experience humanity as a unified whole, as a model of society without violence or borders" – as part of this vision, a series of beautiful, and strikingly avant-garde posters was commissioned by some of the world's most celebrated artists.

Unfortunately, the 1972 Olympiad would not be remembered happily, forever marked by the tragic attacks of the Munich Massacre, a terrorist attack which claimed the life of 11 Israeli athletes. Playful Application considers the utopian dimensions of events like the Olympics, which attempt to transcend global crises and strife, sometimes to fatal ends. It presents the stunning poster series that Aicher commissioned in its entirety, while framing a discussion of the ideological limitations and possibilities of branding and design.

Adjunct Programming:

Playful Application Curatorial Tour and Design Relay Race

Wednesday, September 22, 7:00-8:30 CDT

Facilitated on Zoom and live-streaming on the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba YouTube channel

Ready, set, go….Helvetica! Join us for a design relay race by University of Manitoba School of Art Design alumni. Moderated by Playful Application curator Shaneela Boodoo, presenters will only have six minutes and twelve slides to present on their work before handing the baton to the next designer.

Learn more and register >

The School of Art Gallery, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is generously supported by the University of Manitoba, the School of Art, and the Government of Canada, and by faculty, staff, donors, and volunteers. It sits on Treaty 1 territory, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

School of Art Gallery

255 ARTlab

180 Dafoe Road

Winnipeg MB R3T2N2

For more information, contact School of Art Media and Events Coordinator Cailyn Harrison,