At the interface of humanity and machinery
Kyndro Yang is the creative talent behind the cover design for Atticus 2023. She tells us about the inspiration for her work, her area of practice and who she is
“The most captivating aspect of narrative art is spending time ‘reading’ the image and understanding the relationships between different characters,” says Kyndro. “In the centre of this image are human and machine hands, collaboratively wielding pencils and tools – symbolising creativity and mutual assistance.”
She continues: “It's a loop of benefits. Upon closer inspection, individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds engage in conversations; and the ladder in the image serves as a connection between people.”
She explains that, on the right side of the work, a person is seen conversing with virtual friends, using AI as an emotional support tool. Meanwhile, on the left side of the work, there is an emphasis on the visual details of machinery. The figures in the centre of the image are employing various methods of building conversations with AI.
“The inspiration behind the design is the idea of bringing people together, creating platforms for diverse conversations, and enriching communities with shared knowledge,” says Kyndro, adding that the theme she was asked to tackle – at the interface of humanity and machinery – put her in mind of MC Escher’s ‘Drawing Hands’.
Kyndro was also inspired by ideas around diversity in the community, breaking down language barriers, living in a foreign country herself and meeting the challenges of integrating into a new group.
“AI is already being used as a tool to enhance cross-cultural empathy,” says Kyndro. “It is also helping to foster empathy across cultural boundaries, and – if used well – it is enhancing representation and aiding decision-making.”
All part of the process
“I began by exploring the historical usage of machinery by humans, contemplating its contemporary applications and the potential trajectory of its future development,” says Kyndro. “Throughout the design process, I used DALL·E 2. Using AI as a storytelling tool guided me towards the outcome.”
She continues: “I strongly believe that, in this fast-paced era, it is imperative for people to foster mutual understanding and embrace one another to ensure that technological progress contributes to emotional wellbeing.”
She points out that, AI is often depicted in modern media as hard and cold. This is something that she has questioned. “My goal is to communicate positive messages; this is what led me to choose stars and a warm colour palette in the image. I also wanted to show how AI and machinery can assist us – this is why I used a dreamy and magical visual aesthetic, and why the animation moves gently without sudden movement.”
Over the horizon
“This opportunity has given me a deeper understanding of AI and the use of machinery in the creative industry,” says Kyndro. “I have taken up an internship in creative technology at WPP, so this is an area I'm eager to explore in the future.”
She talks of her traditional background as an illustrator and photographer, and her excitement at exploring new technologies. “I've begun incorporating coding into my practice while leveraging my strong foundation as a visual storyteller. I am curious to see how these diverse skills will shape my path in the future.”
Nevertheless, empathy is often at the heart of her work. “Many of the stories I draw on are sensitive and personal in nature, and my aspiration is to share these individual and unique experiences with others. This goes beyond merely fostering empathy; it aims to let people know that they are not alone,” Kyndro says.
“In this endeavour, I see AI as a powerful tool to tackle these complex topics. It helps to visualise narratives.”
Kyndro (HuiChi) Yang is a Taiwanese creative based in London, specialising in visual communication. She has graduated from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, with a degree in Graphic Communication Design. With a background in illustration and image making, she has been trained as a visual storyteller. Her work delves into intimate subjects and explores the connections between childhood and adulthood, drawing inspiration from diverse cultural backgrounds. She has now taken up an internship in creative technology at WPP.
Atticus 2023 artwork runners up
Our four runners up – all graduates from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London – are as follows.
Lucia Klander is a creative practitioner who communicates her solutions through various outcomes, including print, publishing, experiences and play. She often uses design tools, such as expressive typography, mapping through diagramming, collage and explorative grid systems. Professionally she is currently a creative working within the brand and experiential design field. In her cover proposal, she touches upon the intersection of AI within creative design processes as a tool to strengthen our ideas while also broadening our wider perspective of the world around us. More about her design work can be found at: www.luciaklander.studio, where her personal practice focuses on exploring roadblocks that hinder the growth of various communities alongside wellbeing.
Soe-Myat Noe is a London-based designer and illustrator weaving narratives through illustration, publication, and filmmaking. Fuelled by personal experiences, her work aims to reshape societal perspectives on illness, disability and representation. With a background in graphic design and art direction internships, she brings a blend of skills to both independent and collaborative projects. Now stepping into a role as a Junior Designer at an immersive entertainment company, Soe-Myat is eager to infuse creativity and contribute to meaningful design solutions.
Thomas Black is a graduate in Graphic Communication Design from London. His work is often type driven and he is greatly inspired by motion and kinetics. Notable work includes a vibrant identity for the Central Saint Martins Graduate Showcase with a small team of friends, and cover illustrations for BBC radio plays. Tom would like to use design within education and entertainment alongside public institutions, such as galleries, museums, broadcasting and schools.
Reya Ahmed’s practice explores storytelling devices, existing knowledges, cultural artifacts, and representation through an amalgamation of illustration, graphic design, printmaking and animation. She recently graduated from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Graphic Communication Design and is currently based in London.
01 December 2023
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