Project / CENfAD / Parsons School of Design
Task /  Logo & Identity, Student Prospectus, Design Collaterals
Client / Encorp Group
Year / 1995–1999
Logo, Identity & Collaterals—Lead Designers / William Harald-Wong & Clarissa Biolchini  Typography / Leong Kah Fai
Signing of Memorandum of Understanding, Invitation Card & Event Design—Lead Designers / Kamil Yunos & Clarissa Biolchini with Leong Kah Fai and Teong Oui Boon

Copywriting / Tan Joo Lee
Photographer / Hlin Ho

 

The Center for Advanced Design (CENfAD), an affiliate of Parsons School of Design, New York, opened its campus in 1996, in Kuala Lumpur—a strategic location to attract students from the Southeast Asian region. The school operated independently but followed the Parsons curriculum. Students who managed to successfully complete two years of education with CENfAD were also eligible for transfer to Parsons in New York or Paris. 

Unfortunately, CENfAD was badly affected by the Asian Financial Crisis of 1998-1999. Parson’s enormous annual franchise fee and the salaries of teaching staff from New York were too heavy a burden to bear, and the enterprise became unsustainable. While it did survive the Asian Financial Crisis, the school was dogged by many other problems, and eventually closed in 2006 (or slightly later). 

I was co-opted to cenfad’s Board of Governors, and immediately realised that its business model was not a sustainable one. This was compounded by the fact that there was a growing dispute between cenfad and Parsons New York regarding its franchise fees and copyright.

After two Board meetings, I decided to quit to concentrate on my design studio. It was a real pity, though, because for a short period, the rigorous education that cenfad / parsons offered to local students was simply the best in the region.
— William Harald-Wong

LOGO

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visual identity

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In creating the visual identity for cenfad, I wanted my design team to explore common everyday objects—such as the ‘sepak takraw’ (handwoven rattan ball), our ubiquitous mosquito coil, the ‘tudung saji’ (traditional food cover) which I have had a good collection of, etc.—to communicate the essential tasks, approaches, and responsibilities of a designer.
— William Harald-Wong
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A silver star representing America, placed among the flavourful star anise—a spice that is common in Asian and Indian cuisine.

The idea of ‘America in Southeast Asia’ may seem politically incorrect now, but liberal American education was much sought-after and is highly valued within the region.
— William Harald-Wong

STUDENT PROSPECTUS

A 62-page lustrous publication using metallic blue-grey ink with gloss and matt varnishes.

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  ANALYSIS   Just as an intricately woven  sepak takraw  ball must be unravelled to uncover the secret of its making, design too must begin with a profound analysis of its subject. A designer can only truly begin to appreciate the magnitude of his task after he has examined and understood it fully within the context of the many design parameters—form, function, aesthetics, and more.

ANALYSIS  Just as an intricately woven sepak takraw ball must be unravelled to uncover the secret of its making, design too must begin with a profound analysis of its subject. A designer can only truly begin to appreciate the magnitude of his task after he has examined and understood it fully within the context of the many design parameters—form, function, aesthetics, and more.

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  COMMUNICATION   The sinuous tendril of smoke rising from the tip of a mosquito coil has a far-reaching effect that belies its elusiveness. In the very same way, good design strives to communicate ideas about the world and how we live. Only through a rigorous process involving both intellect and emotions can a designer create work that is both subtle and meaningful. Its messages will be interpreted and reinterpreted through the ages.

COMMUNICATION  The sinuous tendril of smoke rising from the tip of a mosquito coil has a far-reaching effect that belies its elusiveness. In the very same way, good design strives to communicate ideas about the world and how we live. Only through a rigorous process involving both intellect and emotions can a designer create work that is both subtle and meaningful. Its messages will be interpreted and reinterpreted through the ages.

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  BALANCE   Aesthetic versus pragmatic. Society versus the individual. The public persona versus the inner self. Form versus function. If these dialectics are to be reconciled within design, the designer must explore every aspect of the subject, consider every nuance, in order to strike a perfect balance. And like the creator of the  tudung saji , he or she may discover that the ideal solution is the simplest one.

BALANCE  Aesthetic versus pragmatic. Society versus the individual. The public persona versus the inner self. Form versus function. If these dialectics are to be reconciled within design, the designer must explore every aspect of the subject, consider every nuance, in order to strike a perfect balance. And like the creator of the tudung saji, he or she may discover that the ideal solution is the simplest one.

  CREATIVITY   Creativity is rather like rice: ubiquitous, essential, inspiring. It’s a given that a designer must be “creative”—but we often forget that this very quality can be found in each and everyone of us. A good designer, then, is one who possesses the ability to tap into this innate quality, harness it, and use it to shape the world to his or her vision.

CREATIVITY  Creativity is rather like rice: ubiquitous, essential, inspiring. It’s a given that a designer must be “creative”—but we often forget that this very quality can be found in each and everyone of us. A good designer, then, is one who possesses the ability to tap into this innate quality, harness it, and use it to shape the world to his or her vision.

  STRUCTURE   In design, structure imposes order on the often chaotic creative endeavour. However, a word of warning: too rigid a structure can stifle that very organic quality that sets apart good design. A structure devised from cane makes an excellent material whatever the medium—strong enough to provide the form, but flexible enough to reveal the heart and soul.

STRUCTURE  In design, structure imposes order on the often chaotic creative endeavour. However, a word of warning: too rigid a structure can stifle that very organic quality that sets apart good design. A structure devised from cane makes an excellent material whatever the medium—strong enough to provide the form, but flexible enough to reveal the heart and soul.

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  INFLUENCES   No one can create in a vacuum; design is as much a product of the environment as the imagination. A designer’s work abounds with influences. Some call it inspiration, others homage—but what matters is that these influences are woven together with original ideas for design that is as exquisite as it is functional.

INFLUENCES  No one can create in a vacuum; design is as much a product of the environment as the imagination. A designer’s work abounds with influences. Some call it inspiration, others homage—but what matters is that these influences are woven together with original ideas for design that is as exquisite as it is functional.

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INVITATION CARD

Invitation card for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Parsons School of Design New York and EnCorp Group in 1995.

 Invitation card

Invitation card

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EVENT DESIGN

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