THE OBJECTIVE OF an assignment for a 15-week Academy of Art University advanced master level integrated design course was to coordinate a complex set of materials that must function together as a whole. Krishnapriya Dutta Gupta decided to celebrate the films of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa by creating a hypothetical film festival project. From retail environments and product lines to brands and books, Cast into Chaos marries multiple messages with divergent formats—all with a unified and holistic aesthetic.
“My favorite thing about this project was that I could successfully capture the master’s voice. Kurosawa is one of my favorite[s], and an extremely challenging director choice for this project,” Gupta says. “It was fascinating to research and discover so many facts about Kurosawa and his style. I watched his films several times throughout the semester to understand his voice. His philosophical messages about human conditions were a learning in itself, and of course, his perfection of craft was something that I admire even more now.”
The project required a total of 12 deliverables: poster, festival catalogue, limited-edition DVD packaging, festival schedule, festival tickets, products (three), soundtrack packaging, advertisement, website and stationery system. Gupta chose to integrate Japanese aesthetics with the director’s style and used black-and-white images to mimic his films. “His off -balance character sketches found their way into my product concepts,” Gupta says. “His Japanese sensibilities [are] reflected in my craft, choice of colors and materials that I used for my deliverables. I also kept the entire aesthetic organic, handmade and with strong cultural nuance.”
Gupta earned a class award for best project, and Cast into Chaos was selected for project showcase. Her work also earned the praise of HOW’s judges: “This is a fantastic entry for a student,” says judge Maurice Cherry. “Aside from the overall packaging, you can tell that special care went into each component—the flowerpot, the notebook with sumi-e brush, the pebble that doubles as a USB drive … it’s fascinating. I am in love with it.”