Katja Naima Schalcher


Katja Naima Schalcher

'Strange shapes of things [that fly]' (diploma work)

Graphic Design

Jury report

The flying saucer and other modern myths
Under the title of 'Strange shapes of things (that fly)' Katja Naima Schalcher pre­sents her diploma work in the form of two bound pub­li­ca­tions cre­ated in 2007 at the Zürcher Hochschule der Kunst (ZHdK). The main el­e­ments of this very elab­o­rately de­signed work are mod­ern myths and con­spir­acy the­o­ries. She uses the UFO myth as a tool for re­search­ing the ori­gins and na­ture of these myths and the­o­ries. Lou Zinsstag, of Basel, has care­fully com­piled an archive of un­known fly­ing ob­jects and this pro­vides the start­ing point for the re­search. Eye-wit­ness ac­counts, news­pa­per ar­ti­cles and pic­tures doc­u­ment the nu­mer­ous sto­ries of eerie sight­ings since the 1940s, fea­tur­ing ob­jects rang­ing from the clas­sic saucer via in­ex­plic­a­ble flare con­stel­la­tions to the fly­ing potato.
The graphic de­sign un­der­lines the ma­te­r­ial char­ac­ter of the archive doc­u­ments. Old pho­tographs, news­pa­per ar­ti­cles, draw­ings, recorded in­ter­views with eye wit­nesses, type­writ­ten let­ters or hand­writ­ten notes are pic­tured as they were found.
Katja Naima Schalcher has suc­cess­fully made an ex­ist­ing archive vi­su­ally pow­er­ful, com­ple­ment­ing the topic with cur­rent re­flec­tions and in­for­ma­tion and to pre­sent­ing parts of the archive in a new, con­cen­trated order. The pub­li­ca­tion with the var­ied page de­sign that re­veals all kinds of ex­trater­res­trial trivia is cap­ti­vat­ing. Mod­ern myths' typ­i­cal de­vel­op­ment process is lent vi­sual force in the course of the pub­li­ca­tion by in­creas­ingly blown up UFO pic­tures. By anal­ogy with this, the night­mar­ish con­spir­acy topic takes up more space from page to page and in­evitably cap­tures the reader.
Au­re­lia Müller


Katja Naima Schalcher
Born in
Designerin FH, Studienbereich Visuelle Kommunikation