Design is a language and as any language it has its rules and codes. Archetypes are a fundamental elements in the language of things. They are recognizable by anyone, but yet they do not exist in just one form.
For example, we all recognize a chair when we see a wooden object that has four legs, a seat and backrest. However, we could make some chang- es in this set of parameters and still produce an object that is recog- nizable as a chair. We could make it in metal, for instance. Or, we could add or subtract one leg. However, there is only so much we can change from the original, and still produce an object that reads as a chair. If we change too much, it simply becomes something else, or it confuses our audience. When we use Archetypes in our design language, we immedi- ately reach a broad audience and we easily catch their attention. Know- ing how to access an audience and gain their attention is a great skill for any designer, artist, or author in general.
As said, Archetypes are predetermined objects that exist in the world, but although they are determined by their formal characteristics, they allow a certain flexibility. This flexibility of Archetypes allow us to bend them, so to discreetly or boldly convey the messages we want to send out. For this assignment, we explored the archetype of a hot dog. We tested its limits and potential. But mostly, we tried to understand what meanings we can convey if we master its language; the hot dog language. The hot dog is one of the symbols of Chicago, but with its split bun and a sausage, the hot dog is also an archetypal item, easily recognized and enjoyed worldwide. Students adopted the hot dog as a semantic element to convey other meanings. Some of the hot dogs we produced are funny, some are scary, some are surreal. But most importantly, they are all hot dogs, even if most are not edible.
When we started this assignment, we also set a goal in terms of quantity. We wanted to beat the current champion of competitive hot dog eating, Joey Chestnut. He once ate 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes. We stopped at 69 hotdogs... but ours are beautiful. We hope that among them, you will find one that suits your taste.
(We truly apologize to all Chicagoans for having added ketchup to some of the hot dogs)