Zakriya Rabani (BFA Sculpture ’15) commented on his experiences in the school system for his senior project, Decks N’ Desks: A Lesson in Flow, which is currently being displayed in the Atlantic Center for the Arts' 26th Annual University Student Exhibition. Rabani was one of three students selected from Florida to be featured in the exhibition.
Rabani’s Decks N’ Desks seeks to break free from the constraints set in place by different systems and to find flow by redesigning traditional desks into works of art. Rabani found himself chasing the sensation of “flow” in high school. Whether it was on his long board or through his art, Rabani sought total immersion of himself, so he could experience a sense of unity between mind and body. He developed his own set of systems when he found that he had distaste for the ones set in place for him by authorities.
Rabani found inspiration for Decks N’ Desks from his experience of doodling on desks in high school. He was overflowing with creativity in high school and found himself feeling constrained within the school system. As a result, he often drew elaborate doodles on his desks. When he would return to school the next day, he would discover that someone had added to his doodle. For a long time, he never knew who was his anonymous collaborator. He wasn’t shocked to discover that it was one of his friends, Marshall. Rabani’s friends in high school were a group of skaters and surfers whose passions lied primarily outside of the realm of school.
“We weren’t paying attention in class, but we were paying attention to art,” said Rabani. “We were learning something, it just wasn’t what they wanted.”
Each of the eight desks is its own system inspired by his different experiences and feelings about school, but each desk relates enough to the others to build a unifying system.