Safe Niños: A Co-Creation Case Study

Susannah Ramshaw
Associate Director
Designmatters
ArtCenter College of Design

Over 7 million children a year suffer from severe burn injuries in Latin America. COANIQUEM, a non-profit pediatric treatment facility in Santiago, Chile that cares for young burn survivors free of charge, partnered with Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design in the Spring of 2016 to develop innovative interactive environments for pediatric healing. In the Safe Niños transdisciplinary studio, students were challenged to co-create with stakeholders to reinvigorate the six-acre campus with human-centered and engaging environments aimed at optimal healing for patients and their families, and support the holistic medical approach of the center. Designmatters faculty guided students to use various design ethnography tools, from day-in-the-life patient journeys to brainstorming sessions with medical staff, enabling them to uncover insights and opportunities informed by stakeholders’ daily behaviors and activities across campus. Two follow-up field testing trips allowed a smaller group from the studio to test concepts and push co-creation and empathic methodology to arrive at novel, useful and integrated solutions that were ultimately implemented at COANIQUEM’s campus by Summer 2017, thanks to a nearly-$50,000 award supplied by Sappi North America’s Ideas that Matter grant. Patients at COANIQUEM now enjoy a system of environmental wall graphics and wayfinding, an interactive passport and storybook for the 10 rehabilitative therapies, and an area dedicated specifically for teenagers on campus.

Teaching Sea Changes

Andrea English
Lecturer
Department Of Design
San José State University

How can design education facilitate the relationship between the deepest passions of students and today’s urgent needs? How can design curricula teach students to creatively presence transformation, meaning, and compassion? The BA Senior capstone class at SJSU engages students at the creative intersection of their lives, their work, and the world. Starting with the premise that creativity sources within each of us, students design their “calling intentions” and clarify what meaningful work means to them. They envision products, services, projects, or initiatives that can inspire and influence sea changes. These spring from a deeply authentic place within themselves and address issues including water, human rights, gender equality, and more. Through lectures, workshops, visualizations, and storytelling, they begin to design work worth doing.

This presentation briefly introduces the innovative and integrative Sea Change Design Process® (designed by Lauralee Alben) on which this course is built, and showcases student design projects that result from a semester-long exploration. The student work visualizes highly abstract ideas; leverages personal calling intentions into organizational intentions, offers holistic approaches to solution-finding, and explores the relationship between design and human experience.

Beyond the Page: InDesign for Rapid UI/UX Prototyping

Dave Gottwald
Assistant Professor
Art + Design
College Of Art And Architecture
University Of Idaho

I was faced with some interesting challenges this past spring when I was asked to revamp our Interaction Design coursework in the Art + Design program at the University of Idaho. I had to bring it up to current industry practice, which was no problem on the syllabi end. Software tools, however—that was going to be tricky. There are currently a handful of applications for UI/UX development that allow for the design of complete interfaces, user flows, and live prototyping. The most popular tool in the industry is a Mac-only product, but more than half our students own PC laptops. Ouch. Industry stalwart Adobe had recently introduced a competing product, but it’s still in beta for PC and Mac, so my university IT department said no go.

In hindsight, forcing me to innovate and leverage a tool which was already supported was actually the best thing the University could have done. What I discovered is that Adobe InDesign has value far beyond the page—the master pages, robust stylesheet support, and typographic finesse actually make it a winner for interaction design work. I was amazed at how quickly my students advanced, and all were UI/UX first-timers. The advantage they all shared was their familiarity with InDesign from prior courses.

Rather than having to teach students new thinking and completely new software within the same course, I could focus on conceptual pedagogy. I had found a hidden virtue; using a familiar tool in a new context, rather than trying to introduce a new tool. I argue that students in my Interaction Design I course experienced an accelerated learning curve—while producing portfolio pieces exhibiting far higher levels of craft—by repurposing software they had already mastered. All quickly developed fully tested, live, mobile app prototypes within a single semester.

 

Lines

Tina Korani
Assistant Professor of Media Design
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
San Jose State University

“Lines” is a project aiming to represent today’s society and the barriers that human beings are creating around themselves. This project explores human connections and separations, using the concept of dots and lines, in ways both literally and metaphorical. Through visual investigations, I will explain how these lines are developed and how the development of these lines affects our society, in good and bad ways.

I use fundamental visual elements such as dots and lines, to express an in-depth concept through a simple language. Through my exploration dots and lines are the basic foundation of our everyday life and environment – both literally and metaphorically.

Sometimes these lines bring people together and have a positive effect in our society and sometimes they divide people. These lines can be: culture, race, sex, language, and religion.

I investigated through searching for my aesthetic and visual language how and why human beings are developing these lines around themselves and what are the consequences and results of these lines in our lives.

My project is built around three different media: a silent video, 15 illustrations and a book.

Devising Design Projects: From Conception to Deployment

Design Incubation invites educators, students and professional designers for a conversation focused on the creation of design projects, assignments and syllabi.

Saturday, October 21, 2017
2pm–5pm

Type Directors Club
347 West 36th Street
Suite 603
New York, NY 10018

The development of design projects and course plans is being conducted in increasingly complex educational environments requiring a more sophisticated set of thoughtful and negotiated responses. Educators work to devise projects that will best serve students, the discipline and the profession. Once complete they then have to decide how and when these materials should be revised and updated. We must weigh our responsibility to be innovative and experimental against the need to be pragmatic and mindful of concerns such as job readiness and technological competencies. Design Incubation invites educators, students and professional designers to join us and a panel of experienced design educators for a lively and informative conversation focused on the myriad considerations that come into play during the creation design projects, assignments and syllabi and the thorny issues associated with their development and distribution.

The conversation will be moderated by Aaris Sherin, Professor of Design at St. John’s University and Liz Deluna, Associate Professor of Design at St. John’s University.

Return for a list of presenters.

Announcement: Educators Communication Design Awards 2017

Design Incubation, the esteemed 2017 awards jury, and Bloomsbury Publishing is pleased to announce the recipients of the Design Incubation Educators Awards in Communication Design 2017 in the categories of Scholarship: Creative Work, Scholarship: Published Research, Service, and Teaching.
Thank you to all who entered the competition and those who participated in recognizing the efforts of academics in design research.

Category: Scholarship Creative Work

Portraits of Obama: Media, Fidelity, and the 44th President
Scholarship: Creative Work Award Winner

Kareem Collie

Lecturer

Harvey Mudd

Stanford University

Category: Scholarship Published Research

Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities
Scholarship: Published Research Award Winner

Jessica Barness

Associate Professor
Kent State University


Amy Papaelias

Assistant Professor
SUNY New Paltz

Category: Service

The Sit&Tell Project
Service Award Winner

Jenn Stucker
Associate Professor
Bowling Green State University

Category: Teaching

BMORE Than The Story
Teaching Award Winner

Audra Buck-Coleman
Associate Professor

University of Maryland College Park

 

White Plains Storefront Project: Art In Vacant Spaces
Teaching Award Runner-up

Warren Lehrer

Professor
School of Art+Design
Purchase College, SUNY
Founding Faculty Member
Designer as Author Graduate Program
SVA (School of Visual Arts)

 

Science Through Storybooks
Teaching Award Runner-up

Martha Carothers

Professor

University of Delaware

Jurors

Audrey Bennett
Professor
Communication and Media
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Steven McCarthy (Chair)
Professor of Graphic Design
University of Minnesota

Emily McVarish
Associate Professor
Graphic Design; Design; Writing
California College of Art

Maria Rogal
Professor of Graphic Design
University of Florida

David Shields
Associate Professor & Chair of Department of Graphic Design
Virginia Commonwealth University

 

Portraits of Obama: Media, Fidelity, and the 44th President

Scholarship: Creative Work Award Winner

Kareem Collie
Lecturer
Harvey Mudd
Stanford University

“In a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter…information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.” -Obama

President Obama made this statement in May of 2010, during one of his most tumultuous years in office— healthcare reform, financial reform, BBP oil spill, and the list continues. The notion of being bombarded by media is not a new one. The notion was often discussed during the last half of the 20th century as the television became a ubiquitous pastime in the American life. However, as the proliferation of media content, voices, and audiences, specifically in relationship to news content, continue to grow, reaching into every aspect of our lives through the new media tools and channels of the 21century the discourse on media and it’s impact on society continues to call for scrutiny (study/examination). As Obama says “it continues to put new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”

Using Obama as a prism I examine the culture of American Mass Media, examining the news media, the fidelity of news content amongst the ever growing, and ever more fragmented media landscape of the 21st century, and the audiences active engagement in the construction of their relationship to reality; The flawed nature of nature of news makers and their perceptions of the world; as well as offer an alternative narrative narrative approach to self.

I approach this essay through the convention of narrative and visual communication. I discuss narrative here through it’s role as both a construct of our individual cognitive and cultural systemic processes that allow for personal and collective understanding of the world around us. I am also implementing the tools of visual communication/design to reframe the discussion of todays 24/7 media environment; hoping to step outside of the “wolfs gullet” as it were, using the tools that help coat it’s lining as it were.

My hope here is three fold— (1) Using president Obama as an example I wish to examine and illuminate the current role of media in our lives, (2) reframe the discourse of media and the active nature of the audience through the use of visual communication design, in hope of finding new new questions and answers (3) present an alternative means of fining our sense of self within the deluge of media today.

Fidelity-NewPaperXLiminalX-FiveXPager

Kareem Collie, is Lecturer at Harvey Mudd Stanford University. As a design professional I have over fifteen years of experience designing, directing and leading projects in branding, advertising, interactive, and creative strategy. During this period I’ve honed my collaborative and leadership skills across diverse areas of the industry: from the boardroom to the classroom.

I am also a lifelong learner and educator, with a decade of experience teaching design and design thinking. My research interests are visual communications, design thinking, narrative, audience reception and media theory.

As a deep thinker, visual storyteller, and maker, I endeavor to inject more critical thinking into the creative process and more creativity into how I process. This notion drives my practice and pedagogy.

Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities

Scholarship: Published Research Award Winner

Jessica Barness
Associate Professor, Kent State University
Amy Papaelias
Assistant Professor, SUNY New Paltz

Our special issue of Visible Language journal, “Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities” (vol. 49, no. 3) locates where, how, and why critical making is emerging and the scholarly forms it takes. Visible Language journal is the oldest peer-reviewed design journal in the world and is currently published by the University of Cincinnati.

The idea for this special issue grew out of a mutual interest in the ways critical making in design connects with humanistic inquiry, and how this might form a foundation for research by design faculty. We viewed the project broadly as a finding tool because we observed a shortage of resources for design scholars on this topic. Critical making is an emerging framework that serves as a means to integrate research activity and practice-based artifact. It situates studio-based design practices as scholarship in ways that augment existing theories of design authorship, production, and thinking. The findings that occur within these activities become the crux of the endeavor and may produce as much knowledge as the polished, finished product.

As editors of the issue, our responsibilities included writing and circulating the international call for papers, facilitating double-blind peer review processes within two disciplines (design, and the digital humanities) and designing the issue layout, including the development of text analysis and data visualizations. Rather than advocate for each discipline to borrow and build off the other in isolation, this issue aimed to serve as a shared space to affect synergistic research, practice, and education. It became a research project in itself and is ongoing.

Two challenges were encountered in this project. First, Visible Language is a journal of evidence-based research and we focused on scholarship that is often considered exploratory. This meant determining, for all submissions, what constitutes rigorous ‘evidence-based research’ in theoretical and speculative inquiry, and in effect, publishing articles to serve as models for work of that nature. Second, the issue needed to connect research within disciplines that have significant overlap yet are just beginning to formalize their commonalities. The final issue needed to represent new knowledge, and be peer-reviewed, at a transdisciplinary intersection.

The final issue was published in print (approximately 700 copies distributed) and online. The online distribution coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of Visible Language and launch of its new open access web site; as a result, our full issue was readily accessible to all visitors to the new site. The issue contains nine articles by an international group of authors, and these were organized into two areas that blurred disciplinary boundaries: Theories and Speculations (methods and systems to facilitate research), and Forms and Objects (publishing, prototyping, and hacking practices). These published works have the potential to critically impact the ways we read, write, play, imagine, and learn across disciplinary boundaries, and exemplify non-traditional academic research methods for design and digital humanities scholars. This project served as a catalyst for the AIGA DEC conference Converge: Disciplinarities and Digital Scholarship we co-organized (spring 2017) and has been referenced in various other venues (see outcomes PDF).

Jessica Barness is an Associate Professor in the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. Her research resides at the intersection of design, humanistic inquiry, and interactive technologies, investigated through a critical, practice-based approach. She has presented and exhibited her work internationally at venues hosted by organizations such as the Design History Society, HASTAC, and ICDHS, and she has published research in Design and Culture, AIGA Dialectic, Spirale, Visual Communication, SEGD Research Journal: Communication and Place, and Message, among others. Recently, her interactive work has been on display in the traveling exhibition Édition, Forme, Expérimentation, curated by Collectif Blanc. She co-edited (with Amy Papaelias) a special issue of Visible Language journal, “Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities” and is a member of the organizing committee for AIGA Converge conference, June 2017. She has an MFA in Design from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. jessicabarness.com

Amy Papaelias is an Assistant Professor in the Graphic Design program at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Presentations of her creative work and pedagogy at national and international venues include the Type Directors Club, Digital Humanities, Theorizing the Web, TypeCon, and the College Art Association. She has been involved with several digital humanities initiatives including One Week One Tool, and serves on the Advisory Boards of Beyond Citation (CUNY Graduate Center) and Greenhouse Studios (University of Connecticut). She co-edited (with Jessica Barness) a special issue of Visible Language journal, “Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities” and is a member of the organizing committee for AIGA Converge conference, June 2017. She co-authored a chapter (with Dr. Aaron Knochel) for Making Humanities Matters (University of Minnesota Press, 2017). She is a founding member of Alphabettes.org, a network for promoting the work of women in type, typography and the lettering arts. amypapaelias.com

The Sit&Tell Project

Service Award Winner

Jenn Stucker
Associate Professor
Bowling Green State University

The Sit&Tell Project was a multi-participatory community-based art project that connected communities through pulling up a chair and sharing stories of Strong Women of Toledo. The project collected 100 stories as told by Toledo citizens as storytellers on World Storytelling Day (WSD), March 20, 2016 under the global theme of Strong Women. Based on the Toledo Arts Commission’s 2015 Strategic Plan for Arts & Culture, eight (8) neighborhoods were cited to illuminate, thus were chosen to be the sites of the story collections. On WSD, teams were sent to the Collingwood Arts Center, Toledo Public Library, The National Museum of the Great Lakes, The Ohio Theater, the Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center and The Fredrick Douglass Community Center to collect the 100 stories through in-person interviews. These recorded stories were told by or were about women recognized by their families, communities or organizations as strong and influential. Following the collection, the stories were assigned to juried (jurors: Andrew Shea, Antionette Carroll, Keetra Dean Dixon) artists/designers to visualize 100 chairs. The donated chairs from MTS Seating went on display at rolling exhibitions in those neighborhoods throughout the summer of 2016 with each chair containing a specific URL numbering to direct viewers to the corresponding audio recording of the story.

A preview event for 150 guests on June 14, 2016 unveiled 30 chairs at AIGA Toledo’s Pre-conference Cocktail Reception + Welcome talk for AIGA’s Nuts+Bolts Conference, followed by the first neighborhood launch of ten (10) chairs at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, with positive local press. During the summer a chair a day for 100 days was posted on social media outlets. All 100 chairs were featured in a final closing exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art on September 24, 2016. In November, the chairs were sold through an online auction and the $7,500 raised was donated to the Toledo Arts Commission for art classes for young people in those neighborhoods.

The Sit&Tell Project participation included 180 storytellers and artists, eight community exhibition locations, 15 WSD listeners/volunteers, four BGSU Media and Communication undergraduates and an MC faculty member who collected WSD footage and audio, plus two BGSU Digital Arts graduate students and a DA faculty mentor who shot additional footage and edited the final video. Of the 100 designed chairs, the juried pool included 21 BGSU undergraduate graphic design students, eight BGSU School of Art faculty members, 32 BGSU alums, one chair by a graphic design class at Whitmer High School in Toledo and remaining chair designs by Toledo area artists. Exhibition venues expressed a deep gratitude for participating in the project and all stated they experienced an increase in their visitations.

www.sitandtell.com

SitTell overview

Jenn Stucker is an associate professor and division chair of Graphic Design at BGSU. She earned her BFA at BGSU and her MFA from Eastern Michigan University, both in graphic design. Jenn’s research interests include Design as Artist and Practitioner, Design as Scholarship of Engagement, and the Scholarship of Design Pedagogy. Her work has been published in several books on design and has received various award recognitions including, HOW Magazine’s 2013 and the 2017 International Design Awards for her community-based works, The You Are Here Toledo Project and the Sit&Tell Project. She is the co-founder/organizer of SWEAT (Summer Workshop for Experimentation and Thought,) a collaborative experience in experimental modes of making. She is also a founding board member of AIGA Toledo and has served in numerous leadership roles. Jenn has previously co-chaired two national AIGA Design Education conferences and has presented at several conferences across the country.

BMORE Than The Story

Teaching Award Winner

Audra Buck-Coleman
Associate Professor
University of Maryland College Park

The death of Freddie Gray and his treatment by police sparked anger, protest, and violence in Baltimore during April 2015. Mass media implicated area youth in the crime and destruction, whether they committed it or not. Their overriding narrative was pejorative and full of scorn. Students at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts (AFSIVA), a public high school in West Baltimore, lost control of their narrative. BMORE Than The Story brought together art and design students from AFSIVA and University of Maryland (UMD) to collaboratively produce an exhibit response to the Baltimore Uprising. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, a Smithsonian affiliate, hosted the exhibit, which opened during the one-year anniversary of Gray’s death and closed in September 2016.

The project was successful for its end product—the exhibit— as well as its curricular structure, which allowed students to create meaningful relationships and delivered multiple “teachable moments” over two consecutive semesters. This timeframe enabled the students to build a sense of community and have rich conversations about the issues at hand before diving into the exhibit’s potentially divisive issues. Almost 60 students—24 from UMD and 35 from AFSIVA—participated. I know of no other undergraduate project that has had students co-design at such scale and duration.

UMD students learned how to research, synthesize and create design about complex issues. They researched the death of Freddie Gray, police brutality, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and Baltimore’s history of race relations, economy, and culture. They then connected these findings to larger issues: academic achievement, incarceration rates, political power structures, and the level of violence present in these communities. They produced information designs visualizing their results. This heavy content was difficult to unpack and yet critical to understanding the AFSIVA students’ challenges and opportunities. With today’s information overload and plethora of wicked problems, clarity and synthesis are essential. The UMD students developed research techniques and honed their design skills to communicate and unpack a wicked problem lurking in their back yard.

These students also co-designed compelling visuals that effectively communicated their most salient messages. In a post-project survey, the AFSIVA students said the exhibit represents the issues that are most important to them (100%), their friends (89%), their school (83%), and Baltimore (94%). Through this project they also gained a better understanding of how they might leverage art to address important issues (88%) and learned to collaborate more effectively (98%). Finally, they said that because of this collaboration, they feel like more people cared about them and their struggle for justice.

This project exemplifies and advances a critical need for social design curricula: ways to incorporate assessment mechanisms. We are able to quantify and qualify the impact of this project. Our research results indicate that the project had a significant, positive impact upon the AFSIVA community. Findings can enrich future social design research and curricula.

BMOREThanTheStory-DesignIncubation-F

Audra Buck-Coleman is an Associate Professor and director of the graphic design program at University of Maryland College Park. She has written, art directed, curated, designed, authored, led, and collaborated on numerous design projects including Sticks + Stones, an international multi-university collaborative graphic design project that investigates stereotyping and social issues. Her research focuses on social impact design, assessment mechanisms, design pedagogy and design’s role in culture, identities, and representation. She has led students through 16 whole-class collaborative projects, seven of which were with off-campus stakeholders and four of which were with on-campus ones. Seven addressed issues of underrepresented communities. One was an international collaboration with students from China, Germany, Turkey, and the United States. She holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a Bachelors of Journalism from the University of Missouri. She is currently pursing a PhD in sociology to connect to social design.