Service-learning: A Natural Fit in Design Education?

M. Genevieve Hitchings
Assistant Professor
Advertising Design & Graphic Arts
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

College level design courses can provide students with opportunities to work effectively in collaboration with actual clients. Such projects, undertaken jointly by faculty, students, and clients, develop student skills not only in design, but also in research, and in communicating with the public. Carefully chosen projects can also be of benefit to society, and offer advantages over work confined to the classroom. Since a large part of what we do in communication design is geared at problem solving for clients, service learning seems a natural fit in design education; and presents students with unique opportunities to work on projects focused on critical social issues. And yet when put into practice ethical dilemma can arise that are not so simple to navigate when teaching a class. This presentation highlights difficulites faculty-contemplating bringing a client into a design class may encounter.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 1.0: Inaugural Event at AIGA on Thursday, June 5, 2014.