Thinking designers need to be aware of the world they inhabit, and how design can play a role in improving situations. At each level, projects that allow students to intervene and author solutions help make positive habits and develop values.
Sometimes you have a client that is so open, you canjust invent together. We joined up with Scott's Run with a grant to help them take a a first step in their community vision. This client had some interesting assets, that included some great singing.
The senior class divided into groups tp propose a Music and Arts Row, a museum, a community garden, a memorial for their park, and a history trail. They wanted us to do it all. We managed to pull off the museum, trail, web site and a folder and template for projects with which they could fundraise.
We also painted and repaired nine buildings on their main street to gain trust and learn more about their community. We interviewed them and made 14 handmade books for the history trail geocaches. We also did a lot more, but space is short here. The relationship continues this year, beyond the grant.
Folder and template system to help the community fundraise for more project assistance. Each page of the template finishes the sentence begun on the folder "A place to.. learn, collaborate, remember, etc.
Tara Smith silkscreening cover title on silk binding cloth for the edition of her flag book on agriculture in Scott's Run entitled Roots. It was one of 14 books designed for the history caches.
Studio info stations
This project was a solution to an observed problem. Parents and community members would often wander through the hallways of our performing arts center by classrooms that might have doors closed while in session on weekends when faculty were not around to answer questions about what was going on. We decided to add samples of what went on in each studio in information stations outside each studio area that also answered frequently asked questions or something that the area specialized in. After our research, we created specs that each one needed an information graphic, a book of student work incorporated, and 3D elements gleaned from antique shops or appropriate sources to make Lousie Nevelson monochrome textures that would not compete with the color photography.
One of the infographics for the Foundations Area. It let freshmen and parents know where the foundations courses could lead in terms of major areas, and then where those majors could lead to in terms of professional opportunities.
This was the first time some of our students had used power tools, if they had not taken sculpture. Their education was now complete:)
Teaching as Learning
In this project, our students helped develop a curriculum for high school students to help them know what the design process was, and how it could empowere thier own voices. The theme which would be addressed by the high school artist was Tolerance. Our students taught gestalt, ideation, wordplay. visual rhyme, and the specifics of design for billboards though a program of NY based Wols Studio. 17 high schools participated, mentored by WVU design students. The winning billboards were printed with a grant from our Dean of the College of Creative Arts and the billboard space was donated by Lamar Advertising.
The winning billboards were put up in the communities of the high school students for six weeks.