Students in Nancy Mata’s Design for Social Equity course this Fall are realizing their potential to make a cultural impact through design skills and concepts.
The course is designed to encourage students to think critically about their influence on culture as designers through a series of real world projects. The central idea of the major assignments is simple enough; isolate a problem about which they feel passionately and design a solution. From there, students are given loose guidelines and free reins to create their own missions and parameters.
The projects force the students to move away from their computers and into the physical world.
“I am very happy that I was able to take Design for Social Equity before I graduated. It has taken the idea of designing for the user out of the classroom and into real world situations,” said Senior design student Emily Clawson.
At the outset of the course, students were given a small, easily managed project. As the course went on, they received two more projects increasing in difficulty.
Currently the students of Art 347.01 are undertaking their biggest assignment yet. The class, as a team, is designing a way for students on campus to donate their lightly used materials which are specific to a university environment, and then reselling the materials at a discounted cost.
The original plans were big; create an organization, Good’Ville, to collect, store, and resell used materials. The guidelines, visual elements, and templates would then be given to other universities in the state to implement their own campus thrift systems.
With only three weeks left in the semester at the outset of the project however, the end goal had to be trimmed and refined.
The final project will include a smaller scale collection of art materials which are partially used. Collections will take place the week of finals. Boxes labeled with the Good’Ville logo will be placed in classrooms during finals periods for students to drop their left over materials.
A bigger collection will occur Dec. 10 in the lobby of Breidenstine Hall from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be designated boxes for materials ranging from paint brushes and paint to pencils, photo paper, clay, etc.
The collected materials will be stored over Winter break, and sold by the Graphic Interactive Design club early in the Spring semester. All proceeds will benefit the club.
More information can be found on the event’s Facebook (Good’Ville), Twiter (@MUGoodVille), Instagram (mugoodville), and website (www.MUGoodville.com).