Upper schoolers were inspired by guest design experts from Kent State University. Teachers from the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State led students through a workshop focused on media literacy and visual language as well as how designers use the tools of type an image to inform and persuade. Participants worked together in teams to come up with solutions for challenges in the community. Limited to only using materials provided in a bag, students had 15 minutes to create prototypes.
Words of wisdom from the teachers included:
Don’t be afraid to fail.
Don’t be quick to judge.
Don’t stop with your first idea.
Students were also encouraged to remember that peer collaboration is critical to the design process. “Feedback and collaboration are the keys to successful design.”
Using the design process (define, ideate, prototype, finalize), upper schoolers sought solutions for challenges that included:
A safe way to cook at home with no electricity.
A food distribution system.
A method to promote communication in public spaces.
After further discussions on media literacy and visual language, students were challenged to create an awareness campaign. Provided with information on a topic to analyze and discuss, they worked together to develop a campaign including identity and poster design to communicate their message to an audience. Topics included:
College loan/debt crisis
High school drop out rates
Hunger in America
Environment (energy, global warming)
The workshop concluded with app design prototyping related to one of the aforementioned topics. Throughout the entire day, students had the opportunity to experience firsthand how the design process works in the professional sphere. Collaboration, creativity, and the freedom to fail will be essential to the success of students in all of their endeavors.