Designmatters in the field: Brandmatters + Swipe Out Hunger

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Sherry Hoffman, Faculty Director, Designmatters November 20, 2019

The Brandmatters class partnered again with a social justice organization this Fall term. Swipe Out Hunger is the leading non-profit addressing hunger among college students through innovative and common-sense solutions and partnerships. They are creating a movement and a community of young changemakers, a perfect match for our class! I love the activist attitude of this brand and its bold and ambitious agenda.

The students met with the founder and CEO, Rachel Sumekh, at Cross Campus in DTLA to hear her story and get her thoughts on Swipe out Hunger today; its goals, achievements, and challenges. The brief for the partner engagement is intentionally broad, prioritizing the students’ ideas and perspective, an important part of the audience for the brand. The challenges include how to alleviate the stigma associated with college student hunger and how to grow the brand beyond its founder. The students have formed small interdisciplinary teams to develop a Creative Vision Strategy that acts as a bridge between the social enterprise, its goals, and the possibilities.

ArtCenter students visit the Swipe Out Hunger headquarters.

In just one month after our initial meeting, the teams will present their brand strategy and design concepts to the partner, providing creative solutions in line with the spirit of the Swipe out Hunger social movement and brand. Several students from the class, who are also in the Designmatters Minor, reflect on their experiences thus far, below in their words.

Swipe Out Hunger brand talisman created by Product Design student, Aden Choi.

“Visiting Swipe Out Hunger lent me some new perspective on the potential we have as Designmatters minor students. I appreciated the opportunity to meet professionals in the field of social impact, actively working to make a difference and bringing what started on one college campus to colleges across the country. It really serves as a reminder that no one of us is too small to start creating change at ArtCenter and extending our reach even further once we graduate.”

– Nico Abbasi, Illustration + DM Minor

“The Swipe Out Hunger team visit was an extremely resourceful trip for me.  The experience was the perfect portrayal of business meets design, something I feel is crucial to my career, yet I have rarely had the opportunity in my semesters here.  Tangible feedback from Rachel and Tenille was very elevating, especially after seeing how excited they were over the talismans, which they were not expecting.  Overall the in-field visit helped me better comprehend how to apply design to real-world issues, and ideally, where I want to apply it.  It was especially inspirational to see our guest speakers as young, relatable professionals making a change in the world.  Experiences like Swipe Out Hunger are the most impactful in navigating my career through ArtCenter.”

– Abigail Ohab, Illustration + DM Minor

“These students are incredible. I was left speechless twice. So many brilliant ways to strengthen our mission to end student hunger.”

– Rachel Sumekh, Founder & CEO, Swipe Out Hunger