List of all Designmatters Case Studies in Chronological order.
ArtCenter students partner with COANIQUEM, a Santiago, Chile based nonprofit that provides free holistic burn treatment to children from across Latin America. Interdisciplinary student teams will design charity thrift shops in Chile, to raise funds to support COANIQUEM’s free pediatric burn treatment, while building a community of socially engaged consumers & volunteers.
The Healing Tree is a comprehensive system of environmental graphics, a storybook and a ‘passport’ that transforms the campus of COANIQUEM, a nonprofit treatment center for pediatric burn survivors, into a magical land where patients and their families go on a healing journey accompanied by characters Camilla and Lucas and a cast of animal characters that represent the different treatments offered at COANIQUEM.
Kyoto CULTURE // CRAFT – in collaboration with Kyoto Seika University – is a cultural exploration of Kyoto, Japan, a city as rich in its history and tradition as it is forward thinking. Participating students in the studio will travel to Kyoto for nearly two weeks to develop a unique perspective about the social, ecological and cultural significance of traditional making and crafting.
During the Spring 2017 “Interactive Selfie Stations studio,” Interaction Design students were challenged to further develop, prototype and test project solutions from the Spring 2016 Blue Hope studio centered around marine defaunation, which targeted ways to integrate art with science to create engaging interactive elements for visitors of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach for the new Vanishing Animals exhibit.
Communicating the Wellbeing of a City with Santa Monica challenges ArtCenter students to work alongside Santa Monica civic leaders, residents and other stakeholders to translate the City of Santa Monica’s pioneering Wellbeing Index into innovative transmedia design campaigns that communicate a shared understanding of the community’s strengths and needs, encourage collaboration among city leaders and local organizations, and improve a collective sense of wellbeing for all residents of Santa Monica.
In partnership with the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, the Ocean Impact Studio challenged Illustration students from ArtCenter College of Design to tell visually engaging stories about the benefits of marine aquaculture as “Seafood for the Future.” The projects developed by students would communicate reasons why farm-raised seafood is a healthy, sustainable food choice for today’s fast-growing human population; likewise, the storytelling would dispel myths and misconceptions about farm-raised seafood.
In collaboration with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, the Design for Freedom from Disability Studio brought together Caltech engineering students and ArtCenter product design students to design, modify and/or create innovative and affordable products that would improve mobility, usability and quality of life for the physically disabled.
In partnership with the Environmental Design Department and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA, and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Resilient Coastal Cities Studio challenged ArtCenter students to conceptualize, design and create an exciting, engaging exhibit that would effectively communicate a call to action for the residents of Long Beach and other coastal cities for resiliency in the face of climate change.
In partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), this studio – a continuation of the “Where’s Daryl?” educational toolkit created in 2012 and a byproduct of the Uncool Studio in 2011 – challenged students to develop an easy-to-use and functional online teacher training portal so the anti-gun violence curriculum could be scaled nationally and reach a wider potential audience of users.
A continuation of the Spring 2016 Safe Niños Studio, the Safe Niños Development Seminar was inspired by the motivation to reimagine the 6-acre campus of COANIQUEM, a nonprofit pediatric burn treatment facility in Santiago, Chile and Designmatters partner. Students refined and improved on final outcomes presented at the Spring Studio, moving design concepts closer to actualization and implementation.
Fresh Eyes Cuba will challenge a group of top ArtCenter students to discover new ways of thinking, designing, and communicating and re-examine their own assumptions and worldviews with fresh eyes through a deep immersion and cultural exchange in Havana, Cuba. Fresh Eyes Cuba is a Designmatters and Graphic Design Trans-disciplinary Studio and Study Away supported by the Autodesk Foundation.
In FUTURE CRAFT Japan+Thailand, the 11th annual Pacific Rim collaboration between ArtCenter College of Design in California and Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan, students and faculty from both schools collaborate to envision new opportunities for design to create social impact with artisans in Northern Thailand, in partnership with the Lanna Culture & Crafts Association and the Thai Ministry of Industry.
In partnership with ArtCenter’s Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography and with a grant from the Autodesk Foundation Fund, the “Words in Exile” studio challenged students to effectively communicate the plight of worldwide refugees by creating social issue text and imagery designs using the hand-crafted art form of type-setting and letterpress printing.
The Good Food For All Studio challenged ArtCenter students to create a socially-conscious visual branding campaign for a new concept for a healthy food initiative for the City of Compton, a “food desert” where residents lack easy access to healthy and affordable fresh produce. Students used the inspiration of the farm-to-fork model of FoodHub.LA, a proposed dual-model social enterprise consisting of a farmer’s market and food processing facility to be located in Compton.
Students and faculty travel to the COANIQUEM pediatric burn rehabilitation center in Santiago, Chile to conduct design research on the challenges faced by children and the professionals and communities responsible for caring for them.
Students targeted ways they could integrate art with science to create engaging interactive exhibits for visitors of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach that would stress the urgency of marine defaunation and possible mass extinction of ocean life while encouraging behavior that could mitigate and reverse this potential ecological collapse.
In partnership with Los Angeles based art collective Project51, students and faculty members from diverse disciplines came together to share expertise and examine how researching and making within real-world urban contexts can inspire creative interventions, foster cross-cultural dialogue, and engage critically with the ecological, social, political and cultural landscapes of the L.A. Riverfront.
In Summer 2015, Designmatters and the Illustration Department launched a partnership with Center Theatre Group (CTG), Los Angeles’ largest non profit theatre company, through the Play Time studio, which introduced students to the many behind-the-scenes aspects of theatre with hands-on making, exploration and projects. Students explored how costumes, sets and the written word come together to create theatre by reading and writing scripts, designing costumes, puppets and sets, and visiting the artists at CTG’s The Shop and attending performances at CTG’s three theatres. Building on the success of that studio, CTG continued to work with ArtCenter students on the Fall 2015 Designmatters studio “Play Time: Community.” For this studio, students were asked to design dynamic systems of communication that would promote awareness of CTG’s three theatres, utilize the new CTG brand identity, encourage participation in community programs and amplify CTG’s relationship with communities throughout Los Angeles.
The Advocacy Committee of the Texas-based EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) sponsored an Advanced Graphic Design studio in the Fall of 2015 for students to research and discover the components of effective communications campaigns and then create cross-platform campaigns that deliver a clear and engaging message about the value of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy as treatment for traumas especially Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Social media advertising campaigns were launched and actively tracked as to their effectiveness in eliciting target responses, a process that presented students and client with authentic real-life feedback on campaign performance.
In the summer of 2015, the Environmental Design Department, in collaboration with Designmatters, sent ArtCenter students to Costa Rica on an eco-retreat lab to directly explore the rich tropical landscape and the concepts of biomimicry, an innovative study of incorporating the natural world into man-made design and sustainability aspects. Drawing on their personal experiences in the jungle wilderness and utilizing the inspiration of nature, students returned to the Pasadena classroom to imagine and create sustainable resort/vacation complexes in the Costa Rican rain forest that would appeal to unique audiences.
In the spring of 2015, students in this advanced lighting studio participated in the first-ever Natural Light International Design Competition (co-sponsored by artist Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun) to create an affordable, sustainable, portable and artistically-pleasing solar-powered LED lamp which would have global appeal to both off-grid communities and those in industrialized nations such as Europe and the U.S.
This Designmatters studio presented students with the skill sets to reimagine how illustration is used on all of today’s fast-paced media platforms. Building on contemporary topics of social concern, as well as personal revelations, students became informational storytellers as they explored text/visual pieces, traditional print outlets, and the ever-changing landscape of multimedia digital formats.
In the fall of 2014, Designmatters and the Product Design Department collaborated with the Nike Foundation, Yale School of Management andfuseproject with the challenge of empowering and getting resources into the hands of adolescent girls living in poverty around the world. Student teams on both coasts built on existing everyday practices and developed social impact design ideas for income-generating and time-saving tools and techniques that are widely accessible, radically affordable and can be used intuitively by girls in diverse cultures all over the world.
Southern California-based Vans sponsored a trans-disciplinary studio for students to consider the world of 2025, and how the iconic shoe/apparel/lifestyle company could engage future customers in a broader world market, while offering sustainable designs, transportation and manufacturing practices along with consumer-driven customizations.
In the Summer of 2014, faculty and students from the Advertising Department teamed up with Designmatters and the U.S. Department of the Interior Technical Assistance Program (US DOI ITAP) office in Chile to create a campaign to raise awareness on illegal trafficking of endangered species in order to catalyze public support towards a direct call to action for Chile’s policy makers to enact CITES legislation.
In Summer 2014, this Designmatters studio hosted by the Graphic Design department positioned students and faculty to work with national and regional leadership of the Arthritis Foundation to contemporize the Foundation’s brand strategy for the long-term future, create a communication program spread across multiple platforms and produce a clear, memorable and user-friendly print, online and broadcast presence.
In spring of 2014, The Educational Partnerships division, together with Designmatters, held a three-day, heavily facilitated design workshop at ArtCenter College of Design dedicated to our partners, Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), and to the question: ”What is the potential for alternative product development that is in line with the SHE brand story and leverages its existing capabilities, expertise and patent-pending technology using banana fiber?”
In the Spring of 2014, Homeboy Industries partnered with Designmatters on a Graphic Design-led studio class with the goal of elevating the Homeboy brand and amplifying its presence in Los Angeles.
Continuing to build on the investigations and experiences of the successful and award-winning SAFE AGUA Chile and SAFE AGUA Peru projects, students traveled to Altos del Pino, in Bogota, Colombia to co-create with families innovative technical design solutions for their community, seeking to overcome some of the social issues created by water poverty and to make an impact through resulting products and systems.
Students in the Fall 2013 Real Change Movement studio, addressed homelessness in Pasadena by designing a transmedia, public awareness campaign in conjunction with City of Pasadena leaders. By activating public support for tangible, self-sustaining housing solutions for Pasadena’s homeless communities, the students in the class aimed to create an actionable campaign for real change. The Real Change Movement studio is a continuation of the Fall 2012, Change on the Street studio in which ArtCenter students sought ways to harness the community’s compassion into long-term design solutions to end homelessness, and mitigate panhandling.
Students in this Summer 2013 transdisciplinary studio applied their multi-departmental skills to create a public awareness campaign for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California centered around the topic of ocean exploration.
In the Spring of 2013, the Illustration department hosted the Designmatters, On the Fence studio. The students were given the challenge of designing and installing a large scale mural on the topic of youth unemployment.
In April of 2013, the Pasadena Public Library and Designmatters co-hosted a series of hands-on creative workshops for children and their families, with the educational objective to raise anti-gun violence awareness in young children without raising fear.
Building upon the work of the fall 2012, Next Wave branding and identity campaign, this Spring 2013 class was challenged to create a visually appealing, scientifically-based, entertaining and quality motion graphics film for USGS partners, to disseminate important tsunami early warning messages for Southern California.
Students in this spring 2013 TDS applied their multi-departmental skills to create a global campaign with a twofold focus: to develop positive burn prevention messages, and to increase awareness and support for children burn victims.
“Where’s Daryl?” is an anti-gun violence educational toolkit for educators and middle-school youth. The program emphasizes prevention, and asks youth to consider their assumptions about guns and discuss the real negative impacts they can have on their lives and goals.
In the fall of 2012, ArtCenter students responded to a public RFP issued by the City of Pasadena to submit proposals for the architectural design and construction of an Armenian Genocide Memorial to be erected in Pasadena’s Memorial Park.
In the fall of 2012, students in this Trans-Disciplinary Studio addressed the vital need for the coastal communities of Southern California to have a clear and engaging message about the risks and hazards of tsunamis.
In the fall of 2012, ArtCenter students addressed two critical issues facing the city of Pasadena: homelessness and panhandling. Through the development of a public education campaign, and the design of re-purposed parking meters, the class sought ways to harness the community’s compassion into long-term solutions to end homelessness, and mitigate panhandling.
Students spent the Summer 2012 term redesigning the spatial experience for Goodwill of Orange County’s retail stores, with a focus on social responsibility, environmental awareness and making a positive impact on the community.
A multi-disciplinary team spent the Summer 2012 term investigating the living needs of low-income housing dwellers in India, and then building furniture prototypes for use in the high quality, low-cost housing championed by social entrepreneurship nonprofit Ashoka.
Uncool: The Anti-Gun Violence Project is the second phase of a two-term studio supported by the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Hosted by the Illustration department, the studio focused on the creation of illustrated children’s books as viable vehicles for anti-gun messages in children ages 6-7 years old.
Designmatters was invited by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to partner in developing a campaign with a powerful call-to-action for achieving the goals set forth in the Programme of Action of theInternational Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), specifically the agenda guiding UNFPA’s mandate to advance the human rights of young people and ensure meaningful youth participation in decision-making processes.
In this multi-disciplinary studio hosted by Advertising supported by a grant from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, students created a violence and gun prevention campaign designed to serve a diverse population of at-risk youth. This project is a collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Health Education Programs, HIV/AIDS Prevention Unit.
In this collaboration between Designmatters and the City of Pasadena, Illustration Department Chair, Ann Field was given the challenge to art direct a series of compelling bus shelter posters along with, recent graduate, Patrick Hruby (Illustration ’10) to help raise awareness for the Pasadena Bad Weather Shelter.
Building on the investigations and experiences of the successful and award-winning 2009 SAFE AGUA Chile, Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design once again partnered with the Latin American NGO, Un Techo para mi Pais and its Innovation Center to co-create innovative design solutions to overcome water poverty with families living in Cerro Verde, a 30,000-person slum [asentamientos] perched on the hillsides surrounding Lima, Peru.
In this two-term Environmental Design-led class, students addressed the day-to-day challenges and aspirations of greater Pasadena’s at-risk teenagers and set out to design an art park to foster safe, artistic expression.
In this Graphic Design class, students created a peer-to-peer awareness campaign to reinvigorate HIV/AIDS prevention efforts and condom use, targeting at risk African-American and Latino youth from the LGBTQ community. The project is a collaboration with the Los Angeles Unified District (LAUSD), Health Education Programs, HIV/AIDS Prevention Unit.
A team of four ArtCenter students from three design majors were challenged to redesign the nutrition food label and related packaging to help consumers make more educated decisions about what, and how, they eat.
The Safe Agua Exhibition captures the outcomes of the social innovation collaboration for Bottom of the Pyramid Markets between the Innovation Center of Un Techo Para Mi País based in Santiago, Chile, and Designmatters. The exhibition was conceived to tour internationally as an important public educational resource to illustrate the impactful outcomes of the Safe Agua project collaboration and serve as an exemplar of the leading work of both organizations in the arena of community engagement and international development through design and innovation.
A studio hosted by the Illustration department, in collaboration with SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises), to raise awareness and motivate action in the U.S. to address a critical lack of access to affordable, eco-friendly sanitary products for many women in developing countries such as Rwanda.
This Designmatters multi-faceted collaboration with USGS engaged decision-makers in potent design-led strategy sessions and produced public awareness tools for the ARKstorm scientific scenario.
Product design-led studio focusing on public education and action strategies to address the crisis of sea level rise, in partnership with the Aquarium of the Pacific.
Students from the Illustration Department at ArtCenter College of Design created this exhibition that speaks to the topic of older adults and HIV/AIDS awareness.
In an ongoing partnership with USGS, this Graphic Design studio was asked to design a visual identity and branding strategy for the Wildfire Scenario, a set of scientific data foretelling the natural disaster that is both devastating and a reality of life in Southern California.
This studio highlights the collaboration between Photography + Imaging students and several local Pasadena organizations to explore and support the important work of our neighbors in the non-profit sector.
This trans-disciplinary seminar examined the history, aesthetics and underpinning of community-based art and design practices through a collaboration anchored in the historic Watts Art Towers district of Los Angeles.
A collaboration with Tama Art University/Pacific Rim 6
This Environmental Design-led studio developed visionary solutions to address the Graying of the Baby Boom Generation.
Students help spread the word about the HPV vaccine to Latinas throughout LA by creating informative works of art.
Celebrating their 50th anniversary, students help promote the work of international development organization PCI through visual communication projects.
The goal of this studio was to conceive and develop a multi-component branding and communication strategy for the international NGO, Project Concern International.
The students in Creating Social Value Through Design were challenged to bring their unique skills and approaches to formulate a concept designed to restore and sustain Lake Atitlan and its people.
The World Health Day 2010 campaign envisions a healthier city now and into the future. Weaving together complex urban issues, students address key health factors affecting megacities across the Americas.
Through the collaboration between Designmatters at ArtCenter College of Design and Latin American NGO, Un Techo para mi País, The Safe Agua Project addresses the quotidian challenges of safe water access for Chile’s poorest families living in slum developments (or campamentos) on the outskirts of Santiago.
Mixed Media Campaign to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic/Innovation Unit and The American Cancer Society.
The goal of this transdisciplinary studio was to conceive and develop a multi-component branding and communications strategy for the OAS Centennial in 2010.
The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded. – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s opening address to the sixty-second Annual DPI/NGO Conference: “For Peace and Development: Disarm Now!” in Mexico City, September 9, 2009
A multi-faceted campaign raising awareness and support for prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, the Es Tiempo campaign was produced in partnership with the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
With half of the world’s population under the age of 25, the focus of the class was to generate a call to action that would be youth-oriented and capture fresh perspectives about the interconnectedness between population dynamics, reproductive health rights, and economic and social development.
In a culture of alarm fatigue, how to find innovative ways to provoke readiness without causing fear or panic? How to turn preparedness for a natural disaster of large scale into a broad-based cultural value?
Development of a logo and identity system for the Organization of American States (OAS) and the OAS’ Art Museum of the Americas for internal and external communications.
A study in branding solutions for materials to support a positive role modeling campaign to counteract gender-based violence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Transdisciplinary strategies and systems to raise awareness and help solve the global water crisis.
A multimedia public safety campaign and sourcebook initiative to increase earthquake preparedness and recovery strategies throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.
Visual communication campaign on human rights in commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60th anniversary.
The design of a sustainable, low-cost health and technology facility in Nepal.
Providing platforms that enable youth journalist groups to connect about critical world issues and interact with other youth via easily accessible technology.
Integrated solutions for mobile healthcare operations, as well as communications strategies to support mobile clinic outreach in Tijuana, Mexico.
Communication strategies to promote positive messages and empower disenfranchised youth.
Systems and products that improve the quality of life for the elderly in multiple environments.
The Agua Pura Project started with field research in rural Guatemala in summer 2007 as part of a student team project developed in Professor Ken Pickar’s “Design for Development/Product Design for the Developing World.”
In continuing partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Designmatters facilitated a Summer 2007 studio to develop an integrated multi-media awareness campaign in support of the 2007 Safe Motherhood Initiative.
In April 2007, the Designmatters initiative at ArtCenter College of Design and CENTRO de diseño, cine y televisión in Mexico City began a project collaboration to document the work of nonprofit group Cihuame based in Veracruz, Mexico.
An ongoing multi-level project which begin with Designmatters partnership with the Community Health Africa Trust (CHAT) in Kenya, to develop an innovative design project to improve health services for remote Kenyan communities.
What happens when a global company meets a small design school? In the case of GE HealthCare and ArtCenter College of Design, a collaborative effort with tremendous real-world applications.
Spearheaded by the Graphic Design Department, in collaboration with the Designmatters initiative in its vital advocacy role for promoting ArtCenter as an educational laboratory for best practices and social engagement, the YouOrleans branding initiative represents a significant commitment from our creative community to contribute to the moral and physical reconstruction of New Orleans. Conceived by Graphic Design chair Nik Hafermaas as one of the 2006 AIGA Aspen Design Summit challenges chosen for implementation, the YouOrleans design brief calls for the development of a comprehensive visual identity and branding strategy to support the Katrina Furniture Project.
A Collaboration between Designmatters, The Agency @ ArtCenter and The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.
In an effort to raise awareness of cancer in 18-24 year olds, the American Cancer society worked alongside ArtCenter in the Summer 2006 to create a hip and effective messaging campaign aimed at young people. Teaming with The Agency—a small group of advertising students who take on real world clients—four campaigns were designed to speak to young people with little exposure to the dangers of cancer.
Animated Public Service Announcements developed for the International Organization for Migration and the AIDS Institute addressing HIV/AIDS, Spring 2006.
As part of their seventh terms of academic study at ArtCenter, and in the wake of the devastation left by hurricane Katrina, Product Design students Wakako Takagi and Chris Favela developed a multi-phased research-based independent study project focused on renewed urban planning strategies for the City of New Orleans.
In an effort to combat the powerful influence of alcohol advertisements that appeal to under-aged drinkers throughout the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) commissioned ArtCenter to design and develop anti-drinking Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and an accompanying print campaign for international distribution. ArtCenter Advertising and Film students worked together to design an effective communication strategy. With the overall objective of targeting youth, the campaign is a wake-up call about the profound societal impact of under-aged drinking and alcohol consumption in general.
ArtCenter College of Design film student Cody Heller, challenged with the idea of creating a public service announcement as a part of her studies, thought first of the American Red Cross.
A Funded Educational Project Sponsored by Johnson Controls Interiors, Fall 2004.
At the center of the partnership between ArtCenter and the UN is a commitment to the global agenda for development represented by the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, also known as the MDGs, or a blueprint for building a better world by 2015. These eight markers for development — cutting extreme poverty in half, putting all children into primary school, and stemming the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, among others, have become widely accepted benchmarks for progress that can be met if all involved “break with business as usual,” and dramatically accelerate high-impact initiatives. In order to achieve measurable outcomes, effective advocacy and potent visual campaigns are important to increase the global awareness of the MDGs.
Conflict is at the root of human nature, and an aspect of all social relationships. Yet conflict can also foster a powerful, transformative journey when we are equipped to resolve it with a positive outcome.
This publication highlights the essential role of design in enabling toys and games to become tools for peaceful conflict resolution at the hands of children. Reflecting unique ingenuity and thought, the nine new products documented herein amuse and entertain — and in so doing, also teach, comfort, and help children to successfully cope with conflict.
Each year, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) holds its 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an influential campaign that calls for the elimination of all forms of violence against women. In 2004, UNIFEM joined forces with ArtCenter and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to produce a campaign addressing violence against women and the closely related spread of HIV/AIDS. The PSAs were produced by Art Center’s Film Department in three languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese) and distributed by PAHO to a large number of television and cable stations across Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States.
For more than 70 years, ArtCenter College of Design has been a world-wide leader in art and design education.