UNFPA: A Campaign Celebrating Population and Development ICPD+15

About The Project


Spring 2009  

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.


We are in a unique position as artists and designers. It is what we choose to say with this voice that defines us as artists and as human beings. This project was great opportunity to say something worthwhile.

– Patrick Hruby, Illustration Student

Design Brief


Give voice to young people and women about their human rights by creating an awareness campaign for UNFPA celebrating the fifteen years’ mark of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+ 15) , a groundbreaking global agreement that put people and human rights at the center of the development agenda.

Research and Project Development


With access facilitated by the Media Division of UNFPA, students immersed themselves in first-hand testimonials from youth around the world. Interviews with activists from several NGOs and prior victims of human rights violations were primary material for inspiration. The impact of extreme poverty, lack of access to education and medical care, forced marriage of young girls, gender-based violence, and human trafficking were key issues that were examined as a backdrop to developing the advocacy strategies and messaging of a series of posters and three distinct public service announcements (PSAs) that were selected for production.

A workshop with Sarah Burns, an officer with Just Foreign Policy, a non-partisan organization focused on foreign policy based on diplomacy and cooperation, also allowed for a deep-dive into the often-divisive discourse about the issues at hand.

In addition to creating posters that cover several of the interrelated themes of the campaign, students were assembled in three teams of five, collaborating closely to conceive narratives with potent messages such as the need of partnership and equality between men and women (The Wall), the right to education for all and the toll of early marriage (Rewind) and the need for a nurturing environment for young people (The Forest). The detailed storyboards were developed with various techniques applied (paper cutouts, watercolor, hand-drawings, etc.). The professional team of SD-1 (Art Center alumni Theo Alexopoulous, Tina Chiang and Sean Starkweather) worked with the students to turn the storyboards into fully animated 30 second PSAs.



The three animated PSA’s produced by the class are being disseminated globally by UNFPA on their website , as well as through their social networking platform and shared blog on population, gender and health, Conversations for a Better World. They were selected for global broadcast on CNN International from September 2 through October 12, 2009, the date for the United Nations General Assembly’s high- level meeting that commemorates the ICPD+15, and its impact in improving the quality of life of people around the world.

The Forest/Every Young Person Has a Right to Flourish

Created by Patrick Hruby, Yana Kramskaya, Grace Jihye Lee, Mike Payne and Daniaelle Persall, Spring 2009. Animation and Post-Production by SDF-1.

The Wall/ Empower Women, Empower the Future Women’s

Created by Tom Borowski, Tess Donohoe, Linda Kim, Gem Padamada and Beril Toka, Spring 2009. Animation and Post-Production by SDF-1

Rewind/ Childhood is for Learning, Not Marriage

Created by Johnny Chang, Amy Kim, Da Hae Kim, Anne Lin, Diana Liu and Ashley Park. Animation and Post-Production by SDF-1.

The project was documented in two media pieces, a Designmatters process book designed by Mari Takano (upcoming publication November 2009) and a documentary film, Through Their Eyes: Perspectives for Advocacy, directed by Robert McLendon and produced by Elisa Ruffino.


We all recognize the power of narrative storytelling. It is an intimate, immediate and memorable medium to put a human face to our issues.

– Christian Delsol, Media Communication Specialist, UNFPA