As an Adjunct Professor, I had the great pleasure of creating a syllabus for 'Social Political Design & Narrative' in the Design Department at Loyola University.
The focus for the course is to observe needs and design for the community aka Design for Good. A Junior level class and required class in Loyola's Design curriculum, I set a professional pace with strict deadlines and deliverables. In each project, 4 in total, the students worked in a different process and medium: risograph printing, woodworking, pop-up shop (variety of printing, candle making, book binding, etc...), and screenprinting. In three of the projects, the students also had to work within a budget, making decisions on suppliers, materials, and delivery times to meet both budget and deadlines.
The class's favorite project and mine was designing a logo and signage for Burnell Cotlon's Lower 9th Ward Market. His grocery store is the only one in a three mile radius in the Lower 9th. Most people had to take a bus to Wal-Mart with 3 transfers before he and his family brought this market to the neighborhood.
Burnell is one of the most inspiring and motivating people that you will meet. He is determined to bring back the businesses that his neighborhood needs. Also housed in the building that he renovated post-Katrina is a Barber shop, Café, and a Laundromat, and an Internet Café.
For this project we collaborated with a local company Good Wood Nola to help make the signs. The students reclaimed some wood to use in a construction dumpster uptown and handpainted this beautiful sign to help let people know what resources Burnell has brought back to the community.
We also created yard signs, stickers, and advertising materials to help Burnell spread the word about his business in his community.
The students' project even received some local and national attention on the local news (WDSU), the Ellen show (who donated the washers for the coming soon Laundromat), the Loyola paper, the Maroon, & the Loyola University Blog.
The students had weekly readings and discussions on world events, controversial topics locally & globally, design thinking, social entrepreneurship, inspiration, and design for community. They performed research for each project in order to create thoughtful and appropriate solutions.
Their next project was a pop up shop, where they selected a donation partner, a donation amount, and designed products to sell on campus. They held two pop up shops, donating 22% in honor of Earth Day to Gulf Restoration Network. They selected GRN after discussion and voting in class, they decided that a local group working to protect the environment would resonate most with their customers due to the Earth Day calendar date. Each student designed and made their products to be sold, we discussed cost to make, quantity to produce, and retail pricing. Each student had a budget of $40 to produce their products.
Their final project was in collaboration with Bayou Boogaloo & the Mothership Foundation, stewards of the only Bayou within New Orleans city limits. The class met w/ the Mothership Foundation for the project scope and took a bayou history kayak tour on Bayou St. John. The class worked in teams of 3 to design and make canvas flags to display at the Bayou Boogaloo. Each flag design portrayed a slice of Bayou St. John's past. Designs by Ruvini Wijesekera, Ashley Rocca, and Marcus Broussard shown below.