Visual Communication: Course

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundation (IL)

The State It Is Me - Active Studio for Visual Justice

Kantor Ruth, Semester 2, Wednesday, 10:00-17:00
The studio offers participants the possibility to choose a social issue of their interest and to approach it by means of theoretical research, community field work, and visual communication – with the aim to challenge the received idea that design is driven by market forces only. Participants join civic society NGOs and organizations to help them improve their ability to lead social change. The course focuses on the question of the relationship between designers and the community on the assumption that they occupy a critical junction in terms of diverse social processes and that they have an ability to affect both the impact and the success of these processes. Intense participation in the “real life” of an organization for social change affects one’s way of thinking, one’s professional capacity and motivation, and on one’s appreciation of the role of design. “I can make a contribution to society, to culture, to the world, with the tools I acquired – it’s not just esthetics! (Even if that’s still the most important.)” [Feedback from a course participant.] The studio involves students’ 1x1 work with NGOs and includes learning at the NGO, joining NGO activity (in return exchange for a stipend), work with a client (guided by studio advisors) during the following stages and processes: research//analysis and building a communication strategy//positioning //brand development//product development and application (according to the NGO’s needs and the student’s recommendations), such as: logo, image, branding, posters, campaigns, infographics, internet sites, applications, social network contents, printed products, films, etc. NGOs often need visual communication products, as well as interested and motivated professionals. “This course is amazingly exciting. It is important socially, to the students, the clients and the organizations. It shines its light into the far from simple world of the NGOs, socially weaker populations, budgets, etc. Thank you so much for an exceptional experience and outcome.” [Feedback from an NGO] During the past two years course participants produced a variety of visual communication solutions for 26 local NGOs. Students will have the option to extend their course of studies by joining a summer program.