We love assignments that facilitate and encourage collaboration. High school student Savannah wanted us to reveal our shadow characters. Kate, Katie and Savannah photographed us and Savannah painted the characters, animals or objects that we stated best described our inner selves. They created a panel for each of us and the work was displayed at a local coffee shop.
Katie & Tae.
Sally & Erick.
Ryan & Kathleen.
Facilitator: Ben Mulkey
Introduction: Students create a picket sign featuring a unique self-motivational motto, devised to incite determination for the things they desire to accomplish. Active messages are developed during the workshop; using personal insight, provoking questions and design considerations. The picket sign are small in scale, built with a wooden stick and centered canvas.
Goals: Create a motivational message that holds personal significance but still appeals to a broad audience. Students increase their understanding of communication and voice as well as symbol making and typography.
“Demand resolve, protest yourself!” —Ben Mulkey
“During the fall term of 2011 I was lucky enough to participate in a mentorship program called The Friendtorship. Portland State Students served as friends and mentors to high school students from Centennial Learning Center. We hung out, made art, and ate peanut butter sandwiches. This package was my holiday gift to the class and each bag included a sketchbook, a sticker, and a temporary tattoo. Some of the pieces actually got used in a feature on the PSU website…so cool!” — Murphy Phelan, Portland State graphic design student. This work was Murphy’s independent creative project for Design & Social Change (aka Friendtorship).
Design & Social Change (*AKA Friendtorship) students develop curriculum and creative projects. Whitney Owen’s creative project was inspired by a favorite artist and included interviewing us and creating layered silhouettes based on our responses. In turn we, the faculty, interview each college student asking them about their experiences. Below are some of Whitney’s answers.
How is this education as it should or should not be? I think that balanced with other types of structured classes, that this is most definitely a valuable form of education. It seems that most of the students enjoy themselves during our meetings, and hidden beneath the relaxed environment, are important skills being learned (i.e. learning to build a concept and see it through from start to finish, collaboration/teamwork, social skills, etc.)
Chose one thing about Friendtorship that you are really passionate about or a concern you have.I am most passionate about being a part of a group and a space that provides comfort and encouragement for adolescents. Surviving through high school can be hard enough, and considering college on top of that might be a scary thought. My hope is that the students who have been involved with Friendtorship will realize that higher education is something that they are capable and worthy of. Hopefully, their experiences at PSU will have eliminated any fears they might have had about college, and will help them to realize the immense amount of resources and support they have.
— Whitney Owen, Portland State graphic design student
To emphasize the importance of putting ideas on paper. To expose students to the magic of screen printing and the power of note taking as active components of the creative process.
“I was a part of the Friendtorship course during fall of 2011, and was inspired to help sustain the program because I too, was an at-risk youth during my high school years. If it weren’t for a few influential people in my life at the time, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Through design and art education, I want to be able to inspire someone else, to give them the opportunity to make a change for the better, to bring someone to happiness because of projects like these. After learning about Ambrose through my own Friendtor, Lloyd Winter, I was inspired to make a workshop with the Ambrose business model here in Portland. I see this as an amazing opportunity to bring the creative community together for a great cause, from organizations both inside and outside of our classroom.” —Tina Le
To read the lesson plan, materials needed, process and more after the jump.
Project Title: Community Projects: maps, icons, flags
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
The theme of community became the foundation for a group of exploratory projects: maps, small 3-d towns, icons, and flags. Some essential questions that guided our thinking included: What is community? How do we define it? How might we visualize our communities? What defines a community? Why is it important?
Process / Activity
The college students brainstormed ideas for activities that fell under the umbrella theme of community. They talked about sharing cameras and taking photos of the people in their community & family. Taking photos of the people that are important to each student and creating a exhibition. Later they landed on a favorite idea, a plan to draw community maps. To map our own neighborhoods, friends, family members, the people, business, places of worship, community centers, resources.
Portland State graphic design students Jasmine, Heather & Matti led discussions on what one might consider to be their community. We talked about interest-based communities (music, skateboarding, sports, games, math, heritage & cultural) as well as organizations that create or build communities including social media. The college students gave presentations on branding for companies, not-for-profit organizations, sports, culture and music.
In response to the idea of making a community map, Savannah, one of the high school students in class suggested we make a fictional map of our own community, so we did. Next, we asked the college and high school students: what or who would you like to be in your personal, fictional, ideal or real neighborhood? What would a flag or identifying mark look like for your neighborhood? for Portland, Ore.? for your personal, cultural, and interest-based communities?
Small groups of college and high school students shared what object, place, person or business they would want to be in a fictional community or town? What role do we want to play? What would be important to have in a community or town? Our answers were: a mailbox, a park, a river, a fountain, a bakery, a bank, a home, and a chop shop.
“I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.” ― Ani DiFranco
“The greatest gift is a part of thyself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Wednesday began with our first CLC student presentation about giving. A heartfelt and sincere message that left us with the question what makes a gift worth giving? For so many people it is simply monetary significance. Typical holiday gift giving logic would be to determine the number of people you feel you should buy gifts for and divide that by the amount of funds you have available. This leads to the purchase of festive holiday doodads and the ever popular gift card. Certainly a Santa figure that dances in his long underwear to the tune of “Jingle Bell Rock” is delightful on so many levels, but ask yourself what you’ve really given the person. Is it a cheaply made product? Is it manufactured in a far away place with questionable child labor laws? What kind of carbon footprint has the manufacture and shipping of this product left?