Yesterday, I attended the Design Youth Forum held by the organization Project Osmosis, which provides design mentoring for K-12 students. I only heard about the forum a few days before the event, which was shocking since it has been held at UIC Art and Architecture for over 6 years.
It was moving to see so many people of color engaged in creative design. The forum consists of simultaneously workshops in graphic design, industrial design, fashion design, architecture, interior design, and multimedia. Each workshop was lead by 2 or more professional designers, all of whom were black. The overall theme as democracy so students were led through exercises where they designed sustainable homes using tracings, cutouts, and modeling sticks; created campaign ads through flash; visualized democracy through typography; develop concepts for a voting machine; and design an office interior. Dave Pabellon showed the work done by Design for Democracy. I came in late but during lunch welcomed everyone to UIC and discussed what I did as a design anthropologist.
Chuck Harrison came by and was the one to call and make sure that they got me involved. But I met some really cool people involved with Project Osmosis whom I hope to develop further relationships with as colleagues and peers. It was good to meet Vernon Lockhart who is joining the AIGA National Board. He is definitely going to shake things up at AIGA in ways that are good for the organization, because he knows that its about the diversity of perspectives not just visual representation.
Here are some photos from the event. The students were really inspiring.