Final time teaching AD418 Research Methods for Art and Design
Leadership and courage: Atticus Finch

Research Methods for Art and Design Final Presentations 2008

Here they are. The final visual presentations from my last Research Methods course at UIC. This year was really exciting because of the number and range of the students and UIC's participation in the INDEX: Aspen Design Challenge Water Brief. The purpose of the course is to provide participants with the anthropologically-based research techniques to inform creative conceptualization and its human impact. Techniques covered include secondary and archival research, interviewing, observation and participant observation, participant self-documentation, using scales to evaluate concepts and ideas, and affinity diagramming for data analysis. The course addresses important skills such as writing proposals for grants, data visualization and communication, and giving effective presentations.

The students had to address five basic questions of a creative concept proposal:

  1. What are your project’s questions and/or intentions?
  2. How does it fit within existing art and design knowledge?
  3. What evidence do you need to collect and your methods?
  4. What are your qualifications to do the project?
  5. What is its contribution to fields of art and design?

There were clear themes that emerged from student's interests: Health (mental, physical, social), the Water Brief responses, Cultures of the Design Process, and Food, Drink, Design. I have organized the presentations by those themes.

NOTE: Please do not share or circulate without giving credit to the design student. The purpose of posting is to expose people to their design thinking, which only works if you cite their work.


Chris Margelis, MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
Donation Research Proposal
Download AD418research08_finals_margelis (PDF 2.6 MB)

Brief Summary: To engage in this research on design, donating, and trust  in order  to: (1) build effective cause-marketing strategies, (2) create effective awareness materials, and (3) help inspire creative ways for people to donate.

Jennifer Tausch
, MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
Designing Systems Tool for Alternative Healing
Download AD418research08_finals_tausch (PDF 292 kB)

Brief Summary: Seek to understand how graphic design can aid in the creation of a comprehensive resource for the field of alternative healing by utilizing information systems to develop a user friendly tool that educates as well as build awareness of the fields of practice and their connection.

Moe Madar,
BFA Student in Industrial Design
Accidential Poisoning: A Closer Look at Chlorine and Its Byproducts
Download AD418research08_finals_madar (PDF 5.3 MB)

Brief Summary: Through this project I would like to examine and evaluate the process in which dioxins are created by consumers and manufacturers of products designed for everyday use, such as paper and leaded gas, through the use of chlorine.The information will then be used to design ways for consumers to lessen their dependency on such products or procedures.


Kelli Evans, MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
Visual Communications as a Catalyst for Change:  Creating Awareness of Water Conservancy Issues Facing the Great Lakes Basin Download AD418research08_finals_evans (PDF 5 MB)

Brief Summary: I intend to investigate the level of awareness of water conservancy issues by the “eco-aware” citizens of the Great Lakes Basin and what, if any, are their conservation practices in order to  identify the most effective ways to communicate the complex information surrounding the issues and then extrapolate how best to communicate this information for use in targeted campaigns for the general public.

Sarah Higgins,
MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
Bottled Water Project
Download AD418research08_finals_higgins (PDF 1.1 MB)

Brief Summary: To design a solution that aids in creating a greater awareness of global fresh water issues and the environmental impact of bottled water corporations while offering new innovative and sustainable alternatives to the purchase of bottled water.

Pei Chi (Brandy) Yang,
MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
Designing Water's Future
Download AD418research08_finals_yang (PDF 1.5 MB)

Brief Summary: The primary objective of this project is by studying the urban design project concerning Chicago water issue and comparing it with existing obstacles in the City’s visual designs, hoping to seek out more effective ways of cross-disciplinary aspects for graphic designers.

Jillian Lindner, 
MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
Fresh Water: Consumption, Conservation, Campaigns
Download AD418research08_finals_lindner (PDF 3.5 MB)

Brief Summary: My research focuses on how the average urban middle-class American consumes water and the success of water conservation campaigns in order to design a visual communication that will increase awareness of the global water crisis.


Jon Zayat, BFA Student in Industrial Design
Design for Intrinsic Reward
Download AD418research08_finals_zayat (PDF 180kB)

Brief Summary: The goal of my research is to investigate a variety of activities currently used in the making of goods to discover what elements of the processes provide users with the most intrinsic reward in order to design technology for the design and making of goods that would be very enjoyable to use.

Esi Abbam Elliot, PhD. Candidate in Business Administration
Cultural Metaphors and Enhancement of Product Pleasure
Download AD41808_Finalpresentation_abbam-elliot (PPT 1.5 MB)

Brief Summary: My research seeks to understand how cultural metaphors  embedded in products  could enhance representations of product pleasure for product innovation in Africa.

Susannah Kim, MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
Creative Reuse of Digital Trash
Download AD418research08_finals_kim (PDF 536 kB)

Brief Summary: Through this research project I would like to find threads or discussions that are of common interest to all humans in spam and how the technology of spam creation and reuse has changed in order to create work based upon the findings.

Alicia Kuri Alamillo, MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
Political Communication and Design in the Obama Presidential Campaign
Download AD418research08_finals_kurialamillo (PDF 1.5 MB)

Brief Summary: This project proposes to examine the Barack Obama presidential campaign and its unique implementation of a “branding” system to reach target voter demographics as a case study for the ability of contemporary visual communications to encompass the communication needs of a culturally diverse audience.

Missing: Zhen (Jane) Xie because need to include her video. Will upload later.


Siobhan Gregory, MFA Candidate in Industrial Design
Urban Agriculture
Download AD418research08_finals_gregory (PDF 10 MB)

Brief Summary: This project seeks to learn about the unique challenges that urban farmers and gardeners makes and how they resolve those challenges through design.

Mary Clare Butler, BFA Student in Graphic Design
Organic Food and Consumer Trust
Download AD418research08_finals_butler (PDF 2.1 MB)

Brief Summary: This project seeks to understand the relationship between organic food, the customers who buy them, and the trust they place in organic products in order to explore how design can be used to honestly connect the consumer and producer without exploitation.

Mehmet Burak Birinci, MFA Candidate in Graphic Design
The Effects of Tea Packaging in the Consuming Process
Download AD418research08_finals_birinci (PDF 1 MB)

Brief Summary: The purpose of this research is to uncover the emotional and visual bond between the tea package and the consumer as part of a larger question of how branding and packaging design affect what people buy.

Kimberlee Hartelius, MFA Candidate in Industrial Design
Stay-at-Home Parents and Their Packaging
Download ad41808_finalpres_hartelius-1 (PPT 18.9 MB)

Brief Summary: The purpose of this research is to understand the effects of packaging design on the food purchasing decisions of stay-at-home parents in order to design packaging that seeks to enhance family.


Crane Trucks

Yeah, Its really good to see you all guys work like this.

dori gislason

this is very interesting and it is nice to see how the students attempt to marry the fields and their sense of purpose. great work dori

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