I began writing the intro for my article on Lacey's Hope Project/ design activism. My hope is to compose an introduction that directly ties back to the deck we created as a group in class. 'This series by MIAD’s emerging creatives focuses on professional art and design in the Milwaukee area and explores their apparent and hidden influence in the community.' I began by stating great things about Milwaukee, all of which conceal some serious issues that are becoming increasingly prominent - Sex Trafficking. I think by setting it up this way, It gives me the opportunity to end the article on a happy note. Bringing the good things about Milwaukee back to the forefront and how Lacey's Hope Project and design activism are a part of the good things that come out of our city. The intro at this time is very rough, but sets the scene.
For my article, I want to look further into the design and purpose behind Lacey's Hope Project which was integrated by BVK, an advertising Agency located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I believe this is a prime example of successful design activism to come out of my city. Not to mention, this campaign had won Best in Show at the 2019 Milwaukee 99 show.
The propose of the campaign is to raise awareness regarding human trafficking here in Wisconsin. On the homepage of the website, it explains the problem clearly by saying "Sex trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered to be victims of sex trafficking, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion. The terms trafficking and exploitation are often used together when explaining this horrific injustice."
Because out intro sentence addresses hidden and apparent influences of art and design within Milwaukee, I thought this topic was perfect - Especially because the issue itself is hidden yet apparent. In the next few days, I plan to reach out to a few of the designers who worked on the project with the questions in the next blog post.
Today in class, Todd McDowell shared his journey as an illustrator and designer after life at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. I always enjoyed hearing passionate people talk about how they fell into different areas of work, especially when it does not pertain to what they had intended to do. I was also very interested in hearing about his process when it comes to creating an article from start to finish. The research is intensive and passion about the topic shows through the writing. This is what I want to emulate with my writing. By addressing issues and coming at them from an angle of urgency may propel readers into action.
Milwaukee based Graphic Designer Whitney Anderson founder of Wit And Co: http://witand.co/
•Very clean layout of site
•Large thumbnail images
•Personal shop is a part of her site - Does not link to external site
•About page describes her areas she specializes in
•Uses very friendly and laidback tone when she writes about herself
•Has a page about events where she will speak, show work, etc.
Like I said in my previous post, I am interested in researching design activism, specifically how it manifests in a smaller city like Milwaukee. Personally, I think the best way to go about researching is to first narrow in on what exactly design activism can be defined as.
I came across this short article written by Product Designer, Lisa Dzera titled What is Design Activism? Dzera explains that design activism is about using your talents and skills as a designer to impact the world in a positive way. It's about creating graphics that inspire, educate, and provide a platform for voices that may not be heard. She also references a book titled The Design Activist's Handbook by Noah Scalin and Michelle Taute. I think it could be a great recourse to have for my research throughout this class as well as well into my career. She ends the article by stating "You don’t have to be the CEO of a nonprofit to make a difference. Anyone can make a difference using the skills and talents they have combined with motivation and passion. For designers, that means using your skills in design to improve the lives of others." This of course is a broad definition of what it means to be a design activist, but it makes it easy for anyone to understand.
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“Design has the power to give a voice to people and causes without access to multimillion-dollar advertising budgets and to offer people alternative visions of how the world might be.” -The Design Activist’s Handbook
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Second, I wanted to research into a few examples of design activism, both in Milwaukee and elsewhere. Beginning with elsewhere, I came across IDEO, an awesome design company that strives to create a positive impact through design. Looking through their site, there are plenty of examples that speak to their mission. One that specifically stuck out to me was about empowering women to prevent HIV and how experience design can reduce stigma and boost prevention among young women in South Africa. Their solution was to create "V", a brand and service that women want. The design team prototyped two designs, one that looked clean and more clinical like a wellness product, and another that was more bight, colorful, and fun. Women gravitated toward the bright and colorful prototype as it resembled a cosmetic rather than a medication. "By creating a brand image that was fun, full of energy, and empowering, the product became largely invisible to men, but desirable to women." Check out the article here.
I will add more to this post when I find an example that pertains to Milwaukee.
My name is Mallory Kubenik. I am currently within my fourth and final year at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design where I am pursuing my BFA in Communication Design. I have a passion for design and the ways in which it can tell a story. I am inspired by fashion, movies, beauty, music, nature and people.
Currently, my relationship with writing is not what I would like it to be. Sometimes it feels like a chore solely because I find it difficult to articulate my thoughts. I often find myself writing in more of a "stream of consciousness" way rather than in a structured manner. As a designer, I know that having strong writing skills will put me ahead. I am use to conveying my ideas through visual work rather than in written words but why can't it be both? Personally, I hope this class helps me to structure my writing and to find techniques that make it feel less like a chore and more so as a way to clearly communicate my message.
For this class, I want to focus on the design scene here in Milwaukee. More specifically, what artists and designers are doing to bring awareness to issues that effect our city. For my senior thesis, I want to bring awareness to literacy rates in Milwaukee and how it is a social determinant for health care. I have already learned that there are over 60,000 adults in Milwaukee who cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third-grade level. I am hoping I can use this class to lead some of my primary research and to call attention to design activism in Milwaukee.
I am a student interested in all things creative and the ways in which design can tell a story. I grew up in Milwaukee and truly believe the city is influential within the future of design.