September 25, 2020
Students at ArtCenter College of Design are rallying to be the change they want to see. A one-week SoLA DesignJam will match student teams with local nonprofit organizations and government agencies to discover innovative solutions to design challenges and present them to a panel of judges on Saturday, October 3 during the TEDx Crenshaw event.
During the course of the week beginning September 26 through October 3, South Los Angeles (SoLA) High School students and ArtCenter students will develop projects to address the design briefs submitted by the L.A. Mayor's Office of Economic Development, Homeboy Industries, The Ezrach Brain Trust Association and others.
The event is the brainchild of ArtCenter Interaction Design students, Susie Moon and Dillon Chi, who proposed the DesignJam concept to Designmatters, the College’s social innovation and humanitarian department. Moon and Chi, mentored by Interaction Design Associate Professor Julian Scaff, are passionate about the goal to generate more representation of people of color in the design-thinking world across all disciplines. SoLA DesignJam is intended to address the cyclical nature of representation and serve as a bridge into the design world.
“I’m overjoyed and proud to see student leaders organize an event engaging underrepresented communities around design,” said Kimberly Velazco, program manager, Designmatters. “Our plan is to continue these kinds of hands on events over the long term to see these design challenges through to completion as well as continue to inspire youth about art and design educational and career pathways.”
SoLA DesignJam is one of several initiatives at ArtCenter to connect to diverse communities through design. Examples include: the College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department is presenting a series of STEM-themed workshops about sneaker and skateboard design for middle and high school kids to expose them to careers in art and design, and a 14-week Community Studio Project is collaborating as a design consultancy with Sole Folks, a nonprofit retail store and incubator in the heart of Leimert Park.
Student teams will create prototypes to address Design Briefs including:
The SoLA DesignJam industry speakers, mentors and judges include:
About Designmatters: Founded in 2001, Designmatters is a groundbreaking, college-wide program that serves all academic disciplines at ArtCenter College of Design. The department sets a global standard for art and design education in social innovation. Designmatters advances art and design as a force for innovation and social change through research, advocacy and action. Designmatters collaborates with nonprofit organizations, industry, and national and international development agencies on immersive, outcome-oriented research and projects. ArtCenter students, alumni and faculty participate in cross-disciplinary design studios, workshops, independent studies, fellowships and internships that yield high impact results which are widely disseminated. In recognition of Designmatters’ leadership, Art Center was the first design school to receive Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status at the United Nations.
About ArtCenter: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status in recognition of its commitment to social impact design through Designmatters. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.
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ArtCenter College of Design