Discovering and documenting design history using the People’s Graphic Design Archive


Student: Michael Rojas

Student: Fathima Zainab Samsudeen

Students: Freddie Enomoto, An Nguyen, Vianka Rivera, Michael Aldana

Student: Marly Saravia

Students: Liz Dietz, Alia Syeda, Emma Houseknecht

Level: ,
Duration: 15 weeks
Filed Under: , , , , ,
Bookmark Project

Project Brief

For 30 minutes at the end of each class, students get into groups and search for something they feel should be documented, researched, and added to The People's Graphic Design Archive. When each group is finished they present their findings and research to the class.

Learning Objectives

Through this project, students will improve their research and presentation skills. This project also prepares them for their final research papers due at the semester's end.


Students submit screenshots of their submission on the PGDA followed by a short presentation of their findings to the class.


The People's Graphic Design Archive


Students love getting together with their classmates at the end of class to find things they are interested in and want to learn more about. It's a fun assignment at the end of the class.

One of my students (Jehmel Pope) wrote their weekly response on, Preserving Syrian design history and graphics in the Arab world: Meet the Syrian Design Archive by Jyni Ong.

He connected his experience of using the PGDA with the article he just read. He said, "Overall, this article presents an interesting case for why independently run digital archives are so important. Full disclosure: until this reading, the People’s Graphic Design Archive group assignment always puzzled me on what purpose it had for my graphic design education. Reading this article helped me better understand the importance of this weekly activity as we are not only broadening our own appreciation for design, but we are also aiding in the preservation of an overlooked part of art history that would otherwise be forgotten, making this art more accessible for future generations of artists to learn from, just like Kinda and her colleagues." 

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