Full Bleed — Underrepresented Design History Shared as Zines and Podcasts
|Institution:||George Fox University|
|Level:||Junior, Senior, Sophomore, Undergraduate|
|Category:||Editorial, Graphic Design, Visual Communication|
|Filed Under:||Culture, Design History, Design Research, Distance Learning, Diversity, Education, Four-year Program, Inclusive Design, Online Learning, Printed Matter, Storytelling, Writing|
The \"Traditional Cannon\" of Design History is full of significant gaps. Consider: How many women were a part of its storytelling? What objects were considered and left out? How well-represented is the whole of the world’s population? For this project, you will produce original research into an undeserved or under-considered person, movement, or design object. Your research will culminate in the production of a story that will be shared either as a podcast recording for consideration for inclusion as a segment on the Full Bleed podcast or a zine that will be added to the growing zine library.
Full Project Sheet with steps is available here.
Through this project, students will:
- Analyze works of design and illustration based on their formal properties and decode their implied cultural values.
- show the ability to write and speak about design, culture, and design history with clarity and logic, and be able to form and support critical judgements of design.
- demonstrate the ability to do research in art and design history and theory, and the competence and knowledge to analyze and think critically as they consider multiple points of view.
- display expanding knowledge of historical achievements and contemporary thinking, trends, processes, and issues in art and design.
- Construct an annotated bibliography to support their work and hone their research.
- Produce an original piece of design storytelling in either a printed or audio format.
Annotated bibliography with at least 6 authoritative sources.
Full script and/or content delivered in a word processing program.
Cited and sourced supporting material (cited images, audio, video)
A final zine in PDF form or podcast audio recording.
A significant part of this project is helping students find authoritative sources on their chosen subject matter as well ass helping them determine what authoritative means given their chosen subjects.
These videos were also constructed to help them develop their stories and construct deliverables (this was a rather last minute thing as we had to rapidly switch to online work on account of COVID-19):
The results were incredible. I held my expectations rather low on account of our rapid change to online learning right at the start of the project, but the students ended up by and large doing incredible work on a wide range of subjects. Stories ranged from investigations into the History of Infographics, WEB DuBois, Graphics of the Nicaraguan Revolution, the Fetishization of Innocence in Advertising, Design\'s Influence on Cultural Thinking about AIDS, The Design of the Olympic Rings, A History of Scanning Systems, and a Visual Analysis of Black Representation in Music Videos.
Many of these recordings are going to be released as part of the Full Bleed Podcast this year.
Each week, students posted to a forum and had a format provided to comment and give feedback to one another. They were highly engaged in this work and most offered incredibly insightful comments.
Student engagement was high and evaluation notes continuously pointed out the value of the work and how it showed them that research was critical to understanding. They also were able to exercise criticality by realizing the shortcomings of a monocultural narrative as many of them found their original research into the uncovered subjects they chose was easier to connect to their contemporary practices.
Moving forward, I think it would be good to encourage collaborative development and more robust research as the students proved capable of parsing far more than six resources in their time and the most successful projects tended to pull in closer to eight sources.