Posts Tagged 'education'

design for learning

As a high school softball mom, I visit the backside of schools at least once a week each spring. And every time, I hear myself saying, “Why do they have to be so, so….so beige?” Even here in Davis, California, Home of the Overachievers, our schools are lacking in color and creativity. A few murals here and there, a mosaic trash can….but nothing to excite and inspire.

And once again, we can learn something from Paula Scher of Pentagram:

(all photos by Pentagram).

Paula used the power of design for the power of learning at Achievement First Endeavor Middle School in Brooklyn.

She started with slogans and labels the kids had already developed (and were encouraged to stick on books and lockers) and turned them into super graphics. Color, type, and real graphic design making a real difference. Seriously, how cool is that?

The original stickers.

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Girls for a change

Some of my most meaningful work has been with Reach India, an organization that works with poor women and adolescent girls in rural India, helping them develop the life skills to change their own lives and create their own future. I visited the program last year, and it was an inspiring experience that will always stay with me.

Reach India is supported by Nike Foundation, and they have a true understanding of the power and potential of girls. This video, done by Wieden + Kennedy has been around, but it’s so important to my work, that I want to share it here.

As a communications piece, the video is simple, clear, powerful and inspiring.

For more information, check out girleffect.org.

re:treat | Little Red Riding Hood

School assignment to reinterpret the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Inspired by Röyksopps Remind me. Music: Slagsmålsklubben. Sponsored by destiny http://www.smk.just.nu. Animation: Tomas Nilsson http://www.tomas-nilsson.se.

I’m betting he got the A. Brilliant.

Yes, I am a publication junkie…but in a good way.

You can never have too much type or print in your home. My idea of a fun Friday night is dinner, drinks and hanging out at  Newsbeat, our local magazine stand.  And it’s not just for the design magazines. I am an equal-opportunity magazine lover.  Words, images, ink, that’s all it takes to give me a thrill.

Of course, magazines have been in trouble for a long time, and this recession is about to put a nail in the coffin. Over 500 magazines folded in 2008, and 47 have already closed in 2009. That’s bad for information, entertainment, enlightenment, beauty and humor–not to mention designers, writers, illustrators, photographers and printers. It’s bad for my Friday nights, that’s for sure.

Even though I know that it’s the advertising dollars that count, the advertisers will count me–so I have been subscribing to as many magazines as my pocketbook can muster. ReadyMade, Utne Reader, Good, More, Real Simple, Cook’s Illustrated. Plenty more to choose from, and I just might add Mad Magazine, Rolling Stone,  Mental Floss, Bark and Dwell to round out my stash.

My new favorite magazine, and the one I really want to protect, is  GOOD Magazine.  It manages to combines good design with good content that makes us better thinkers and therefore, more thoughtful designers.  The stories are smart, but not so seriously-self-important. They do a brilliant job with information graphics, making them accessible and really interesting. Anytime someone can make information fun, I am in.

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Here’s the deal. They honor design. They even give designers pages and pages to muse on. What are they thinking?

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And the goodness doesn’t stop there.  You choose the cost of your subscription. Then, choose a nonprofit, and 100% of your subscription payment is donated.

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Publications, especially alternatives, give us texture and insight and a new point of view. It takes courage, and a ton of energy,  to keep creating and producing month after month. Show and tell when done this well, isn’t easy. As an appreciative reader, pushing Good is the least I can do.

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