As design students, we’re always taught that people come first. We base every idea, product and project on a human element. For most of our projects as underclassmen, that human element is ourselves. During the first few years in design school, we focus not only on strengthening our skills but also defining ourselves as designers. As upperclassmen, we’re grounded in our beliefs in expertise and can create projects that have real impact outside our own studio desk. Our projects are no longer about what we believe. Campus Collective wants to know what you believe.
Two seniors in graphic design at N.C. State are taking a grassroots approach to their studio project by letting students’ voices shape their work. Anna DeBoy and Lauren Lu could have done any project they wanted. They had an open prompt and the ability to define their own guidelines and due dates. At first, the only thing they knew was they wanted it to be all about people. They decided to use the opportunity to challenge themselves and play to their strengths.
“Anna is an amazing photographer and I wanted to learn more about web design,” Lauren said. “We wanted to do something involving the N.C. State student body because this is our senior year.”
After a few brainstorming sessions, Campus Collective was born. The project promotes unity and diversity in the beliefs of the student body by creating a space for free expression.
“As designers, understanding where a person is coming from is so important,” Lauren said. “It not only informs important design decisions but can also open up new doors for design opportunities that would have never been discovered.”
Anna and Lauren let the beliefs speak for themselves with a portrait series of students holding hand-written messages. They set up a photo booth in the Brickyard Nov. 3 and Nov. 5 from 12:30-4 p.m. and took more than 120 portraits of students. Lauren said having everyone in the same place put the beliefs on equal grounds.
“We both really enjoyed the event days,” said Lauren. “It was a great experience meeting new people and seeing all sorts of different perspectives through what was written on the cards.”
Leading up to the event, Anna and Lauren created mood boards to determine the look and feel of their website and branding materials. They started building the web interface and made posters to advertise the event on campus and social media. They also gave every student at the event a laser-cut card with the Campus Collective logo and a space to write their belief.
Anna and Lauren didn’t know what to expect for weather or student turn-out on the event days. They hoped for the best and ended up beating their goal of 100 students by 20 percent.
Campus Collective has been a learning experience for Anna and Lauren. They said reaching out to the student body and putting new voices in the spotlight has made them feel more connected to the school. They plan to keep the site active after the project ends and hope to have more events in the future.
“It was really eye-opening to see people put themselves in a place of vulnerability and stand up for what they believe in,” Lauren said. “It was an inspiring experience that opened us up to a new perspective of our fellow classmates at State and we want to share that with others through our website[http://www.campuscollective.org/].”
About the Author: Chelsea Brown is a senior in graphic design with a minor in journalism at N.C. State. She has a passion for sharing stories and making connections through her designs and writing. She is a type-nerd, grid-lover and bookworm. On her days off, she enjoys running, baking brownies and blogging for Cut & Paste and Nights Like This with her roommate.
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/chelseaannebrown/
Anna DeBoy is a graduating senior at NC State majoring in Graphic Design. She has a deep passion for people, and dreams of working with design that has an impact and makes a difference. She greatly enjoys photography, traveling and Chipotle, and spends as much time with friends as possible.
Lauren Lu is a graduating senior at NC State majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Psychology. She is an aspiring User Experience Designer who also enjoys exploring videography and print design. In her free time she loves hiking, rock climbing and traveling.