Design as a Change Agent, Oct. 14

Communicating simply and effectively has never been more important or harder to achieve as the amount of human knowledge doubles every 13 months. As a result, the role of visual communication has never been more vital.
“Designers are being asked to do more than amplify an organization’s message,” says Mark DeYoung, a graphic arts instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Center for New Media. “They’re tasked with solving problems. Designers today must be more accurate, and their solutions are typically much more involved than in the past.”

DeYoung will explore the changing world of design — and design as a driver of change —at InterCom’s 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series on Oct.. 14 at 11:30 a.m. He’ll introduce the concept of service design and discuss the service-learning course he has developed for KVCC, called Design Crew.

The Design Crew course is a merit-based learning opportunity for students to work on real-world design challenges for area nonprofit organizations. It teaches an iterative and collaborative, discussion-based approach that challenges students to identify solutions that are independent of a particular media. Among the students’ first projects was a comprehensive identity system with an emphasis on promotion for the Kalamazoo Valley Blues Festival that included posters, flyers, tickets, t-shirts, buttons and a website.

Design as a Change Agent 2“When we start by trying to solve a communication challenge — with all media available but restricted to none — we are open to an unlimited potential of solutions,” DeYoung explains. “Students are challenged to talk through their ideas with key stakeholders — always with an eye toward the ultimate goal of what is being communicated and with whom.”

DeYoung brings his global experience to the classroom and will share examples of his — and his students’ — service design projects with InterCom members and guests at the Oct. 14 event.