Design for Social Impact with Grace Hill Settlement House

  • Exterior signage for Grace Hill Water Tower Hub. Zoe Becker, Sarah Mitrano, Amanda Rockwell, Aiden Zucker.
    Exterior signage for Grace Hill Water Tower Hub. Zoe Becker, Sarah Mitrano, Amanda Rockwell, Aiden Zucker.
  • Alternative configuration for enrollment materials, Head Start center. Zoe Becker, Sarah Mitrano, Amanda Rockwell, Aiden Zucker.
    Alternative configuration for enrollment materials, Head Start center. Zoe Becker, Sarah Mitrano, Amanda Rockwell, Aiden Zucker.
  • Alternative configuration for enrollment materials, Head Start center. Zoe Becker, Sarah Mitrano, Amanda Rockwell, Aiden Zucker.
    Alternative configuration for enrollment materials, Head Start center. Zoe Becker, Sarah Mitrano, Amanda Rockwell, Aiden Zucker.
  • Framing questions for Water Tower Hub proposal. Abhi Alwar, Duyen (Chanel) Luu Hai, Kate Makepeace, Andrew Pandji.
    Framing questions for Water Tower Hub proposal. Abhi Alwar, Duyen (Chanel) Luu Hai, Kate Makepeace, Andrew Pandji.
  • Head Start graphics for Water Tower Hub. Abhi Alwar, Duyen (Chanel) Luu Hai, Kate Makepeace, Andrew Pandji.
    Head Start graphics for Water Tower Hub. Abhi Alwar, Duyen (Chanel) Luu Hai, Kate Makepeace, Andrew Pandji.
  • Head Start graphics for Water Tower Hub. Abhi Alwar, Duyen (Chanel) Luu Hai, Kate Makepeace, Andrew Pandji.
    Head Start graphics for Water Tower Hub. Abhi Alwar, Duyen (Chanel) Luu Hai, Kate Makepeace, Andrew Pandji.

In this fall 2015 Special Topics in Communication Design course, taught by assistant professor Penina Acayo, students worked in collaborative teams to tackle complex, socially conscious design challenges. Through two projects, students learned to solve problems from a human-centered view, as they developed an understanding of human-centered design research methods, problem identification techniques, and collaborative working methods.

Acayo began by asking the student teams what they would like to see change within their community. Teams identified a problem, and through an iterative approach and user research, identified a clear opportunity area. As students learned more about the problems and opportunities facing their users, they further refined their questions and produced a solution that addressed the needs they had identified. Final proposals included a Civic Expo that would connect Sam Fox School undergraduate students with classes and programs that engage with St. Louis, and a St. Louis Night Market that would connect students with neighborhoods they might not otherwise explore.

Following this preliminary project, the teams worked with Grace Hill Settlement House, a nonprofit organization that provides early childhood services, an entrepreneurial training center, and place-based community support hubs. Grace Hill staff had identified an opportunity to improve communication of services to their end-users: families in their communities. The teams immersed themselves in Grace Hill’s two place-based community support hubs: Water Tower Hub and Patch Hub. Following conversations with staff and guests, coupled with their firshand experiences and observations at the hubs, teams developed and proposed solutions that included window decals, flags, and tear-away, one-page flyers. Taking into consideration the budget available for a nonprofit with limited resources, students also completed pricing analysis and proposed scales of projects depending on available funding.

The final deliverables for the Grace Hill staff included process books and files that can be used to implement the proposals at the Water Tower and Patch Hubs.

The following students participated in this course: Abhi Alwar, Zoe Becker, Erica Canup, Becca Christman, Paul Cronan, Allison Dulman, Annie Gugliotta, Christine Lee, Alan Liu, Duyen (Chanel) Luu Hai, Kate Makepeace, Casey Merber, Sarah Mitrano, Andrew Pandji, Jacqueline Pifer, Cynthia Rhee, Amanda Rockwell, and Aiden Zucker.

Media

Brand Alamanc Blog Post by student Sarah Mitrano

Partners

Grace Hill Settlement House