sept 20 class by tyler galloway

in class
climate strike action.
things ended up being very short for the noon event, obviously. hopefully you made good use of your time for VA purposes. don’t forget the 5pm mass event at mill creek park [horse fountain by the plaza]. if you are able to attend that, it will hopefully be of more inspiration and use.

i trust you read “an age of protest, protest for the age” , which should’ve given you some historical precedents for protest, as well as a greater understanding of the aims and workings of contemporary protest.

new work for next class
for wed, sept 25, make mucho progress on understanding and detailing as much as you can in the following areas:

  • refined question with sub-questions that break down your main question into smaller phases/chunks/projects

  • audience

  • content to cover

  • media possibilities

  • context possibilities

it needn’t be fancy – just recorded somewhere for discussion and your commitment to a direction. the format is open and this will not be presented. it may, however, be a good idea to add this detail to your original problem statement presentation

your first prototypes are also required. these can be “rapid” but should be understandable enough to your audience that they can comment on them and provide feedback. these can be systems diagrams, cardboard models, preliminary printed designs, etc, but should be as visual and “thing-like” as possible. the goal here is to create a rough approximation of the real thing so users can test and provide useful input. the next step beyond this will be to test your prototypes with audience members.

sept 10 class by tyler galloway

in class
presentations of research summary & problem / question statements

natalie phillips, the communication coordinator for the MEC [metropolitan energy center], will be present to hear and discuss your initial ideas.

each student will have a max of 8 minutes total – 4 to present and 4 for feedback. 
don't forget to email me a pdf before noon on wednesday sept 10. filename "lastname_firstname-problemStatement.pdf"

i will email these documents to the team at the metropolitan energy center as a way to keep them abreast of your projects and start the process of making community connections and other possible referrals.

new work for next class
read this week's readings for friday, located in "readings for sept 13 discussion"

projects: begin conducting primary and secondary research in any form you can until you get connected with other groups or individuals in the community that might assist you in co-designing your project. make good use of your time understanding the problem at its core and, related, the issue behind the issue – what factors are driving the thing you are looking at? you can discover this by repeatedly asking a simple “why?”. look at the intricate nature of your problem’s connections to other problems. look at it in the macro and micro. take a step outward and consider the context[s] in which your problem is sitting.

all students have full freedom to contact people related to your problems on your own and are encouraged to do so. as stated above, this can be folks within MEC, a related non-profit, or audience members that are affected by the issue you are examining.

– bernard caniffe by tyler galloway

“the most effective way to engage with community projects is to embed yourself, and the most effective way to change behavior is to listen to everyone’s needs and aspirations. it is in the listening that the solution will reveal itself to the designer.”

sept 6 class by tyler galloway

in class
quick review of the first spread of "how to define problems" from graphic design thinking: beyond brainstorming by ellen lupton and jennifer cole phillips

discuss readings – 1 hour.

field trip responses and thoughts.

review brief for deliverable 1.

brief share-out of thoughts for your problem / question statement.

how does one frame a design exploration properly?

new work for next class
prep for problem / question statement, due next class.

sunrise movement by tyler galloway

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 2.03.24 PM.png

this movement / organization was mentioned briefly by the metro energy center folks. read the details on their site but basically they’re a youth movement to stop climate change.

there is a climate strike on sept 20, which happens to be a class day. let’s talk about how this might be relevant to this class and your learning as a designer dealing with this issue vis a vis energy use.

sept 4 class by tyler galloway

in class
field trip!
walk to “project living proof” at 917 East Cleaver Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64110
we will be meeting with kelly, david, and natalie.

new work for next class
read your excerpt from “drawdown: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming” edited by paul hawken. leave your reading neatly stacked on the community table so others can browse as a means of additional content research.

be ready to share a couple minutes’ worth of summary from what you read and how it relates to our client and context.

also read "propaganda and protest graphics" from graphic agitation by liz mcquiston. it’s 14 pages and has lots and lots of pretty pictures!

start assembling ideas for your problem / question statement. see this blog post for details on the deliverable, which is due wednesday sept 11.

deliverable 1 - problem / question statement by tyler galloway

due wednesday sept 11 – research summary & problem / question statement

audience: staff of metropolitan energy center

purpose / content: demonstrate in visual and written form your interest in a specific problem space and a basic understanding of the issues faced by the organization. essentially you are framing a particular issue, in the form of a statement or a question, followed by a bit of research that justifies the need to work on this area.

  • frame as a question, like “what if X?” or “how can graphic design do X"?” [more exploratory, open-ended possibilities] OR as a problem – “client X has difficulty communicating their value to the public over social media" [more solutions-oriented, which tends to narrow the possibilities for better or worse].

  • tightly defined is better than loosely defined, but "tight" does not mean small; it means there is a clear focus. ideas that address systems-level issues can also be tightly defined.

  • it's okay to say why you're interested in your issue, but focus the writing on the problem and not on you.

  • in terms of summarizing research, use any and all info at your disposal. you basically want to show that you've already started to do your homework. it shows investment and energy for the project.

  • do not brainstorm nor propose solutions. this is a problem statement, not a solution statement.

media: horizontal or vertical 8.5x11 printable pdf file [can be exported from keynote]. something emailable that they can read on screen easily or print out to share. 

presentation: each student will have a max of 8 minutes total – 4 to present and 4 for feedback.

deliverable: email me a pdf before noon on wednesday sept 11. filename "lastname_firstname-problemStatement.pdf"

aug 30 class by tyler galloway

in class
review syllabus

discuss reading structure and possible approaches
- small group homework reading and present
- all read, all discuss, all the time
- “chain reading” in class and share-out

review project 1 brief and implications

discuss readings 1

prep for field trip – drivers licenses and such

new work for next class
read “ideo human-centered design toolkit” pp 24–52 for a wide range of information on interviewing and info gathering techniques.

look at your HCD course book and other sources for additional information on what makes for a good interview.

readings for aug 30 class by tyler galloway

metropolitan energy center’s website
focus on general “about” page, their programs, and skim through the resources section.


the following readings were recommended by natalie phillips at the metropolitan energy center and directly copied from her email to me. they are fairly short [except for the one-hour radio story] and useful for a good overview of the space in which the metropolitan energy center works.

-The backbone of our clean transportation programming is a part of a national Department of Energy initiative called Clean Cities. More info here:

-As a project example: We've worked with UPS at their Lenexa headquarters over the past few years to switch their trucks to clean fuel, as part of their broader national/international efforts. More on UPS's national efforts here:

-We've been working to promote education and awareness around clean transportation, EVs, climate change, and air quality among underserved communities via our local #FuelChange program. Here's an episode of EcoRadio on KKFI that featured the #FuelChange event - we are pushing for funding to do more like these:

-We're working to reduce the burden of folks' energy bills through building energy efficiency measures and energy education. Here's a great article on that topic:

-Here are some good tools to understand the lay of the land for our broader audience:

hello world! by tyler galloway

welcome, seniors, to visual advocacy – where we will explore the potential for design to function as a force for social good. lots of ideas will come together in this class, which we will push further to deepen your understanding  and practice of research, co-design / co-creation, audience and culture, persuasion and behavior change, designers' impact on those we serve, ethics and responsibility, sustainability, and so much more. 

it's an understatement to say i'm excited to guide you through this class and engage in readings and project work with you. so let's get started immediately!

find the syllabus here.

find the project brief here

also, i need two drivers beyond nick kee for our field trip coming up next wednesday.