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Rhode Island School of Design Museum Visit

May 28 2014

“A major exhibition of graphic design work featuring over 100 designs for posters, books, fonts, logos, etc. that provides a view of some of the coolest, cutting-edge work currently being created.”

As soon as I opened my email and saw that sentence in a message from Alisa, I knew that the trip to see Graphic Design: Now in Production at the RISD museum in Providence, RI was something that I could not miss. I got to Back Bay station on Saturday, May 17th at around 9:45 am and met with about fourteen other Youth Designers and alumni to begin our journey to Providence by way of commuter rail.

When we arrived to the RISD museum, the first thing I saw in the lobby was a set of images on the wall that showed the before and after versions of logos for major companies that had been recently redesigned. There was also a box of plastic coins and small boxes beneath each logo where you could vote for the before or after version of each logo by placing the coins in the respective boxes. It was really interesting to see the changes that had been made to each logo and speculate why the designers had chosen to make the changes they did. Even before we had entered the actual exhibit I already knew I was going to enjoy the experience.

 We then took a huge elevator up the third floor where the exhibit was being shown. As the elevator doors open I caught glimpses of posters strewn all around the walls and glass cases with beautifully made book covers and screenprinted illustrations. As I walked around the space one of the most captivating pieces I saw was a video being played on loop on a screen. It showed a giant chalkboard with a set of cables attached to pulleys on each corner of the board and a piece of chalk being held by the cables in the middle. The pulleys were attached to motors that moved the cables so that the chalk would draw simple contour line drawings of chairs on the board. Basically, it was an automated chalkboard drawing machine, but the way it drew looked so human and child-like that it was hypnotizing. It was a really interesting combination of digital and traditional design because it took digitally created drawings, and used an automated machine to render them onto one of the most primitive drawing surfaces of all, a chalkboard.

Of course, there was a multitude of other amazing pieces in the show, ranging from interesting brand redesigns to crowd-sourced stop-motion animation music videos. All in all, the exhibition was a really amazing experience and It was a great opportunity to see some of the most recent and cutting-edge work up close and personal. It was like going on a design blog, but instead of scrolling down a webpage, you got to actually see and interact with the work in a real life environment. I had an amazing time visiting the RISD museum, and look forward to seeing what suprises the next Youth Design trip will bring.


~ Daniel Smelansky, Youth Designer

Higginson-Lewis Middle School Career and Success Exploration Day

January 30 2014

Recently we were invited to speak to a group of students at the Higginson-Lewis Middle School in Roxbury about Youth Design and engage them in a design-related activity. The students are participants in an after-school program called "Higg-Lew" Leaders, started by Sarah Spofford and Gabby Plague, who asked Youth Design to participate in their "Career and Success Exploration" series.

Two of our recent Youth Design grads—Dahrell Rush and Khyle Parke— took part in the presentation and led the activity. After telling the students about Youth Design with Dahrell and Khyle's input, I showed the the students some of the design work Dahrell and Khyle created in their Discovery Books during their last Youth Design summer, as well as a couple of self-portrait drawings they have each done on their own. The middle schoolers were very excited by the design and artwork, especially those present who like to draw and create artwork themselves.

Dahrell introduced the activity that he had developed, which was a drawing assignment that left plenty of room for imagination and individuality. In addition to the students there were several adult volunteers and program leaders present who took part in the drawing project also. It was a great opportunity for students and adults alike to explore visual story-telling and to hear from Dahrell, Khyle, and myself what we saw in their work that was strong and how it could be made stronger to have more visual impact and/or communicate their idea more effectively. Dahrell and Khyle wrapped up the activity by putting all the work together and leading the group in reflections and participatory critique. They concluded the meeting by offering advice to students about how to approach the process of trying something new without fear, pushing through moments of frustration, and some other very useful insights—applicable to a range of situations—that they have learned through their work as artists, as art/design students, and in their Youth Design workplace experiences.

- Alisa Aronson, Youth Design Education Specialist

Hotel Commonwealth and AIB Celebrate the World Series

November 05 2013

On a recent visit to the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square this week, on October 30th just hours before the Red Sox made history with Game six, I came across these fantastic painted murals in the lobby. The hotel's General Manager, Adam Sperling, explained that he wanted to do something inspiring and fun to celebrate the Red Sox in the World Series so he reached out to AIB and this was the outcome.

Great job to the AIB students and kudos to Adam for thinking out-of-the-box, engaging young creative people with a fun idea! The credit goes to the students responsible for painting these murals: Shannon Reed, Angela Mukai, Hugh Long and Matt Fans. They all attend the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. Say hi to Mykael Tucker, a recent Youth Design graduate and Freshman in visual art at AIB!

Street Pianos Boston

October 21 2013

Thanks much to recent Youth Design grads Shirley Fang, Juan Aguirre, Khyle Parke, Dahrell Rush, Daniel Smelansky and also David Morgan for working their creative magic on this piano! Stayed tuned for info about where our piano will be displayed. We would like to thank The Celebrity Series Boston for letting us paint this piano, it was a great experience.

Youth Design Graduation 2013

August 29 2013

This past Thursday we held our 10th Youth Design Graduation. We celebrated the hard work our kids have done during the summer and also the mentors who help make this happen every year. This year we featured a gallery of the work the students created for the Youth Design Take Action competition and also the Discovery Book project. The Discovery Book chronicles each students journey through out the summer immersion program.

From the Youth Design team we want to congratulate the second year Youth Designers for completing the program and celebrate another fantastic year here at Youth Design.

Thank you

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