Institute of Design spotlights five postgraduate design projects
Dezeen School Shows: an educational programme designed for incarcerated women and an informative pop-up placed at various locations in Chicago that tackle issues of racism are included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at the Institute of Design (ID).
Also included is a series of visualisations that aims to make information on mental health more accessible and a project that connects remote workers to reduce feelings of loneliness.
Institute of Design
Institution: Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)
School: Institute of Design (ID)
Course: Master of Design
"The Master of Design course at the Institute of Design comprises four semesters, with one additional semester for the foundation programme.
"Students are required to work 54 credit hours, with an additional 15 credit hours for the foundation programme, to complete the full-time MDes in-residence programme.
"Institute of Design graduates have a greater than 90 per cent placement rate and report high job satisfaction."
More information about courses provided by the Institute of Design can be found on Dezeen Courses.
Anti-Racist Pop-Ups by Mithila Kedambadi, Azra Sungu, Monica Villazon San Martin and Julian Walker
"Located on the South Side of Chicago in the historic community of Bronzeville, students and faculty of the Institute of Design (ID) experience the consequences of the city's hypersegregation on a daily basis.
"The Covid-19 pandemic further surfaced and amplified the systemic racism already endemic in our communities. As such, ID faculty member Chris Rudd, along with four ID students, facilitated three anti-racist pop-ups to bring new design methods to Chicago communities.
"The team sought to intervene and disrupt the racist outcomes further amplified by the pandemic through design and creative placemaking.
"Set up in neighbourhoods across the city, Anti-Racist Pop-Ups were a set of activities that enabled participants to identify racism, imagine equitable futures and co-design anti-racist infrastructures where they can be protagonists of change."
Student: Mithila Kedambadi, Azra Sungu, Monica Villazon San Martin and Julian Walker
Course: Master of Design Program
Tutors: Chris Rudd and Daniel Chichester
Redesigning Contextually Appropriate Education Materials for Incarcerated Women by Jocelyn Jia, Priyanka Lalwani, Haiping Liao, Anand Nagapurkar, Victoria Marie Williamson and Callie Zhou
"This project was a partnership with Institute of Design (ID) adjunct faculty, Kelly Costello, who co-founded Women Initiating New Directions (WIND) with Tracy Lawson McKeithen and Lisa D'Angelo.
"WIND supports current and recently incarcerated women with educational programmes at Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) and Grace House, a residential re-entry programme that reimagines education for incarcerated women.
"Initially, this project aimed to redesign educational materials to better meet the needs of remote learning. But as the team of four students – Jocelyn Jia, Haiping Liao, Anand Nagapurkar and Callie Zhou – assessed these contexts, they realised they needed to look beyond materials and look at the entire learning experience to serve this population better.
"The project was further developed by Anand Nagapurkar and ID fellows Priyanka Lalwani and Victoria Marie Williamson.
"Institute of Design's solutions have enabled WIND to relaunch classes and deepen learning as the programme continues adapting to the ongoing pandemic.
"Beyond the pandemic, WIND hopes that ID's work can help bring the programme to other parts of Illinois and potentially other states."
Students: Jocelyn Jia, Priyanka Lalwani, Haiping Liao, Anand Nagapurkar, Victoria Marie Williamson and Callie Zhou
Course: Communication Design
Tutor: Tomoko Ichikawa
Microgrid as a Civic Infrastructure by Gauri Bhatt, Zeya Chen, Samar Elhouar, Mithila Kedambadi, Mrinali Gokani Rajesh, Monica Villazon San Martin, Catherine Wieczorek, Alpha Wong, Kelvin Yu, Zack Schwartz, Veronica Paz Soldan and Siwei Sun
"As consumers, we rarely think about electricity – until it isn't there. We plug a cord into an outlet and expect it to produce power.
"But the system delivering energy to our phones, appliances and lights is built on 150-year-old technology that's being pushed to its limits. And when the system gets overloaded, the results can be devastating."
"What role does design play in greening our electricity system? How can it address contemporary challenges at the intersection of social, environmental and economic systems?"
"Students at the Institute of Design responded to these questions using design to envision a more sustainable energy infrastructure during Carlos Teixeira's 14-week Sustainable Solutions Workshop.
"The Illinois Tech Mies campus provides a useful model for such thinking. To tackle global issues, Institute of Design students started thinking locally.
"They built on the existing work of their friendly neighbourhood microgrid, which powers buildings, eliminates costly outages, minimises power disturbances, moderates an ever-growing demand and curbs greenhouse gas emissions."
Students: Gauri Bhatt, Zeya Chen, Samar Elhouar, Mithila Kedambadi, Mrinali Gokani Rajesh, Monica Villazon San Martin, Catherine Wieczorek, Alpha Wong, Kelvin Yu, Zack Schwartz, Veronica Paz Soldan and Siwei Sun
Course: Sustainable Solutions Workshop
Tutors: Azra Sungu and Carlos Teixeira
You Need to See It to Understand It by Ujjwal Anand, Aamena Ansari, Gauri Bhatt, Urvi Bidasaria, Sami Cohanim, Elizabeth Engele, Ruohua Huang, Parker Joyner, Sue Kim, Sun Park, Sara Park, Arijit Patra, Kavya Rai, Kelvin Yu and Minyi Zhang
"In 2020, one in five adults in the United States experienced a mental health issue, yet less than half of those individuals will seek mental healthcare services.
"That means tens of millions of individuals in the US continue to struggle without professional intervention.
"SocialWorks is a Chicago nonprofit serving and empowering underrepresented Chicago youth. Among SocialWorks' five initiatives is "My State of Mind," which aims to connect Chicagoans with mental health services.
"In fall 2021, SocialWorks partnered with the Institute of Design to create data visualisations for its data on mental healthcare services in Chicago. Led by Clinical Professor Tomoko Ichikawa, the group of students went much further than the initial proposal.
"The end result is a suite of visualisations called "You Have to See It to Understand It," which makes information about mental health more accessible to the layperson."
Students: Ujjwal Anand, Aamena Ansari, Gauri Bhatt, Urvi Bidasaria, Sami Cohanim, Elizabeth Engele, Ruohua Huang, Parker Joyner, Sue Kim, Sun Park, Sara Park, Arijit Patra, Kavya Rai, Kelvin Yu and Minyi Zhang
Course: Visual Communication Workshop
Tutor: Tomoko Ichikawa
Orion by Aamena Ansari, Zeya Chen, Jesse Gao and Kelvin Yu
"In 2021, the Institute of Design's partner, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, conducted an ethnographic study collecting data from over 1,000 households in 15 countries. They wanted to understand how people worldwide were coping with Covid-19.
"Through a summer 2021 MasterChallenge, the Harvard Chan School challenged Institute of Design (ID) students to analyse this data, consider their insights, and explore and prototype ways to make a less toxic world.
"ID students focused on the struggle to balance work and life during the pandemic and the effects that lockdown had on communities. What they found wasn't entirely surprising. Individuals felt isolated, businesses suffered, and government distrust was fomented.
"The opportunity was real and urgent as work was already fitting into people's lives in new ways. So the team reimagined community life and found other, more beneficial way17s work could be a part of it.
"The project Orion, named after the brightest constellation, responds to the lack of meaningful connection people experienced due to quarantine.
"Constellations are star systems and visions that result from connecting multiple stars. Orion aims to enhance work-life balance and bring a new outlook to hybrid living, supporting workers suffering from alienation, isolation, or loneliness, which itself has been considered an epidemic.
"Through Orion, community members access adaptable and inspiring places to work within their own communities and become partners in a larger system."
Student: Aamena Ansari, Zeya Chen, Jesse Gao and Kelvin Yu
Course: Master of Design
This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and the Institute of Design. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.