A tradition that we have here in the PhilaU Graphic Design Communication program is to have end of semester “All-Class Reviews.” That is, we gather the students by “cohort” (all Sophomores, all Juniors, etc.) to see what they have been up to, and after being in the program just one semester students know and understand this tradition. It is a time to come together as a larger class (not just a few sections), to be with friends, peers and colleagues; and it is a great way for the overall faculty to conduct assessment of what is happening in the program. To take a pulse of the program if you will. And if this past Fall 2016 semester is any indication, the work coming out of the program at this moment is very strong!
The all-Sophomore Review featured work from the Design 3 Introduction to Typography course where the students displayed their type specimen books, typographic symposium posters and typographically-driven record albums. Overall the faculty felt that by and large the body of work was very impressive. Faculty for this course included Assistant Professor Beth Shirrell, Assistant Professor Renee Walker, and Adjunct Professor Alex Cohn.
The all-Junior Review featured two new projects from the Design 5 Introduction to Brand Identity course: the industry-sponsored Brand Identity for the PhilaU Day of Giving 2017 project and the Brand Identity for a TV station project. The TV station project featured animated logos for the first time. And again, the work was very strong across the sections. Faculty for this course included Assistant Professor Renee Walker, Adjunct Professor Rose DiSanto, and Profesor and Program Director Frank Baseman.
And the all-Senior Review from the Design 7 Systems Design Integration course featured a very Nexus-Learning project as students worked collaboratively in teams on a large-scale, real-world, industry-sponsored project. Students partnered with the Philadelphia Climate & Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP, associated with the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia). CUSP is a group of science educators, climate scientists and learning scientists in four Northeast U.S. cities (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City and Washington, D.C.) who explore innovative ways to engage city residents in climate change issues. Throughout the semester in several engagements and visits Philadelphia University students learned about CUSP and the communities it serves, and about climate change issues specific to our region.
In a very Nexus Learning way this project was clearly active and engaged learning, real-world, collaborative and greatly infused with the Liberal Arts as was clearly evidenced by the final presentations of the groups. This project was led by Assistant Professor Beth Shirrell.