The Puppet Show: Collaboration and Community Engagement in Design Foundations
What do rapping Vikings, fluffy sea monsters, and two chatty mermaids from Jersey have to do with design foundations? They are a few of the unlikely characters to unlock the concept of community engagement for freshmen at Columbus College of Art and Design. Working in teams, these students created a multi-act puppet show for patients and families at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Each team consisted of a production/budget manager, playwright, marketing and communications representative, actors, and character/set designers. The students selected their roles, allowing them to play to their strengths. A comprehensive six-week production schedule kept teams on task, and frequent in-progress critiques helped the overall class produce a cohesive performance. (On their course evaluations, many students cited “teamwork” as the most important lesson from the class.) Other learning objectives for this assignment included utilizing 2-D, 3-D and 4-D design skills developed throughout the year, managing all aspects of their production, documenting the process, and tailoring their engagement to a unique audience. Instead of creating artwork for themselves, their peers, or their instructor, these students had to consider the needs and interests of a very different “viewer.” The results were so positive that Nationwide asked us to return again this year!
I'm looking forward to seeing Durham and meeting all the conference attendees!