Publication Date


Document Type



Proposal Abstract:

If awarded this fellowship, I will devote my time to employ graphic design toward creating positive social change for youth living in the underprivileged neighborhoods of Providence, Rhode Island. The change my project will embody addresses a paradigm shift taking place in the graphic design community as the focus moves from design as a practice that fuels a market to the awareness that graphic design is a social practice and that it can be vehicle for powerful and sustainable social change. This effort will inform my teaching, resulting in a model for art and design education addressing social change, establish BSU in the region as a change agent for defining civically engaged design. This project embraces a culture of heightened social awareness and practical application of visual means to address real world problems.

I will work within a regionally established network of after-school arts programs organized under a body called the Providence Youth Arts Collaborative (PYAC). This network of organizations is regarded as one of the top programs in the United States for their efforts in offering quality after-school arts education to urban youth. I have been active as a graphic designer in this network since 2003. My project would entail working with a team of youth from this network to investigate how graphic design can act as a tool of intervention directing youth away from negative life choices toward positive ones, such as the numerous after-school programs offered through the PYAC. I will investigate how graphic design can intervene at points in life where youth are confronted with important choices through mapping various social systems in the Providence community (education, social/peer groups, cultural, recreational, etc.) and identifying opportunities for intervention and persuasion. The results will yield a method and approach to graphic design as a civically engaged practice encapsulated in a process book or video and a visual outreach campaign that accomplishes the above mentioned interventions.