Public and Social Service Design

September 29, 2008

?one is to do in school what one will do in society?
– JohnDewey


Emphasis is placed on the role of the designer in the community, public awareness and social responsibility with special emphasis placed on participatory design and civic engagement through service learning.

As designers we can create change in the world by using graphic design and advertising and to present important ideas, to raise awareness, and to stimulate thought. In this class we will visually communicate issues that concern you and many others ? issues of global and local significance such as social equality, environmental concerns and child abuse. We will attempt to create breakthrough communications for clients that make a difference in the world we live.

  • Teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills will be stressed
    presentation and interpersonal skills will play an important role in team and client interaction
  • Design teams will be developed based on the strengths and weaknesses of each individual

Upon availability I will assist with the pairing of student teams and non-profit community organizations. Specific design components produced will depend solely on client need.


Service-Learning is pedagogy that links academic study with civic engagement through thoughtfully organized service that meets the needs of the community. This service is structured by and integrated into the academic curriculum, which provides opportunities for students to learn and develop through critical reflection.

  • Service-Learning courses combine substantial activity in the community with critical examination of the service experience and the application of disciplinary concepts and skills or academic theory relevant to that activity.
  • Students and faculty form community partnerships with existing organizations, groups, schools, individuals, and other community entities to act together to address various issues?identifying needs, evaluation responsive strategies, or implementing those strategies. Community problem-solving collaborations enrich the learning environment by allowing students to learn not only from faculty, but also from culturally and socially diverse group of peers and community members. Service learning courses carry the spirit of collaboration into the evaluation process by offering agencies and service recipients the opportunity to be involved in the evaluation of the participation and impact of the service.
  • Students develop a richer understanding of a discipline in a larger social context that promotes significant discussion of community responsibility and an awareness of what it means to be active citizens of a democratic society. Students also gain an understanding of how to conceptualize and realize concrete contributions within their chosen field.


No student will be asked to design for a community organization that creates a religious, political and/or moral conflict. The student must inform the instructor immediately if there is a problem and a reassignment will be issued that is similar in scope and complexity.


Upon completion of this course, a successful student will be able to:

  • consider and expand their role as an active member of the local community and gain an awareness of topical issues that exists within that community
  • better understand and work with the complexity of ?real world? problems and situations
  • work as a team member collaborating towards a mutual goal
  • work effectively with professional printers and outside vendors
  • participate effectively in meaningful critiques and formal client presentations
  • develop concepts that visually communicate content in new and unexpected while creating effective design solutions for diverse groups
  • demonstrate quality craftsmanship as it relates to technological comprehension and traditional hand skills
  • include client-based design work in their final portfolio methods of assessing expected learning outcomes

Expected learning outcomes will be assessed through:

Instructor observation, attendance, client presentation and interaction, class critiques and discussions, process notebook to include a reflection component*, community volunteer work [as applicable], client?based design project solutions and client evaluation

NOTE * what is a reflection component

The reflection component is embedded within the creative process. Students prepare notebooks that document their individual process and include numerous written reflective components. The notebooks are submitted and evaluated for grading. The narrative reflections are not graded for content but are assessed as being incomplete or complete. Group discussions and design critiques occur during most class meetings and student experiences and thoughts are discussed. In part, due to the nature of the artistic process, the ?studio? environment fosters this type of group interaction and students feel comfortable openly sharing their feelings. Often times, assignment concepts and solutions are developed as a direct result from these discussions.


Assignment grades will be evaluated in four areas:

professionalism [community service, client interaction and presentations; attendance, class critiques and both daily and final deadlines]

process [problem-seeking and problem-solving skills to include research, concept development and reflection; ability to interpret and implement design suggestions, etc.]

craftsmanship [client interaction, final client presentation boards, preparation of electronic files, organization and documentation of process notebook]

design [use of type, layout, image, color and design; concept appropriateness, target appropriateness, etc.]

Final grade for the course will be determined by the total number of points earned for each client/problem assigned (points will change based on the complexity of each problem). Number of clients/problems assigned will be determined upon availability. On average 3 clients will be selected.


No assignment will be accepted after the due date and time specified and extra credit work is not an option. If a client deadline is missed the student/team will receive a zero for that assignment. If a final client presentation is missed the student/team will receive a zero for that assignment.

School: Texas Tech University
Professor: Carla Tedeschi
  • update-img-new

    Get updates on what's new in the Campus Compact Network