Cards have been reshuffled at the UA Graphic Design and Advertising departments this year and more specifically for third year students.
Daisy Boujawdeh - Head of the Graphic Design department has worked on an innovative final project plan this year. It consisted of merging graduating students from both departments in order to work on one common project, pre-assigned by the department, which is also a first. Daisy Boujawdeh explains: â€œThe aim was to simulate the workflow of a real agency so that students could project themselves into their awaited careers, where they will meet individuals from different academic and professional backgroundsâ€. However, the innovation didnâ€™t stop here; the department wished to put the studentsâ€™ academic knowledge and personal skills in the service of social projects and the development of the community. Therefore, they teamed up with five Lebanese NGOs that would gladly use a hand, each from a different background, to keep the teams challenged: Association for Forest Development and Conservation AFDC, Chance Children AgaiNst CancER, Gibran National Committee, Laboratoire dâ€™Art, and Save Beirut Heritage.
What were the students asked to achieve? Create design related material and develop their communication and marketing plan, while in return, they learn about team work, social engagement and encourage links between academic space and workspace. All this begun this past semester and is still ongoing throughout the summer, as the set strategies and created designs come to life. This goes to remind students of real project situations demanding specific deadlines and thorough follow ups.
The concept wouldnâ€™t have been completed without the involvement of the UA instructors and specifically, Antoinette Bou Gebrael, instructor and communication expert at the Graphic Design department and Brahim Samaha, media and culture consultant. On the other hand, Byblos Bank was a major sponsor, allowing the students to deliver concrete and ready to execute material to the NGOs.
Boujawdeh is very pleased with the outcome of this initiative: â€œStudents have acquired the equivalent of years of professional experience through this three-month intensive projectâ€. In addition, the department learnt from the experience and various elements will be reviewed and enhanced for the upcoming semesters.
In parallel, third year students had their hands quite full this past semester since they also handled another equally challenging project, although not part of their finals: Ntebho_Online. This awareness campaign was initiated by the British Council and the Ministry of Social Affairs/Higher Council of Childhood, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, UniversitÃ© Antonine, LBCI and other stakeholders.
What initially started as an academic research conducted by the team of Dr Jenny Mchantaf from the Journalism Department, regarding online threats on children turned into a printed campaign, then into a TV Commercial and now as an online campaign, following the British Councilâ€™s cooperation with the design and advertising departments too.
The mission of Ntebho_Online is to highlight that the virtual world is as real as real life, and that threats online are threats offline, therefore strict measures must be taken to protect under aged users.
Instructors Farah Al Samman and Georges Kyrillos handled the visual developments of the concept along with five students. While Antoinette Bou Gebrael organized the online campaign strategy.
We look forward to finding out what upcoming out of the box projects are being cooked for next year students!
By Lynn Hariri