Visual strategies for co-design with a community partner

  • Aaron Fry Parsons School of Design, The New School
  • Carol Overby Parsons School of Design, The New School
  • Jennifer Wilson Eugene Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, The New School
Keywords: co-design, narrative visualization, generative design, community partner, visual communication

Abstract

Deficient financial literacy is an important international problem, and research suggests the potential effectiveness of narrative visualizations. This paper presents a case study: a collaboration between a class of design students and a community-based financial-counseling organization to develop financial-literacy comic strips for use with the organization’s low-income clients. We describe and examine the communication challenges between a community partner and an academic institution, detailing the several communication modes employed.  These modes include questionnaire and surveys of the counsellors; emails directly between students and counsellors; and most successfully, a hands-on visualization workshop with counsellors. The visualizations engaged counsellors with generated (based) design practices, which resulted in superior communication with design students.  Lessons from this experience may be broadly useful for any collaborative efforts among academic institutions, design students and community partners. 

Author Biographies

Aaron Fry, Parsons School of Design, The New School

The Visualizing Finance Lab (VFL) explores the ways in which complex financial situations and dynamics can be explained through visual, metaphorical and narrative representations. The lab’s initial goal is to develop a vocabulary for describing illustrations and other visualizations of the recent financial crisis, and creating a searchable online database. These tools will assist designers and creative professionals to contribute more confidently to the discourses of business and economics, and establish a common language for artists, editors, and educators in building financial literacy and understanding.


Aaron Fry , Associate Professor, School of Design Strategies, Parsons School of Design

 

Carol Overby, Parsons School of Design, The New School

The Visualizing Finance Lab (VFL) explores the ways in which complex financial situations and dynamics can be explained through visual, metaphorical and narrative representations. The lab’s initial goal is to develop a vocabulary for describing illustrations and other visualizations of the recent financial crisis, and creating a searchable online database. These tools will assist designers and creative professionals to contribute more confidently to the discourses of business and economics, and establish a common language for artists, editors, and educators in building financial literacy and understanding.


Carol Overby, Assistant Professor of Design and Management, Parsons School of Design

 


Jennifer Wilson, Eugene Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, The New School

The Visualizing Finance Lab (VFL) explores the ways in which complex financial situations and dynamics can be explained through visual, metaphorical and narrative representations. The lab’s initial goal is to develop a vocabulary for describing illustrations and other visualizations of the recent financial crisis, and creating a searchable online database. These tools will assist designers and creative professionals to contribute more confidently to the discourses of business and economics, and establish a common language for artists, editors, and educators in building financial literacy and understanding.

Jennifer Wilson, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Eugene Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

Published
2017-09-13
How to Cite
Fry, A., Overby, C., & Wilson, J. (2017). Visual strategies for co-design with a community partner. FormAkademisk - Research Journal of Design and Design Education, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.7577/formakademisk.1727