Clothing, Food, Shelter: An exploration of identity, place, and change

Clothing Food Shelter is a collaborative design research project between departments at the New York City College of Technology of The City University of New York in Brooklyn and the Memphis College of Art in Memphis, Tennessee conducted in the spring semester of 2015.

Eight students, four from each institution, acted as research assistants for design researchers, Dan Wong, Associate Professor of Communication Design at CityTech, CUNY and Cat Normoyle, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at MCA, in their design research as it affects different parts of the country.

The goals of this project were to connect design researchers and students from diverse backgrounds and locations by sharing personal stories, ideas, experiences, musings, fears, and challenges within the broad context of change and place. The first phase of this project was an investigation of the similarities and differences between the living experiences of those in Brooklyn and Memphis. While both cities are large compared to the surrounding locales, there are many micro-community experiences in each. We examined a variety of topics in each location, including things like business and commerce, history and tradition, change and challenges, and beauty and ugly as it relates to each locale.

The student research assistants used their developing skills in the areas of communication and graphic design, storytelling, branding, and marketing to find the commonalities and differences between each community’s experiences and created works in response. Over the course of the semester, students produced a range of designs from t-shirts, postcards, and posters to video, supergraphics, and photography.

Student work samples:

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