The Design Student as Practitioner: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration of Poetry and Design

By Valora Renicker.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Traveling Stanzas design project was conceived and implemented during the spring of 2009 in a collaborative endeavor between two Kent State University (KSU) programs; Glyphix design studio and the Wick Poetry Center. Design and poetry were combined with the intent to distribute unique imagery and inspired writing to the local community and beyond. The mission of the project was to promote literacy and design through the display of posters in unconventional venues for public enjoyment.

As a design educator and Creative Director of Glyphix, the practicum studio course in the School of Visual Communication Design, my goal is to provide educational experiences that benefit the students in their long-term endeavors as design thinkers. As a vehicle of instruction, the second edition of the Traveling Stanzas project, called “Peace Stanzas,” allowed me to develop the objective of creating a design assignment that combines collaborative interdisciplinary and service learning components. Recently, design professionals have become consultants during the project development process, rather than simply being hired as single service providers. The ability to function well in the most enterprising design environments requires effective interaction across disciplines. Students who learn collaborative processes in a mentored educational setting acquire an enriched learning experience and are better prepared for enlightened creativity in the workplace.

As part of the mission of the Traveling Stanzas project,"Peace Stanzas" is expected to spread aesthetically appealing words and images of peace to a worldwide audience. Design components included in the project were brand identity, posters, greeting cards, two Web sites, animated greetings, and a video production. With this multi-faceted project, design students participated in transdisciplinary collaborations and investigative problem solving. These projects have enabled the studio model to move toward a broader, more creative learning experience while providing public service campaigns to the community.

Keywords: Poetry, Poems, Writing Workshops, Visual Communication, Graphic Design, Creative Problem Solving, Design Education, Design, Illustration, Community Outreach, Arts, Collaboration, Wick Poetry Center, Glyphix, Kent State University, Public Transit, Buses, Libraries, Posters, Greeting Cards, Animated Greetings, e-Greetings, Multimedia Video, Traveling Stanzas, Peace Stanzas, Peace

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp.73-86. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 632.752KB).

Prof. Valora Renicker

Assistant Professor, Creative Director of Glyphix, School of Visual Communication Design, Kent State University, Kent, USA

Valora Renicker received her MFA in Graphic Design from Kent State University and a BFA in Graphic Design and Art Education from the University of Akron. Her background includes experience in the design field and teaching art in the public schools. Valora teaches visual communication design at Kent State University where she has taught typography, formal and conceptual design development, 3D graphic design and computer software courses. She is the Creative Director of Glyphix, an award-winning student-staffed design studio, where she instructs both undergraduate and graduate level students in the real-world implementation of design practices and production. She is currently developing the student studio environment to incorporate a progressive and holistic approach to design problem-solving. Rather than adhering to a purely client-based response ethic, the evolving model of the 37-year-old Glyphix studio strives to enable students to become better design thinkers: practical application of design training is combined with client interaction, a sense of responsibility to the community and collaborations within the University and the public arena.


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