visual advocacy

senior studio

the notion of “designing for good” has been a developing trend over the past decade, utilizing the tools and methods of creative thinkers for positive influence in communities. this course explores the range of ways we can empower others by initiating or co-authoring projects through direct engagement with the community. in the process we become socially and politically active as designers. this class will use readings on theory, history, and key players to inform its work with local community activists in identifying and proposing solutions for the real problems their communities face.

Kids 4 Diversity

Mary Lim ’16 | and Sara Garrison ’16 |  | Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor

Challenge: How can K4D change the perception of Academie Lafayette in order to promote diversity in early education? Goals for this project includes exhibiting what the school is really like by focusing on the students themselves and widening the applicant pool

Solution: K4D includes a video series covering frequently asked questions and misconceptions, answered by the students themselves from AL. Each video covers one topic, taking the student’s raw and authentic answers and visualizing their responses with illustrations and collage.

Seedling KC

Ashton Shechter ’16 | and Derek Lopez ’16 | | Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor

About: Seedling is an app that helps urban farmers and administrators of community gardens connect and manage their organizations easily.

Challenge: The challenge was to find a way to repurpose vacant land as a place to cultivate fresh food as well as maintain a continuous interaction and encourage long-lasting excitement and participation.

Solution: Seedling gives you live updates on crops, a calendar to keep track of events, and most importantly a way to connect to other like-minded people in your community. It gives users live updates on specific crops so that each member can be an active member

Black Overflow

Michael Batiste ’16 |, Patrick Stone ’16 | , Myles Thompson ’16 |, and Sam Yates ’16 | | Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor

A project by Michael Batiste, Myles Thompson, Patrick Stone, and Sam Yates in conjunction with the startup Black Overflow. Black Overflow is an organization that wants to bring minorities into the coding field. Our goal was to show the underrepresented youth that coding and design are fields that can an option for a successful career.

Challenge: Encourage the underrepresented 7th-8th graders to seek profession in computer sciences and graphic design by making personal connections and inspiring through commendable actions.

Solution:The solution involved branding the Black Overflow startup to give them a substantial voice and name, present to children at Genesis Promise Academy and create awareness of coding and design fields, and create a hypothetical game that would educate youth about coding.

Kessler Park and Cliff Drive branding

Larry Fulcher ’16 | and Chris Meier ’16 | | Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor

About: This project was created by Chris Meier and Larry Fulcher to give a more respected and historic tone to Kessler Park and Cliff Drive, while attracting people from outside the surrounding neighborhood.

Challenge: The challenge was to attract people to Cliff Drive and Kessler Park and to change the public perception of both locations.

Solution: Our solution was to create a unified brand and signage system for both that would give the park a historical and respected tone.

Redefining Manheim Park

Anna De Sando ’14 |, Kim Huyhn ’14 |, Jesse Selz ’14 |, Collin Mooney ’14

Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor

Challenge: Plagued with poor circumstances Manheim Park had developed bad connotations in the minds of Kansas City Citizens. Our goal was to change the poor opinions by instigating, inspiring, and providing positive change by creating a unified brand system. A visual system that positively effects inward and outward views of Manheim.

Solution: Our solution was to create a new logo and set of brand standards to be used when representing the neighborhood. It also included ways to keep that visualization throughout the neighborhood such as proposing they paint poles the primary color of their branding as well as sign toppers with their new brand mark.

Swap Shop

Allyson Peck ’14 |, Ian O’Saben ’14 |, Edwing Mendez ’14 |

Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor

Challenge: Propose a safe and beautiful solution for Manheim Park which could attract outside business to the area and also promote a sense of community while being sustainable.

Solution: By proposing crate-based shops that would be mobile and also secure, Swap Shop solves the community’s needs by creating an experimental space in which commerce and community can be brought back to Manheim Park.

Pup Art + Cats, too

Bri Dallas ’15 | with Brittany Hand ’15 | | Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor

Challenge: 70,000 puppies and kittens are born each day in the US, which means that if every puppy and kitten received their first round of shots it would cost about $1,050,000 each day to vaccinate these animals… and unfortunately the majority of these litters end up in animal shelters, like The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City who are left with paying these costs. Pup Art + Cats Too is a collection of art prints that help fund shelter vaccination costs. The prints also educate and provide a call to action of Vaccinate. Prevent. Go Fetch. A live action video helps to provide a light hearted way to spread the word about this serious subject.

The goal is to educate millennials between the ages of 18 and 30, but really any one who enjoys pets and a good laugh, about pet vaccinations while simultaneously getting them to donate to a shelter’s veterinary practices.

Solution: We have created a collection of art prints that all proceeds would help fund a shelter's vaccination costs. The prints education and advertise to vaccinate, prevent diseases, and long live the game of fetch. The quirky video helps spread the word about Pup Art on the web.


Morgan Stockton ’15 | and Monica Roesner ’15 | | Kelly Ludwig, professor

Challenge: There is a huge lack of knowledge surrounding the ownership and care of exotic birds. This leads to problems such as abandonment, misinformed choices, and mistreatment of pets.

Solution: The best way to prevent the problems of abandonment, misinformed choices, and mistreatment is preemptive education. That way potential bird owners are prepared with the knowledge required to care for a bird before actually adopting. The package was given to the rescue shelter we collaborated with. It includes the Feathered Friends book, cards, budget, shopping list, thank you cards, and a drive complete with all files.

The Man Class

Nick Howland ’15 |, Jodi Brewer ’15 | | Kelly Ludwig, assistant professor

Challenge: Founded by Rodney Knott, The Man Class aims to instruct males on what it is to be men in the hope that it can better them as individuals, which in turn will better the community around them. It aims to tackle the problem at the root: within the family.

One of the major problems facing The Man Class is an overall lack of public awareness as well as a lack of funding. Another problem was taking founder Rodney Knott’s deep-rooted, complex ideas and beliefs and visualizing them in a digestible and attractive way.

Solution: To combat these issues, we created a new brand for the movement. A brand that includes a new logo, business cards, a website, and other collateral materials. Our goal when creating this system was to give such a strong movement an accurate voice, represented visually. One that can raise awareness, but also inspire.


Samantha Mac ’13 | | Marty Lane, assistant professor