You may have heard of virtual volunteering but have you heard of virtual volunteering for an overseas client? An Indian professor of graphic design at the University of Wisconsin-Stout recently initiated a collaborative design project with a nonprofit in Delhi. The purpose of the project was to facilitate an exchange where students created work to draw attention to India’s environmental concerns. The project was coordinated by Ambica Prakash of Stout and Vimlendu Jha of Swechha. Jha is also part of a CNN initiative called Be the Change. According to the official university news:
Prakash and Jha decided that UW-Stout's students would design awareness posters targeting India's youth for the resources section of Swechha's website which focuses on the seven resources of water, renewable energy, trees, energy, water, wildlife and global warming.
"The project has challenged students", Prakash said. "Students are designing for an international audience and for an unfamiliar culture. They must think along the lines of cultural aesthetics to produce a design that isn’t offensive and hits home."
The student posters that can be seen here resonate with Prakash's teaching philosophy. From her interview with the university press:
"They learned how to build on a concept," Prakash said. "How to avoid stereotypes and cliché’s and how to bring new, fresh perspectives to the topic of India’s resources. They are learning cultural awareness - world awareness - through design. Students are using subtle cultural influences in their work through the use of color, typography and style of illustration."
Swechha's founder and executive director Vimlendu Jha who is one of six participants in the CNN project says he would like to "sharpen the entire campaign and shoot more work to create more impact to make sure that people who watch these videos should end up doing something needful for the environment for the society in India."
Click here to watch the complete CNN "Be the Change" video. Post your comments below.