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Icon workshop at Burke High School

June 24, 2013 / By Joe Sparano

My role as director of community outreach is to connect with people who aren’t designers, or students who aren’t designers yet.

Omaha’s high schools are doing a wonderful job of introducing students to design, but traditionally, these students are disconnected from the design community that Nebraska’s professionals and college students take for granted.

So, looking for an opportunity to connect with these young designers, we were inspired by The Noun Project‘s Iconathon workshops and retrofitted the format (like this one for Wikimedia) for high school students.

In four 1-hour after-school sessions at Burke High School, students chose a school issue they felt deserved attention, then they developed an icon to help communicate that message. Each student focused on a single icon, and we worked as a group to identify the version that communicated best.

Working with icons allows us to explore high-level design concepts approachably. It allows us to practice generating lots of ideas and then isolating ideal solutions. And it allows students to communicate something real through their design work.

We had a wonderful time working with this group, and we’re so proud of the icons that came out of this session. Thanks to Billy, Chris, Courtney, and Leonardo for being our guinea pigs!

If you’re a high school design teacher and would like AIGA Nebraska to host an icon workshop at your school, let us know.

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