Power House Productions (PHP) is an artist-run, neighborhood-based nonprofit who develops and implements creative neighborhood stabilization strategies to revitalize and inspire the community. They believe safer, sustainable and more creative neighborhoods will emerge through the long-term work of artists and designers in a community.
While living down the street from PHP, I created the hand-drawn aerial map used as the foundation for a neighborhood map, designed by Nina Bianchi of the The Work Department. The finished collaboration is meant to both guide visitors through all of the project spaces in the neighborhood and act as a collaborative planning and design tool. Current projects are noted on the finished map while the surrounding infrastructure remains for context. Users can draw on top of the existing map to vision new projects and draw connections to the existing nodes within the network.
Included here in the slideshow is my original pen-and-ink illustration as well as the final map, as designed by Nina Bianchi for PHP.
STEAM Robotics zine
As a recent Schara Resident through the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art + Design, I was able to engage with Detroit students and teachers to integrate art and design into existing curriculum. Through the generosity of the Michele Schara Artist & Designer in Residence Program, part of the Stamps’ Detroit Connections Program, I was able to propose and complete a project with an art teacher at the Detroit Community High School in the Brightmoor neighborhood.
The robotics course I collaborated with was an arts course requiring students to “build art that moves and lights up.” This structure allowed for tangible application of core STEM concepts while injecting the arts to enable and engage different types of learners. The STEAM (STEM + Arts) approach we used in designing and developing an illustrated reference on foundational physics concepts was grounded in materials and applied experience, in order to help students better grasp the connection these concepts have on the built-world.
As a consultant for UNICEF Botswana I developed, designed and illustrated training materials for government health workers. The materials summarized technical anthropometric nutrition measurements including: Oedema, MUAC, Length/Height & Weight. Participatory design approaches were employed to develop a design specifically engaging to the target audience. I worked out of the Nutrition Unit in the Botswana Ministry of Health and coordinated the project with MoH and UNICEF.
My Role: Participatory Research, Coordinated multiple stakeholders, Design & Layout
MFA Thesis: Ethiopian Childbirth Manual
Health Extension Workers are the foundation of Ethiopia’s new health decentralization program which aims to increase health coverage in the rural areas. These workers are based in areas where they are originally from; they are young and enthusiastic women and men trained in preventative care.
In summer of 2007, I lead a team of researchers in creating a visual literacy survey and needs assessment for Ethiopia’s community-based health workers in the Oromia region. We wanted to know what the role of health education and health education materials played in their daily activities. Determining what materials, images and visual aids would be most accessible to these workers and their specific context was also a significant part of our research.
The results of this research were applied directly to define the design environment for creating an illustrated childbirth resource manual. An evidence-based approach was used to determine the subject matter of this resource in addition to its size, level, language, design and layout of visual aids. Currently this 100 page manual is being translated and will hopefully be printed and distributed before the end of the year.
In addition, this research was accepted for presentation at Unite for Sight’s Global Health Conference at Yale University in April 2009.
GAA: Soil Conservation Billboard
This project was created during my time as a consultant for the Bahir Dar branch of German Agro Action, a food security NGO working in Ethiopia. This 3m x 4m billboard details soil conservation tactics, including check dams, low-impact grazing and irrigation as well as soil securing vegetation and basic nutritional information. The intended audience is the rural farming population who reside in isolated areas of the Amhara region.
My Role: Participatory Research with Target Audience, Illustration, Overseeing Translation, Design & Layout.
Other Health Material Design
Research assistant, designer. Discrete Choice in Health Utilization. Ann Arbor. 2007. Designed and illustrated Dr. Margaret Kruk’s discrete choice survey, used to interview rural women in Tanzania about their decisions to seek professionally attended childbirth. Survey also implemented in Ethiopia.
Intern, writer, designer & illustrator. Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, BoFED. 2003-2004. Illustrated and wrote participatory monitoring and evaluation manual for Bureau of Finance and Economic Development (BoFED) of Amhara Region. Distributed to 5,000 government officials. Also disseminated via AGGAR magazine as Community Comics!
Volunteer. Awassa, Ethiopia & University of Michigan. VCT. 2005-06. Developed and designed 24-page narrative comic to educate low-literate audience about benefits of HIV testing. Worked closely with Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), a governmental HIV/AIDS organization.
Interviewer, illustrator. My Voice, My Choice. State of Ohio. 2005. Interviewed mentally handicapped about satisfaction with care provider throughout the state of Ohio. Commissioned to illustrate likert survey used to make questionnaire more accessible and results more accurate for low-literate and speech impeded individuals. Survey funded by Ohio’s Developmental Disabilities Council.
Other Illustration & Design
I started out as an illustrator. I enjoy working with pen and ink and paper whenever I have the chance. Included are a few extracurricular illustration and design projects.
Captain & Designer. Hamtramck Hamsters. Detroit, MI. 2009-2012. Led the small but mighty Detroit City Futbol League’s Hamtramck team into friendly battle on a weekly basis. Designed the poster announcing the inaugural Copa Detroit, the end of season tourney. Also designed our jersey for the first year.
Illustrator. Detroit Community Grocery Store Coalition. Detroit, MI. 2009-2012. Volunteered with the Detroit Community Grocery Store Coalition, a project of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and other labor and community groups, to develop a material for sharing the benefits of worker owned community grocery store. This material was developed for use with a variety of different language speakers.
Student. Various Illustration Projects. 1999 – 2008 Examples of successful illustrations taken from both graduate and undergraduate projects.