DeKalb Market Hall: Deconstructing aura embedded in the typographic communication of global cultures.
Typographic Design 3 (COMD2427)
Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity
Deconstructing aura embedded in the typographic communication of global cultures provides a platform to discuss messaging in communication.
This low-stakes activity introduces students to multiple diverse cultures through a place-based learning assignment. It integrates Intercultural Knowledge and Competency with High-Impact Educational Practice of Diversity/Global Learning through the deconstruction of graphics incorporated in the cultural representations.
Students visit the DeKalb Market Hall, to explore typography as a narrative tool. The food hall, once the birthplace of the Brooklyn Hip Hop scene, now showcases 40 vendors who reflect the current cultural and ethnic diversity of the Brooklyn. The activity begins in the classroom before our visit through a discussion of cultural representation by commercial venues. At the market, students select one vendor that represents a culture that they are familiar with and one they are not. They photograph and gather material for research and presentation. For homework, students post, via OpenLab, photos of the culture they are familiar with and a brief interpretation.
In a week-long assignment, students interpret the tropes used to convey specific cultures. They present to the class the visual devises and conventions that reveal the graphic narrative that the audience/consumer readily recognizes and understands. Through verbal reflection, students familiar with the cultures presented give context, while students unfamiliar add alternative interpretation.
Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?
This project is designed to enhance the appreciation of a diverse mix of influences—and interpretations. By engaging in, and reflecting on content in a local environment, students reinforce and internalize insights gained. Through the process of reflecting on the everyday environment, the awareness of lifelong learning is established.
The goal of the assignment is to provide an understanding of the communication of aura, the fluctuating nature of cultural authenticity, and how they are visually communicated. Through place-based learning, students experience typography as a way to confer meaning and establish context.
To increase engagement, students explore “cultural” signifiers in their intended setting. Food, a topic enjoyed by most, is used to entice curiosity. The sharing culture via personal experience lends an aura of authenticity to low-stakes class discussion.
Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?
The activity is given on the fourth-fifth week of the semester to prepare students for an assignment that requires design from a specific point-of-view. Students analyze and blog for homework. An in-class presentation and discussion takes place the following week. This is a two-week, assignment, approximately four hours of homework and two hours of class time.
Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?
In this low-stakes assignment, students are given a clear explanation of objectives and expectations. To introduce the assignment, students receive handouts that explain the assignment and introduce questions. The assignment is posted on the class website.
Students record images with a camera/phone and post images and reflections to the class blog. In-class presentations and discussions begin with a review of terminology and a series of prompts. Throughout the discussion, prompts are reintroduced if needed to spur discussion.
In-class presentations include a handout explaining the presentation and discussion and a handout with terminology.
During class, terminology is written on the board, and prompts are reintroduced to spur discussion
Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?
Key markers: Attendance and participation
Points are assigned for:
• The reflection blog
• Presentation of photos and marketing material gathered from the location
• Presentation of typographic research.
To access how students meaningfully engage with others we use the Intercultural Knowledge and Competence rubric.
Other value rubric assessment include: Inquiry and Analysis, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Civic Knowledge and Engagement—Local and Global, Intercultural Knowledge and Competence, Foundations and Skills for Lifelong Learning, and Integrative Learning.
Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?
I have not yet employed this activity in the classroom.
Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.
Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab