Saturday, October 3

you should watch this

Jumpman Jumpman Jumpman /// Drake Future
Posted by Complex on Friday, October 2, 2015

mx: find + share

There's a great video in this article, I tried to embed it but it wouldn't work. So check out the link above! 

ds: logo exploration & refinement

Responding to the last critique, I wanted to fix up my logo so that it wouldn't look like an "M". So instead of using the sharp diagonal lines, I switched them to little curves, still linking the circles together. I also got feedback that it was more legible with color, so I added the color back in and explored ways to play off this curved shape. I think the half color, half black and white logo at the bottom is working the best in terms of legibility. 

Thursday, October 1

va: reading responses

Americans (George Marsh, Henry Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold,+ more) were among the first to write about and understand man's capacity to wreak lasting destruction on the environment. I found it interesting that Americans were forward thinkers on the importance of sustainability yet our country today still does very little for environmentalism. I found Marsh's words to be especially intriguing: 

"When I submit these thoughts to a printing press, I am helping cut down the woods.
When I pour cream in my coffee, I am helping to drain a marsh for cows to graze,
and to exterminate the birds of Brazil. When I go binding or hunting in my Ford, I am
devastating an oil field, and re-electing an imperialist to get me rubber. Nay more: when 
I father more than two children I am creating an insatiable need for more printing presses, 
more cows, more coffee, more oil, to supply which more birds, more trees, and more 
flowers will either be killed, or... evicted from their several environments."

Sustainability wasn't even a thing when our industrial system was built. It's interesting because it seems like the people who are really concerned and actually care about sustainability are local or smaller scale businesses, but as Gray points out it is most effective to focus on large multinational companies. To make a real impact on ecosystems, their leverage is necessary. Not only do large retailers have leverage from their brand name being known by a mass amount of people but also their relation to ecosystem services. I was surprised to read that McDonald's was becoming more sustainable. Even it is in Sweden and they are always way ahead of us, but still I never took the company as one to be a leader in change that will help preserve nature. Many of the stores are powered by renewable energy and even using organic dairy products and food without GMOs. Even if just all the McDonald's around the world followed Sweden's lead, it could make a huge impact because they are literally everywhere. 

Wednesday, September 30

va: the big idea

Mary and I met today and have finally figured out a direction. After some backtracking on our problem statement (check previous blog post), we decided to focus on the children instead of adults. We realized a couple of important things the other day:
  1. Expanding Academie Lafayette may not be the best direction to go in because it’s a controversial topic that has strong pros and strong cons. We became acutely aware of this when we contacted a person who was a part of one of the groups against the partnership. Unaware of the controversy, we asked to meet after explaining our problem statement of expanding Academie Lafayette, but was met with surprising rejection.
  2. The reason for the backlash with the partnership (which would be crucial in the expansion of Academie Lafayette) was neglecting the current students at Southwest High School. The groups that were against the partnership said that the city should focus on the students themselves as a priority.
Informed by these realizations, we stayed with our revised problem statement (How can we promote the integration of Kansas City through raising awareness and improving the perception of Academie Lafayette?) but redirected our solution from AL expansion to focusing on students.

See some inspiration below:

Based on Darron Story’s group, Parents Promoting Diversity, Mary and I are going to create a sister-group called Kids For Diversity. This will be a campaign that Mary and I will try to advocate for. We are not sure how much we are going to collaborate with the original group, but we know that we want to empower children, instill hope in KC education, and capture the kids voice.

Right now, we know that gathering interviews of kids at AL and KCPS is crucial to our project. How we will publicize/put these out there are still not decided.

Things we need to do:

  • Connect with kids, but HOW?
    • we have contacted supervisors at AL on how to get to the students
    • we hope to first have an arts and craft activity with kids so that they can start to be comfortable with us, we also want to use the kids’ artwork as imagery so this would be beneficial in that way as well.
    • Mary has some connections with a family and teacher that go to AL
    • Like in the videos we’ve shared, we want to use the kids’ voice & their perspective to promote the school in a positive,refreshing, and impactful way.
    • Voice= recording, writing, video
    • For image we have decided that their own creations and artwork could be impactful, rather than using their photograph like we had thought of before.
    • Image= video, print, etc.

We have already contacted some of the faculty at Academie Lafayette. Next steps involve reaching out to some faculty/students at other KCPSchools. We also need to flesh out a lot of details, such us what activities we will do with the kids, discussion topics (to provoke “diversity promoting” quotes), and platforms for sharing.
Generally, we think a video combining VOICE + IMAGE (as discussed above) could make an impactful video
as a main component. But also using these things in social media and print materials, possible broadcasting.  

va: ideas for AL

After talking with Kelly, we did some research and found out a couple of things. First, expanding AL to a high school may not be the direction we want to go in. Mary and I researched a bit more into the topic, and found out that this is actually a very controversial problem to take on. Using the failed merging of Southwest High School and AL as a case study, we saw how complex the issue can get. There was actually strong backlash to the partnership, specifically because of how the students at Southwest High School would be negatively effected. In order to avoid this controversy, Mary and I refined our problem statement once more:

Problem: Academie Lafayette's minority to majority ratio has flipped over the years.
integrating education in kansas city will benefit the city economically and also socially. the divide along troost, the increasing population of minorities, etc. will all be positively impacted by desegregation. low-income students can tap into the academic benefits of their high-achieving peers and high-quality teachers --> thereby improving childhood care, health, housing, economic security, and learning opportunities.

Things making it worse: 
-limited space availability (only 150 students), with around 500 applicants, 250 get turned down
-sibling priority - perpetuates the existing demographic ratio
-these days are paying less attention to promoting diversity overall
-only accepts children before first grade, not after (because it's a full-French immersion school)
-as a charter school, it necessitates high parent involvement for a student to succeed
within these issues above, you can tell that its the problem of the chicken or the egg: are students only succeeding at AL because they are already set up for success? their parents must be involved and proactive in order to get their kid into AL, and high parent involvement usually means a better home environment. this outputs higher achieving students. 

Things making it better:
-Parents Promoting Diveristy
-Academie Lafayette Expansion
-news coverage
-? Needs more research

Possible Solutions:
  • form a sister group to Parents Promoting Diversity called Kids for Diversity
    • this would mainly focus on the students of AL rather than their parents
    • it would encourage dialogue between not just parents, but their children
  • a platform which exposes the issues, and makes them transparent that provides both sides
    • while researching, articles were very vague about why the partnership failed and what exactly is happening with AL and KCPS
    • a clear messaging system that makes AL transparent would be helpful for the community on both sides
  • a campaign focused on integration
    • an initiation mainly focused on raising awareness about the benefits of integration and the current state of KC's education system
    • would use AL as a starting point/a model (but also point out what's wrong with AL)
  • creating an outreach program to inform minority parents with kids under 5 years old
    • we would sit down with parents and go over the application process
    • make it easy for them to apply, and remind them of deadlines
    • provide them some sort of guide that tells them what they should do
    • if they are not able to enroll their kid(s) then we will provide alternate options for education
  • getting kids from AL to talk to other public schools to tell their own stories
    • the kids themselves are the advocates, rather than adults
    • empowering kids
    • ex. Kid President on youtube

mx: final logo + brand

the following are icons for the main sections of 
our web / app & how the logo will correspond 
with those sections: 

Tuesday, September 29

ds: initial application

mx: touch points

mx: logo + brand

After exploring totally different names and concepts, we ended up going back to our original "place holder" logo + adding more thought behind it. The name is now "KC plex." ( -plex being a suffix that is a combining form meaning "having parts or units" of the number specified by the initial element ). So this refers to the many parts that make KC whole and that idea of combining them. The logo with the heart is our main logo, but we envision it being an interchangeable and functional element of the brand. So for example, being replaced by a bbq grill, jazz saxophone, or a beer mug. 

style one: icons

style two: photos

Sunday, September 27

va: brainstorming ideas

Mary & I reached out to Darron and Michael again for follow-up meetings.  We also want to try and connect with more people at Académie Lafayette such as teachers and students. After looking over our last "big ideas" we realized that we weren't really excited about any of the ones we had come up with yet. So, we made a mind map to come up with a few more ideas. 

1. Social Media 
-highlight kid of the week, collecting their story + photograph
-because they don't have an Instagram account, we could run this for them & be involved in their events and activities. Events we can't make, photos taken could be emailed to us. 
-because the majority of people viewing this would be within AL, we could compile these photos and stories into a magazine and have them placed around town (east of Troost), improving the perception of the school in that area.   

2. Spatial PSA
-small scale scavenger hunt
-such as exploring a library. We would place clues and create
an adventure for kids to do with their parents, while learning more
about AL. (promoting the school in an active / different way)

3. Pen Pals / Post Card
- pen pal: connecting students from KC public schools to AL 
students from AL could even write in French & then translate, teaching 
students from KC public schools some French words 
-"post secret": anonymous sharing 
kids could design their own post card and share their stories without
having to share their name or demographic  

mx: possible names | branding iterations

816 Bound
Stay KC 
Shape 816 
Frame 816
Makeup 816 | KC

ds: packaging | brand direction

pattern color studies: