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Senior Degree Project Links Design With Social Empowerment

Beck Slogeris (graphic design)

Posted 04.01.11 by mica communications

Social design is working with people instead of for them. 

Becky Slogeris, Baltimore Heavy Hitters

As the daughter of a teacher, it's not surprising that Becky Slogeris is using art to educate. In fact, the graphic design major is hoping her degree project can do more--she's hoping it can inspire Baltimore students to actively create change in their city and in their lives.

One of the biggest realizations Slogeris took from an urbanism class at MICA was that everything in Baltimore is the result of a conscious choice. By creating The Baltimore Textbook--a pocket-sized book that will be accompanied by screenprinted posters of some of the main concepts--Slogeris wants to get that message across to the city's youth, especially targeting students in grades three through five. "What I'm hoping is they are empowered by the knowledge," she said.

"You can look at what has happened in Baltimore's past and get depressed about it, or you can come away knowing why things are the way they are, and that you have the tools at your disposal to begin to change things," she said.

Becky Slogeris works with local students on screen-printed activity boards, an extension project of her Baltimore Textbook.The Auburn Hills, Michigan native hopes her design expertise will make the textbook more engaging for her audience. "You wouldn't think it would be important to pick the right typeface," she said, "but people respond better when something is nicely designed and engaging." She is also working with a third grader from Baltimore's Mount Royal Elementary to create age-appropriate material.

Slogeris has achieved much during her time at MICA, serving as a member of MICA's Student Leadership Task Force Committee and Student Voice Association, as well as working with MICA's Center for Design Practice on projects helping non-profits in Maryland. She's received a France-Merrick Fellowship, Foundation Department Recognition Award, the Graphic Design Departmental Recognition Award, a Community Service Grant, and a LeaderShape scholarship for community arts projects.

She'd like to continue applying art to community activism and is interested in pursuing MICA's new MA in Social Design degree. "I'm interested in the system and what needs to happen so it can be fixed," she said. "Social design is working with people instead of for them."


Photo captions: Becky Slogeris, Baltimore Heavy Hitters; Becky Slogeris works with local students on screen-printed activity boards, an extension project of her Baltimore Textbook.