LETS BUILD TOGETHER, BEYOND PAPER & PIXELS By Northumbria University
Let’s Build Together: Beyond Paper and PixelsDesigning a campaign and launch event to recruit volunteers and raiseawareness for The Cyrenians, a charity dealing with homelessness in the NEmore on: http://www.thecyrenians.orgHEI: Northumbria UniversityBA (Hons) Graphic DesignMain Partners: The CyreniansPlace: Newcastle, Tyne and WearKeywords: Social change, community building, intervention
The context:In 2008 the The Cyrenians received the Queens Award forVolunteers, a prestigious award in recognition of work done bygroups of individuals who give their time freely for the benefit ofothers. In spite of this, the Charity still finds it difficult to attract newvolunteers to help in its many services. There are scarce skills thatare required across the organisation and a need to attractvolunteers who can be relied upon to do what they commit todoing. The aim of this Project is to promote volunteering assomething that is worthwhile and rewarding to do, and to raise theCyrenians profile as a good organisation to volunteer for.
Click on the icon below to insert one ormore images showing the project…(of people, objects and places)Add text below to summarise the startingconcept and strategy, how did theproject develop? what were some of thekey outputs and outcomes?The Project Response:A campaign entitled ‘Let’s Build Together’ which encouragedthe general public to give some of their time and skills tovolunteer within the organisation.
The Project Response:The campaign also included a launch event which used the ethosof ‘Let’s Build Together’ to break the unofficial world record for theworld’s largest Cardboard Castle. This would gain lots of publicityand demonstrate what can be achieved when people do worktogether. Cardboard was chosen to reinforce the stereotypes of‘rough sleeping’ and a ‘castle’ was chosen to reinforce themessage that however ‘grand’ a cardboard house, it will never bea substitute for a home.
Actor Profile:2ndYear Graphic Design students, Northumbria University. Allstudents worked in groups (numbered between 3 and 5)Motivations for involvement (agendas):Project is run as part of the ‘Design in a Social Context’ modulerun in the 2ndyear of the BA (Hons) Graphic Design degreeContribution to the project (assets):Production of a strategy and campaign to recruit volunteersThe project outcomes for these actors:Awareness of how their ‘design thinking’ can contribute within asocial context. Working with dynamic charity, changingstereotypical views. Increased awareness of issues aroundhomelessness and developing a live campaign.
Actor Profile:The Cyrenians, based in the North east of EnglandMotivations for involvement (agendas):Increased profile for organisation. Increased numbers ofvolunteers for the organisation.Contribution to the project (assets):Participation in teaching process. Providing access to variousprojects around Newcastle, allowing primary research to takeplace. Provision of dedicated team to coordinate the campaignand launch.The project outcomes for these actors:Significant publicity. Increased numbers of volunteers signing up.
Process usedDuring teaching I used a process method which could be termed‘A Learning pyramid’. This process describes the steps used by thestudents and also gives a visual representation of the time spent oneach stage.
Methods used:The students carried out primary research in visits to projects andworked closely with The Cyrenian’s Volunteer coordinator. Extensivesecondary research, competitor research, market-place analysis wascarried out. Concept development and refinement carried out alongwith detailed time and resource planning. Implementation wascomplex and demanded significant commitment.
Design role:Collaborative exploration of the ‘volunteering landscape’ included‘barriers and incentives’ analysis. The ‘Design Intervention’ whichlaunched the campaign was a visual articulation of the central themeand took Graphic Design into a new area beyond ‘Paper and Pixels’.
Key outputs of the project:Live campaign used on posters, website, literature etc. Launch eventin central Newcastle. Unofficial world-record broken for largestcardboard castle ever built.ImpactThe campaign and launch event generated 89 volunteeringapplications and the amount of volunteers, and volunteer hours, hasjumped up by approx 1,300 hours since the same time last year.Volunteering profile has grown and continues to grow.In monetary terms, The Cyrenians have done a cost analysis of theeffect of the launch campaign and calculated that the project had anequivalent impact to spending £13,850 on Advertising and £41,550on Public Relations. Total added value of £55,400.
Learning outcomes:StudentsWorked within teams on a live project. Used Design skills to solveproblems within the social sector for the first time. Experienced thepower of design to move beyond conventional executions to createsignificant impact.PartnerGained experience of the design process and how it could be used inproblem solving.
Successes and Shortcomings/ Barriers and EnablersKey successes included the learning taking place for students andthe huge publicity benefits for The Cyrenians.Key shortcomings included the limited budget to use the campaignas widely as was originally intended.A key barrier was the necessity for the project development to takeplace during the student summer holidays. This was overcome byThe Cyrenians appointing a key coordinator who organised much ofthe logistical side of the campaign and launch. He pulled together ateam and held meetings throughout the summer to discuss plans.Key enablers were the attitude, energy and enthusiasm of TheCyrenians and the students involved.