Creative For A Cause


by Randy J. Hunt

Student surveys are always tricky. Ultimately, everyone wants to help a student project along, but very often they’re longer or more cumbersome than most market research surveys and rarely offer an incentive for participation. Just as often, they come and go, with little evidence or news of their effectiveness or the application of the survey results. Thankfully, that’s not always the case.

A couple of months ago I was asked to respond to a survey about social responsibility in design and design education. Today, I saw the results of that survey.

Creative For A Cause is the thesis project of Syracuse University senior Heidi Cies. “A Resource for Visual Communication Educators” she calls it. Having identified a lack of standards or common ground on which design educators are incorporating social responsibility into curricula, Heidi set out to build a collection of online and offline resources, case studies, role models (thanks for including Citizen Scholar!) and more, targeted and promoted directly to educators.

Beyond creating a well-edited, nicely-structured site that tactfully asks for additional resources in the clever add-it-like-a-comment arrangement of submission forms, Heidi’s site has the potential to act as a common cross-discipline and cross-institution source of information for educators.

With enough traffic or interest, perhaps Heidi will pursue growing of her site into a network that will allow educators to exchange and update this information more freely. Maybe other existing networks will look to embrace and integrate her research. I look forward to seeing how it progresses.