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Light switch covers

Light switch covers reactions

Last week the Visual Communication class interviewed residents at Global Village for the second time, but this time with a different purpose. Students were looking for undergraduate students’ reactions to the light switch cover created for the sustainability project.

Many giggles were heard that evening. While some really seemed to like it, others found it quite polemical. One student said, “It might be a little bit too controversial for some people but I would use it.” This same student compared the poster (also created by the graduate class) to the light switch cover by saying, “It basically gives me the same energy consumption and sexual message as the light switch.”

Another student said she would definitely use the switch cover because it was funny and it was a good reminder because it would be seen everyday. Others said that they were more likely to turn off their lights because of the cover. One student said every time he saw the cover he would say, “That poor guy, let me help him out.”
Following the interviews, graduate students agreed the light switch covers were the most controversial of all the designs for this project.

Greentopia Ecofest

Greentopia Ecofest

Going green. It’s a simple idea but a big process. Many students are trying to join the movement by recycling, using less plastic or paper, conserving energy, and most importantly spreading the word about why sustainability is so important.
On September 10th to the 16th, Greentopia Fest was celebrated in Rochester, NY.  This ecofestival was a great opportunity for the Visual Communication graduate students (many from the Communication Media and Technology program) to visit and enjoy a wide variety of green vendors, visit a farmers market and enjoy organic food among other green things! It was also a great venue for RIT to participate in the movement to share and gain ideas about going green.

When festival-goers stopped at the RIT tent, they were greeted by a table of Visual Communication graduate students. The purpose of this stand was to exhibit designed signage strategized by the graduate students and created by RIT student Ryan Rich for a grant funded project dedicated to sustainability on RIT’s Campus. Students had postcards, posters, laptop stickers, light switch stickers and magnets on display. Most of these contained two main messages: “Unplug” and “Lights Off.” A poster also mentioned “everyone knows it’s better in the dark.”

The goal for these Visual Communication students was to gauge reactions from the Greentopia attendees about the newly designed. The results of this research will help to define the visual campaign for the sustainability project at RIT. The first stage of the project is to determine if visual messages will have any impact on students’ energy saving practices when living in dormitories. The visual messages urge students to save more energy by switching off their lights and unplugging their chargers when they’re not using them.

The surveys conducted at Greentopia determined that festival goers found the “Lights Off” message an easier task than “unplugging” but that many of them already turn off their lights so maybe unplugging would have a bigger impact if students bought into that message. When it came to their visual preferences and preferences of medium, viewers said they liked the idea of stickers that would glow in the dark and magnets.

The sustainability project is quickly moving forward and the graduate students hope to get more students involved in creating awareness about sustaining energy at RIT. The class is starting to get some attention on campus as University News caught wind of the campaign and published a story about Greentopia and the Visual Comminications efforts, read here.