Creating awareness, quality design to promote crucial social causes




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The “Yes, Here” posters appeared on RTS buses around the community.

RIT’s School of Design is providing creative expertise to organizations to raise visibility and encourage calls to action for important causes.

The Vignelli Center for Design Studies and RIT graphic design students and professors—led by R. Roger Remington, Anne Ghory-Goodman and Bruce Meader—developed a visual identity for the Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking (RRCAHT) that extended into a campaign designed to raise awareness about human trafficking in the region.

Human trafficking is a global, multifaceted, human-rights abuse. According to Ghory-Goodman, an award-winning graphic designer and educator who joined the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences as a visiting scholar three years ago, trafficking crimes in the Rochester area include recruitment, enslavement and sale of children and adults for sexual purposes. Forced labor practices also are found, including along with migrant populations in the area, she noted.

“Human trafficking has quickly emerged as one of the 21st century’s most tragic and complex human rights violations, and people are surprised that it’s happening here in Rochester and the surrounding communities,” Ghory-Goodman said.

To bring attention to the issue, Meader, a graphic design professor, and Ghory-Goodman collaborated with students to develop “Yes, Here” posters. The visual language was a catalyst for design solutions in a campaign displayed on area Regional Transit Service buses. Ghory-Goodman said that there are plans to collaborate with RRCAHT during the upcoming academic year.

Also, 20 RIT interior design students—under the direction of Mary Golden, assistant professor and program chair—provided interior finish packages for a proposed neonatal intensive care unit addition and conceptual designs for a mobile education unit and preemie examination table to Little Angels of Honduras (LAH). The organization’s mission is to reduce maternal-infant mortality in the Central American country. Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa and Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula are the only two public hospitals in Honduras with specialized neonatal units, according to Golden.

“The high mortality rate for infants is largely due to lack of space to accommodate the number of births and a shortage of medical equipment for adequate care,” said Golden. “Compounding the problem is a lack of ambulance transportation for critical cases from rural locales to the NICUs.”

Golden, adjunct faculty Shannon Buchholtz and the students provided interior specification packages for a planned 4,200-square-foot addition to Hospital Escuela’s NICU. The group continues to work to see the $500,000 project funded and constructed, she said. Golden’s students proposed universally designed examination tables to accommodate the special needs of preemie babies while ergonomically supporting clinicians. Students also created designs for a mobile education unit on the chassis of a four-wheel drive expedition vehicle to navigate the country’s rugged terrain for an outreach program in rural communities.

Remington and Meader also designed branding for LAH and Hospital Escuela’s program for a mother-child incubation practice that helps preemie babies.