Project M 2014 Interdisciplinary Collaborative Initiative for Social Change
The Project M Design Blitz at RIT
Think Wrong, Do Right, and Make it Legendary!
The RIT Project M Blitz was the first interdisciplinary collaborative event for the School of Design. The theme
of the Design Blitz was "Gowntown", to find new ways
to connect students on the suburban RIT campus with the people, places, wonders and challenges of the City of Rochester, New York.
The Design Blitz was held October 2-4, 2014 at the Rochester Brainery in Village Gate, Rochester, New York.
The RIT Design Blitz included 38 School of Design junior and senior students:
13 Graphic Design Students
1 Interior Design Student
13 Industrial Design Students
10 New Media Design Students
1 3DDD Student
The story behind Project M
Project M was founded by John Bielenberg in 2003 and was named for Samuel Mockbee of the Rural Studio at Auburn University, and the State of Maine. Project M is an international social design initiative committed to helping young designers use their skills to create positive change in the world. Project M design blitzes have been conducted all around the US and the world, each designed around a real problem and objective.
Facilitators of the RIT Design Blitz
John Bielenberg, Founder, Project M
John Bielenberg is a graphic designer, entrepreneur and advocate for a better world. He is widely recognized for innovative investigations into the practice and understanding of design and leadership in the ‘design for good” movement.
Ryan Clifford, RIT Graphic Design Alumnus, BFA 2000
Ryan received his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2009 where he serves on the faculty there and as an advisor to Project M.
The Project M philosophy of “thinking wrong to do good” is a powerful and inspirational message for the newest generation of designers as they leave RIT to make their contributions in the world.
The intense timeframe of the Design Blitz, combined with the rapid-fire thinking exercises and the challenge to “make it legendary” pushed students past the expected to creating exceptional and extraordinary solutions.
As the first interdisciplinary School of Design collaborative learning experience, Project M provided participants with the invaluable experience of learning from and with others and working together under a tight deadline to generate fresh ideas to solve real problems.
Much more information about the RIT Design Blitz
can be found on ritdesignblitz.tumblr.com
The 38 School of Design participants with facilitators after the eight team presentations.
Branding for the Project M Design Blitz was created by Mackenzie Martin.
RIT Project M Design Blitz Facilitators: Back Row: Ryan Clifford, Lorrie Frear, John Bielenberg
front row: Kelly Murdoch-Kitt and Patti Lachance
Project: DRIP DROP:
Team 2Much: Felicia Baa-Adomako, Danielle Smith, Tristan Cannan, Diane Wang, Shannon Baird
Random inspiration words: drip-drop parabola
6-word pitch: spontaneous, peer-guided; explore the map. period.
drip-drop city walk
"The assignment for the Project M Blitz was to come up with a way to connect RIT students to downtown Rochester, so we came up with a “game” called Drip Drop. Based off of the idea of a secret society, Drip Drop would have “drip drops”, clues in the forms of teardrop stickers, scattered all around campus and select locations throughout the city. A phone app would act as a guide and indicate when one is near a drip drop. Students who find drip drops would be guided by the clues on them to other drip drops which would eventually lead them to a secret event or gathering. A place for students to meet Rochestarians and vice versa. Not only would Drip Drop lead RIT students to meet Rochester folks, but while participating in a Drip Drop, they would have to explore and get to know the city of Rochester in order to find clues."
Project: BETTER BITE
Team 6cess: Carly Rumpf, Linda Deng, Brandon Motter, Neil LaVigne, Annie Wong
Random inspiration words: Mojito, Kerfuffle
6-word pitch: mobile bus food challenge: destination Rochester
Hitch a ride, students!
Eat. Absorb. Culture.
"Our project was to connect people through food and drink. We really wanted to bring people together in a fellowship kind of way, one that everyone, no matter what ethnic background you are, can share: the plate.
We came up with Better Bite. Better Bite is a website that challenges students at RIT to go out and explore rochester and immerse themselves in different cultures through their foods.
Eventually we'd like the site to include a Better Bite Bus that would take the students down to these specific restaurant for cultural events and experiences."
Team The Roman Numeral V: Joe Hodapp, Kelsey Boyd, Koby Trout, Rachel Nicholson, Devon Cherry
Random inspiration words: Kinetic Geometry
6-word pitch: mobile platform, cycling attractions, breaking boundaries
draw attention to
cool new shit on a platform
where will it be next?
Bored? BO?RD! A compelling mobile platform that activates community, BO?RD can be whatever you want it to be—a performance venue, a conversation spot—it's where the action is happening! BO?RD has its own social media feeds which follow its progress as it travels around Rochester, so you can always find and physically follow BO?RD to participate in the city's coolest current events. Better yet, anyone can borrow BO?RD and add their activity or event to its evolving story. The community is invited to become part of BO?RD's past, present, and future!
Project: FIND THE R
Team KIBLA: Leah Hall, Brenden Babiarz, Kayla Rakower, Isar Chang, Abbey Smith
Random inspiration words: anacondas, simulacrum
6-word pitch: RIT students follow the bat signal
"Our team created an immersive advertising campaign here on R.I.T's campus to spark curiosity with the R.I.T student community. We created ads that compared our campus locations to the "real deal" locations in the city. These, with the addition to covering all the Rs on R.I.T signs throughout campus with the city of Rochester logo encourages students to get off campus and see the true Rochester. Once they get downtown they will leave their mark with an R sticker and then add their story to #FindtheR. This creates a continuous story of students discovering the true Rochester. Right now you are only an "I.T." student—you have to earn the R by learning about Rochester!"
Project: BREAK THE ICE:
Team JALE Mates: Jake Casson, Ava Dan Liu, Lexi Eckert, Emily Moore
Random inspiration words: ubiquitous bombastic
6-word pitch: realizing a united community through experience
how are you feeling?
step out and get some fresh air
my mind is clear now
"The Roc Breakers set out to connect the Rochester community through experiencing a literal ice breaker. We hoped to challenge random people to answer our question "Can you break the ice?". Our results were amazing. So many people were curious and connected with us, helping to accomplish our goal of starting conversation and connecting the community."
Project: MUSIC BOX
Team Contrapposto: Lori Meyer, Liah Pérez, John Lillibridge, Pauline Dziama, Jannette Heininger
Random inspiration words: monochromatic kerfuffle
6-word pitch: shared space, free lessons, music box
together we learn
ride on the magic bus
pupils. mentors. growth
"Our project idea was to get RIT students and the community downtown to connect together. With our two words: monochromatic kerfuffle, we ended up thinking of organized chaos which led to the idea of music and dance of which both show chaos in an organized fashion. We as a team also shared our experiences at concerts and how we all felt connected to the people there with us because all of the people there no matter how diverse, were there for one reason and that was music. So we created The Music Box as a place for RIT students and Rochester community to come and play musical instruments together as well as teach others how to play different musical instruments. Overall we wanted a place of community for both RIT students and the Rochester community to share in and teach others the powerful benefits of music."
Project: BUY A BUILDING!
Team IDEA CUP5: Philip Czapla, Madison Behringer, Hailey Thorp, Kasia Kozak, Vivian/Yuhan Wei
Random inspiration words: Blasphemy Catalyst
6-word pitch: students repurpose buildings for disruptive learning
there’s lots of rebar
abundance of potential
hey, let’s go downtown
"It all started with blasphemous catalyst. And then somehow we got to seriously trying to purchase a run down building in the next 18 hours. Well, unfortunately we have no building...yet.
I don't think any one member of the team can pinpoint the moment when our concept became what it was. Who first mentioned abandoned buildings, we may never know. But I was certainly on board because of my love of old buildings.
The idea for our project is that RIT offers a class in which students from different disciplines apply the skills they have with some additional instruction to design and orchestrate the production of a space in a timeworn building within the heart of the city. The purpose of the finished building would be determined by the team who created it. Which is why we ended up lying to the masses as we staked out in front of the library waving flyers of our "newly possessed" real-estate to ask what we should make it into. We received many crazy and creative suggestions, from art gallery to arcade, but mainly the students seemed very interested in having a place in the downtown community.
We offer a blasphemous alternative to the traditional educational system where students don't just do things in theory, but they actually do them. We hope that we can be the catalyst to promote a project of this nature because I can guarantee there is enough interest on campus to fill a class of such a nature."
Project: RISE ROCHESTER
Team 'Clueless': Liz Wells, Efrosyni Kostakis, Luke Stacy, Veronica Brown
Random inspiration words: gargantuan plethora
6-word pitch: leave your mark; make the map
a plethora of students
make Rochester home
"Rise Rochester was a map for new and old RIT students to use to find their way around a new city. By placed map pins using balloons all over campus that link with a comparable place downtown. Once the student is downtown, there is a pin to help them find other events and places to do too."