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As a student on a college campus in the middle of a “not-so-safe”
neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, I understood what it felt like to be
walking home from the studio at 1 a.m. in the pitch-dark, not knowing if
someone was going to jump out at me or not. It also didn’t help that
information regarding crime awareness and prevention was hard to find, and what
was available was so cluttered and hard to read that students just ignored
That meant that a lot of students were falling victim to crime
simply because they were unaware of their personal risk, didn’t have the information
they needed or didn’t know how to defend themselves when the situation arose.
Security guards continually patrol most areas, but they just can’t be
everywhere at once. Campuses were lacking a key way to help prevent crime: by
empowering and enlightening the students, allowing them to become their own
security force. There was a definite need for change.
In order to try and solve the problem, I wanted to create a
system that would get students to pay closer attention to risk, be more informed
of security statistics and forge stronger connections with each other and campus security guards so they could be fully prepared if they fell into a
To start, I developed a way to “tag” the environment where
actual crimes had taken place. I did this through painted anchors, like street
art, which can be supplemented with a crime-tag poster that describes
what transpired and when. (See the image above.) These tags remind anyone
walking by to stay watchful and, I hope, encourage students to pay more
attention to the possibility of risk and to be more inclined to participate in
In a way, the tags work as a physical extension of the Anchor
iPhone app, which I designed to address issues quickly and efficiently as
they happen. It features a live map to track guards on duty, report crimes
and see up-to-the-minute crime listings, all posted by fellow students. I also
created a website component for the campaign, which gives students a sense of
community and connection to help prevent crime as a team.
The final element is a wallet-sized booklet, which includes tips
and advice to help students stay safe by arming them with vital
information—all in a format that fits handily inside their wallet or
This project was developed and prototyped for a program
called Design Ignites Change,
which supports students and the social change projects they develop with awards
and mentoring. Anchor received an honorable mention from the program in 2009.
Laura Berglund is a a senior designer at Design Army in Washington, DC, and graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute. She has been featured in publications such as HOW Magazine and Communication Arts, among other various online media.
Looking for additional ways to design for good? This list of organizations and programs is a great place to start. There are many more opportunities out there—so if you know of a resource we should add here let us know!
Design for Good
Learn more about why Design for Good matters, the ways in which AIGA will support you and how the program encapsulates more than just pro bono work.
Section: Why Design -
AIGA Insight, Design for Good, social responsibility
The online network that Cloudred built for Cities of Service—a bipartisan coalition of mayors working to engage citizens in public service—allows cities to broadcast their most urgent needs in a quick and easy format.
Section: Why Design -
Design for Good, web design, social responsibility
Taking the torch passed on by Debbie Millman and all AIGA presidents before him, Doug Powell shares his vision for leading our organization up to its centennial in 2014.
Section: About AIGA -
AIGA Insight, Design for Good, pro bono, social responsibility, governance, design educators, students
COMMON Hoops empowers young kids in Hale County, Alabama, to take leadership roles and give back to the community through design and basketball.
Section: Why Design -
Design for Good, social responsibility, students
In this Q&A, Fred Cisneros offers an inside look at how he’s successfully run his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the past 20 years—and what he’ll do adapt to the future.
Section: Inspiration -
interview, business plans, human resources, collaboration, new business development, studio management, business
Design Indaba 2015: Day Two
Posted by Rachael Steven
3 days ago from
Break Bread Identity