As part of my Year of Making, my goal was to step away from the computer and focus on hand-made art. However, when the opportunity to volunteer in a graphic design project focusing on sustainable food options came through my inbox, I had to make an exception.
AIGA's Design for Good initiative was approached by The Common Table (a group of volunteer architects with a mission for helping their community) to help create a visual storytelling display at the Minnesota State Fair. The story was about sustainability, educating people on smart food and lifestyle choices.
At the beginning of the project each designer was paired with a local business or organization. Through a series of emails and in-person meetings, each designer crafted their story and created a 45"x45" color panel design. Each panel had a unique message, but all of them educated the viewer on ways to change their habits to become more sustainable and improve the environment.
I was paired with Homestead Gardens of Welch. This business is lead by a retired landscape architect who has a passion for permaculture and living off the land. Permaculture is designing for the harmonious integration of landscape and people to sustainably provide food, energy and shelter in a way that mimics nature. I learned about how he educates and helps people transform spaces of all sizes and types of land to grow food.
After understanding more about Homestead Gardens of Welch, I had to focus on what information I wanted to communicate in my project in order to educate Minnesotans on practical ways they could implement these ideas on their own.
Because State Fair visitors will be coming from all different types of homes: apartments, condos, urban, suburban or country, my design concept was based on the idea that you can use permaculture techniques in any size space. My design included action statements for each of these types of spaces, showing photographic examples and explaining the benefits.
It was really exciting to see everything come together, and I met some passionate and lovely people who share my same values through the process.
If you go to the Minnesota State Fair this year, make sure to check out The Common Table display in the Agriculture Horticulture building. The Common Table did an amazing job of organizing and executing the display. It is a beautiful space to walk through with some great messages to take in between your cheese curds and the butter sculptures.