Designmatters at Art Center College of Design is where art and design education meets social change. Through research, advocacy and action, Designmatters engages, empowers and leads an ongoing exploration of art and design as a positive force in society. In summer of 2009, Designmatters held a studio class called, “Es Tiempo” which focused on designing a solution that addresses the growing rise of cervical cancer cases among certain local communities in Los Angeles—a cancer that was completely preventable and treatable. The result was a campaign called ˜Es Tiempo” or “It’s Time” with the partnership of LAC + USC Medical Center.
Roles throughout project: Adjunct faculty, art direction, and (for exhibition and documentation) graphic design, book design, photography, packaging design, and illustration
After the completion of the course, Designmatters and partners, decided to document the project in book form as a promotional piece to not only document the student’s efforts but to also use as a promotional piece for “Es Tiempo.” In addition, I was also asked to re-design the packaging and materials that were proposed in class for exhibition purposes. Having co-lead the studio course, my role was to help visually tell the story of the pressing need, the obstacles and unexpected challenges, and the student’s rise and championship of getting the message across, “It’s easy, it’s important, it’s time.”
A Pressing Need
Cervical cancer can almost always be cured, if detected and treated early. In the underserved neighborhoods of East Los Angeles, incidence of early-detection screening—the routine Pap test— is dramatically lower than elsewhere.
Given current population trends, the incidence of cervical cancer will double or triple in the coming decades in Los Angeles unless effective interventions are instituted immediately and without intervention, worldwide, close to 6 out of 10 women will continue to die from cervical cancer, a preventable and curable disease.
Students in the studio focused on the need for a visual identity system that was visually distinctive, of course, but explicitly non-medical. For this purpose, the students appropriated the jacaranda tree—the beautiful, beloved, purple-flowered tree that blooms annually in southern California.
The value of the jacaranda in this context is simple: it blooms every year, for free. As long as communications can succeed in linking the jacaranda to the Pap test, the jacaranda acts as free media, reminding to women to get tested, without relying on a database or a doctor to do the work of communication.
Art Center College of Design’s Es Tiempo project team: Phillip An (illustration major), Mark Brinn (graphic design major), Chris Lack (graphic design major), Tracy Hung (graphic design major), Haelee Kang (graphic design major), Lucia Loiso (photography major), Camille Ontiveros (fine arts major), Elena Salij (lead faculty), Maria Moon (adjunct faculty and graphic designer for exhibition materials)
In 2010, Es Tiempo was featured in the Design Observer and won Best of Category in the Student Division in I.D.’s Annual Design Review. Es Tiempo also was exhibited in the I.D. Annual Design Review Exhibition in New York City.
In 2011, Es Tiempo was featured in the How Design Conference in Chicago, Il.
In 2012, an interview about the project is featured in “Designing for Social Change.” by Andrew Shea.
More about this project can be viewed here.