In March 2013, a crowd of students, professors, and members of the local design community gathered at the Burlington-based marketing communications firm Kelliher Samets Volk (KSV). All were gathered to see and be inspired by the work of Champlain graphic design students like Rosie '13, who won "best in show" for her solution to the fourth annual AIGA Student Design Challenge.
The challenge, posed by the Vermont chapter of graphic design professional association AIGA, was one with real consequences for the local community-how might the city creatively repurpose and rebrand a long-crumbling part of the Burlington Waterfront-the Moran Building?
Addressing such a challenge required more than just a passing understanding of design or graphic presentation. Rather, it required thinking through a complex problem with multiple stakeholders and numerous potential solutions, and then presenting it to the public with a palette of creative brand attributes.
At this particular event, students were not receiving credit for their participation. "But I am getting great exposure," said Strom, whose solution involved retrofitting the old plant with exercise bikes in a sort of human-powered power plant concept, with energy coming from a combination of human exertion and creative design. "I had three great designers from town talking about my work. And it's great for building my portfolio," she continued.