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The Message Behind the Design

Subject ArtsVisual Arts
Grade Level Grades 9-12
Resource Type Activity, Assessment


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             In today’s society, products and media are used to display beliefs or messages about culture, to raise awareness for important causes, and express views about the world and politics. This can be done through posters, product, images, humor, text with images and especially through the use of design. People are proud of displaying causes and messages that they find meaningful and product is merely a platform for display, especially for young people.

            This is a 12 day unit created for 9-12th grade beginning art students. For this unit plan students will be investigating a social issue of their choice which is meaningful to them and they will use the elements of art along with the principals of design to design a product which draws awareness to that issue. Some possible products might be an album cover, skateboard deck, T-shirt design, board game box, or video game promotion that displays a social, cultural, political, faith view or any belief that they have. In order for the timeline to work there might be some required homework which is outlined in the lesson plans.

            This unit seeks to draw awareness to how product design can be used as a mode of communicating beliefs to help students understand how the media uses design to communicate a message. When students buy a product, watch a show, or play a game, sometimes a message is being communicated whether they are aware of it or not. The objective is that by creating a diptych on a product of their choice to communicate a message of their choice, students will be more apt to critically evaluate the messages they take in from media and products in the future. They will also be able to see design as a new mode of communication and expression in their own personal lives.

              Additional worksheets and handouts can be found as links at the end of the unit plan or as extra files attached here.


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