Recently, the Knoxville Design & Motion department held its first workshop with the University of Tennessee Graphic Design program. Peter Franks, Director of Design & Motion Services, says this idea started 10-15 years ago. “Together with Associate Professors Deborah Shmerler and Sarah Lowe, we’ve been talking for a while about how to do this kind of collaboration. About a year ago, we decided to push forward with it and have been heavily planning since October 2012,” he says.
The workshop was the first one held for sophomores in the history of UT’s Graphic Design program and took place over the course of four days. The sophomores worked on creating a video piece based on Dorianne Laux’s poem Who Needs Us using Adobe After Effects. Each student was given a section of the poem to interpret, visualize, and animate, with the finished project being a compilation of the individual pieces.
There were three main goals for this workshop: 1) Connect alumni with students in a mentorship role 2) Improve recruiting ties with Scripps, both for interns and full-time employees, 3) Introduce students to the world of motion animation earlier.
“This workshop was a very intense experience for all involved—students, faculty and Scripps employees. The entire Design & Motion department at Scripps played a vital role. Without each and every person, it would not have been a success,” says Maria Lauer, Associate Designer and UT Graphic Design alum.
“The workshop was amazing–the idea of it, the poem we got, the people helping us out, and of course the final product. I enjoyed the freedom we had in picking a direction. The Scripps’ team was nice, helpful, funny and inspiring,” says participating sophomore Samuel Bendriem. “The showcase was a relaxing way to end the weekend and a good way to keep us motivated for the future.”
Anna Woodard, Associate Designer and alum, adds “The large majority of our department are alumni of this program. We know what these students are going through, and to be on the other side of the table, influencing their work, was a great feeling.” Other alum who worked side by side with the sophomores include Duncan Harryman, Elizabeth Conde, Harrison Vincent and Samantha Ownby.