September 2012, Volume 16, Number 4

Academics


Designing the Future

Jumping on a rare opportunity to explore the world and delve into the professional realm of the careers they’re aspiring to, eight New World School of the Arts students recently traveled to South Africa to attend the Design Indaba conference where they experienced the trip of a lifetime.

Their art-centric adventure to Cape Town gave them a chance to meet their South African peers and helped engrain social consciousness into their work ethic. Partly underwritten by PUMA.Creative, which last year commissioned a trophy from NWSA student Stefanie López for its 2011 Impact Award, the trip also was paid for by student and faculty fundraising efforts.

Art and Awareness

The theme of social responsibility was at the very core of the 2012 edition of Design Indaba. Showcasing the best in high design from around the world, the three-day conference highlighted design projects that support economic development, humanitarian efforts, sustainability and other vital global issues.

“We always try to make sure the students are very socially aware,” said NWSA Dean of Visual Arts Maggy Cuesta. “It carries through into their lives.”

Meet the Pros

Following the conference, students took part in two days of breakout sessions with featured designers. “They were able to interact with artists in the field from all different kinds of backgrounds,” said Cuesta, a professional designer in her own right. “It is unlike any conference I've been to before.”

Besides Design Indaba, students had numerous other eye-opening experiences, including meeting other design students and nine faculty members at a local university, touring a shantytown and photographing the wondrous ocean views from the beautiful landscape of the Western Cape.

Coming off the heels of the polished conference, the jarring contrast of their own lives and those of the people living in poverty gave the students an immediate, poignant chance to reflect on the need for social consciousness. As a result of the visit, after connecting with children of the shantytown, the NWSA students organized a shipment of art materials for them to use, putting their social awareness into action.

— MR


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