Explore socially conscious work and engagement with new Social Practice minor
Social practice is all about the intersections between creative practices and the public sphere, and frankly, it’s at the center of what happens at Columbus College of Art & Design: our students and alumni do work that matters, and they’re doing it in the classroom and out in the world.
Blurring the lines between creating art, political activism, ethics, economic and social sustainability, and collaboration, it’s a discipline perfectly suited for our modern times.
CCAD recently launched a new Social Practice minor for those interested in pursuing socially engaged work.
We chatted with CCAD Interior Design Chair Kelly DeVore, who helped launch the new minor, to learn more.
Tell us about the social practice minor.
Thinking creatively about solving economic, environmental, and cultural issues is of central importance to many of our students across a wide variety of art and design disciplines. In the social practice minor, students have several courses to choose from. And they can use the minor to demonstrate an interest in issues and concerns such as human welfare, economic and social sustainability, ethics, and environmentalism.
Why do art, design, and social practice go hand in hand?
Design is often thought of as a “product,” but really it’s a creative way of thinking about issues and problems in the world. That’s inherently useful when tackling big-picture problems and figuring out how to look at those issues with a creative lens. Artists traditionally have been the ones at the forefront of social movements in history and have a strong connection to social work—it’s important our students not only know and learn about those histories and issues but also have a vehicle to express those interests as well.
What sorts of projects do the students work on in the social practice minor?
There are several classes that rotate through our curriculum. An ongoing project in the Advertising & Graphic Design program centers on anti-human trafficking efforts in Columbus. Students also partner with local nonprofit organizations such as The Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, and we’ve conducted workshops and empathy seminars on issues surrounding poverty and homelessness.
Why was this minor a natural fit for CCAD, and why is this minor important now?
Our students are passionate, caring citizens of the world—and there is no better time than now to create spaces for them to have an outlet for their passions. The more a student can cultivate an undergraduate experience to reflect how they view themselves and their beliefs, I think the better chance they have of feeling like their interests are being seen and valued.