Bachelor of Arts, Honors Visual Communication Design Thesis | Adobe Photoshop + Adobe Illustrator + Adobe InDesign + Canon 60D + Adobe Lightroom
During the Spring of 2019, I had the opportunity to take Professor Verma’s Social Design class. The course focused on using research methods, community partnerships, and design thinking to respond to homelessness in South Bend. Students were tasked with implementing a design intervention that addressed South Bend’s homeless community. After weeks of research, community interviews, and brainstorming, Marta Brown ‘19, Lisa von Werder ‘20 and I created WeaveGiveLove.
Rooted in the power of blankets as both objects of warmth and comfort and symbols of embrace and connection, WeaveGiveLove is an event that involves making customized fleece tie blankets alongside homelessness individuals. At WeaveGiveLove events, volunteers and homeless individuals work together to make blankets for the participating homeless individuals to keep once the event is over. With research revealing that homelessness often emerges from the lack of a supportive social network, WeaveGiveLove was designed to foster connections, community empowerment, and empathy among participants. The blankets exist as a physical reminder for those who receive them that they are valued, seen, heard, and loved.
For my thesis, I decided to scale up WeaveGiveLove in hopes that it could be embraced in communities beyond South Bend. In expanding its reach, however, I was determined to keep the core tenets of the initiative intact. With this in mind, I rebranded the initiative and designed comprehensive instructional materials that could be used to plan and run a WeaveGiveLove event. Additionally, I was able to user-test the how-to cards at a WeaveGiveLove event that I hosted at Hope Ministries, one of the original South Bend community partners that Marta, Lisa and I worked with in our Social Design class. It is my hope that, through rebranding the initiative and designing instructional materials that outline its purpose and process, WeaveGiveLove becomes more equipped to become a positive force for good in other communities across the country.
You can click on any of the images in the grid below to see a more detailed version of the image.