Introduction Design has been present in human development setting mind-sets and behaviours in both users and spectators. The evolution of design managed from the perspective of individual needs; however, design has also contributed in the growth of said needs. Through the years, branches in design started to expand in a short period because of industrial development and later with the technology growth that focused in mass communication. The title of Mexican writer Guadalupe Loaeza’s book, Compro, Luego Existo (I Buy, Therefore I Am) refers to how merchandising and advertising create purchasing needs in individuals. It is important to warn the reader about how advertising campaigns are able to generate purchasing needs in individuals; what we once “liked” we “covet”, then we “need” until we reach the point where that product needs to be purchased urgently. This is part of the work of consumer strategies. (Loaeza, I Buy, Therefore I Am, 1992) Nowadays the great demand of products, coupled with an excessive sales competition and the creation of purchasing needs would suggest an exponential growth that generates a high demand for labour addressed towards design professionals. The influence of consumerism, a globalized market, and the competitiveness of the workforce are situations that represent a challenge in the development of design, forcing it to focus mainly on advertising and marketing. However, this is not the only perspective of design we have; facing the areas focused on advertising and marketing, there is another perspective that considers a responsibility regarding social issues. This kind of focus would allow designers to display that through
design it is possible to make an impact on the social environment to prevent and even reduce existent problems. For example, Design Against Crime (DAC) in the UK is a concept that considers where and how design can play an important role in the prevention and reduction of crime. Design can work as an active agent in the reduction of social issues. New methods of violence prevention are constantly under development. Design applied to everyday products, services, vehicles and architecture find a great potential in the implementation of new strategies designed in order to decrease crime through their products. Design Against Crime poses many challenges for designers, particularly when design seeks to persuade the audience to make a change. Nowadays we live in a world of rapid changes and that suggests that design will have to play an important role in this change. According to Clark, Design Against Crime is about making products that can be resistant to constant mistreatment, misuse, mismanagement or misbehaviour. In Clarkâ€™s words: â€œ(DAC) involves a mixture of replica and innovation that creatively solves conflict and competition demands by forcing to produce something that is suitable for the goal without neglecting human dimension.â€? (Clark R. V., 1997) Recent research has examined aspects where design focuses on environmental issue, the potential of industrial design (Clarke R. V., 1999), (Lester, 2001), the overall analysis of the role played by design, and research in education (Erol R. C., 2000) are some of the references concerning the role played by graphic design. The designer has specific involvement in crime reduction in few projects. This suggests an opportunity to consider carefully an area unexplored by researchers.
The recognition of the impact an effective design can have in crime reduction has increased. For example, in the automotive industry, an increase in emphasis towards security issues as part of the design process has led to a decrease in carjacking. However, evidence suggests that most industries often overlook crime issues, and they continue to develop products and services with little consideration over the effects and potential opportunities and criminal activities and their reduction (Design Against Crime, 2004). However, prevention is crucial in any field; violent crime and fear of violence pay a high cost in both communities and individuals. (Clarke R. , 1995). When violence reaches high levels, quality of life declines and communities turn into war zones where the residents become prisoners to protect themselves taking shelter, which generates isolation. Once high violence rates damage our society, the situation can hardly be repaired, and least forgotten. The importance of the effort to prevent crime and violence needs commitment from every party involved
Prevention efforts seek to
expand opportunities and incentives in order to encourage an individual to take responsibility for his actions and those of his community. Prevention is a key component to human response when violence affects (Design Advice Guide, 2003). According to Cable News Network (CNN) in Mexico, this is the first official fact in the field since August 2010, when the National Centre of Research and Security (CISEN) reported that 28,000 people had died in the last 3 years and between January and November there were 12,456 deaths, and 3,000 took place in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Other states affected by violence are Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Michoacรกn and Guerrero. (Monarrez, 2012)
Violence persists across culture, social status, education levels, income, ethnicity and age in every country. Violence against women involves any event based on sex that results in physical, sexual and mental damage or suffering against a woman, including threats, coercion or deprivation of liberty, regardless of whether they occur in private or public situations. Violence against women frequently starts at an early age and persists through these womenâ€™s lives, this situation being more frequent in maledominant cultures. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 60 million women are missing from their global population statistics. Women are victims of their own relatives, deliberately murder by negligence or simply because of their sex. This problem can take the shape of domestic violence, sexual violence (femicide) and sexual harassment. Authorities and associations have not come to agree when it comes to the number of cases in Ciudad Juarez during the last decade. The numbers range between 320 murdered women up to 500 missing in the last ten years. (El Paso Times, 2002) Another fact of violence is that it impacts on Mexican children and teenagers, who grow up in a context of everyday violence that leaves deep sequels and even ends in hundreds of suicides every year. Great part of this violence, which includes physical, sexual and psychological terms along with discrimination and abandonment, remain hidden and sometimes, it is even socially accepted (UNICEF, 2003). The assumption is that in Mexico as in other countries, the police force itself is not enough to stand as an obstacle against the existent high crime rates. For this reason, it is imperative for society to work along with the police force so a commitment can be built in the search of shared solutions; since Juarez is a location where poverty, the lack of municipal services,
corruption, insecurity and drugs are triggering factors that generate high violence rates. This thesis introduces the first investigational approach to be developed Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez (UACJ), where an alternative to reduce violent crime through Design Against Crime in Education (DCCE) is being explored while implementing a change in perception in Graphic Design students. The Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) is located in the state of Chihuahua, and it covers the largest borderline in the north of Mexico. Living in a border city between Mexico and the United States is a great challenge due to the extreme weather conditions, its flora and fauna added to the vast territorial extension between the state and the capital of the country. Additionally, the influence from the north of the US determines the presence of biculturalism between the two cities (Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas). Summed to this harsh life conditions, the city has a police force that lacks the willingness to face minor problems, but above all, to confront organised crime. As a result, the city has decided to adopt an attitude of indifference, apathy and even lack of commitment from the citizens themselves. The sum of these facts creates aspects that affect peopleâ€™s lives and their surroundings, factors that influence the identity and stile of design. All these aspects represent a challenge that works on changing the attitudes that certain individuals have adopted. This research centres on the students, who must assume a responsible role to make a change of mind focused towards the pursuit of a social betterment. According to the vision of UACJ there is a role and a commitment with society which serves the purpose of restating its local and national identity. The Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) is
committed to its students and community. It seeks through its projects a way to encounter some convergence point between knowledge and education that can influence society in a positive way. Previous investigations indicate that the best choice for the development of Design Against Crime in Education (DCCE) is to work with material that has been pre-elaborated in the University of Sheffield Hallam in the UK. These teaching materials were evaluated in a pilot test consisting of oral and visual presentations along with individual and group activities, collage design, action research work, meeting to promote reflection, mind map design, environmental interaction, writing development through photographic and drawn information, development of visuals, academic group and pair debates, just to mention a few. The first issue to explore with students was their level of responsibility towards society, their knowledge on the scope of design, their attitude towards social problematic and their role in the educational field. Since the students would be able to develop educational support materials for schools, they would use the material developed in the UK to be able to achieve the expected outcome. Frascara mentions that the goal of a persuasive message is to change the behaviour of a cohort through motivation and encouragement in order to make the audience mediate and judge for themselves. (Frascara J. , 2000) For this thesis project, the goal is to gauge if Graphic Design is able to understand the visualisation of ideas and contribute in the reduction of crime in society through a change of perception in students, since they will be the ones to develop the graphic material. This effect of Design Against Crime in Education (DCCE) will be measured through the implementation of
an educational context by observing the attitude change towards violence before and after undertaking the projects that the students of the UACJ designed. The explanation of the contents and development of this material in detail are in posterior chapters of this thesis. The pilot test sample included an evaluation for three different cohorts in order to consider which group would be better to work with for the purposes of this thesis. The groups consisted
organizations (NGOs) and faculty members and/or students of the UACJ. The results showed that working with students could allow a better research for areas such as: perception of the role of a designer, evaluate if graphic design can be a mediator in violence reduction through its use in an educational context. This pilot test allowed opening the premise for a search of a change in the way of thinking of the students of the UACJ. To view more details from the pilot test (See Appendix 1). After choosing the cohort and establishing the justification for why it was important to carry out this PhD, the objectives to develop in this thesis landed. I.
Producing a range of educational materials for the use of
(EDGES) in Mexico. II.
Measuring attitude change regarding social issues before and after the inclusion of this project.
Exploring the role of Graphic Design in crime reduction with EDGES.
Producing educational materials along with EDGES who
regarding crime and violence reduction targeted at primary school children. V.
Evaluate if the DAC (Design Against Crime) process in students was successful in changing the attitude in EDGES.
Presentation of the conclusions to be included in the studentsâ€™ projects.
This document explores a new perspective in design and its role in crime reduction. This document also aims to reframe the content of graphic design education in UACJ, considering it a tool in reduction of social issues. According to Ekblom, prevention of violence seeks to reduce the risk of criminal incidents and misbehaviour related to the intervention of its causes. Nonetheless, we must recognise efficient design as a tool in crime reduction. This suggests an area in which graphic design can venture through the search a change in perception. The reward obtained from this change can have the potential to reduce the problems and behaviour of society. (Ekblom, 2001) This project uses ethnographic research to evaluate the impact of Graphic Design as a tool used in prevention. It searches for a change in the attitude of university students in the graphic design field, who can focus their studies towards violent and social issues they are going through in their community via visual information. The students have to present a curricular project at the end of their process of obtaining an academic degree; it is here where they propose that the students explore beyond the topics of
advertising and marketing and open the wide range of possibilities when it comes to focusing their research topics towards social issues. The support by qualitative research methods will allow a revision of social and cultural phenomena that will work as a gauge for this PhD thesis. Other methods used include the action research work in the development of graphic proposals with the purpose of offering an approach to a positive result. The students will be prepared to include qualitative data where observation, interviews, and polls will be included along with documents and articles. The reason to use qualitative research as opposed to the quantitative approach comes from observation; it is the ability to speak that differentiates humans from the natural world. Kaplan and Maxwell explain that qualitative research methods are designed to help researchers to understand people and the social and cultural context they live in. It also has the objective of comprehending a phenomenon from the participantâ€™s point of view in their particular social and institutional context, which sometimes is lost after quantifying the textual data. (Kaplan & Maxwell, 1994) Ethnography and Action Research are two of the central methods that will be adapted for the development of this thesis. In first place, to understand and analyse the primary matters concerning the topic of â€œPersuasive Graphic Design as a tool in the reduction of crimeâ€? ethnography would be the most appropriate option. With this methodology, the research can explore social areas and allow the understanding of behaviours, values, and meanings of any individual or cohort and the influence of their cultural context. Qualitative techniques will be utilised to analyse the significance and importance of the changes in the students.
Ethnographic investigation could be characterised by its multiinstrumental approach. A foundation in ethnographic methodology is participant observation, in which the observer becomes a part of the studied community in order to understand the point of view of the subject. Besides the participant observation, they will employ extensive note-taking and possible audio recording and data collection methods, interviews with informants and biographic data compilation about them, collection of ideas, photographs, quizzes and poll administration, and position and classification obtainment. These and other forms of instrumentation help the ethnographer to reach a holistic opinion of the studied culture (Bryman A. , 2001). Action research can be described as a family research methodology that pursues action (or change) and the research (or understanding) at the same time. In most of its forms, this can be done by using the cyclic or spiral process, which alternates between action and critical reflection (Clark P. , 1972) Action research concerns about extending the reserve of knowledge of the social sciences community. This aspect of Action Research distinguishes it from applied social sciences, in which the objective is simply to apply scientific social knowledge without adding to the body of knowledge. Action research is a valid research method in applied fields such as research and Education Development. This thesis seeks that, in UACJ, design faces the contemporary challenge of promoting itself with a social conscience. Consumerisms influence a globalised market, competitiveness of workforce, as well as the lack of knowledge of what the social commitment of Graphic designers towards society is. In addition to visualising how they, as future professionals can change the social environment. Design has an aesthetic potential but it is uncertain when it comes to its main concept, which is constantly seeking to
sell and be a part of a competitive market that ignores its social and community commitment is the kind of design that students are familiar with. Nowadays, students are looking for ways to use the newest software regardless if it is licensed or not. Expecting to find jobs in the very few agencies in the city, seeking to get VIP (Very Important Person) clients, who are usually the ones selling tobacco, alcoholic beverages, fashion stereotypes or lifestyle products such as: anti-aging creams, credit cards, mobile phones, etc. using all mass media; radio, television, printed ads and social media just to mention a few. It is interesting to see how advertising campaigns are able to enforce purchase needs (consumerism). This confirms the image that society has upon the role of graphic design as a supporter of consumerism, the reach of advertisement evidence the strength and the impact that design imprints in people. Design Against Crime is a program in the United Kingdom (UK) that involves schools, universities, industries and businesses, seeking to apply design in a different way. Society has accepted these propositions as key elements in crime prevention. The changes have been very subtle, but the proposals have been evolving as time passes. Therefore, a redesign of graphic design is in order, a new way to visualise and produce graphic design is achievable; a design that is more socially committed and has a responsibility towards society, a society that hasnâ€™t considered such matters; that hasnâ€™t included design as an activity that can be useful to promote values and concepts as attitude changers. In the study of Design Against Crime in Education (DACE) in UACJ, this investigation intends to help the students to become conscious of all the possibilities of inclusion that graphic design has, and the ways in which it can
contribute. This will develop a way of design that potentiates designers to develop a higher awareness and responsibility. As previously mentioned, living in a border town represents a challenge in how the cultural hegemony of American society influences Ciudad Juarez, which is the largest city in the border with the US, and this closeness promotes a constant comparison of lifestyles. The daily transmission of information about products, brands and lifestyles, coming from the USA place Ciudad Juarez as a bicultural society that struggles every day, trying to find a graphic identity, placing our design students in the spotlight.
Chapter I 1.1 A brief review of Mexico and its culture Mexico as many other countries has many riches, besides having an interesting ancient history that makes it a country with an enormous cultural heritage. The reason why this thesis briefly requires cultural and historical issues of Mexico is that, by living in a border, behaviours and customs of individuals become peculiar. This is because the inhabitants adopt customs and experiences from both countries, to the point of creating a unique identity even in language. Because Mexico and the U.S. are countries with a vast territory, several facets distinguish them. Due to this, we will mention only a few events that have contributed to the history of this border. Mexico is located in the American continent, south to the United States. Its official name is United Mexican States; it concentrates the largest Spanish-speaking population. The surface of the country covers an area of nearly 2 million km2. According to INEGI (2010) most recent statistics mention that the Mexican population has surpassed 112 million inhabitants, from which 50.8% are women and 49.2% men, making it the 11th globally and third in the American continent (INEGI, 2010). Its vast territorial extension and diversity among its climate, flora, and fauna allow visualising Mexico as three different countries, the North has an arid and extreme climate, the centre of the country has a tropical climate, and southern Mexico is characterised by rain forest. This pronounced difference allows the physical characteristics of the inhabitants and the types of development in each area in the country to be different. The development of Mexico could be
analysed from the perspective of its economy, its people, its society, and its politics. Regarding to economic growth, the series of books "The Greatest Issues in Mexico" (“Los Grandes Problemas de México”) in its volume I, corresponding to Economy, structures the economic development of the country from three points of view: macro or external economy, micro or internal economy, and rural economy. Lustig mentions that in 1982 a program of macroeconomic adjustment and structural reforms was designed, emphasizing trade liberalization and privatization of public corporations, being the expectation to obtain greater macroeconomic stability, sustained high economic growth and poverty reduction, in addition to expect trade openness to reduce the wage gap between, skilled and unskilled labour. (Lustig, 2012) However, the results were not as expected; in 2008, the incidence of poverty was almost the same as in 1984. The debt crisis and the drop in economic activity in the eighties intensified the increasing poverty of the country. From Lustig’s perspective, it is necessary to eliminate the government expenditure and expand welfare coverture in addition to the already existing programs, to eradicate extreme poverty. Another important factor is the migration of Mexicans to the United States, as mentioned by Mora, is a complex phenomenon with an extensive historical tradition and structural roots, where migrants seek for better jobs and wages; correspondingly, different sectors of the United States are in demand of cheap labour. (Mora, 2012) This situation generates a great contradiction at the border, because, on one hand, the northern country reinforces security and infrastructure, but on the other hand, there is still a
high demand for human resources in the trades of cheap labour. This generates a very interesting attraction for those seeking an opportunity for improvement. The amount of illegal and legal immigrants in the U.S. was reflected when in 2006 they led the largest protest recorded to date. Le Bot mentions that between three and five million people marched peacefully in over 150 cities in more than 40 states in the United States. The largest demonstrations were recorded in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas, cities located in the metropolis with the highest concentration of Hispanic population. This event, mentioned Le Bot, has been the largest recorded in the era of globalization, larger than the ones that took place during the civil rights movement era and even of the Vietnam War. The afterthought is that during the last decades several sociologists have emphasized the end of the social order and the growing importance of cultural issues. (Le Bot, 2012) Jean-Claude Passeron (1996) defines culture in a variety of ways, referring to: The body of knowledge that allows developing critical judgment, the set of life styles and customs, as well as the knowledge and the degree of artistic, scientific, and industrial development on a certain period or social group. Culture allows men not only to adapt to his environment, but also to make culture adapt to them, their needs and projects. Valenzuela mentions that the concept of culture refers to the overall lifestyle of a community or social group, for the institutions to preserve the accepted culture. The topic of cultural reproduction is at the same time, a process of creation of the collective memory and of control of that experience. Mexicans refer to a historically rich past, which have preHispanic roots, traditions, cuisine, religion, values; all this creates a very valuable cultural background, which distinguishes Mexico from many other countries making it unique. The Mexico of today is a mixture between what
was a glorious pre-Hispanic culture and a society that rises and reinvents itself since its colonization by a European power, and despite being independent nowadays, it is still looking for its own identity. (Valenzuela, 2003) We cannot speak of popular culture in Mexico, without mentioning the vast work of Carlos Monsivais, Octavio Paz, and Samuel Ramos, recognized journalistic writers and chroniclers of the history of Mexico who have written about the most diverse manifestations of everyday life and popular urban strata. Every human being is a carrier of culture and belongs to a cultural group. Furthermore, to talk about culture refers not only to the positive aspects, to the sublime, most remarkable of human creations; the definition also includes the negative features. Mexican culture holds a kind of mysticism that is an astounding blend of Native American traditions and Spanish colonial influences. Mexico's indigenous civilizations developed arts such as pottery, weaving, music, poetry, sculpture, among others. After the colonization, intricate designs and bright colours present in many forms of art mixed with European techniques and religious topics and created a hybrid and an artistic style that is purely Mexican. In his book "The Labyrinth of Solitude", Mexican writer Octavio Paz eloquently portrays the Mexicanâ€™s festive personality "The solitary Mexican enjoys fiestas and public gatherings. Any occasion for getting together will serve, any pretext to stop the flow of time and commemorate men and events with festivals and ceremonies. We are ritual people, and this characteristic enriches both our imagination and our sensibilities, which are equally sharp and alert. The art of fiesta has been debased almost everywhere else, but not in Mexico. There are few places in the world where it is
possible to take part in a spectacle like our great religious fiestas with its violent primary colours, their bizarre costumes and dances, their fireworks ceremonies, and their inexhaustible welter of surprises: the fruit, candy, toys and other objects sold on these days in the plazas and open-air markets (Paz, 2003). Explaining the social and cultural behaviour of Mexico can be very complex due to this great mixture of behaviours and lifestyles, and as Valenzuela mentions, culture has to do with the way each social cohort orders their past and lives their present, fighting to keep alive the traditions of their ancestors, assigning an additional value to these. In addition, from the perspective of Samuel Ramos, "men shape according to the circumstances of their history." He also mentions that European culture nurtured Mexican culture over many years, thus displacing indigenous culture (Ramos, 1934) and yet Mexico is keeping alive many of their traditions, which create an interesting mix between its past and its present. To Blancarte, no society, and neither the culture, nor the identity of the people remain unchanged over time. Culture is one of the characteristics of society that most endures and gets transformed at a slower pace, in a country as large as Mexico, its diversity is getting increasingly recognized as a polychromatic mosaic, and the identities that emerge from it are much more complex and fluctuating than what was perceived until recently. That means we used to think that being Mexican involved the same for everyone; being a monolithic nation, in ethnic, social, cultural and political terms, pretending there were no differences among individuals in this country. Blancarte mentions as well that in the last 40 or 50 years there have been fast and profound cultural changes, without in so doing losing some features that have thus far defined the Mexican society. (Blancarte, 2012)
Living in a border determines very specific characteristics of the area in addition to the territorial traits; these may be economic, linguistic, cultural and even religious. The Rio Grande delimits Mexico's northern border; according to the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) it extends across the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas, with an extension of 2932.62 km. (CONABIO). For nearly two centuries, Mexicans and Americans have blended along the border shaping a new culture that includes behaviours and lifestyles, and even a very particular language known as Spanglish, which is a mixture of Spanish and English words used on both sides of the border. Ciudad Juarez is the border with the largest territorial extension and a population of approximately 1,332,131 people, of whom 666.440 are men and 665.691 are women out of nearly 3,500,000 people in the state of Chihuahua. A study conducted by the College of the Northern Border (COLEF) in 2005 shows that approximately 40,000 to 50,000 new residents come to Juarez every year. Two thirds of this new population are temporary, and between five and eight per cent mention that they have come to study. The population growth in Ciudad Juarez has been remarkable. During the 90's, the city had a population of 700'000 inhabitants; in 2009, the city had over a million and a half inhabitants. This uncontrolled growth, also known as transient or floating population, puts any government through a difficult task. Usually these cohorts create their own spaces in the city in the slums, which lack municipal services, usually deriving in drug problems, lack of safety, family disintegration, gang formation, just to mention a few. The creation of the Maquiladora Industry Project (IME) prevented the flow of migrants to the United States; it also raised the standard of living of the border.
However, Alcazar mentions that this mobility is complex. Immigrants have to forsake oneâ€™s own roots and traditions and to search and find similar groups. The adaptation to a new place and the struggle to keep memories and traditions is a slow process of acculturation; this process also creates an intercultural world inhabited by hybrid individuals with multiple identities, juxtaposed and superimposed, who often displace the natives (AlcĂĄzar J. , 2002, p. 31).
1.2 Living on the border According to Guillermo Gomez, "We are witnessing the borderization of the world, product of the large mass deterritorialization of large human sectors. Borders become scenarios of a transit of immigrants, where, in most cases, their transit becomes permanent. The cultures and tongues mutually invade each other creating new styles and forms of expression developed through the interaction of natives and immigrants. (PeĂąa, 2002, p. 50) The "fronterizo"(inhabitant of the border region) learns to live in two worlds at once, the freedom he has to conduct himself between two countries allows him to expand his conceptions and shed prejudices and idiosyncratic ties. He discovers that purity of any kind is a limitation, a shadow that prevents him from living in freedom. Once he overcomes the temptation to succumb to the charms of a single culture, he finds the key to enter a new world inhabited by millions of people and alternate and ephemeral spaces. The border is not limited to a single lifestyle because it is not possible to form a bond of strength and power that this age of globalization produces: a world of multiple identities, where identity is not
static and unchanging, but dynamic, versatile, hybrid and multifaceted (Alcázar J. , 2002, p. 25). "The border" is a place of huge contrasts, where the "other" is a permanent presence, threatening and exotic, envied and rejected at the same time. In the borders opposites are diluted, hence the insistence to show the differences. When cultural contact occurs in both directions, transculturation occurs. (Alcázar J. , 2002, p. 29) Living on the border allows people to have the best of two cultures, in the struggle to prevail a specific compatibility that sheds new identities is defined, typical of this region such as idioms, food, fashion, music, painting, traditions and everything that symbolizes and contextualizes culture. Culture emerges from the socialization of the habits and customs that the people of the region, which are taking over these habits, making them part of their daily lives. But poor urban planning, lack of attention to municipal services, coupled with the excessive growth of the floating population, (those immigrant individuals who arrive at the border from other states or even other countries, mainly Central Americans, seeking to cross the Rio Grande, chasing the “American dream”) are factors that make difficult the balanced development of any city. Adding up to this situation are all the stereotypes that have emerged from it, such as femicide, dead migrants trying to cross the border and the thousands of “levantado” 1 and people kidnapped and executed over the last few years by illegal drug trade. According to data from the northern border states of Mexico, show an alarming increase in criminal activities. According to a count published in a newspaper, in December 2006 1
Levantado: An idiomatic expression used to refer to someone who has been kidnapped.
178 murders were committed. In 2007, there were 2,673, in 2008, the murders totalled 5,630 and 2009 counted more than 6,525, according to a report submitted by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The violence peaked at an average of 20 murders per day in Juarez; that is 159 murders per every 100,000 inhabitants. In 2008, Ciudad Juarez topped the list of the 10 most violent cities in the world (El Universal, 2009) The inhabitants of the border face this scenario every day. That is why citizens, as well as institutions, use intercultural dialogue and artistic production processes to rebuild the city, in an effort to generate new opportunities for its inhabitants, besides considering it necessary to rebuild the biased and stigmatized stereotype set over this border. One of the objectives for this social reconstruction is to bet on culture and education. Violence spreads across culture, social strata, education level, income, ethnicity and age in every country and it can be found mingled in all aspects of society and not as an isolated problem, on the contrary, it has very structured and deep roots. In this regard, UNICEF estimates that 60 million women are not even in the overall population statistics; women are victims of their own families, being deliberately killed out of fear or neglect, or simply because they are women (UNICEF, 2003). This problem can take other forms such as domestic violence, sexual harassment at work, sexual violence (known in the northern border of Mexico as femicide). Hector Padilla (2010) mentions that, even when southern states present higher marginalization levels than Juarez in national statistics, Ciudad Juarez has become a paradigm of violence in the past two decades due to the murders of women, drug traffic, the Cartel de Juarez, the
maquiladora industry and the growing poverty in various segments of its inhabitants. Design Against Crime (DAC) was a national initiative in the UK that included schools, universities, industry and commerce. This project started in 1999; it took an approach at graphic design as a reliable tool to reduce crime. As the results of the investigation were to be very broad, Cambridge University reviewed only some companies focusing on businesses and organizations. In a research at a macro level, they sought to encourage the ability to build with consistency and persistence products and services against crime. In addition, the unit of design and innovation research at Sheffield Hallam University looked to include, at a micro level, the design as the core of the development, linking the work of the designers and giving them the chance to search for their own knowledge on this new challenge for themselves. The University of Cambridge analysed about six industry sectors, trying to identify what type of crimes were most often committed in that area through a collection of empirical evidence, besides of finding out who the people who take business decisions about the design were and the techniques they primarily used. This produced a great challenge for designers, especially when they tried to persuade the audience to perform a change in attitude through messages or by creating a product designed to endure all the abuse, misuse and mismanagement. Design Against Crime (DAC) is a new concept that considers where and how design can play a significant role in preventing and reducing crime. The design in everyday products, services, vehicles and architecture have caused fear and an impact on the incidence of crime, therefore DAC allows
the design to work as an active agent in crime reduction. New methods of preventing violent crimes are constantly developed and this way fewer robberies have been committed, benefiting communities and consequently crime-related businesses have reduced. According to Clarke (1997), it involves a mixture of replica and innovation to solve conflict creatively and competition demands that force produce something that is fit for the purpose, without neglecting human dimension. Design Against Crime DAC poses many challenges for designers, especially when the designer seeks to persuade the audience of making any changes. Now there is a very low regard of designers as mediators in reducing violence, an understandable situation considering they do not count with a clear reference to the role graphic designers play and its impact and relevance in social issues. However, this suggests an opportunity to think and work on a field that is not currently being explored and the opportunity for development that this could lead to, benefiting not only society but the profession. For example, a study in Australia, noted that those who came from violent homes remained in a cycle of violence, either as receptors or as generators, and consequently are the most vulnerable to criminal violence. (Indermaur, 1999) However, the possibility of anticipating criminal behaviour lies in the emphasis on prevention of crime. In this regard, criminologists have recently been making a great change in their approach, from the interest of the offender to the interest in the circumstances of the offense. Thereupon prevention can cover a large group of activities from environmental design to pre-school programs, social control and criminal
justice systems. This suggests that graphic design interventions seeking to change perceptions about reward and punishment may have the potential to reduce the incidence of violent crimes. Another example is the impact that effective design can have in reducing crime in England, which has been increasingly recognized (Design Council, 2003-2004). For example, the automotive industry increased and tightened security aspects as part of the design process. This led to a reduction in car thefts, but there is evidence suggesting that the industry ignores recommendations on the application of design, and the developed products and services have few applications of this kind of design. Thus, the opportunities and potential in the area of criminal activity reduction have not been entirely conclusive (Design Against Crime, 2004) In this situation, it is necessary to expose the Design Against Crime (DAC) project through the media in order to enable the flow of knowledge and effectively incorporate information about design in everyday thinking. This becomes a constant challenge to the designer since Design is a rapidly changing discipline that uses new technologies that are currently developed, evolving to meet the changing needs of users.
1.3 Prevention becomes crucial Crime prevention becomes crucial, when cities reach high levels of violence; the quality of life decreases, and people do not want to leave their homes for fear of theft, assault or kidnapping. During the 1980s and 1990s when crime increased in Mexico, there were campaign initiatives towards prevention. Unfortunately, there are no records to determine the impact of these campaigns.
In Mexico, design research (covering architectural, industrial, graphic, textile and interior design) is a challenge. While there are a number of innovative solutions as the result of the creative efforts of designers, the proposals fall short because of the lack of theoretical or practical support to give strength and purpose to such projects. Campaigns in Ciudad Juarez, such as "Ponte Viva" (“Be Alert”, wordplay between be alert and “stay alive”), “Todos Contra la Violencia” (Together Against Violence) or “Amor por Juárez” (Love for Juarez) failed to record and evidence their impact and thus the results became ephemeral, losing the goal for which they were proposed. The mission of the campaign "Ponte Viva” was to sensitize the community about women’s safety with emphasis on how women could protect themselves. The campaign launched aggressively and with a large budget. This project was implemented primarily in the industrial sector of the maquilas in Juarez. At first, it generated an interesting expectation especially since it featured in all local media: television and radio spots, billboards, posters and newspaper ads. In addition to the ads, there were information manuals for women regarding care and prevention and self-defence courses for young women. However, there was no evaluation of the impact on the population and the outcomes were not analysed. Qualitative comments noted that the defence techniques shown were too obvious and some women were sceptical about the effectiveness of carrying them out in the way the advertising message showed. For example, one of the advertisements showed how to attack a criminal with high-heeled shoes; but the accompanying slogan was weak and did not confirm the visual message. This example demonstrates that in the planning of a project it is necessary to study the sociological and geographical distribution, and to note
the use and measures to assess the impact on the sectors with most and least recorded crimes, to establish a comparison. It is also necessary to set monitoring strategies and (very importantly) to evaluate each of the proposals in short, medium and long term. Records of such evaluation become relevant and can act as a basis for future projects. An investigation made by a company in England found that the top ten high-risk areas for crime were near manufacturing plants or industrial areas, while the lowest risk of crime areas are in rural areas. Thus, to understand the deep impact crime is having in society, it is necessary to visualise and plan, considering statistical evidence. When undertaking the task of eradicating crime, the fear of crime becomes paramount, people are afraid to address the problems because they do not feel safe in their surrounding environment. In the 1950s, crime was a medical matter, something emotional or social that affected the psyche of the individual, centred on a minority group that could be medically treated and then returned to society. This way of thinking where "offenders are often offended" was discarded after analysing the pathology and realising offenders were not psychologically abnormal and mainly young men who grew up and lived in poverty. For example, domestic violence, theft, child abuse and drug addiction are crimes committed by a range of people varying in age and social status but more frequently by men than by women. The idea is that most people can become criminals under certain circumstances; it is possible to dissuade criminals from criminal behaviours. In the prevention of crime, the first task is to maintain a strong justice system; the law force is also a tactical system for crime prevention that persuades potential criminals not to commit crimes out of fear of sanctions.
Another tactic is to monitor their conduct, preventing crimes, though authors consider such tactics are limited. Persuasion is a principle that many make use of, since most crimes are committed on impulse. Diversity of criminals and offences is one of the reasons why law is necessary, but it is an insufficient strategy for the prevention of violence and violent crime. If individuals commit crimes recurrently, it is most likely due to their way of life. This is where a suggested graphic design intervention must take place, and how the idea of undertaking research in this area at the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juรกrez (UACJ) fell into place.
reduction in crime programme centred on teaching graphic design students to acquire a different approach to their profession, by changing thier understanding of the role of the graphic design. By using examples from Australia and the UK, it may be feasible to begin to teach students to see violence as a real problem. This may enables students to work as professionals to develop materials that promote a decrease in violence or at least become more sensitive to social issues and the potential for change through design.
Chapter II 2.1. An Outline of Mexican Education Mexican history had determined the growth of education. The Spanish colonists, keen to convert the native population to Catholicism built the first formal schools. Towards the end of the 18th century, political and historical events led to the development of education. A large swath of Mexico was lost to the United States in 1846, and the French invasion of
Mexico in 1861, as well as the unrest of the creole population. The Europeans considered the creoles superior to the natives, but not pure and therefore less important than people born in the Iberian Peninsula did. Creoles had access to better education and little by little, they formed an important group inside education, the economy and the politics of the New Spain. Nevertheless, as time passed other two groups formed; the conservatives and the liberals. They attempted to liberate the colony from old customs and reform the laws to create a modern nation while conservatives opposed any kind of change. (Cosio, 2004) Liberals had a new vision that included the distribution of land and industrialization. Therefore, we must address education in two ways: technical education to strengthen the industry and the education in the countryside through rural schools. In addition, there was a vision that sought equality between men and women, the literacy of the people but this vision focused particularly on the anticlerical fight. During the period known as the Restored Republic (1867-1876), President Benito Juarez simplified the education system besides of emphasizing the scientific and positivist and non-religious purpose that education needed to have. It was after the triumph of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 that the massification of education became one of Mexicoâ€™s main objectives. During the time of President Porfirio Diaz the opening of schools such as the National University, Normal Schools, The Secretary of Public Instruction and Fine Arts, technical degrees for workers, book production and the foundation of libraries were some of the most significant achievements. There was a strong campaign to reduce the number of illiterate Mexicans and education began to have wide socioeconomic and political implications.
subsequent engagement towards international cooperation let in the 1970’s and 1980’s to economic problems. In 1992, México began “the Modernization of Basic Education” that includes preschool, primary and secondary school levels in the so called “Eleven Year plan” that includes two years of preschool, six of primary and three of secondary school. The spending per elementary student was of $1,467 dlls, and each high school student spent on average $2,378 dollars for the 3 years of their high school education, this represented respectively a fourth and third part of what the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCDE) has considered as average (Calvo, 1996). Another problem was that teachers have low salary and work long hours. For example, in elementary level the compulsory hours per teacher were 1,167 per year when the average established by the OCDE is of 800. (Calvo, 1996). The lack of educational development raised public concern because the focus of the Educational Modernization Program was on higher education levels, particularly those relating Economics and interaction between world markets, rather than a realistic improvement in literacy and numeracy levels (Aguilar, 2007). However, the need for Mexico to be an international competitor led to the formation of the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education (ANUIES), whose members include the main public and private universities. The creation of inter-institutional committees and Civil Associations (A.C) such as the Committee of Inter-institutional Evaluation for Higher Education (CIEES), the Council for Accreditation of Higher Education A.C. (COPAES), the National Council of Science and
Technology (CONACYT), the National Centre for the Evaluation of Higher Education (CENEVAL) and the Federation of Private Mexican Institutions of Higher Education, A.C. (FIMPES). This was because, unlike other countries, Mexico does not have legislation that regulates the system of evaluation and accreditation of higher education and it has been over a decade since universities and the federal government raised the need to develop quality evaluation exercises. (Mendoza, 2003, p. 2)
2.2. Learning to teach There are many issues in contemporary Mexican education. Mexico has many and diverse study programs, and populations, a lack of resources in the institutions, economic issues, an unclear role for parents, a lack of motivation in the students due to the absence of specific objectives or clear long-term goals and, most commonly, fear of failure by pupils. Now, to have a deep understanding of the educational phenomena is necessary to define its three big dimensions: education, teaching and learning. The verb to educate comes from enducere that means to take out. Education must be demanding from the point of view that the topic taught must give more of itself with the purpose of being independent and yet enable maximum potential. In addition, in its universal concept, education is special according to the individual. Teaching is the process that transmits special or general knowledge to a subject. Navarro defines learning as part of the structure of education and the training process by which a person gives a solution to situations. (Edel Navarro, 2004)
The teaching and learning processes have undergone important changes in the last decades. The educational models focused on teaching but now learning is the focus of these models. A change in the profiles of the teaching staff is also necessary in order to change the role they have from being presenters of knowledge and monitors of learning to additionally being coaches and co-learners. Further, the role of the students must change from audience members of the teaching process to participating, reflexive critical members in the construction of their knowledge. This implies a great challenge, mainly in the preparation of the teachers of elementary, junior high and high school levels. In the basic and up to key stage 5 education levels, Mexico has the Escuela Normal Superior (ENS) (National Normal School), where the professors develop an academic and pedagogic preparation for four years; these are mainly directed to the basic and middle levels, while upper school and university teachers are required to have a specific qualification. In higher level (university), pedagogic knowledge is not required. The highest hiring percentage in universities goes to part time professors, hired based on their knowledge of a subject or area and teaching experience with the purpose of giving one or two classes. Subject expertise is preferred over teaching abilities. Full time professors (Profesores de Tiempo Completo, abbrev. PTC) review these skills. The candidates train to work on four basic areas: Research, Tutoring, Management and Schooling, they will additionally receive a more intense pedagogic training.
2.3. Education in Design Design education is part of Arts and Architecture education, and derived historically from the skills practiced by artisans who had practical knowledge and intuitive abilities. Findeli (2001), in his article â€œRethinking Design Education for 21st Centuryâ€? reflects on three important moments of the education in Design: the Bauhaus, art and technology were his theoretical model, in which Gropius based his philosophy. Thanks to Gropius, the school of the Bauhaus was the place where a great reform took place when it got the artistic creation together with world of serial production making use of technology. Giving an unlimited social function to art, the pedagogic principle that followed was the one of learning by doing instead of by reading or listening. The new Bauhaus founded by Moholy-Nagy in Chicago was based in the studies of Charles Morris developed the theory semiotics. Morris considered that the act of designing as a parallelism of the signs, the syntactic (art), semantic (science) and pragmatic (technology). The third model presented to us by Findeli is the Hochschule fur Gestaltung (HfG) in Ulm, Germany with its most important representative Tomas Maldonado who considered the process of design as a systematic, scientific and theoretical based methodology. This model was an inheritance of the Bauhaus based on a focus that confronted the complexities of life after the Second World War. (See models). Consequently, teaching design shifted from proposed designs for imagined products to developing solutions for specific products, brands or circumstances. In South America, one of the key authors is the Chilean Montellano (1999). She mentions that designing is configuring a concrete reality with technological, functional and communication results optimal and
useful to the user is several aspects. Consequently, the professional design education teaching delivers using pre-established knowledge from each student, to produce several formal results that are attractive, new and fit for purpose. Teaching design consists of guiding and conducting the creative process of the student towards a clear goal that is pre-established, precise and expected. According to Montellano, the professor will has three aspects to consider: ď‚ˇ
The development of the observing and detecting problem thinking
The development of the creative or solving thinking of this problem
The development of the evaluating thinking
Montellano presents a plan with eight characteristics of a project of teaching (see figure). The presented characteristics are indispensable to organise the mind and attitude of the student. The first three characteristics refer to the student: Integrating (conscience), Personalized (liberty) and Experience (conviction); the following two refer to the design process: Synthesized (the process) Systematized (method). The next three refer to the professor: Providing (the professor), Participation (the group), Selection (the society).
2.4. Design Education in Universities Culture, economy, society and era determine the characteristic of education and. in the development of the design education this can also be
seen. In Mexico and particularly in Juarez, University education tackles the challenge of educating for the formation of citizens leaders and society change makers. Fuentes (2005) notes that the graphic designer, as a communicator must have the technical, context and global knowledge so it can form and persuade with a sense of social responsibility. Unfortunately, the profession of a designer has not been able to position itself in a level of prestige on a par with medicine or architecture for example. However, the growth of design education as a subject in the last ten years reflects an interest in the growth of visual media in contemporary society.
2.5. Quality of the University In the last two decades, the growth in the participation and diversification of subjects in Mexican higher education is notable. Government policies have focused on the development of higher education as a means to improve the quality of graduates and the teaching. The improvement and assurance of quality are connected to the existence of processes of evaluation that allow the government, which funds the majority of the university system, to systematically know the trials and errors of its institutions. The evaluation includes the relation between improvements of the quality, and relates intimately to the teaching environment as well as the development processes to enable education to face challenges at world level.
The way Higher Level Institutions (IES) have complied with their main substantive functions has varied: â€œThe institutions have faced problems, have had limitations and have followed educational blueprints that determine a slow adaptation to the changing conditions of their social surroundingsâ€? (National Association of Higher Education Universities and Institutions, 2004). In the educational system, it has coexisted and in some cases has contradicted innovative and conservative tendencies within society, making the development of students difficult. In Juarez at the UACJ during the period of 1994-2000, the boost given to higher education infrastructure enabled a growth in matriculation and hiring of professors. It also gave support so that the professors progressed to undertake Ph. D. studies with federal funds; it was a focal point for a national level growth. The administrative period of 2000-2006 focused its attention in the development of infrastructure of spaces, support to teachers for Ph. D. studies and a wider range of subjects taught at graduate and post-graduate levels. The 2006-2012 UACJ Administration set itself a more ambitious goal, worried about the growth and development of infrastructure, to generate and support quality research, and overall reinforce its relation with society. These aspects have been fundamental to maintain the quality and competitiveness of UACJ and in particular to ensure the students of this university engage and serve their community. The quality in the teachinglearning process is one of the main markers for the university. It provides bases to evaluate the development of both the students and the professors in matters of the contents taught and learned, as well as the teaching process. By maintaining these expectations offered by the institution, the
outputs will directly affect society. The administrative and academic developments are some of the implied variables that can affect, directly or indirectly, the development of the student. External evaluating and crediting entities are precisely the ones that evaluate this quality processes and their variables to Institutions of Higher Learning (IES). Accreditation Organizations in Mexico (see appendix).
2.6. The Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez The Universidad Aut贸noma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) was founded on October 1973 and it is considered by the Department of Public Education (SEP) among the four best universities of the country because of the quality in its degree programs (DP). Since the year 2000, four institutes have constructed its academic structure: Engineering-Technological (IIT), Social and Administrative Sciences (ICSA), Biomedical Sciences (ICB) and the Architecture, Design and Art Institute (IADA), with each institution having a department
undergraduate level: Graphic Design, Interior Design and Industrial Design. (See figure 1: organization chart) The UACJ is a public university that receives subsidies from the federal, state and local governments, even though the students must cover an enrolment fee and pay for each module (class) that they undertake in a semester. The number of credits ranges from 4 to 12 per module, and each credit has a cost of approximately $2 American dollars, signifying that, if a student takes an average load of modules (seven), plus the cost of enrolment, he or she would be making two annual payments of between
$200 and $500 dollars. It is worth mentioning that the effort the university makes to support its students financially reflects in the number of scholarships offered. For example, in the Graphic Design Educational Program (GDEP) in 2008 40% of the students had some kind of scholarship (Planning Department). In the year 2000, the UACJ presented its strategic goals for the year 2020 and introduced a Committee of External Evaluation so that the university could measure the quality of its Degree Programmes (DP) at a national level. In 2008, it obtained a national-level acknowledgement for achieving that 100% of its degree programmes (DP) had a good quality level. External organizations acknowledged by the Council of Accreditation of Higher Education (COPAES) give this accreditation (uacj.mx). This 2020 vision of the UACJ presented very important, national level challenges in a number of aspects. First, the university resources in terms of equipment: The school acquired advanced technology to strengthen the workshops and improve the experience of the students. The library was expanded and courses increased book resources and updated their bibliographies both printed and electronic. The university also arranged cultural exchange programmes with other national and international universities that allowed students to have updated and fast access to new knowledge. The training of university tutors is another aspect that has received attention to support academic staff to obtain a teaching qualification. The university introduced a policy to encourage staff to undertake Specialization studies through the Program of Professor Improvement (ProMep); since 2006, this meant that it has been university policy to hire only full time
professors (PTC) of doctorate level and in some occasions with a Masterâ€™s degree. This program twice a year evaluates the development of the tutors though the four aspects of research, teaching, tutoring and management. The growth of the UACJ scheme ensured that more than 80% of its professors have a Ph.D. (Quintana, 2009, p. 26)
The infrastructure of the UACJ focuses on ensuring that teaching spaces are appropriate for both theoretical and practical subjects, including laboratories, workshops and research areas for professors and students, and areas for leisure, physical and artistic activities, and areas for university support such as medical assistance. Further, UACJ has started expansion with new Campuses at the cities of Casas Grandes and CuauhtĂŠmoc at 270 and 465 km from Ciudad Juarez, respectively. In 2006, the UACJ had an academic infrastructure footprint of 107,271.17 m2 and by the end of 2009 this had grown by 20.1%, to 128,879.79 m2. One of the biggest projects is the construction of the City of Knowledge (Ciudad Del Conocimiento), a complex consisting of various campuses of local universities, as well as new campuses of national universities that will have 300 hectares. (Quintana, 2009, p. 335). Thus, the Educational Offer of UACJ has widened due to the high national and international demand and by 2009 had 102 Degree Programs.
The university administration 2006-2012 planned to double the enrolment by offering higher education for all of those who requested it. This meant that all those who had the basic required entry qualifications could apply for a place. In the examination session of August 2009, UACJ offered 9856 online applications with a university enrolment of 21,134 students in 2013.
This situation presents a great challenge to the UACJ particularly by having to consider spaces for the number of students, yet maintain the quality of the teaching. This led to an increase in the number of on-line classes. At onâ€“line classes the students are not required to be physically in their classes; this allows flexibility in the schedules on the attendance classes. The institution has also created spaces with computers for the use of on-line classes. It has also looked for opportunities so that the student can get their own computer at home that would allow them to have classes beyond the university.
2.7. Changes to the teaching and learning methods employed at UACJ Since the establishment of public education in Mexico, the process of learning has focused in the role of the professor. This form of teaching based in learning from what the teacher said and it was unthinkable to question this situation and at no time would it should be discussed or challenged and even less could it be doubted; the professor â€˜teacherâ€™ as the sole transmitter of knowledge was seen as the holder of an absolute truth. This acceptance of derived from the type of education that was delivered in Mexican homes and schools. With the arrival of a constructivist approach to education this was perceived to generate a radical change in the traditional education format of Mexican education, including higher education. Constructivism was seen an educational model of where the student constructs their own knowledge by critical thinking, the search for meanings and its previous knowledge having as a facilitator of this process the professor, who plans, creates and evaluates the learning environment. The process of constructivist education requires a learning environment, defined as the space, where interaction for the acquisition of new experiences with the purpose of changing attitudes or knowledge and be enabled, but at the same time the space allows for the development of abilities and skills by means of a relationship between students and professors. While trying to promote the development and personal growth of the students, facilitate them the access to a group of knowledge and cultural forms, trying to make them learn from it.
2.8. The teachers in regards to constructivism In 199 UACJ ensured the standards of teaching by the introduction of a staff for new teachers and a course to update teaching skills. The UACJ required professors to undertake courses on the constructivism model of education, and techniques to ensure the professors give the classes in a more dynamic manner and favour the teaching-learning processes. The role that the professor plays in this model is vital, and thus, why it is important to establish the profile of the professor who will guide the building and development of the students. At UACJ the characteristics of ta professor are: participates in course to ensure their pedagogic knowledge is updated/current, and that teaching skills are of a high level, thus enable the university to be competitive in the international market. Professors are expected to be in constant interaction with the academic world, responsible, capable of taking advantage of the information available related to their subject and teaching methods and also generate information, looking to involve the students in his/her research and also to promote the values that the university proposes.
For many years education, (teaching and learning) was a part of the transition of knowledge between the academic and the student. Therefore, the challenge becomes greater when teachers have to guide the students and they cannot undertake or achieve the role of researchers for themselves. Even today, when students arrive at university, after having a traditional schooling, the university wants to change the studentsâ€™ concept of education. This implies a great challenge for university entrants, with the university
aiming to break the habit in the student of relying on the professor to provide information and conclusions. In the constructivist model the professor becomes the facilitator where by the student can formulate theories on his/her own. Many of the professors were reluctant to leave the old â€œtried and testedâ€? teaching methods where they held the power. This tension has led to much discussion between university staff as to how to stimulate teaching methods using constructivism. The student and the technology in constructivism. We consider this change as a challenge to the professor, but the students feel equally challenged.
Constructivism changes the emphasis
from the professor to the student having responsibility for his/her learning. Moreover, the student has to build his or her own knowledge and nobody can substitute that task. This is a process, but not in the sense of a discovery or invention. The student has responsibility for what they learn and how they learn it, and not even the professor (facilitator) will be able to do it in his/her place. The student will acquire the knowledge through certain constructive processes throughout his/her development. Technology plays a very important role in the ability to introduce and embark on constructivist education. To know how to provide information and skills regarding the correct use of these tools can be of great help. The students can acquire the knowledge from the internet through forums, blogs, academic chat rooms plus the databases of renowned magazines and articles.
The student learns through their skills to operate in virtual
environments, where the student has the opportunity to obtain information from diverse sources.
Further, with the use of blended learning, online
learning complements face-to-face teaching. Technology facilitates any kind
of research and substantially reduces the cost of education for the student, since the university purchases e-books that they can access online, and the studentsâ€™ data is complemented by open information found on the internet Every degree program (DP) has specific requirements regarding the equipment, teaching materials, course bibliography, the teaching spaces required, etc. However, there are degree programs (DP) inside the UACJ that have higher costs: medicine, dentistry, the design degrees and music. In some cases, the profile of the professors and students can be very specific. Additionally there are degrees on which the average student age can be over 30 years, or which have a significant percentage of students who are married or divorced, just to mention some particularities observed in the different degree programs.
2.9. The Graphic Design Academic Program The Academic Program in Graphic Design (PEDG) was founded in 1991 with an enrolment of 35 students and a faculty made up of 85% architects. The length of each module in the UACJ is per semester (six months of study). The PEDG started with a program approved in 1992 and the students had to be enrolled in all the modules therefore having an academic load of 8 modules per semester. The UACJ has two types of teachers, those who are full time (FTP) and those that are paid per class hour (PTP) or part-time, the difference is that the former have allocated their time in four areas. The Graphic Design Education Program (PEDG), in 2008 had 16 FTP, of which five have doctoral level, four are doctoral candidates, six have masters degrees and one has a bachelor degree.
The number of part-time academic staff varies depending on the number of class groups offered. The average ranges from 90 to 100 teachers per degree Program (DP). However, this number is insufficient to fulfil the student demand and the recommendations that external evaluation committees establish. These recommendations focus mainly on the FTP; they recommend 17 students for every Full Time Professor to ensure good academic performance. The reality is that every FTP financially assists more than 50 students due to the lack of FTPs. Because of this situation, sometimes the university seeks support from their PTPs, asking them to be involved in extra activities, of course voluntarily.
2.10. University students With the purpose of giving everyone an opportunity, the UACJ enrols more students each semester in its degree programme with the aim of not losing any quality of teaching and student success. This has led to developing selection processes that ensure those students who are enrolled will be capable of completing their study. The problem that the Institute of Architecture, Design and Art (IADA) faces is that in high school level, the students do not undertake classes on areas of art, design or architecture in their core high school studies. Some countries, such as the UK, the high school students undertake a range of subjects that enables them to explore where their strengths are, and to enable them to select subjects for further study. In the UK while Art is not one of the core curriculum studies, it is an option open to students. In Mexico, high school level has nine mandatory fields of study: Physics, Chemistry, Math, Biology, PE, Geography, Spanish,
English and Music. Some private schools offer another variety of modules; but most of the students that look to enrol in UACJ come from public schools. The admission exams that the UACJ uses do not include fields to evaluate abilities in design, art or architecture, and while this mirrors the high school based education subjects, it does not enable an evaluation of subjects that the student may aspire to study. The UACJ is concerned that in counselling high school students in the selection of the academic program on which they wish enrol, there is enough information for the student to be selfaware of their skills, and the requirements of the courses in terms of skills and abilities, and future employment. UACJ does this by making presentations of the profile abilities that the student must have depending on the field of study to which they will apply. This is done in a program coordinated by Student Well Being (COBE) called â€œKnow Your Universityâ€? With regard to the design field, sometimes the prospective students have incorrect ideas of the abilities they must have when they enrol. One of these erroneous ideas is that the programs of architecture and art do not include formal or social sciences. Even if through the national level exam students with only the best averages are accepted, this does not mean that they are the most skilled or talented in the field to which they are applying. Starting in 2006, the enrolment exams changed from being bi-annual to being offered once a year. The purpose of this measure was that the best averages enrol to the regular course at the beginning of the year and the rest would take a semester zero; here the student would be prepared in studying skills, English and a specific module from the field to which he/she had applied.
Unfortunately, this project did not achieve its objectives: the
students that passed the semester zero were still getting low averages. In
addition, the schedule of upper education level schools was not in line with the dates of enrolment of the yearly exam of the UACJ and this left many students without studying for a semester. Also, if applicants did not get a good score on their exam, they had to wait for a whole year to try again; all of this without taking into consideration the extra cost generated by the staffing cost of sustaining a semester zero. After a very careful evaluation in several degree programs of the benefits of this semester zero versus the cost and impact hoped for, resulted in the UACJ reconsidered the project and in 2009 permanently returned to offering two admission exams per year. The semester zero and the process of enrolment according to the best averages along with the semesterisation of modules are key reasons that the degree programs have a failure and resit rate. There is a proposal to allow for increased student numbers on modules with a high demand, even though this would affect the cost of hiring professors most of whom are untrained in the subject or teaching methods, and additional cost relating to space, and impact on the efficiency of the institution. This is a challenge for the professors who must respond to the university system. While the university has invested in its buildings infrastructure, and thus has excellent laboratories and workshops, the tuition costs of some degree programs are in relation to these costs. Thus, the university has to recruit a large cohort of students from a high socioeconomic level in order to cover the running costs of a degree program. Over the years, the profile of the students has varied. As the university has awarded an increasing number of scholarships, enabled flexibility in its class schedules, funded materials and basic laboratory
equipment, this has allowed an increase in mature students as well as those who work to support their family while studying and single parents. This has particularly contributed to a wider diversity of the student profile that enrols on the degree in graphic design.
2.11. The Faculty There is a tendency for professors among the faculty to imitate the teaching and learning methods of those who were their tutors. That is to say, the staff repeats behaviours based on experiences. Sometimes on the best examples and experiences, but the key difference to a better teaching is a shift in methods to an interpretation of the learning in the context in which the knowledge is used. Mexico
employment of university professors, to ensure that the instructors have a robust acquisition and updating of knowledge relating to pedagogy, and additionally to ensure academic staff comprehends new developments relating to basic skills. In particular:
Design learning and teaching strategies,
Look for and prepare teaching materials and resources,
Motivate the students,
Facilitate the understanding of the basic contents,
Be the permanent tutor of the students,
Encourage the necessary attitudes for the society of information,
Have a culture of continuing and permanent formation,
Be an educator that forms developing an comprehensive education that includes forming knowledge, procedures and attitudes,
Have the ability to learn about the development for its own teaching practice,
Link themselves with their surroundings with the purpose of knowing the job market to which their students will go into,
Know the impact of science and technology with the purpose of developing the ability and knowledge of new technology, to have a culture of critical and permanent self-evaluation. Currently, several countries have established higher education as the
ruling axis of their economic development, considering education as the ideal space for acquiring and producing applicable knowledge as well as for the development of abilities for work and research. According to Ruiz (2001), university professors cannot take on the challenge of being creative, innovative professionals unless they focus their pedagogic skills around three dimensions: cognitive, socio-cultural and professionalism. This way, the professor must primarily focus on being a facilitator of learning to the students rather than the transmitter of knowledge; where his/her task will be more oriented towards the students learning independently. For a long period of time, all teachers at all levels of education had complete freedom in how they taught, all the trust was deposited on the professor, as the one who knew the subject and thus how the knowledge could be organized transmitted and evaluated by him/her. Some teachers would only select a small group that in his/her judgment could have the abilities or specific skills to develop the knowledge taught to them. The teachers that work at basic, middle and high school levels receive a training
in pedagogy that allows them to have the teaching and learning skills to enable a comprehensive and formative development of their students. In universities, the personnel that are hired must demonstrate professional profile and/or research profile, and evidence of teaching and administrative abilities. Each one of these profiles are indispensable the role of a research-professor in any Mexican university. Professional profile, Characteristics of a professional: Knowledge, abilities and attitudes. This implies to master the basic aspects of science, scientific aspects of the profession, have a wide view of the production processes, abilities to process and communicate information, attitudes for teamwork, disposition to protect the environment and capability of projection, look for international knowledge and competitiveness among others. These are some of the elements of how higher education in Mexico faces and defines the profile of a professional. The follow up to the graduated from the universities is a good mechanism of evaluating professionals; a common version among the graduates is that reality is nothing like the things that they learned and how they learned them during their stay in the university. A disadvantage of this profile is that it keeps a distance between the student and the professional (as the teacher and the student), a hierarchical relation of the professional is created that masters the knowledge in front of the disciple. It presents a strong rejection to change.
Scientific-Research profile, the goal of the universities is to look for the creation and expansion of knowledge. Besides the degree programs, by having a strong disciplinary tradition it has not allowed a development in the teaching-learning of research.
The students are not used to make questions or question the professorâ€™s information. It is also very common to not return the assignments or make strong observations about their development. Many times we have heard, why didnâ€™t I get good students, they are so deficient in reading skills, studying habits, vocabulary, spelling, culture, etc. And it is that while the university is going through fast and important changes, the basic elementary, middle and high school levels are not. This is creating a no advance situation trying to go in opposite paths. That is why to be a professor and have the profile of researcher it is necessary to have specialization studies since that is where are all the basis are able to do and generate research.
The small number of researchers is a serious problem at a national level. Mexico is among the countries of the region with fewer scientists in regards to its population. Since the creation of the National System of Researchers (SIN) in 1984, it has been one of the main tools of the federal Government to boost the permanent formation and hiring of researchers in the IES. In 1997, there were approximately two researchers for each 10,000 inhabitants. (The World Bank, 2000) . By 1999, the growth in the SNI was of 7,079 researchers in the four levels that exist: research candidate, level I, level II and level III this being the highest grade, The UACJ hopes to have 84 researchers in the SNI by January 2010. The growth and the effort of the universities continue working to close this gap. Professorâ€™s profile, the vision of this profile is clearly educational founded in attitudes, conduct ideals, kinds of character, mentality as we have been mentioning; the professor with this profile is a guide, a facilitator of information. The report of the International Commission of Education (CIE) for the XXI century (1996), defines as one of the focal points for the
education of the future the â€œlearning to learnâ€?, an axiom that proposes new forms of teaching and learning abilities and values. It is worth so much for the students as well as for the professors and for every one that understand the nature of change as the product of technological findings incorporated to the world of knowledge or everyday life. (Organization of Latin America States: for the Education, Science and Culture, 1999) The educator is not anymore the only owner of knowledge and the exclusive responsible of transmitting and generating knowledge but it has to assume the position of the one making the incorporation of knowledge more dynamic and wider that the one that corresponds to his field of study. Nowadays the universities face another challenge, to decide on who the responsibility of teaching falls, staring in 2000 in the UACJ hiring of Full Time Professors (PTC) have been mainly focused towards professors that preferably have a Doctorateâ€™s degree that are dedicated to research.
A professor with a doctorate research
teaches a total of 8 hours per week, most of his/her time is spent on research. This creates the need of hiring more professors.
Chapter III 3.1 The purpose of Graphic Design Even today, it is difficult to express in a single sentence what is design, some authors define it as a way to transform ideas into functional objects, others however, give a broader sense, adding cultural and ideological traits. Gilliam (1992) noted: "Design is all creative action that fulfils its purpose". Design is concerned with more than creating objects that help us in daily life. To design there must be a reason; a cause then after evaluation the design should have a value for its attributes and the function for which it was created. Acha, (2001)comments that: â€œPrimitive design exists because man has always tried to design, albeit for a different purpose.â€? An example might be that in Engineering knowledge and experience are applied through drawings, models and techniques to solve problems that affect humanity, and the design process is defined as the mental configuration to find a solution. Chaves (2008) mentions that â€œthe terms engineered and designed, although currently separated for reasons of expertise, they must operate closely articulated". Thus, in South America design education since its inception has been understood as part of the arts and architecture, practiced by artisans who had skills and intuitive abilities, implying this activity was beyond theoretical and technological capacity. The concept of the 20th century German Bauhaus School where design was taught in an institution influenced the formation of design education.
Graphic design as a discipline is credited to William Addison Dwiggins in 1922 to describe its activities as an individual who structured visual communication. (Meggs 2000) On the other hand, Cotera (2004) mentions that graphic design is a discipline dedicated to solving visual communication problems. By discipline we understand that it entails the capacity to act on an order and guidelines that allow us to achieve our goals more accurately. In their book History of Design in Latin America and the Caribbean, Fernandez and Bionsepe (2008), mention that in Mexico and Latin America, graphic design as an activity that produces cultural objects has been changed and adapted with more or less intensity by political events and economic and cultural factors that have dominated through the country's history. An area of great economic importance and cultural significance in Mexico was editorial design, starting with the textbooks edited during President Lopez Mateosâ€™ term (1958-1964), and later with the diffusion of comics, whose sudden popularity and effective penetration in many sectors of society possibly due to their low cost. Monsivais (1996), refers to Vicente Rojo as "[He is] the precursor, [is] the continuator and [is] the renewer" of graphic design in Mexico. In 1934 Fondo de Cultura Economica (The Economic Culture Fund) was established by Daniel Cosio Villegas, one of the most important publishing houses of Mexico that time, it published books regarding the areas of Arts and Literature at an affordable price. However, the major growth in contemporary graphic design in Mexico occurred in the early 1960s when Mexico hosted the Olympic Games in 1968. The following year the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) founded the first Graphic Design program.
Atzcapotzalco (UAM) in Mexico City, opened its program in Graphic Communication Design. These universities were followed by the University of Monterrey, which opened the Graphic Design degree, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) with the National School of Fine Arts, the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi, Anahuac University, University of the Americas and many others. (Guzmรกn 2001). From the early 1980's graphic design was introduced to university schools in Mexico and the growth those employed in the profession rose. Between 1970 and 2000, approximately 50 Mexican colleges and universities established a graphic design degree. However, despite a demand from industry, acceptance among leading academic institutions has been reticent. In 2014 there are a number of organizations and groups helping communication and coexistence between those institutions offering a degree in Graphic Design. The factor of graphic design seen as a marker to measure the change in the quality of life of citizens in American countries, has further encouraged the growth of the subject at university level. For both political and social reasons.
3.2 The function of the Graphic Designer In Latin America, the role of the graphic design is not related purely to the growth of the commercial industry. Rather, the social role of the graphic designer is to inform people or to solve communication problems that exist in their environment. This perspective has shifted to include the industry needs of
graphic design beyond politics, especially with the social shifts from totalitarian regimes to increased political democracy. However, the growth of television and the exponential increase in advertising has led to this aspect being perceived as the most important purpose of graphic design.
In order to ascertain how the term Graphic Design is perceived for this study a survey of staff and students was undertaken. The question was “Do you know what graphic design is?” The answers showed that 80% of students did not know, a figure that included a group of 15 advanced level graphic design students, who could not establish a clear definition. According to Paul Rand one of the most common definitions is the one of “someone who creates ideas manipulates words or images and solves visual communication problems”. This, instead of doing any good affects society and this makes the graphic designer be seen as a creator of consumerism and not as a benefactor of society.
The graphic designer is different from the artist in that he is not normally the source of the messages that he or she communicates but an interpreter; the work of the graphic designer must be free of personal and biased content that may come between the artist and the message. The area of work of the graphic designer covers four fundamental areas which partially limit the exercise of this professional activity, the classification that it’s shown is based on the idea that each of these areas require special training, so the proposed areas are: Information Design: requires the ability to process, organize and present information in spoken and non-spoken form (books, teaching materials, reports, etc.) Persuasive Design: communication design with the purpose of influencing the behaviour of the public and includes: advertising (commercial and non-
commercial), propaganda (political or ideological) and communication of social interest (health, hygiene, safety, accident prevention, etc.) Educational Design: Even though for graphic design it would be defined by the axis that connects information with persuasion, educating cannot be reduced to informing. In education through design, the active participation of the design user is a must. The goal of the designer when trying to educate tries to make the individual think, judge and develop so it does not make preconceived decisions. In conclusion, the objective of the persuasive message is to direct while the educational message is to contribute to development. Design for administration: It needs to be recognized as part of one of the basic class distinctions, contributing to organizing communications inside the systems (design of questionnaires, transportation tickets, entrance to shows, memos, shopping tickets, flow charts, internal business communications of all kinds and design of goods (bank bills, post stamps, etc.). In many of the cases, we observed that design can help society in great lengths. We also see that it not only solves communication problems but it provides for many other points in the life of society.
3.3 How we got to where we are and where is design heading to? What has defined the diversity and wide ranges of areas of graphic design are its precedents that we have already mentioned give the background since plastic arts. Through the XIX and XX centuries, it emphasizes the growth of graphic design with the era of industrialization. The implementation of these great models of industrial production would bring as consequence great conflicts in several different cultural areas.
During the 50’s and 60’s the concept of graphic, image and communication got drastically revolutionized. Also, according Frascara (1997), in Latin America, the studies of graphic design are relatively new; its first records appear starting in 1950. In Mexico, this activity started to be relevant with the boost of the Olympics of 1968 making graphic design as a definite component of the visual environment of the country; this determined the development of the communication function between human groups of different grades of cultural development. By the second part of the XX century what has been called the “Civilization of Image” or as Wolkovwiez (1999) has called it “The era of simulation and representation” got a boost since the excessive consumption of images that men have determined in a way to see and understand the world which has decisively influenced the life of men. Up to here we could be talking of what was the first stage of Design. In the same way that technology continues to evolve, the creativity of the designer acquires a bigger relevance inside the cultural frame of each era by assuming an important growing role in the different areas of sociomultidisciplinary
advancements give way to a wide evolution in graphic design giving a bigger number of tools to create innovative designs of great originality, in regards to this, it is worth mentioning the use of programs such as Photoshop, Corel Draw, Phox-pro, Free-hand, Adobe Ilustrator, Macromedia Flash and Page Maker among others. During the XX century, designers gave a bigger control of the graphic process to the communication means with their technological development,
since in the 90’s the new communication forms of the digital era presented new challenges, such as the World Wide Web, a system of distribution of information contributing with this to the fast evolution of graphic design worldwide. With the passage of time, the professional areas of design started to expand. In this way, the design starts a very close relationship with industrialization, developing what we now call mass media. Unfortunately, with industrialization we also have mass consumption affecting the development and focus of design. Anyone would think that the great demand of products, the unmeasured competition for sales, the creation of buying needs or well the identity of each product where the design is in charge of their packaging, this would create the design “boom” generating a great demand of work for designers. But, at the same time this would create or contribute to the creation of a consumption culture. Here we can have a small deliberation… isn’t this beneficial for design? We must remember the phrase “I shop, therefore I exist” or “The information age”. That is to say that here we can see the evidence of the progress that has been suffered in what is in regards to knowledge, information and communication, this last one being the main factor. In a wide number of definitions about Design we have that “Graphic Design is a way of visual communication”. The design, at the end, would be achieving its main goal since what it looks for is to communicate. Even though the problem is not centred in this definition; the problem would be if this was the only concept of definition that exists or that we apply on the design (we will conclude this idea later).
The job of advertisers and designers does not end in the production and distribution of the product, but in the influence that it creates on people. Adela Cortina, for example, says that the moment that we are living should be called “The age of consumption” (Cortina, 2002) in which design plays an important role. Our lives are centred and determined by consumption. We work to shop, to be happier, to be more successful more admired (brands, logo’s campaigns… and the phrase “love is born from sight”) etc. In this consumer society, as explained by Cortina, it is distinguished by its dynamic that is constituted by the superficial consumer goods in which people base their success and their happiness.
Is important to mention that “the
information age” would affect in an unequal manner to some and others, the age of consumption is a worldwide name. Inside of the economic dimension there is a cycle made up by production, exchange and consumption. Things are first produced, and then they are exchanged and finally consumed. This happened with some easiness until production increased thanks in most part to technological advances, especially in the past 20th century with help from mass production. The question was, How to continue, bigger consumption? To begin with, consumption had to be taken to new levels since it is not enough to consume what is needed, it is always desired to buy more than what is needed or required even or over all what is superfluous. Of course, this “extra” consumption must not be seen or be noted by consumers as an excess but to be sustained at the same level as the basic goods. The key to achieve this is to know how to create a necessity to later create a need for the advertised product. Of course to create this, a great deep work in ideology is needed that would be left to the excellent use of
advertising, marketing and design. According to Ramonet (2001, p. 67), it is connected to the first and most powerful of all arts: the manipulation of human beings. For this author, advertising is a real ideology war machine at the service of a social model based in capital, market, commerce and consumption where the most important is not being but having. To be more it is necessary to have more and of course, who doesnâ€™t want to be more? The way in which advertising and design were acting on society is explained in a very illustrative manner by Majad Rahnema: First, they destroyed the consumer defences, preparing the field to establish any type of idea. After, they created new necessities (cars, cell phones, DVD, laptops, internet, iPods) and finally the dependency to these new products which if are not had is not possible to live. This way, producers have achieved a perfect cycle. Convincing the audience that consumption brings happiness and we all want to be happy! So we all get on the same carrousel and we start to consume. It is worth mentioning that those that do the opposite can even be excluded from some social groups. Let us reflect now on the role that graphic design is playing. Even there being a side of this that was not considered is the existence of a focus around graphic design which has not being incorporated in full and critical in the contents and objectives of the forming of professionals of this field. This could potentially develop a deeper study where design becomes an important mean which pretends to solve social issues. Design presents many stages. The search for a design with conscience becomes a challenge nowadays, facing the great influence of consumption, the struggle to survive in a global market, job competitiveness as well as the small broadcasting of the activity of a designer in its society. These are some of the elements with which we would be starting to generate
a third stage that makes the design of the 21st century. A design that has a commitment, conscience, including ethics and responsibility for a society that today faces a lot of problems. What are we doing? Are we really being responsible of the communication of these visual messages? In a study done with a group of design students of the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) of the Field Research module in 2006, they analysed the great amount of images in our surroundings (this visual communication of which so many give opinions and many opinions) and how this messages are presented without any justification for lack of creativity, in the solution of the message generating a visual pollution, a damage to its surrounding without any direct responsibility. In such luck is necessary to establish measures and strategies that support the development of graphic design and to the social and community surroundings.
Chapter IV 4.1 Social Graphic Design It can be applied to several means whether printed or digital, design covers all human activities and can be defined as an autonomous activity, and intellectual, aesthetic and practical discipline. Jorge Frascara says â€œthe visual design can be an important mean to face social problems...â€? (1997, p. 15). It can be said that design is made and lives from society, the problem is to give it a good handling, it is true that it cannot end with violence, thefts, discrimination and all bad things that are in the world but it can strongly contribute to achieve it. The design is a portrayal of the social, political and economic situations even religious. Since design lives from society, the professionals when doing their job influence or impact on society. It is necessary to be conscious of this situation and value what it implies a successful job. The economic market has been in charge of handling design to its benefit and unfortunately the excess and lack of control could have great repercussions to society. Considering an ethical positioning before the necessities of a client would take a risky situation for what society needs; the designer takes care of the construction of visual messages with the purpose of influencing knowledge, attitudes and the behaviour of people, whether this is true or not, but the designer is the one that has to work with a humanistic vision and social responsibility. As Nigel Whitely says, â€œif design were a person, would it be a mature adult taking responsibility for its actions or an insecure teenager
fighting to be in good terms with the outside world?â€? (1993, pp. iii, Introduction) After all, the designer can help the solution of the problem since design responds with an action that is why a problem of design can accept several efficient responses. There are two areas in which the designer has relevance: help to make life possible and helps to improve it. Currently, there are organizations that help to make design a benefit for society helping the people that need it. As the International Humane Organization: Design for the World (designfortheworld.org, 2003) that is in charge of putting together the abilities of volunteer designers with the necessities expressed by the underprivileged. This organization is moved by the thinking that these people that live in poverty, war, age and environmental limitations deserve access to design solutions that benefit them in their physical environment with objects to live, work, study or play. It is necessary that graphic design keeps growing and getting recognition in the building of the new information society that the internet anticipates. In its behalf, the web pages that nowadays are the visual stage of the future of digital information are developing fast by putting together visual communication techniques, cognitive design, navigation structure and of course graphic design. Every time we refer to advertising we associate it in an almost automatic way to terms such as sales, commerce or marketing. It is true that a great deal of ads to which we are exposed through different means have the object of promoting products, services their consumption or buying them; it also happens that a small of these claims do not follow a commercial purpose. For example; what an add financed by the government â€œsellsâ€? is
trying to educate its citizens to use seat belts while driving with the purpose of preventing getting hurt in traffic accidents or, what does a political candidate “sell” when from a wall he throws a slogan while staring at us?. These are other cases that do not “sell” anything and still are ads, are advertising claims, are advertising. This makes us get interested in what the designer and graphic design can help. The question would be, how? Currently designers and organizations have made efforts at world level to change the use of design through Social Campaigns and these are activities of
communication that are focused on the receiver and not in its dimension as consumer but as citizen. Through these social campaigns it is tried to educate the population or part of it on a topic of public and general interest. This does not peruse a purpose of profit as commercial communication or the relevance of a company as corporate communication. Its strength is in the message and not who gives it. Most of them are separate institutions or official organizations who promote these types of campaigns.
The victims of occasional disaster such as earthquakes or floods (Doctors without borders)
Increase the use of a product or service that is beneficial for the person (consumption of fruits and vegetables) or for the urban environment (use of public transportation)
Fight the consumption of dangerous products. This is an objective that differentiates it from other activities of persuasive communication since in
these the negative consumption is promoted. This is the case of campaigns against drugs or excessive drinking. ď‚ˇ
Change in attitudes such as campaigns against racism, and facilitate the integration of the immigrants. Even though that in these cases it exists a great acceptance among
the population about the topics presented, it does not always happen in social campaigns. There are other cases in which a great division is created radical strong postures and associations that act as pressure groups that defend one position or another and turn to social campaigns to inform an ratify their opinion, convince the undecided and fight against their opponents. For example, for years the association that fights against the use of animal skin to make clothes (PETA), has been promoting international level campaigns featuring top models under the slogan: Iâ€™d rather go naked than wear furâ€?. Another similar case is the one being carried out by bull fighting and anti-bullfighting associations that try to make conscience in society about if bullfighting is an art or a savage butchering. At a national level, we could say that these efforts continue to be very few. The foundations television broadcast companies have started to get involved in this field and even though they help society in an economic form it does not seem to create a conscience in people as it cannot observe a need to promote it. In Mexico, the social campaigns have not been many compared to the problems the country faces every day today or they have not had enough follow up to make sure that they have created an impact on society. A very clear example of social campaigns carried out in Ciudad Juarez because of the problems with female murders in this city. More than
a social campaign, it was seen as an isolated good intention by the mothers of the murdered girls in the border city. The social protest shown through the crosses in the lamp post around the city, we could characterize it a social campaign. Even though there is no feedback on the effects that it caused in a short or long term. At the end of the day, the responsibility of the social conscience is not on the designer but on each individual even though the job of the designer is to create responsibility in the individuals through the generation of efficient visual messages. The contribution that the designer makes to people is imminent, graphic design can be a producer that generates a social benefit.
necessary to first have good research about the necessities of the client and the problem that exists. A good research will bring always a better proposal. Even though there are some variables that can affect such proposal such as: the time that the designer has to respond to the client and of course the cost that such project will generate because in Mexico this activity is not very respected. Even more, in the interior of the country, that is why the work of the designer becomes poorly paid, particularly in those projects that are developed for the government where they usually try to reduce the cost with low payments. This becomes a disloyal practice â€œwhat is noticeable is that the bigger the corporations, the cheaper they want to get the contracts. This way, the work of the Mexican designers is poorly paid and what is a great contradiction is that they pay great amounts to foreign designers because they are considered better.
Sometimes, they simply approve projects
because these designers present a high budget estimate, this attitude is known as â€œmalinchistaâ€?, which means to automatically consider something as better quality just because of its foreign origin.
The good development of a project and the cost it generates is also related to the level of the designers. In Ciudad Juarez, designers are categorized in three levels: with experience, independent/freelancers and students. Therefore, depending on the level they are categorized is the responsibility and result of the project as well as the cost. Lastly, a bad decision can be catastrophic. In the last decade, the social as well as the environmental problems have received more attention on behalf of design but not by society. This confronts the designer with a greater responsibility that as consequence impacts on an educational reform, reason why more design schools consider in their students the necessity to involve areas of visual responsibility as well as ethics as a part of their studies with the purpose of facing the challenges of the country.
4.2 The impact of violence in Mexico In Mexico, during the recent years of economic growth, the crime level has increased considerably according to official statistics which speak of an increase in a 142% in the last two decades. This increase in violence has (Center for economic Studies of the Private Sector, A.C., 2002) affected the economic growth and competitiveness of Mexican companies. In Latin America, the word “crime” is used to describe violence and situations such as murders and physical assaults with or without violence. Lesser criminal activity is not included in the definition of “crime” and has no translation in Spanish. The information that Mexico records are only incidents
that describe “crime” to a very specific kind of criminal activity; lesser crimes such as sexual harassment and vandalism in many occasions are not registered even though they exist and become a part of the criminal activity image.
It is worth mentioning that in European counties these kinds of
crimes would be constituted as crimes. Some statistics from the police indicate that the current crimes are not different throughout Mexico even though there are some particularities in the statistics of some states. According to the General State Attorney’s Office (PGR), which is the national police force in Mexico, between January and July of 2004, the statistics showed 135,517 crimes in the country. Some states double this information, for example, the state of Durango showed an increase of 600% in criminal activity during a small period. (El Universal, 2004) Information from the states in the northern border of Mexico shows an alarming increase in crime. According to a newspaper count, in December of 2006 there were 178 murders. In 2007, 2,673 and by 2008 there were 5,630 and up to now in 2009 there are more than 6,525. According with a report done by the Non-Government Organizations (ONG) to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, violence reached an average of 20 murders in only one day in Ciudad Juarez. This is 159 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. In 2008, Ciudad Juarez led the list as one of the most violent cities in the world. (El Universal, 2009) Violence continues through cultures, social classes, education, income, ethnicities and age in every country. Also, the violence against women involves any act of violence it is probable that it results in physical, sexual and mental abuse or any kind of suffering inflicted on a woman
including threats as acts, coercion, or kidnapping without being important if it occurs in public or private. The violence against women frequently starts during the dating period at a very young age and continues through the rest of their lives feeling like this treatment is common and mostly noted in cultures dominated by men. In Central America, the increase in deaths and wounds caused by violence is alarming. Violence against women is also generalized as a problem that affects most countries no matter their social or development level. Violence has a place in every aspect of society and is not an isolated problem; is a problem that has its roots very deep and well structured. In regards to this, UNICEF estimates that 60 million women are not even in global population statistics. Women are victims of their families, deliberately killed by fear or negligence or simply because they are women. (UNICEF, 2005) This problem can take other forms such as domestic violence, sexual harassment in the work place, and sexual violence (women murders as they are known in the north of Mexico) The idea is that in Mexico as in other countries, the police force by itself is not enough to stop these massive levels of crime and the lessening of fear and crime probability is something that the police as well as the community have to achieve together. Ciudad Juarez is located in the border between the USA and Mexico and is a violent city, especially recognized by its high index of violence against women in the last decade according to Julia Monarrez (2012). Ciudad Juarez is a city where poverty, the lack of the basic utilities, corruption, inefficient security, drugs and the combination of two different cultures is a perfect mix to make violent crimes explode.
authorities and associations have not agreed in the number of murdered
women in Ciudad Juarez in the last decade. The numbers vary between 320 and 500 women and unfortunately this is increasing.
4.3 Design Against Crime Design Against Crime (DAC) was a national initiative in the United Kingdom that involved schools, universities, industry and commerce. This project started in 1999; it made graphic design be seen as a tool that could be used against crime. Because the results of the research were going to be very broad, Cambridge University researched a number of industries. This research was focused at a macro level; it tried to motivate the ability to construct with consistency and perseverance products and the services against crime. On the other hand, the design and innovation research unit in a micro level looks in the Sheffield Hallam University as the main design of development in which the job of the designers in which they look for detailed learning in regards to this new challenge. Cambridge University has been filming around six sectors of industries trying to identify what type of crimes were committed with most frequency in this area. The people who made the decisions in the companies in regards to the design and which techniques were typically used. This involves a big challenge especially for designers, because it tries to persuade the audience about a change; the design against crime which has to be thought to resist mistreatment, misuse or bad handling of the designed product.
Design Against Crime (DAC) is a new concept that considers how and where design can play an important role in the prevention and elimination of crime. The design of everyday products, services, vehicles and architecture have caused an impact in the rate of crime and the fear of crime. This is why DAC allows that designing can work as an active agent in reducing crime. The new methods of crime prevention against crime constantly developing and this way there have been less thefts, vehicle crimes benefiting communities and as consequence the businesses of crime have been decreasing. According to Clark (1997) Design Against Crime is about making products that are resistant to abuse, misuse, bad handling or conduct. In so many words, Clark involves a mix of answers and innovation that creatively solves conflict demands and a competition that obligates producing something that is targeted to the objective without forgetting about the human nature. The design against crime (DAC) has a lot of challenges for designers, mainly when the designer tries to persuade the audience about a change. In Clarkâ€™s words â€œit implies a mix of answers and innovation that creatively solves conflicts that compete and make producing something that complies with the purpose without forgetting human nature.â€? (Clark R. , 1997). As long as there is no reference to the role of the graphic designer as mediators in the reduction of crime, it suggests an opportunity to be considered in the field that is not being explored. This is an area where there are many challenges especially when one wants to change the way of thinking about a change that has to be done.
A study in Australia noted that people who came from violent homes would be practically forced to remain in a cycle of violence as either receivers or providers of violence, and therefore are the most vulnerable groups to criminal violence. The possibility of anticipating the criminal behaviour is in paying more attention in prevention of criminal acts. In this respect, there has been a shift in the focus among criminalists from the interest of the attacker to interest in the circumstances of the offense. Then, prevention can cover a great number of activities that range from environmental design to pre-school, social control and criminal justice systems. This suggests the involvement of graphic design that looks for reward and punishment as a perception that can decrease the recurrence to a violent crime. Another example is the impact that it the effective design can have in the reduction of crime in England that every time is more acknowledged. (Design Council, 2003) For example, in the automobile industry an increase in the strengthening of security as part of all the design process has achieved a reduction in automobile theft. There is evidence that suggest that the recommendations about the use of design are ignored by a great part of the industry and that the products and services continue to be developed with few applications, that is why the opportunity potential and delinquent activities and its reduction have not been all that successful. (Design Against Crime, 2004) Because of this situation it is necessary to broadcast this design against crime (DAC) project through television networks and other mass media to allow the flow of knowledge and communication and to effectively start the incorporation of everyday thinking of design. This also becomes a constant challenge to the designer since design is a changing field as well as
the use of new technologies that are developing and evolving to reach the constant changing necessities of the users.
4.4 Prevention is Crucial Violence is a price that all world societies must pay. When this scales to high levels the quality of life diminishes. The neighbourhoods and living areas become war zones and houses become jails of which we do not want to leave because of the fear of being assaulted. The wound that crime leaves cannot be healed, that is why is so important to prevent crime and violence. Prevention has been accepted as key to respond to violence. Even though this strategy has had problems that limit its effectiveness and threat its existence in Mexico, in the last years delinquency has increased and we can observe how through time there have been intentions to make campaigns against this problem without any success. The importance of the efforts to prevent crime and violence needs a commitment from everyone and the efforts of crime prevention look to expand opportunities and incentives to stimulate the individual to take responsibility for his/her actions and the ones of the community. Prevention has been accepted as key component to human response to crime even though with a lot of efforts the fast growth at this level, the strategy of crime prevention has suffered great growing pains that limit its efficiency and could even threaten its growth as is noted in the Design Council Guide. (2003) In Mexico, the research in design (architectural, industrial, graphic, textile or interior) is a challenge we must give special attention to, because a
great number of solutions given have resulted from the creative effort of designers in an attempt at innovation and even though sometimes the proposals come short, it is precisely because they lack theoretical sustainability to give both strength and a reason to the project. We see some cases such as the campaign in Ciudad Juarez “Ponte Viva” (trans. “Be Alert”), or “Todos contra la Violencia” (trans. “Everybody Against Violence”) have been campaigns that do not register the impact that they are having on their audience and so the result becomes ephemeral losing their objective goal for which they were proposed. The goal of the first campaign “Ponte Viva” consisted on educating the community about the problems that affect women from sexual harassment to death. The campaign gave alternatives to confront it; it even started strongly and with a budget and it was mainly put in effect in the industry sector of the maquilas in Ciudad Juarez. At the beginning it generated an interesting expectation because it was all over the media such as: spots on TV and radio, billboards, ads, newspapers, etc. Pamphlets about caution and prevention, information, self-defence lessons for young women were created, just to mention some of the activities that were done for this campaign, but it never registered the impact that it had on the population and most importantly, the results were never analysed.
impact on women was not observed, the techniques for self-defence shown were very obvious and they were sceptic about its effectiveness to perform in reality what the ad was saying about how to attack the predator with the heels of their shoes. On the other hand the slogan was weak in bringing safety. The reflection on how to defend themselves generated a question: What is was the need of having police and security guard? What was the purpose of their job then? This can be a good example of bad planning of a
project where the reduction of crime was expected. It is necessary to study the geographic distribution and the areas where there is a high crime rate registered, compare and contrast the more violent places and as a result establish a comparison. In the research that was done by an English company, it was observed that the ten high risk zones were near the maquilas and the industrial areas and the low risk zones were the rural ones. This is why to understand the deep impact that crime has in society, it is necessary to visualize and plan, it needs to move forward and get ahead of what statistics say. The sexual assaults, thefts and aggressions produce stress on the victim. Even though the biggest worry among the population is generated by spreading fear, this can result in more violence. For example; in the UK drug trafficking only affects a specific group of people but its negative effect spreads quickly involving society in a more global aspect. The most challenging feeling about eradicating crime is fear, people are afraid of facing problems because they do not feel safe in the environment they are in. On the other hand, during the 50Â´s, criminal activity was seen as something medical. This is caused by something emotional or social that affects the mind of the individual and only a small group was treated medically and returned to society. This way of thinking in where Â¨the offenders were offended was soon eliminated after observing the pathology of the offenders were not psychological abnormal and they were not only young men that had grown and lived in poverty. For example, child rape, domestic violence, robberies and the drug environment are crimes committed by people of different ages and social status even though is more frequently done by men than by women. The ideas is that people could be aggressive depending the circumstances to do it, even offenders can be
persuaded to be stronger, these behaviours can be convinced to change by means of a good strategy. Even though the challenge that is the diversity of violence and crimes, there are groups and individuals that are identified by all thefts, vandalism, murders, rapes, etc. These can be registered. Even though there is a quarter of a million of criminals that were sentenced in 1995, 82% were men and 45% were under 21; the ages in which the people were easier to become predators was in average 18 for men and 15 for women. (Home Office 1996) In the Home Office Offenders statistics it is shown that most become recurrent juvenile delinquents after a period of time. It is estimated that 60% of all men that appear in court have already been tried before. (Maguire 1997) It has been observed that population in prisons consists in its majority of young people because 62% of jail population is between 18 and 30 years even though this range is only 25% of the general population. Men have an overpopulation of 96%, this is a disproportionate number compared with minorities: 15% of inmates as well as 23% of women are described Asians or black. 41% of the population does not have an occupation or has part time compared with the 18% of the general population (Maguire 1997). These statistics clearly show that the social environment of people that are arrested and processed by the English judicial system, the minority offenders tend to have a different behaviour than the rest of the population. In this part of the population, it was discovered that the population was male, young, black, low social economic status, illiterate and child abuse.
4.5 How do we face Crime? Prevention can be defined as â€œanything that decreases crime, violence and insecurityâ€?. It is necessary to counter attack it by making use of research of two common factors: those that are focused on victims and the ones focused on offenders. Some of the methods in which these actions could be implemented would be to decrease opportunities: making crime more difficult, more risky or less urgent and decreasing the factors that predispose people to become criminals. When it comes to crime prevention, the first task is to have a strong criminal justice system, the justice forces are also considered tactics for the prevention of crime. This way, the possible delinquents are persuaded of abstaining from committing a crime out of the fear of punishment, another measure to supervise their conduct, preventing crimes and restricting their actions. Others think that these types of measures are limited. Persuasion is a principle that many believe in since many crimes are passion, although not all of the; it is assumed that delinquents live the moment, it is a little bit unrealistic to establish agreement with the logic that most of delinquents will base their actions on something rational (according to Home Office) The variety of delinquents and crime is one of the reasons why the law is necessary, but is a strategy that is not enough for the prevention of violence and violent crimes. If the individuals commit recurring crimes it is probable that is because of how they live. As we move forward in time, we notice that the design is a vital tool to persuade people about what is a crime. This is important for a society that is involved in such chaos as is Ciudad
Juarez where we find a great variety of crime ranging from child abuse to repression of freedom of expression by high social strata and this is increasing as time goes by. Here is where it is suggested that design gets involved because is a tool for society. It is now when something must be done since all tools are at the reach of designers. This is how the idea of doing research at UACJ in this field, teaching students of graphic design to have a different approach to their profession through a change in the perception of the approach that is had towards design. Taking as example what countries such as Australia and the UK do, from the perspective of Design Against Crime (DAC) and how it is possible to start teaching the students to see violence as a real problem. This will allow hat their contribution as professionals to develop material that promotes less violence through the system of design such as: develop campaigns that focus in a different way on crime and violence. For this type of change we need for young people to become involved, the development will depend on them.
4.6 Graphic Design is a persuasive tool in the reduction of crime. This research explores a new perspective of design and its role in society. It also explores graphic design as a tool in education that helps decreasing violence. According to Ekblom (2001), the prevention of crime tries to decrease the risk of criminal events and the bad conduct related with
its causes. Also, an efficient design can be used as a tool in the reduction of crime. This suggests that interventions of graphic design that try to change the perception of reward and punishment can have the potential to decrease violence or violent situations. It has already been mentioned that in Mexico as in other countries, police is not enough to fight against violence. Reducing the risk and fear of violence has an implicit task of developing between authorities and the community. The biggest problem is when we have a passive community because it is used to these events. Ciudad Juarez is an area where poverty, lack of basic services, corruption, insufficient security, drug addiction problems and the difficulties of combining two different cultures are exploding factors for violence and crime. This city is particularly known because of its recurrences of crime against women and its problems with drug dealers. In the United Kingdom, the Universities of Sheffield Hallam and Salford financed by the State Department and Internal Affairs have approved and implemented methods to decreasing crime as part of a project established from the Universities â€œDesign Against Crimeâ€? (DCC). The examples that are result of this project have been used to develop a study in Mexico, specifically at the UACJ. In this university, Design Against Violence tries to be developed with students of graphic design field to create a new consideration of design projects with the real social problems. In the social campaigns, the power of design can act as a social tool and the role of the campaign can be informative or educational. According to Frascara (2000), the purpose of the persuasive message is change the
conduct of a specific group through motivation as the stimulus to make the audience think, judge and develop by themselves. Students as participants in change.- Living in the border between Mexico and the USA becomes a great challenge. Ciudad Juarez is distinguished by its extreme weather conditions, flora and fauna; the lifestyle of the area and the great distance between the state and the capital of the country makes life in the border difficult. The development of these cities has to do with the maquila industry, companies that assemble products. 90% of these companies are American since they are near the border it allows them to have cheap labour. The extreme weather it has because of its location in a desert area maximizes its growth problem and development. This becomes part of a cultural image that influences the inhabitants of the city. The problems of the city are extensive and many; the police is not ready to face the problems of the community and there is apathy and indifference by people or the problems of society. Ciudad Juarez has taken an attitude of looking the other way. Nowadays it is a challenge to try changing the passive attitude of people before a problem of violence. In this research material it is presented a first approach in the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) which explores an alternative to decreasing violence by means of the Design Against Violence in Education (DCCE) through the effort of changing in the perception of the students of graphic design from UACJ.
Chapter V Methodology In order to develop this chapter it is necessary to establish some definitions of the concepts that were selected for the process of this thesis project, and to consider the methodologies used and their application. The main objective is to evaluate whether and how graphic design can contribute to the reduction of violence in society through its application in an educational context. In order to develop this objective, it was divided in several stages during an elaborative process. It was necessary to establish that qualitative research undertaken employing ethnographic research methods. This proposal is established from the perspective of the author of this thesis, which has over 15 years working with the study group. Will be explained later in the chapter proposed development every step to register the observation, as well as each step in the application of action research. This involved filming students while they were working, observing group discussions between student peers as they worked on projects and the discussions during studio critiques. As well as using observation as a method, during the last section it is planned to use action research. Cal Swann expresses it as: â€œAction research requires the research process to be made visible. It demands public accountability and visible self-evaluation, an issue that is assuming increasing importance for current professional design practice. Surely the days are gone when only the designer and client approve a design. The public is having an increasing say in validating the design,
environmental concerns being an obvious example of the way that public dialogue is impinging on design. There should be no qualms about design benefiting from the need for practitioners to make their processes visible and socially responsible. There should be no qualms about design benefiting from the need for practitioners to make their processes visible and socially responsible” (Swann, 2002) The objective looking that through implicit process, this becomes explicit, and the group of design can learn consciously from each project and thus become empowered through the process. The term methodology shows the way in which we focus on problems and look for answers. It is the reach between the subject and the object of knowledge; the assumptions, the interests and the purposes are the ones that make us choose one or another methodology. The term method, etymologically speaking derives from two Greek roots, meta (to the length) and odo (way) which means way to something. The method is the route that takes us to knowledge, and is a procedure or a group of steps, and the way that we follow a series of procedures, rules and operations in a conscious manner which serve as instruments to reach the objectives of the research. There are several types of methods which are applied, taking into consideration the pursued aim of the project, the kind of phenomenon to be studied, an example would be: the deductive, inductive, experiment and dialectic method; this is to say, there is not only one method. There are different methods depending on the type of “science” where the most proper method will be applied, to be followed according to the end or objective to be achieved. We will define “Science”, as the group of knowledge gained through observation and the structured reasoning from which principles or laws are deducted. According to Mario Bunge (1960)
science is a research activity that starts in social life, applied to the improvement of our natural and artificial environment. Also, according to the method shown by Rudolf Carnap (1986, p. 69) sciences are divided into: formal, natural and social. In the social sciences it is implied that a human action is demonstrated by a social interaction in a group or its environment. Indeed, in social sciences, two main theoretical perspectives have predominated: Positivism and Phenomenology. The positivists looks for the facts or causes of the social phenomena with an independence from the subjective states of individuals;
questionnaires, inventories and demographic studies. This method is different from phenomenology that tries to understand the social phenomena from the perspective of the individual as actor, and examines the way the individual reacts to the world. The reality that matters is the one that the individual perceives as important. The methods of gathering information mostly recurrent for the phenomenologist are those that generate descriptive data, collected mainly by the observation of the participant and through interviewing them.
5.1 The strategy of the research The quantitative focus is centred in the gathering of data to prove a hypothesis based on the numeric measurement and the statistical analysis looking to establish conduct patterns. According to (Hernandez, Fernandez, & Baptista), an important characteristic of this type of research is the gathering of data; this gathering or measurement of information is achieved
by using standard and accepted procedures accepted by the scientific community. An evaluation of the process must be undertaken and to demonstrate how rigorous this method is, to give value and credibility to the gathering of data using this method. The analysis of the data is based on statistical processes, transforming these results or values into numeric data. The researcher in this kind of study must maintain objectivity at every moment, and the format of research with a quantitative style follows a predictable and structured pattern. On the other hand, the qualitative methodology focus on the gathering of information without or with minimal numerical measurement, looking to establish generalities, to define or modify research questions in the process of the interpretation. (Sampieri, 2010) Qualitative research is based on inductive processes employing information gathered from the perspective and point of view of the participants (including their emotions, experiences, and comprehension of the meanings of the study in question). The experiences and situations lived by the participants are fundamental in the researcherâ€™s information gathering. This methodology can be defined as a group of interpretational experiences. It is naturalist, because it studies the objects and living beings in their context and natural environments. It is interpretational because it tries to find meaning to the phenomena in terms and meaning that the individuals give it. These research processes are used mainly in the areas of sociology or those that are related to the behavior of individuals. According to the content that this thesis presents, the best application to be used would be the qualitative method since the subject of the thesis presents a problematic situation that must be observed in its events and daily activities as they occur in their natural environment including the registering
of any unusual event. The researcher will be directly involved with the reality that the group of people to be studied face day by day. The relationship between students and the researcher will be generated from the classes and tutoring sessions, the study group will have the opportunity to present everyday situations that can generate a closer link to understand their behavior and how to act. It is important to know and understand the point of view of the study group from that perspective and seek to be closer to a match or recurrent key point in them. Also, it is important to get an internal point of view, observed from inside the phenomena. Moreover, it is very important to maintain a holistic view of the problematic situation, understanding it as a whole and not as individual problems. The gathering of information is focused on providing a bigger understanding of the meanings and experiences of the individual participants. One of the most important information gathering instruments in the qualitative research is observation, here; the participants become a main source of information. Finally, using the method of qualitative research provides a point of view that is unique and provides new insights into the topic. Ethnographic
ethnography is understood as the â€œresearch methodâ€? where the researcher is immersed in the social environment to be researched for a long period of time by observing the conduct patterns of the members of the community; listening to understand their conversations. Some authors use ethnography as a synonym of the qualitative research in which they include ethnography properly mentioned as life stories, spoken stories and the study of cases. For others, ethnography is
considered as a method or group of practices and tools developed as a complement in the use of qualitative methods. The goal of ethnography is to describe the ways of a social group in which there is an inter group acknowledgement of participants that live and work together as a social unit. Ethnography requires the complete involvement of the researcher in the culture and daily life of the study group and also, the researcher will try to learn from the surroundings of such individuals by organizing and analysing the gathered information. For example: When you live daily in an environment, it becomes difficult to see the changes that are generated, this because as we are part of it and the events become part of everyday image. However, when you get away from that environment and observe from outside, you become aware of it, and the vision of these events becomes perceptible, in this way when you come back to this group, the changes were not initially perceived now become capable of being observed. In the ethnographic method some tools are used to gather information such as: observation, interviews, questionnaires, case studies and life stories. Inclรกn (1992) points out that the ethnographic method in education has its precedents in anthropology and sociology. In Mexico, two variables have been observed in educational research: anthropological research and ethnographic research. The particularity of educational ethnography is that it basically tries to research in the meanings of the daily situations that are in an educational setting. To get closer to an effective reality, the researchers limit the area, time and length of the study. The subjective manner of observation that is necessary during long periods of time is required to be
described, and may employ structured and non-structured interviews. However the technique with the most advantages is direct observation. For Rockwell (1994), ethnographic research is basic field research where the researcher keeps a link with the participants (actors) involved in the study. It is necessary that the researcher during their stay becomes involved and familiarized with the practices undertaken by the participants while analysing and interpreting the information. Rockwell also mentions that the field research is not separate from the information analysis and its interpretation. From this perspective, ethnography is a methodology that does not judge the actions of the actors but tries to understand them. Although Paradise (1994, p. 75) thinks that in the development of the educational ethnography, the most transcendental aspect is the construction of knowledge beginning with the life experiences of the study group, and Paradise also mentions that some researchers choose an ethnographic approach precisely because of the interpretative and holistic perspective that directs the field research and the kind of descriptions that emerge without adhering to one theory or a single analytical procedure in particular. This shows that the ethnographic research is both a simple technique, and a process of construction that can be used as a field methodology. This research project has been divided into several sections that relate to progressive semesters of teaching and development of the concepts and ideas provided to the students. Each one of these sections has a unique research design by using different methods thus looking for answers that contribute to the search of results. The methodology used in each period will allow observation the development of the subject and the particular format methods are used in teaching.
5.2 Ethnography applied in Design. This thesis project is developed with students from the Graphic Design program at the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez between 2000 and 2009. During pilot tests of this project it was noted that the students did not use a research process to develop their own design proposals. The design process is usually very complex and thus the existing method of producing a design without reference to the whole process of planning, production, evaluation and redesigning was not taking place. Thus, one of the first actions was to introduce the academic staff teaching on the Graphic Design program, which in turn were to introduce project planning to the students. When planning research it is necessary to consider its application in the field, and aspects such as social, economic and cultural characteristics. Thus research requires a design process, a formal system that considers each and all of its components Today knowing the needs and interests of the users is a key determining factor to ensure a project has a robust design, since the final product is the one that will answer to the characteristics and viability of each one of the users. The designer considers the viability of a product as a quality factor that is vital, and has to be submitted to constant evaluations. As Patrick Lynch (2008, pĂĄg. 14) mentions â€œtrying the designs and observing the reactions of the concrete users is the best way to make sure if the design concepts that have been used provide what is really expectedâ€?. Therefore, designing is not the product of intuition or divinity. A methodological base must be considered in order to sustain the logical arguments which support a
feasible project has to be undertaken. This methodological basis will enable knowledge both as the starting point, but also as the steps of the projectâ€™s process.
Albert Esteve mentions that â€œto solve a project problem, the
method and methodology would be the starting points, mostly theoretically and abstracts that must comply with each practical and concrete caseâ€?. Thus ethnography as well as the action research has taken on a very important role in the development and evaluation of the design. We must consider two situations at the moment of being presented with a design project so we can see how the two methodologies may be employed; the first one is when there exists the proposal of a design for a new product and this requires the use of ethnographic research in the first stage, and this method is fundamental to the success of a final product. The second part of the project consists of the evaluation or effectiveness of the proposed product, and this requires testing and implementing projected design proposals. These methodologies are the basis of the work developed by students, as well as the researchers who observe the progress and changes in the working methods of the students, and how the research gives value to the results proposed by them. As we have seen ethnography can be understood as the research method for the gathering of data by which we learn the way of life of a society, in which through it we look for the description or analytical reconstruction with an interpretational purpose of the culture, ways of life and social structure of the group that will be researched. In ethnographic research there are some important points the researcher must consider. First, it is important to not start with assumptions; this could end up taking the focus of the researcher away from the
behaviours or phenomena surrounding the study group. A fundamental requirement lies on direct observation no matter what instruments, registry devices or techniques of gathering are used to get the information. The main objective is for the researcher to remain where the action takes place being careful that their presence does not alter or modify their surroundings. Another important characteristic within the ethnographic research in design is time, the distinct stages of a process. The researcher must spend enough time immersed in the field of study; some research speaks about two, three or more years. This is why the researcher must become involved in the life of the group and interact with its members for a long period of time since they will have to be accepted in the group. Although some authors speak about the feasibility of developing small ethnographic research, (Brewer, 2000) in Understanding Social Research Ethnography discusses the difference of generating “big” ethnography and “little”- or small ethnography studies. Big ethnography is a synonym of qualitative research in which ethnography is included as qualitative field research, the spoken stories, life stories and case studies, while little ethnography is considered only as a method or group of practices and tools developed to complement the use of qualitative methods. Nowadays, the majority of these ethnographic studies in design combine both ethnography approaches.
5.3 Method and Methodology Participant
Rogel, E., Diagram
Rule process = Method
By considering fields of application, social, economic and the cultural characteristics of a group at the moment of designing a study the ethnographic research becomes a very powerful tool that allows the researcher to consider a formal systematization that considers every and each one of the components that such process requires when looking for new knowledge. Design is always strongly tied to people. For a true
connection, the designer needs to use the empathy with their audience, understanding the relationship between what the designer produces and the meaning that the product has for the users. The cultural and social characteristics are deeply complex, ethnography can help us to understand and make sense of this search, allowing us to see and analyse further than our understanding of the situation, and to perceive the point of view, attitudes and reactions of others. This way, the ethnography can provide information of why such conducts of people and the why it makes sense for them. When starting from a systematic observation the researcher gathers a great deal of information, photographs, films, artefacts, diaries; and these provide the possibilities of generating new ideas that can arise of each of the steps of the process, adding further to the value and meaning to the use of the findings. This also allows for adjustments to the project design as well as its instruments. The Action Research For (Lewin, 1946), the term â€˜action-researchâ€™ means to understand research as a process of continuous exploration. This is particularly pertinent in research related to education. The problems guide the action, but what is fundamental here is the reflexive exploration that the researcher makes of their practice, not only for action research and its contribution to solving problems but for its capability to enable each researcher to reflect on their own practice, plan action research and that action research is capable of introducing progressive improvements. In general, action research sets up a way of systematic reflections about the practice with the purpose of improving the process under consideration. As this methodology is centred
on educational research, the positive changes that impact on the teachinglearning processes are of key importance in this thesis. The definition of action research is a cyclical process of exploration, action and valuation of the results. Although it was not until the beginning of the 1970’s in Great Britain, that Stenhouse and Elliott (1983) defined action research not only as a technique to create changes, but also with the understanding that educational ideas can only express their authentic value when teachers attempt to translate them to their practice. This can only be done by the teachers researching with their practice and with the ideas with which they try to guide themselves (Stenhouse, 1984). As it is defined by Elliott (1993), the action research is understood as the ‘Study of a social situation to try to improve the quality of the action in itself’. However, Elliot as the main representative of action research from an interpretational focus notes that: “The purpose of the action-research consists on deepening the comprehension of the researcher (diagnostic) of its problem. Thus, it adopts an exploratory position in front of whatever initial definition of its own that the researcher can sustain. The action research interprets what happens from the point of view of the ones that actor interact in the situation of the problem, for example, professors and students, professors and principal”. (Elliot, 1993) One of the problems of design students is that their proposals are not evaluated in a real environment, and do not have an action research evaluation process to evaluate at different times. This gives the opportunity to justify and document from the beginning each of the decisions of the proposed. Lewin presents three stages in the development of action-research; even though today there are four mentioned.
The first is Observation (diagnostic evaluation and acknowledgement of the initial concept). The process of action-research starts in the strict sense with the identification of a problem or issue to be solved. Ordering, grouping, arranging and linking the information according with the objectives of the research, this is to say, to prepare the information with the purpose of proceeding to its analysis and interpretation. This will enable knowledge of the situation and information towards a diagnosis. The second aspect is planning through developing an action plan that is critically informed to improve what is already happening. When a situation has been diagnosed it has to be decided what action is going to be taken. In the action plan, priorities will be studied and established with priorities and options reviewed among the possible alternatives. In the Action stage, innovation is the key. Putting action into practice. Now the plan and the observation of its effects in the context of the circumstances can be evaluated. For example, it is important to create work groups to carry the designed activities and to enable the acquisition of the characteristics of material, social, and political aspects to achieve the improvements that the project aims to undertake. Finally, in the reflection stage the impact of earlier research findings are reviewed. This involves critical analysis of the processes, problems and restrictions that have become evident and reflect on the effects that will help to evaluate the action research undertaken, and complete a final report based on the original plan, and where appropriate, suggest a new plan. All of these stages are integrated in a process called â€œauto reflection spiral. (Swann, 2002)
The application of action-research has contributed to this thesis in two ways: first of all, in the development of this project, and in second instance as a guide to develop the research projects of each student of graphic design. Observation as a method and as a technique Observation is a technique that has been used throughout this thesis. Observation is translated as a visual record of what happens in our surroundings, and the gathering of empirical visual evidence. Thus, observation is similar to other instruments used to gather information, in that it requires a person to undertake and participate in the process of the research, the definition of the set objectives, determination of the range of observation, and the conditions in which the research will be undertaken and finally to register the manner that the participants and the surrounding aspects present. When it is decided to use observation as an instrument to gather information the good planning in order to gather the validity and reliability requirements are key aspects. The observer is required to have the systematic skill of registering the events and noting those details that may be significant from those that are not relevant. It is important not to alter the scene of what is observable with the presence of the researcher so the phenomena is undertaken in a â€˜natural wayâ€™ and without the influence of other factors. According to Moran, observation as any other tool applied to the research process has its advantages and its limitations. The following chart
summarizes what has been shown previously: (Morán, 2007). Also this structure will be used to conduct an observation by graphic design students. ADVANTAGES
· It allows the gathering of information · An action or conduct that is present from the facts as they happen in real
in the moment when observation
takes place can provide an observation that is not typical.
· It allows the perception of forms of
· The observation is difficult because
conduct that sometimes are not
of factors present that could not be
relevant to the observed objects.
· There are situations in which the
·The objects to be observed are
evaluation can be done through
sometimes conditioned to the
duration of observation or because there are events that make the observations difficult.
·The collaboration of the observed
· There is the belief that what is
subject is not needed.
observed cannot be quantified or codified even though there are techniques to do the observation.
By using the sight, hearing, listening, touch and taste senses the researcher makes observations and gathers facts that help in the identification of a problem as well as its later solution. (Morán, 2007). Besides Hernandez (1998, p. 315), point out the following kinds of observation as well as the advantages of observation. This is another important information to work with students is the difference between the
types of observation. Structured observation is undertaken by establishing a system that guides the observation, step by step and relates it with the research group that is carried out. Open observation lacks an organized system and it is done freely, and is used when researchers want to capture the sudden movement of a determined human group for example, in anthropological studies. Semi-structured observation starts with a structured path but it applies it in a flexible manner according to the direction the process of observation takes. Participant observation: in the previous three methods the observer acts as neutral as possible towards the observed actions, however in this case the observant becomes a part of the studied group. Participant observation has the merit of explaining social phenomena, and attempting to understand them from the inside, yet, what appears to be an open, rational process can hide conducts that apparently can have no meaning for an external researcher. This technique has the risk of giving incomplete information where a researcher could give importance incorrectly to their role as a member of the community rather than an impartial observer. In the next chapter will show examples of students. The intention is that students know when to apply each of the types of observation and learn the advantages that can provide. This gives the impression of being non-invasive to the individual or objects being observed. As such it is a natural technique, as it does not intervene in the object researched in their natural environment and in their behaviour, independent from any external participation.
useful when working on a project that lacks a formal structure as information flows from direct proximity with the object being researched. Further, this technique can be used with large groups and in complex situations. Observation technique requires the clear definition of a point of view or the
concept from which the observation will be carried out. Preparation for an observation needs to be as specific and detailed as possible. It is important to record what is observed truthfully and as soon as possible. Interpretation of what is observed in the light of other observations and of the knowledge previously given is also key to this technique. This chapter shows the process will be established in the thesis project. It is important to remember that there are several points that relate and combine in this project that seeks knowledge in the social context awareness, this part will be developed relying on ethnographic methodology. To work with students the theory and practice of applied research design, and this includes the practical development of proposed designs for students, which will be evaluated, we will rely on the methodological process of action research. This section also showed how learning processes are implemented to work with students. Note that this proposed process may be subject to changes which will be registered. But we could say that this column would support the project.
The Project The development of this project is divided in three stages, the first one that is the search. This is to say where and with whom this proposal could be developed; this is a new approach off understanding design in social participation. Next, the first study done in Mexico to define the work group, to enforce the application and establish a design that visualizes the violence reduction in Ciudad Juarez
Field Study 1 The Visual Role of Design in Social Problems for Crime Prevention In the summer of 2003, the first test run was done; it consisted in exploring the visual role of design as a means of prevention against the violence and social problems in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. a) Collect information of a primary and secondary source to the campaigns made in Ciudad Juarez and the social and violence problems in the city.
b) Interviews with representatives of social organizations and information designers involved with the topic of violence. c) Research if there is another possible field to explore that has not been previously considered.
Important areas to visit during the trip to Mexico City in summer of 2003 1) Design and designers- The objective is to know what is the creative process, the method or type of work which were used to develop this type of information.
In an interviewed made with the advertiser Rene Martinez about the campaign Ponte Viva!, he commented that this campaign was designed basically for the working women in the maquila industry where the main objective had to be to motivate them to protect themselves and pay more attention to their surroundings; this was after research done based on the statistics and claims of a society. Rene Martinez explains that the campaign tried to have a clear and clean image. The logo includes an image that is a rose and the phrase Ponte Viva! The designer mentions that the contrast between the delicate petals and the sharp thorns represent women. Including the image of a girl with the characteristics that have been present in the women that have been murdered in the city pretends to represent a challenge to the aggressors and an example of strength and security for the group of workers.
In the campaign were included 13 points of personal protection and prevention. This campaign included TV ads, messages on radio, billboards, newspapers pamphlets and informative flyers in different areas of the city. Ciudad Juarez launches a campaign against violence. This campaign included a help manual that was distributed in convenience stores and maquiladoras. This campaign had wide coverage for three months, unfortunately in the fourth month; a political campaign started and displaced the social campaign leaving it forgotten by the public. This campaign started in 2001 and unfortunately there is no record about the impact that it could have generated in the audience even though this has been the most intense campaign in Ciudad Juarez about crime prevention. In 2002, it started to circulate this problem inside books that were written about this situation. The writer Sergio Gonzalez Rodriguez, with his book â€œHuesos en el Desiertoâ€? (Bones in the Dessert), which presents ten years of information. Gonzalez gives a dramatic account of the events that happened in the border between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso Texas. The book gives evidence to solve the serial murders of women in the area. The book tries to show ties between the crimes committed and their close relation with the political clout, unfortunately nothing became solid. A magazine that has serious informative content related to international politics with an intelligent point of view about the history and having the best and better renowned thinkers of these times is METAPOLITICA. This magazine published a special issue contributing with a special report focused on analyzing and denouncing violence and the women murders* in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
METAPOLITICA considers this as a topic of international conscience as well as shame for political institutions and paradise for impunity. A survey of METAPOLITICA published on Internet had five questions that had the following results: Corruption and impunity
Machismo, misogyny and ignorance
Organized crime and violence Poverty, unemployment and migration Social breakdown
15.11%, 6.67%, 22.84%.
These numbers show an opinion of the Mexican society and the problem is not only violence but also impunity. In this first revision, it is observed that the graphic representation about violence in Ciudad Juarez has taken many aspects. The campaigns are elaborated based in a deep research, there is not a creative process for its development and they do not generate statistical information about its social impact. Also, we have to consider that any information that is desired is considered as risky because of all the interests involved. 2) Social organizations- Know their work and results about violence from the point of view of society and how image design has contributed to its work. The social organization Casa Amiga de Crisis A.C. (Casa Amiga) Interview with the centerâ€™s director â€˜Ester Chavez Canoâ€™ Chavez started to explain that Casa Amiga was founded in 1993, called as Grupo 8 de Marzo, when the first serial women murder was found. After six years, in 1999 Chavez Cano established Casa Amiga. The social organization:
Casa Amiga de Crisis A.C. (Amigo de Casa) Chavez explained that the beginning was in 1993, when the first case of murdered women appears. After six years, in 1999, she explained that the goal and objectives in casa Amiga are to promote a culture of respect among people, especially women and children of the community that are the most vulnerable population. The main goal of this organization is to help others achieve their goals so they can know their rights and develop their potential as human beings. Also, as women, we recognize that most women suffer exploitation, discrimination, marginalization and violence in a society that gives power and privileges to men (patriarchy). As women, we find ourselves subordinated, marginalized and limited in our individual and collective rights. Also, we recognize that despite the unification of women as a genre there are social, cultural and economic differences that can give certain privileges to some women over others.
Our organization considers the holistic development of women essential; with work, we emphasize on womenâ€™s rights and the freedom that women deserve to have recognized in all the aspects of their lives (public and private) The practices of Casa Amiga are directed to the construction of equality to eliminate and prevent the different forms of oppression that affect women. Our principles based in the belief that the level that we achieve the equality of condition, that we enjoy the advantages that such participation could create.
The Objectives of the Thesis To offer the psychological, medical, and legal support to the survivors of the types of violence (physical, psychological, sexual, etc.), it also offers this support to the ones that indirectly suffer from the violence as are the relatives of the victims and survivors.Develop and expand prevention programs to neutralize and eliminate the violence in our city. Educate men, women and children about the effects of violence and abuse to develop the respectful ways of interaction with each other.In this visit it was possible to collect several posters that Casa Amiga has used in several campaigns. It evens puts emphasis in the difficulties for which it has gone through to gather funds among the different groups of society. Chavez acknowledges the importance of the images that are created in the campaigns, but also mentions that it is very difficult to find a designer that wants to work without any payment. Ester Chavez is optimist about finding designers that are willing to cooperate, but thinks that one of her options is to turn to Universidad Aut贸noma de Ciudad Juarez because in the design department she could find volunteers.
It is worth mentioning that there is a big difference between the poster designs created by women and the ones created by men. We fall in to the same problem that the social campaigns have and it is that there is no previous or post analysis to the work done. This way, it is impossible to define what the impact that this visual information is generating is or if the
message is really getting to the targeted group with the force and importance that this event of violence is creating in the city. 3) Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ)- Explores the academic area of students and professors as well as an option of future professional as how they visualize the social problem in which they live in. In an informal interview with the director of the department of social communication of Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ), Jesus Meza, commented that the participation of the university with society in regards to the decrease of violence around Ciudad Juarez, “The campaign IN JUAREZ, ALL AGAINST VIOLENCE… BECAUSE WE ARE MORE”. This campaign was developed by an inter-disciplinary group of the University; they are the social sciences, administration and social communication departments. The strategies to be followed were: Use the logo in documents and official products of the university. Promote in different advertising means the education
MAS…TODOS JUNTOS CONTRA LA VIOLENCIA. Promote the creation of a Bi-national Research Center in which different types of strategies about public safety in the northern border are developed with the university heading this effort and in collaboration with State Congress. Look for the involvement of all television media in the border including El Paso Texas. Also there is no analysis or result of this work.
Comments As it was previously mentioned, the objective of this first approach was to cover the three areas which basically generated the following points: The goals in this preliminary research were covered in its majority. a) Collecting several numbers of images b) Talking with the people responsible in developing campaigns against violence in Ciudad Juarez c) Observe the problem in everyday life. The graphic representation of the violence of Ciudad Juarez has had different stages. Most of them as a reproach or propaganda that is generated, more than the search of conscience change in people, educate or communicate. It is interesting to note the coming together of the different perspectives made by the male and female designers. Most of these examples (posters) are in regards to sexual violence. The designers in charge of developing the design of the campaigns in Ciudad Juarez do not have evidence of field research or a creative process to develop their proposals. When someone needs a product or a campaign, the agency assigns the job to a designer (they choose the designer with more or less experience depending on the importance of the project) and this designer is the one that chooses the graphic image. The problems in the city are big and many. The police is not only deaf to face the problems of its community, now it is also participating in a general blindness before an apathy and indifference of its people. Ciudad Juarez has adopted a new way of behavior; this behavior of ignoring the problems
seems like a constant in everyday life, a part of not feeling and living. It seems that the challenge is to change the way of thinking or better said propose an alternative to education and consciousness. This first research leaves us with more questions than answers than the ones we had at the beginning, but at the same time it opens new alternatives with much more information to analyze as, the establishment of a process in the development of proposals that the designers would use to design and analyze the results and the process of evaluation.
Field Study 2 Back in England developing teaching material to explore and change the perception of the EP on graphic design students at the University in Juarez The â€œField study 2â€? consisted on: developing teaching material that will allow exploring changes in students through the use of material related to social problems: Objective 1. - In the first objective a range of teaching materials should be produced to be used during the development of the Project with the students of the Graphic Design Educational Program (GDEP) at UACJ in Mexico. Objective 2. - Measure the changes in attitude in regards to violence before and after starting the project. Objective 3. - Explore the role of Graphic Design in Lowering Crime. Objective 4. - Produce graphic material with GDEP students that are related to the lowering of crime.
Objective 5. - Evaluate if the process of producing graphics of graphic material can change the attitude in the GDEP students. This part of the project is described in the section “Field Study 3”.
Next, we will fully detail the development and reach of each of the objectives mentioned in the “Field Study 2”. Once the first exploration was done in Mexico, it was determined that in order to do a conscience study where the purpose was that society changed some behavioral situations; the proposal seemed very wide and risky because besides the problem being so wide it was separate to the areas of specialization of this research. Collaborating with some Non-Government Organization(s) (ONG’s) that exist in the city which are the ones that review the problems about violence in Ciudad Juarez faces problematic situations that are very particular. That is why to review the “Visual Role of Design in Social Problems for Crime Prevention”, the topic proposed in the first test try (Field Study 1), resulted as little pertinent to this doctoral thesis. But, by exploring the academic area and the participation of the university as its maximum place of study in the city as well as by reviewing the conduct and participation that the students of graphic design have to confront social problems, we visualized an area with greater opportunities for research. This as a result of the close relationship between learning, academic institution and social impact thus allowing the exploration of a developing field for the research of this topic.
The GDEP is one of the newest majors of the UACJ even though studies show that there is great demand as well as a good job market. It also shows a strong influence on an American style that is more inclined to consumption and marketing than to social issues. The GDEP has a balance in gender
equality, in some way the female gender is predominant in this area and it is not reflected in the job market since internal statistics of the institution have shown that even though women finish their major in lesser time with less failed classes and better overall average grades, they are not the ones that dominate the job field. The results of “Field Study 1” that was done in Mexico determined that the three objectives were: a) Recollect first and second hand information in regards to the campaigns done in Ciudad Juarez and the social problems and violence in the city. b) Have interviews with representatives, social organizations and designers of information involved in the topic of violence. c) Explore if there is any other possible field to study that was not previously considered.
The objective that had more probability of being explored was (C) explore if there is a possible field of study where to apply design against violence. Here we defined three possible groups to be studied: Designers of advertising agencies, Independent designers (freelance), University design students. By doing a comparison between the advantages and disadvantages of each of these study groups, it was determined that: The group with the most advantages to study for the development of this thesis would be: the design students. Finally, the research is started in the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ), in México. The University has the Graphic Design Education Program (GDEP). The program has three established levels of
study: basic, intermediate and advanced. The study group must be part of the advanced level, preferably, considering that here a research project can be developed which allows the application of the knowledge of design for social areas. The GDEP is structured in 9 semesters; each semester includes a period of 16 to 17 weeks. The period of application of this field of study 2 was done between August of 2004 and November 2004, the time of work with the group was of 6 hours per week. (These periods of time are specified by the UACJ). The next step was to determine the characteristics of the focus group, as well as to establish the advantages and disadvantages of working with this group. The students of the UACJ provided an interesting opportunity to develop this research. As a professor, in several occasions I have confirmed the importance of motivating students to look for a better world and consider the power and responsibility that they have as communicators and revealers of graphic material. At the beginning of this research, the UACJ was developing a campaign of reducing violence related to the problems of the city. This allowed focusing the development of this thesis in exploring through the students of graphic design the probability of entering of areas such as Design Against Crime (DAC) a project initiative as how it is developed in England and Australia. The opportunity to work on this Project of doctoral thesis with students allows for an exploration of areas as the perception of violence topics, as well as to review the role that designers play besides evaluating if graphic design can be a tool to be used in the reduction of crime. It is worth
emphasizing two main points: the first one; the profile of the graduates of the bachelors of graphic design is oriented towards marketing and advertising and second; that the students of UACJ live a complicated situation with a high index of social problems. The main objective of this â€œField Study 2â€? visualized up to this point, is to merge the study practice with the theory besides the written work of the students. This means, a number of activities will be done that will be included in the content of the modules of the students of GDEP of the UACJ. The objective is not to modify the information content that they have up to this moment. The main challenge of the design of this material is to give use the current information, redirecting the objective and the goal to achieve the established objectives in this field of study. For this, it was necessary to develop material in England under the supervision of expert professors. The first trial student group which was worked with was of: 3 women and 3 men. The second group included: 11 women and 4 men. These groups were selected at random, with the knowledge of being a test group of more than 30 students. The average age of the students was of 25. All of them come from a social background with problems because of the place where they live, by being young parents or of low economic resources. It is necessary that the university maintains confidentiality about the specific information of each student. Even when the selection of these students was done at random the trial group included: a single father, an independent student without the support of the parents, who also supported two brothers, a mature student with four children, and a student with self-esteem problems. A third of the group has some kind of scholarship, in more than half of the cases the type of scholarship was academic, and this means that the students have a high academic ability and a low family income. Ten of the
students had to work full time to pay for their life expenses. The diversity of the group would allow diagnosing diverse elements through the development of the thesis project.
First Step: Exploring the area of opportunity The curricular content and the subjects included in the GDEP were reviewed. In this document we will refer to the included subjects as modules. We will start by mentioning that the GDEP is divided in three levels: the beginner which includes 21 modules, the intermediate with 25 modules and finally the third one with a total of 12 modules of which two are used to develop a research Project which will have the value of intra-curricular degree. This means that once finished with the credits that are the 54 modules and having concluded the final research Project, the student will be eligible to receive the degree of graphic designer. Added to this, are a total of 600 hours of social and professional service. The program is designed so that the student studies in areas of Design, Expression and representation, Art, Design Theory, technology and Graphic Production and courses that are given in the institution. This GDEP tries to maintain a balance between the modules of practical and theoretical areas. After careful review of the contents of the modules, it is determined that a connection between the academic work and the social service do not exist because they are not focused in real problematic situations. In 90% of the students of the GDEP, they generate material for fictitious situations.
Second Step: Choosing the module After reviewing the degree plan it was considered that the group of students that was to be selected to work should be part of the advanced level, since it is supposed that at this level they are almost ready to join the work force, be professionals and responsible of their surroundings. The next step is to select which module will be the most appropriate to do these activities. We have to take into consideration that one of the most important points of this study is that the students be able to develop some material that reflects their perception about violence and know their level of social commitment through design. The module of Thesis Seminar in the advanced level was the one that covered most of the requirements to develop this project. This module would be similar to the third year of any bachelorâ€™s degree in England. The students, in their majority, have an average to low socioeconomic status; some of them are married and have children. Only 30% have worked or are working. It is worth mentioning that not necessarily in areas related to design. This module (thesis seminar) has the purpose of students developing a final project; this is very close to what we understand by a bachelorâ€™s thesis. The review of all aspects of the research is here which is used to see the viability to inquire the perception of the students in regards to social problems. In August of 2004, 3 groups were created in regards to the Thesis Seminar. It is important to mention that the number of groups is determined
by the number of students enrolled for that period with a maximum of 20 students even though the ideal number to work with is 15 (because of the material that it implies to be supervised). The development of the material to be used would be focused to the theory of design, research in design, design for education and especially the use of persuasive graphic material related to violence. To be able to develop the Project, some objectives were established through which it could be determined if â€œgraphic design can contribute to reduce violence in society using education a toolâ€?. It is worth mentioning that at the beginning we only had general characteristics of the study group, reason why the development of the teaching material was adapted to the particulars of such group. Next, the objectives will be briefly listed and what each intended to measure.
Third Step: Objective Development Objective 1.- In the first objective a wide variety of teaching material had to be produced to be used during the development of the project with the students of the Graphic Design Education Program (GDEP) at the UACJ in Mexico. This has two modules, Thesis Seminar and Integral Workshop in which a final graduation Project is done and with it the students get their degree in an internal way. The teaching material developed in England under the supervision of expert professors in the teaching area looked for not to exclude the content
previously established in these two modules of the GDEP of the UACJ (see diagram) It is important to mention that of the total established exercises some of them were not possible to include them due to the allotted time for each module (16 weeks); the material had a lot of information to develop a field research. Part of the proposed material was improved in some of its applications at the moment of being used (August-December 2004). Part of the material to be worked on with the group of students in Mexico included a good number of examples about Design Against Crime (DAC), these were developed in England. With this material, a comparison was done between the social problems in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. This allowed the students visualized the probability of generating proposals through design. During the months of April through June 2004, in England they started to prepare the teaching material to work with the students in Mexico. The development of this material was done in the University of Sheffield Hallam under the supervision of Dr. Hilary Cunliffe.
Stages of material development: During the class semester the method consisted on generating several exercises that could produce relevant information of the way of acting and thinking of the students in regards to their perception of violence in the city. Here we had two challenges, include a series of exercises and at the same time cover a series of topics that the module had already established for the
advancement in each work session. First, we will explain what each of the exercises consisted on.
a) Tell me a story.- Telling a story has three important points: it is easy to associate it with facts of our daily life, it maintains the abstract concepts, commonly it is easy to express an idea, product or itâ€™s a good opportunity to only develop creativity. Stories use a wide range of techniques to convince, involve and inspire people, a more authentic language is used, it is simple and the students find it fun and interesting to be able to write. It is a good communication tool to share the knowledge. b) Perception and conscience.-Design has a high participation in the meaning of the products it generates. In order to do this, they would need to worry about the situation they are surrounded by. The objective of this exercise is to explore which are the problems that the students perceive mostly. (see attachments)
c) Significant impact on their lives.- Through this individual exercise, the students will try to understand the point of view of another student. Previously, the students will define what they understand by significant impact in regards to a list of concepts and since these concepts are associated or represented through their daily life: pop culture, prejudice, myths, stigmas, religion, national identity, idol, corruption, police, government, education, family, economy, identity, native, stereotype,, racism, truth, American influence, lying, bi-culture, social status, guns, gender, power, malinchismo, tradition, globalization and poverty.(see attachment)
d) Collage.-Visual perception of the information means. The visual role of communication does not end with its manufacture and or its distribution. The purpose will be accomplished when they generate an impact, influence or reaction on people. Through this exercise it is desired that the students observe the influence that the local means of information generate. (see attachments).
e) How meaning is created.- The images are all around us all the time and the ability to create or interpret its meaning, is a vital ability that the designer must possess. The meaning of each sign, icon, image or symbol will affect depending who and how they receive it â€œall things have a meaning, but not all communicateâ€? through individual work, the students are informing, communicating or generating some influence, the question is to know if they are conscious of what it is that they are generating. (see attachments).
f) Feedback.- The students went further in the development of their proposals; even though the feedback on what they were working on presented another interesting challenge. Since the students of the GDEP were mostly used to receive instructions, the feedback was not one of their strong suits as well as establishing work methodologies, and research development. This presented great difficulty in the writing of their reports (see First proposals).
The development of teaching material in Sheffield Hallam as well as its application in the UACJ got very positive results. Presenting examples
of how other countries confront their violence problems using DAC allowed the generating of expectations on the design about the use and application in areas such as violence and problems of its surroundings. The diversity of the characteristics of the group was a decisive factor in the development of this test tryout: The feedback of the students is not applied when they made a proposal, There is not a process of reflection on their proposals, A strong tendency exists of using design as an application of marketing and consumption, No possibility of getting involved in social problems, This teaching method was seen as innovative. Objective 2.- Measure the attitude changes towards violence before and after the start of the project. Interviews
questionnaires were done using the strategies of cultural Tests. The objective is to measure the attitude changes before and after working for a whole semester using the topic of violence in the projects that the students must create. First of all, a questionnaire would be applied. (see attachments) Results.- The initial objective of developing teaching materials was to evaluate the understanding of the students as well as the perception that were presented about they use of violence themes in Mexico. Any change in attitude or perception in part of the group would be registered, discussed or developed in debates would also be considered about the problems that affect the city. As citizens, as students and as part of the local problems; what is the position they would take. This was one of the questions of this objective.
At the beginning, the students talked about personal problems, because of the nature of some discussions the comments will remain anonymous indicating only the key points, but the content of the interviews will stay confidential between the student and the tutor. It was planned that the students had a journal to register their ideas, thoughts, and answers about the developed material and it presented a great resistance for its development. The field research that the students had to do was a challenge due to the lack of experience in research. The students felt disoriented when they took control of the development of their projects since they were used to follow directions. The activities and the reactions of the students were followed up and oriented for the development of their project proposals. (see attachment).
Expected results. Through observation of the effects that lead to analyse the perception of design affecting the students in some way. First General Survey. Next, a brief analysis will be done about the answers gotten in the applied surveys before starting with the project. This was done with the purpose of knowing the conduct of the students in different circumstances. Three student groups that belonged to Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez (UACJ) were considered. With the purpose of establishing generalities of the students, they were: Graphic design, Engineering and Psychology. In the first part of the survey (personality assessment - identity), the objective consisted on evaluating part of the behaviour of the students with a series of questions related to their behaviour in different peer pressure situations as well as decision-making in daily life.
In graphic design, of the 17 students most of them were women over 21 as well as in Psychology, only that here only 7 students were surveyed. In contrast, in Engineering were there were 12 students of which most were men under 19. In the first stage of the survey it was observed the following; the group of students of Psychology in general is a group that presents a high index of security and trust since in most of the cases there is no influence by the friends, there is no pressure to consume alcohol, being popular is not one of their primary interests, they do not worry about being or being seen different, only the minority expressed feeling pressured by their friends to do things they do not want to do. In contrast, the Engineering students present a higher index of influence by their friends, it is important that is thought about them and how their classmates see them, being popular; it also exists an influence to consume alcohol, the majority expressed that they feel pressured to do things they do not want to do, the worry of being different is observed as well as the fact of acting different in front of the group. In general, this group showed more insecurity and dependence on how to behave, this means act as how a particular group determines it. The group of graphic design showed characteristics of being more outgoing, of being on the look for an identity, 60% of them are not worried about being popular but there is a worry to try to be and be seen different. The influence of friends is not much, there is no pressure for alcohol consumption, they are sociable, and are not worried of acting differently in front of others.
In the second stage it was important to know which were the most used materials for the work, this with the purpose of knowing the information sources to which they turn to the most. Besides determining the influence of the media to which the students are exposed to. Engineering
In the last part of the questionnaire it was asked to determine the attitude that the students have towards violent acts that occur in the city. The answer in the three groups was very similar determining mostly the violence against women, then violence against minors and couple, elderly handicapped and inappropriate conduct were mostly registered in the last places. Here the key factor about the problem of violence against women is that the students are aware of these facts even though they do not do anything to try to improve these situations. In this first part we can observe that the engineering group is who mostly felt pressured by their friends in the making of decisions and are worried about being popular. This can be because of the age and it will have to be observed that most of the group are men. On the other hand, in the
groups of psychology and graphic design which most of the members are women over 21, they show less influence on their behavior. On the other hand, in the area of graphic design, a preponderance for being and be seen differently is reflected in the students behavior. It is worth mentioning that in the questionnaire was included the open question about what is graphic design, with the purpose of knowing: a) If the students of this area have well defined which is the role they have to play. b) Determine if other degrees as Psychology and Industrial know what the function of Graphic Design is. The result was very surprising since the students of Graphic Design were not able to give a definition about what is Graphic Design. While in the group of Psychology is understood as development in advertising and for the group of Engineering was determined as who dedicate themselves to paint and do circles and lines. (Ver anexos)
Objective 3.- To explore the role of Graphic Design in the Reduction of Crime with GDEP. This has started in conferences and workshops that use examples of design Against Crime of the United Kingdom and examples of Graphic Design, ads and communication means in Mexico to show and allow the discussion and the evaluation of the role of Graphic Design and in particular the use of it as a change agent. The students explored their own local environment as individuals and submitted a report using a written and visual evaluation to share with their classmates.
The ideas in regards to the
reduction of crime were spoken and evaluated in detailed by the whole group. Meanwhile the topic of violent crime has been explored and will be in all parts of the module. The report for this aspect of the project was an obligatory formative assignment. Objective 4.- To produce the teaching materials with GDEP that would develop graphic material about the violence aspects and the reduction of crime for its use with the school of children elderly. The teaching of the module and the study of the materials led each student to research and develop a specific topic related to violent crime and its reduction. The following selection by the entire group from a wide range of topics, individuals were chosen at random to specific topics for its development. Each topic was researched and developed materials that were put in practice with the purpose of measuring its functionability. This process required that the students developed the teaching of the materials that are related with each subtopic for its use in schools. The materials with a report related were evaluated and have 50% of the percentage of the module. A grading system of one to ten was used since it is the standard grading system of the Course of Graphic Design at the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez. At the moment of writing the report, all the students have submitted to a report full of offers related and teaching of the materials. The tutor evaluates this and then the material will be developed into prototypes to be taken to schools for children and teachers.
Third Study Objective 5.- Evaluate if the process of producing graphic material can change the attitudes of the students of the GDEP. As previously mentioned, the study group includes the modules of Degree Seminar and Integral Workshop; in them, the students develop a research Project that is like a thesis. Once the project is presented, the student gets his/her degree on Graphic design. These modules are offered in a sequential style in the last two semesters of the degree plan with six hours a week during four months or 16 weeks. In this objective, the main point consists on describing the attitudes and the changes seen on the students through their thesis proposal. It is expected that such changes have been caused by the Thesis Seminar. It is important to mention that the development and process is evaluated on the Integral Workshop module. This description or adoption of new attitudes is expected to be presented in an innovative graphic proposal. The role of the professor in charge of the group includes not only the teaching learning process, but all of the situations that arise in the school environment. For this reason, observation constitutes a work method not specified in the educational research but in the daily activities of the professors that everyday have before them all the information needed about the students with whom they work with even though there is the risk of not having all the information. This is why is highly recommended to use
systematic observation and analyze in order to properly interpret the data gathered. When a professor finds him/herself in front of a group for the first time or even when the professor has experience; a great number of difficulties can arise. What is important is to be capable of knowing and separate the everyday events from those that would be really significant. Sometimes the observation of a rare event can be acting as the exploding point and here is where we can notice the start of a systematic observation. For this, it is important that the professor is aware in regards to the actions of the group (from the evaluation point of view, the idea of â€œobserve to better evaluateâ€? gets a meaning of great significance and teaching impact: observe to improve teaching by progressive education of the teaching tasks to the difficulties and processes of the students) (Bassedas, et al., 1984).
It is important to plan the observation in the classroom since it helps to not lose sight of the main objective. That is why it is of such importance to be aware of what is going to be observed. In regards to this, some authors such as Herrero, L. (1996), they mention that it is important to determine the measurement unit to be worked with. The terms of the measurement units and units of analysis are connected but are not the same, and then the measurement unit to be used will depend of the observation unit to be selected. This are usually put from the most to the least complex as well as the frequency of the actions or reaction, their order and length, the appearances, attitudes, etc. to determine how it will be observed; some types
of record registry can be narrative, appreciation scales, conduct catalogues or trait lists. We have to remember that the work plan for the subject of Research Seminar and how observation played an important role in the gathering of information. As it was mentioned in the previous field study, several exercises were done in England with the purpose of changing the intention of changing the students way of thinking in regards to what graphic design can do towards a social problem. It is worth mentioning that it was a challenge the fact that the students include a methodological process in the development of their research projects since they did not have research basis. This is why it was necessary to start from defining what is a methodology, the types of research as well as the scope of research, the difference between theory and a hypothesis, research questions, etc. Once these terms were established, it was fully worked on what are the parts that a research Project includes, this means that how a protocol is composed; the approach of the problem, the priors of the problem, its justification, the objectives, hypothesis, research questions and methodology in general. Next, some of the most important points about how the participation observation was conceptualized were during the development of the Degree Seminar module was done with the group that was worked with from January to June of 2004. Once the exercises were concluded, the students showed more sensibility and consciousness towards their surroundings and were a Little
more receptive to the â€œnewâ€? topics they could get involved in as well as the importance of exploring through their projects areas that have to do with social development.
Choosing a topic Once a topic was chosen, a related problem to it was looked for where the design could improve or solve some problem. It is worth mentioning that this point was an innovation in the development of projects of the UACJ since before the concept of the topic to be developed in the studentsâ€™ thesis was primarily based on the abilities that the student had. This means that the student would comment that he/she wanted to develop a web page, photograph or corporate image and the next step was look for someone who was interested in some of the proposals to be able to develop it in its topic. Another problem that students would have was the lack of a methodological process registry and not having a final evaluation of the proposal done; this means that the project ended when a prototype was presented. With this Project of the doctoral thesis it tries to make students aware of all the first stage of its development and at the same time get interested in the different activities described before. By making the students more sensible on social situations, they will open their range of options to explore a variety of topics. The next step is to determine the topic, in the selection several factors or problems can intervene that are directly connected to them (family
member, themselves, an acquaintance or even something that they witnessed and is significant to be studied). Some exercises to create concepts of the topic are: First, a knowledge level of the topic that will be researched is recommended. This Way the student must know about the previous information that is developing around the topic. This will allow identifying the variables, methods and techniques that can be useful to develop it. There are several questions that the students must generate. Is the
topic interesting to me?, Do I have
enough time to develop it?, is it a relevant problem?, Who will benefit from the gotten results?, Do I have enough knowledge, experience and bibliography about the topic, Do I have the necessary resources?, Is it a new topic and original? The answers to these questions by the students are important since is that perspective can consider the reach of the research. It is also important to consider that: a) If the topic motivates and stimulates the researcher in a personal way since the process of the research is long and complex reason why the student must be very enthusiastic because if not
possibility of leaving it or delays on doing the tasks because of boredom increase. On the other hand, when the topic is interesting the student will be motivated and the expectation of finding results will be bigger. b) The research topic does not have to be new, but it has to be a novelty. This will include research for current or result updates or proposals that came out of other research, but had another context.
c) The research topic can help develop theories, hypothesis, answer research questions or some kind of problem; it can also set precedents for a follow up research. The problem proposal: Once the topic is selected it is necessary to determine which problem to be focused on is, the limits of the topic is related to the setting of the problem. This stage is very important because once it is set the course of the research is defined. The elements to present problem are three and are related between them: the research questions, the objectives and the justifying of the study (Hernandez S, 1998). We will start referring to the presenting of the problem and its limits. The importance of the objectives and the justification of the study will be seen later. The setting of the research problem is the clear and precise limits of the studies object. This is done by questions, readings, pilot surveys, interviews, etc. The function of setting the problem consists in revealing to the researcher if the research Project is viable in the available time and resources. We have to remember that this problem will preferably be related to social situations. Another instrument in which students find support to limit and organize their ideas is the development of mental maps. They are a structured graphic representation that shows the wideness of a concept and its specific relation with others. This way, students can take into consideration their possibilities, the more information that is around the topic and of course its relation among themselves. It is recommended to develop mental maps once they have gathered and checked the bibliography, this
way it is easier to include the most information possible and visualize its relation with other subjects. When the students have the concept of the topic which they are going to work with, it is necessary to answer a series of questions, for example: which is their personal interest to develop the topic?, What resources do they have?, (financial, materials, books, manuals, booklets, magazines, recent research results, work equipment), Why is the topic relevant?, For what or who is it important? (Focus group), what is its importance? (relation between time and space), Is it innovative?, What new knowledge, elements or explanations does it add to what is already known?, What limitations can the project have?, What are the startup questions?, How long will the project be?, What are the places where it will be developed? The answer to these questions can put the student in a better context helping him/her set the limits of the topic and preview its development. Another step that is equally important is to establish the justification of the project. Here is where the researcher will have the opportunity to show that the topic is a good idea to be studied and so look for the authorization of people or institutions that will invest material or human resources to develop the research. This is what can impact the decision of accepting the project or not. According to Rojas (2000, chapter III) itâ€™s usually recommended to make an exploratory study in order to formalize a descriptive study to elaborate its justification. Before starting with this project of doctoral thesis, the students of the Graphic Design Educational Program (GDEP) they would make their justifications based on weak personal arguments (I like it, itâ€™s interesting, etc).
Also, the projects were basically focused in the development of
corporate image, logo design or signals. Sometimes a historical event was commented on their projects, but without a previous study, this means, the justification consisted on appreciations and arguments that had no theoretical or field arguments. Through this thesis project, for the development of the justification, the students were asked to do a field study about the problem that was going to be explored. This first approach allowed the student to know and especially measure how serious the problem could be or establish what would the project’s scope would be. This is due to the fact that every project starts from a premise, the students based them on personal appreciations, for example: “The students of group A of graphic design of third semester have very bad spelling”; the setting was to generalize, meaning, “All the students of graphic design have very bad spelling”. This has no support precisely because its considering 100% of the students and we do not have any evaluation system that proves this nor mentions what is the meaning of the word bad, this to say how good or bad can the graphic design students’ spelling bee, where are more spelling problems?, in the basic, intermediate or advanced semester; do the students come with bad spelling or forget the grammar rules along the study of their major? Are men or women who lack bad spelling? Should the professor correct the spelling of the students? Here we find a lot of questions that can be answered through a field research and with this focus on setting even more limits to the topic. For example, it is not the same to study all the students of the graphic design major than focusing on the group of men under 21 that are taking the class of
editorial design. The previous studies always generate relevant information that can even help in cases of the study. The objectives of the research are the sentences that express the final goal; to get this we need hard work since this will direct the direction of the study. The objectives are divided in general, particular, specific and methodological. It is important to go back to them to not lose the focus of the research. It is worth mentioning that a direct connection between the title of the project and the objectives of the study must exist since is the closest relation of what is being tried to achieve. According to Arcudia (2002, p. 17), the general objective is often called “topic sentence” and can be written as “the objective of this research is...” Now, in order to reach the general objective it is necessary to establish the particularity, this means to establish the strategic steps to follow. The problems that the students presented in this section was; the limits of their projects since they were too ambitious considering the allowed time to present their research. Here the presenting of the problem has to be closely related to the objective that is desired to develop. Proposals such as changing the perception of the people, conduct changes, thinking of cultural changes, make a specific group consciousness, etc., are situations that require years of study and as we mentioned before the students do not have the time basically because they have only a year to develop their projects which equals to taking two consecutive modules (graduation seminar and integral workshop). But it could be valid to work with these types of conducts and establish that the results of these types of research would be the basis for follow up research. In 2004, the proposed topics by the students were: “Alcoholism among young people”, “Social impact of a vodka campaign”. “Can graphic design create consciousness in a driver?”, The funnies as a
persuasive graphic mean in children’s rights”, “Traffic Accidents”, “Unplanned Pregnancies” and “Working for Verbal Peace”. Once set the part of protocol it includes: Problem presenting, priors of the problem, the justification, the objectives and the research questions or the hypothesis, the next stage consists in building the theoretical scheme. In this section it is reviewed what information must the student consider which could have been thought in the development of the mental maps. The theoretical scheme is the stage where the documented information is gathered to prepare the methodological design of the research which means the moment where it is established how and what information is relevant to be put into it, how it will be analyzed and approximately how will it take. At the same time, the gathered information for the theoretical scheme will provide a deep knowledge of the theory that will give meaning to the research. From the existing theories about the object of the study how can new knowledge are created. Although the challenge of this section is that the students are able to write since through their entire major they are more used to manual activities than to write reports or gathering information. Without leaving out that in a research project the writing must be of an academic style that includes the structure of the information as well as select the style of the references and the quotes. It is understood that this is the section in which the students show more problems. One strategy for the development of the theoretical scheme that the students can use is: a) It is imperative to present the reader theoretical information that is related to the topic, through the research of articles, books, documentaries, prior
research reports with the purpose of understanding how relevant can the topic be in regards to the development of the research. b) Since the professional focused area is graphic design, it is recommended to present information that shows what the scope of this profession is, how it acts and interacts. In the UACJ there is a discrepancy of why the students must include this information in their documents. From an opinion of the still author and when the student it is an advanced level of their career, it is important to review the origins of the profession from the perspective that nowadays graphic design has inside research. c)
One of the strongest and complicated areas in the research of
the theoretical scheme is this last block that consists in looking for the relation between the socio-cultural problem and design. Here the student needs to review similar projects to guide the reader as well as explore the possible impact and scope that their research can achieve.
Structuring it in three topic groups in the contents of the theoretical scheme, the students have shown an improvement in the comprehension of the information structure. According to Sampieri (2010, p. 65) the functions of the theoretical scheme are: 1. Prevent mistakes in prior studies. 2, Guide since the beginning of our study (observe how others have dealt with a specific problem, what studies have been done, how data has been collected, etc.) 3. Guide the researcher in the search of the solution of its problem. 4. Offers more justifications to our study. 5. Helps to establish hypothesis and substantiate them. 6. Inspires new lines of research in our work. 7. Gives reference points and other perspectives to the study.
Example: It tries to prove what determined type of personality increases the possibility that a person becomes a leader. If the proper literature had not been checked in regards to the studies of leadership, it would not have been discovered that it has been proven that leadership is mostly a product of the interaction
characteristics (group) and the particular situation and in which it is created. Reason why having certain personality does not imply that a leader arises from the group (reason why money, time and effort would have been spent on a worthless study). In this stage the types of information sources that can be used are included: primary, secondary and third sources. a) Primary sources: provide first hand data. A primary source is the one that provides a testimony or direct evidence about the topic being researched. The primary sources are written during the period of the study or by the person directly involved in the event, some of them can be original documents, creative work, artifacts, diaries, novels, clothes, musical instruments, minutes, visual arts, poetry, research notes, news, photographs, autobiographies, letters, speeches. b) Secondary sources: A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. The secondary sources are about to be taken out or separated from the primary sources. Some types secondary sources are: textbooks, magazine articles, literary criticism and comments, encyclopedias or biographies.
Third sources: it is a selection and compilation of primary
sources (first hand material related to a phenomenon) and secondary (comments, analysis and criticism based on primary sources). While the
difference between a primary and secondary source is essential in history, the distinction between these evidence sources and third sources is more superficial.
Another revision that is done with the students before they start to work is the way in which the document must be structured and for this it is necessary to know how to include references since it is an academic research. To generalize this information, the research academy developed an instrument in which all details are established that this research document must include, including the style in which it must be cited. It is worth mentioning that for the UACJ it is the Psychology Association of the United States of America system (APA). Once the students have these elements to start building the theoretical scheme, this is checked step by step by the professor. It is noteworthy that the advancement of this stage depends on the skills of the student to write. Usually, as mentioned before, the students are more used to work in practice areas, essays and written assignments are less common in their career. The methodological design describes how the research is going to be done, it is also called method or procedure and it is also the action plan of the researched to reach the objectives of the project. It is also the strategy to be used to prove a hypothesis or a group of hypothesis; it determines the strategies and procedures that will help give an answer to the problem. The objective of the methodological design is to select and present a design that looks to maximize the validity and reliability of the information to reduce the mistakes in the results. The validity refers to degree in which it is achieved to measure what is pretended to measure, it is a requirement to achieve the reliability in the
data. If the information is valid, it is also reliable. The reliability refers to the consistency, coherence or stability of the gathered information. The data acquires this when it is measured at different moments by different persons or different instruments are the same. This way a piece of information can be reliable but not valid. The students are asked to know the necessary elements for the development of the methodological design, of the proposal they plan to make and what first must be established is if the research is qualitative or quantitative. Also, depending of the time that the facts occur and the registries of the information can be prospective or retrospective and according to the period and sequence of the study it can be classified as transversal or longitudinal. Another important point to be established is the scope that the research will have. This can be: a) Descriptive: Consider a phenomenon and its components, measures concepts and define variables. b) Exploratory: Is the research that present problems little studied, they inquire from an innovative perspective, help to identify promising concepts, prepare the field for new studies. c) The related scopes are the ones that offer predictions, explain the relation between variables and quantify their relation. d) Explanatory: Looks to determine the causes of the phenomenon create a sense of meaning and combine their elements in a study. It is important at this point to remember what is the objective thatâ€™s pretended to be reached, as well as the particular, specific and methodological objectives. It is recommended that in this section to answer the questions: What? how?, when?, why?, for what?; in each of the established objectives. The importance of this lies on that the student will
have a more clear vision of the why or for what, it requires each one of the objectives that are included in the project. Define the characteristics of the group with which the research will be done is great importance since in a study or learning group is the number of people (more than two) with which the researcher will work on the project. It is important to know which the individual are and group characteristics of its members. Each member of the group will generate input that can define the direction of the research results. A study group allows the researcher the opportunity of applying new ideas in the experience of teaching and learning. In the study groups it is examined a predetermined topic starting from a need or interest for learning, planning, evaluating ideas, reflect, etc. This way knowledge is built through observation, interaction with proposed material and the arguments among the classmates. The researchers discover that each person brings experiences to the group and have a contribution to make. The group studies provide and generate and environment of camaraderie and an opportunity of growth. It is important to generate a commitment of creating new knowledge and improvement to influence in the perspectives of change and practice of the group to be studied. The purpose of the study groups is to learn and apply new techniques in teaching, solve day by day problems and inquire in any topic or problem that could come up. Every researcherâ€™s purpose, commit and be involved in a significant activity for its professional and personal development. We have to consider that the members of a study group must at least have some common interests or needs. The content or the focus of the study determines the selection of the group. The members of the group can have
the similar responsibilities or not. That is why is important to establish a schedule, determine the time and day of the meetings previously and for the time that is thought to be necessary to cover the topic. Choose a place and make sure of its availability. If the members of the group are all from the same college they can choose a set place; if they are from different institutions they can change the place and it must neutral, emphasizing on seriousness and the nature of its objective. (for example, not choosing a club). With this information defined up to this moment, the researcher (designer) will be able to pre-establish what proposal can be suggested to solve the problem. In this section the advantages and disadvantages of the graphic proposal are studied; it is suggested for this group of researchers-designers to work under three proposals. We have to remember that graphic design has a wide variety of proposals and techniques, for example, animation, multimedia, video, web, illustration, photography, billboards, signals, infographics, comics, stories just to mention some. Here the question is, how the researcher can have idea of which proposal the group will have better results? For example, the problem is of a group of 5 year old children. Because of the characteristics that the group presents it would not be recommended to present information in which a text is included since the children probably still do not know how to read. This way the designer will to make a first evaluation and out of the wide variety that graphic design offers in its techniques and communication means three must be chosen and with them establish the advantages and disadvantages of developing one or the other. The advantages and disadvantages will be
determined by the characteristics of the study group, the costs of the developed material, the time it takes to be developed, suggested formats, costs of the activities, existing materials, etc. . The relevance of this step is to care for the development of the proposal that is the most feasible to use; this means that if we design a visual material where the purpose is to use it in the classroom of an elementary school of low resources, but the school does not have the proper material to use the information. The suggested information of multimedia would never be used and the research and all the work would be in vain. Looking for an estimate for the proposal makes the student realize about the types of materials that are proposed. Also, it is recommended to look for more than one estimate. This is what any designer would do to protect the money of the client; it will always be looked for the best quality at the lowest cost. The designer must realize that it must always prove the proposal.
Development of the Graphic Proposal Of the three previous estimated proposals according to the advantages of the disadvantages the choice will be done, this validation is according to the study group. What follows is to present the proposal evaluation process. It is important to consider a process at the time of its elaboration. In the Educational program of Graphic Design (GDEP), this has been a point that has been insisted on; because of the lack of process, method or registry used by the students during its development (possibly because it has been asked for by their professors). Part of the evaluation of the students
consisted in asking for the evidence of advancement in their work; this did not mean that the methodology was included. The grade of the student previously was the evaluation that the professor would make about the proposal (prototype). The invitation to the group of the GDEP is to work in the development of the graphic proposal using the action of research. According to Lewin (1946) action research is like a spiral of steps: planning, implementation and evaluation of the result of the action. The action â€“research is better understood as the joining of both with a double purpose: the action looks for creating change and the research tries to create knowledge and understanding. Understanding action-research is to consider it as a methodology that pursues action and research results as a dialogue between action and the research. It takes proving ideas in practice as means to improve social conditions and increase knowledge. The importance of using this method lies on the change that is creating on students. The advantage of using this type of research keeps the basic characteristics of a good research but at the same time is flexible by allowing keeping the specific characteristics. Carr & Kemmis (1986, p. 166) mention that action-research must be used in three necessary conditions both sufficient: a) that the project must be presented as a social practice considered as a form of strategic action inclined to improvement; b) that the progress of the project be through a spiral or cycles of planning, action, observation and reflection being in all of these activities in a critical mode and interrelated functioning; c) that the project includes all of the responsible in each practice in each of the moments of the activity, making the participation increase gradually in it to include other of the affected ones by the practice and keep a collaboration control of the process.
Pring (2000) shows four significant characteristics of the action-research: cyclical, participative, qualitative and reflexive. A specific aspect of actionresearch is the necessity or imperative of integrating the action. The focus of the research will be the action plan to achieve the change or improvement of the practice or established purpose. Doing something to improve a practice is an aspect of the action-research that does not occur in other research. For Cal Swann (2002) who mentions that the action-research is an appropriate methodology for any design project, the process is iterative and can only be effective if the problem is constantly being checked.
Problem/research-analysis-synthesis-executionproduction-evaluation This research process is basically empirical, but most important; it does not suggest a linear process, the design process is iterative and will only be effective when is constantly goes back to the problem, is analyzed again and again and every time a solution is reached it has to be checked and synthesized. (Swann, 2002) Based on this methodology is that we start the development. Once the theoretical research has been done (with the information that is included in the theoretical scheme) and the field research is the one that has been developed through the interviews, questionnaires, group study observations according to the problem being tackled. Now the first step is to start drafting some ideas. As previously mentioned, by using action-research is like a spiral where cycles are being generated, this
means that in every step of the design of the graphic proposal a cycle is developed and it includes: proposal –analysis –summary –execution – production –evaluation After the evaluation it is possible having to go back to a new proposal and restart the cycle. Each project has to determine the number of cycles with which it has to work; in general terms the number of drafts could be considered. It is the drawing of the first ideas put in paper. Printing formats: It is important to know since this moment which is the possibilities and printing costs of the proposed material to be used. Style and drawing technique: In designing it is fundamental and depending on the group to which we will target to consider the style, it can be minimalist, rustic, modern, childlike, dynamic, etc. The technique can be digital dough, with colored borders, hatch, chalk, pastels, Wood pencil, etc. It is important to know what is the style and taste of the audience to look for a bigger impact. Color is important, to determine what the audience prefers or on what already exists what has more impact; applying color is totally related to. Types of materials. - Knowing the costs with which the projects can be developed it is also important. Sometimes we limit ourselves to using known materials, the ones that are available without giving opportunity to exploring or knowing other options of similar costs that can be innovation. It is understood that experimenting in those types of areas can be risky but with the support of action-research steps can be taken at less risk although it becomes an opportunity to explore new options. Number of applications. Once the element of the main design is defined, it is necessary to define all
the applications that it will have trying to solve the problem that the group study presents. It is important to evaluate each of these cycles and re-develop a proposal as many times as its necessary. The type of evaluation will depend on each cycle, surveys can be done, interviews, focus groups and even observation. Once the cycles are concluded what follows is the final evaluation, and it is important to consider its relevance. In this stage we are considering what the latest in terms of evaluation is and that is why it requires that we are careful as well as a detailed registry of the process. The students of the GDEP accepted in good terms to work under this scheme since it allows them to identify any detail in any cycle. Working with this process makes them feel more confident on what they are presenting since the evaluations allow them to measure the impact that the proposal will have and advance with firm steps.
Analysis and reflections with the work group Defining the learning objectives The proposed objective consisted in looking for a change in the perception of the students of the GDEP in regards to the way of having a concept of graphic design in Ciudad Juarez. For this it was necessary to create educational material or the students, the use of this material would allow making them sensitive to the social and cultural problems which
Ciudad Juarez is going through. Including these methodological processes and the basic application of how to develop a research project was another aspect included, besides creating consciousness in the student about the advantages that imply evaluating the proposals that are generated because of the relevance and transcendence of the selected project to be done.
Identifying the necessities of the students The students always showed some insecurities since they were in a totally new and unknown situation for them even though they were explained that they were a trial group in which some adjustments would be done with the purpose of them developing a better research to solve a more complex problem compared to the ones they had previously done. The hesitation that the 2004 focus group showed when exchanging information about the contents of the module with the other groups of the same class was evident. On the other hand, it was an innovative situation in which was great expectation basically because of the topics of a social kind that had been selected to work on and the quantity of evaluations that were necessary for the design proposals to be submitted to presented by this group of students; especially since they were always comparing the results with the rest of their classmates. Another common complaint was in regards to the work load that was demanded from this trial group, it was considerably more than to the one of their classmates. The workload of the GDEP students according to the degree plan is well balanced between the theoretical subjects and the practice ones.
The lack of interest in social problems was another challenge with the students since they showed very Little interest and null knowledge in the development in the development of a research process, lack of use of methodological processes to design. Since a heavy load of reports and readings is not required the resistance, lack of interest and capability of producing reports is evident in the students being only a few that because of their personal abilities could develop reports. The lack of attention in spelling is another problem in producing reports. The set dynamics in this doctoral thesis were necessary so that the group of students could have the confidence in the researchâ€™s proposal. The discussion sessions of social topics
was another challenge, the group
showed some uncertainty since always the topics of design were focused on marketing and advertising. The topics related to the violence in the community would be rather avoided since one way or another it affected them even though is not something strange; it is just that design student is not used to visualizing social problems, its focus is marketing and advertising.
The teachersâ€™ point of view. Considering that after four years of having design under a certain scheme, it is understandable the resistance of the students to new proposals. We could establish that any other way that everything is focused on learning, this means that the students must be able and ready at any moment to work in teaching learning function, at the end of the day what they get is information, and the application is what is different.
Discovering new places of development opportunities in the design area, knowing the potential of responsibility that their projects have goes much further than just designing a logo, it is necessary to understand the advantages that imply using a methodology in design, it lessens the error risk in its function and use. Although one of the most complex activities of working with students was the great amount of reports, it was previously mentioned how difficult is for the graphic design student to make reports and this is because he/she focuses more on the practical aspect of design. Other weaknesses that the students have is the lack of basis on research, this obviously impacts their written material. Also, the students are not used to reflect on their proposals, this possibly happens because the professors do not include this activity in the education of the student, it is understandable because the groups can be numerous and the number of professors is not enough; besides having a full schedule there is not enough time to include a reflection activity. We should remember that 70 percent of these professors have graduated from this university and developed under the same program and only the ones who have more studies have a wider vision in regards to research and reflexive thinking.
The evidence from the students The relevance of working with social design lie son being conscious of the reality that surround you, knowing the scope of design as well as having a culture of change in indispensable. During the development of this thesis, I reflected on, Why do the students do not like to check information from mass media?, another question was Why donâ€™t they have a definition
of graphic design, if not clear at least close to what their major refers to? Why is there that lack of motivation and apathy? Why be afraid of expressing their ideas? These were some of the main questions that constantly came up with the students of graphic design during the development of this project. After observing and talking to them for two semesters I tried to interpret some answers to the questions that were more evident. The information that the mass media generates are full of violent images, too aggressive to the eye (beheaded, organs exposed, burned people, dismembered bodies, etc.) the headings of the newspapers were too scandalous or inflammatory. In some cases the images and the text were so evident and aggressive that after a couple of weeks the only thing that you could see was the same. It is understandable that there is an immediate refusal to this kind of information. One of the comments of the students was â€œthe only thing that changes is the number of dead people of yesterday and the rest is the same, kidnappings, thefts, rapes and of course murdered people, a hanged person or the pot holes of the cityâ€?. What is true is that the students were right. The media gives so much space to violent acts that the rest of the information is lessened, it could be debatable the importance or relevance of the space given to violence. But what matters to designers is the visual information , we do not focus in lessening the situation and it is not possible to have good taste in this kind of events but it is also true that when the information is given to the reader there must be an ethics code in regards to how these kind of images are handled since they are really aggressive and also the schedules and places where the newspapers are, they are at the reach of any person and
this includes minors that possibly do not have the ability to understand what is happening. At the beginning we asked the student to define what was graphic design for them, the answers were not very straight, a total silence, they looked at each other with a question mark on their face. It is true that defining design is complex since the word is used as well as verb as an adjective and categorizes a profession. It is also true that there are many definitions of what is graphic design; there has not been an agreement that defines it as only one expression. On the other hand, the focus of the design profession in UACJ is mostly focused on marketing and advertising. Not all the professors that give class have a design education, the Educational program
relatively new, its first student generation was in 1996.The lack of identity of the profession with society could also be a reason why the student does not have a definition or vision of what it is his/her profession.
Fourth Field Study The fourth field study was focused on analysing the results of the impact of this project and its development deficiencies through the years First, it is important to establish a scenario. Students reach higher level education with certain skills that are a result of the outline, design and structure of education in the country, which were mentioned previously. There are some critical points in the Mexican education system that were mentioned earlier in this document, such as: the increase in the number of students directly impacts the quality of education, the variety of module
selection in the Mexican equivalent of sixth form, despite efforts by standardize and rationalize the content and methods of education, poses two main problems, one is that they show little flexibility and second, academic structure does not favour the inter-institutional transit for students from one option to another. In addition to not having enough bibliographic material, there is a small and out dated documentary archive. It is noted that these complications are faced by students at the high school level. Yet another big change for students is the departmental structure that colleges have. Departmentalization consists of freely selecting how many and which modules to take on each school term, this in contrast to high school, where the number of modules is assigned and classroom attendance is monitored continuously. When students begin college the lack of such control or supervision can confuse them, since theyâ€™re coming from a system where supervision was constant and it can make them feel too relaxed, or on the contrary, a different structure on their studies can make them feel under a lot of pressure. Another interesting fact is that education in Mexico does not promote research in basic through upper secondary level. There are very few schools that include learning techniques based on experimentation and deliberation. In addition, the increase of students enrolled in institutions must be taken in consideration; with this increase, the demand may surpass the performance of the teacher, this forces the institutions to elaborate various strategies such as offering more class groups, which requires greater staff, or over-using the one they have. It is important to consider that excessive hours in front of the group may be excessive for the teacher; it is difficult to get qualified teachers in the area. On the other hand, the content information in each module is very broad. The teacher does not encourage research,
reflection, learning and teaching, even when institutions make a great effort to promote free courses seeking to support them academically; the evidence will be presented ahead. The aforementioned points are some of the causes why students show deficiencies when they reach higher education, concerning the development of research projects, low cultural and reading comprehension levels, and apathy. It is possible that these points, usually found in students, are due to the system applied in previous educational levels, lack of awareness and knowledge about what design is and its role in society; not knowing who and what design is for can also be considered as inefficient orientation. When the student does not understand the transcendence of design, their interest towards the profession will be directed to consider it as a purely artistic and creative activity. This means that if the students are not aware of their environment and do not know what the scope of their profession is, it will be very complicated to be an indispensable part of the proposal for a generational change. Presented below is part of the results obtained with the focus groups.
Deciding the balance of the learning objectives Each of the objectives of this thesis generated a significant amount of information. We must recall that the development of this project included Five Goals. The first objective sought to know and understand the behaviours and reactions generated in students through various exercise proposals such as: tell me a story, consciousness and perception (writing letters), media
(singular impact on my life through cultural concepts), concepts of violence (development of a collage), and the last exercise, how is meaning shaped? The register of these exercises would be carried through observation but mostly evaluating the outcome of their proposals. It is important to remember that at this point students of the Graphic Design Education Program (GDEP) were not sensitized to the violence that exists in Ciudad Juarez, (this was detected in a previous study) the results obtained with the application of these exercises were favourable. This was observed in the type of problems which students decided to work with to develop their projects. Note that at the beginning of this exercise, students found it outside their area of development and they even seemed a bit reluctant; it was necessary to give evidence as to how design plays a part in society. Gradually, students became interested. It is important to understand that the saturation of media in town is part of a familiar environment image; they were no longer able to perceive on one hand the misuse of the messages and on the other, the high degree of aggressiveness in the images. Make them understand that designers are responsible for how the information is handled was not easy. At this time there was the paradigm that if the client requests a design this should not be questioned, in such a way that good or bad design and the message was determined or focused only on the basis of the taste of those who paid. After understanding their role and their participation in society, students became more prone to investigate and consider the problems of violence in the town from another perspective. An equally important factor was when each student commented on personal situations or environment-related violence. The thought that their projects could influence children or young people made them decide to work
with issues such as domestic violence, alcoholism, moral values, road accidents, verbal violence in primary schools and pregnancies at an early age in the city. It is important to emphasize that the interest was growing as information was being found and they made their field tests, though their limitations in the research area were quite considerable. The second objective was to review the content of the module in which students developed a project and leaving unaffected what was already established, add the exercises in gradually. The module where students develop a project is Dissertation Seminar, with previous requirements established by UACJ. The purpose of this section was to develop exercises that were related to the research process so that the student meet the program requirements like the rest of his schoolmates but at the same time reinforced the basic points to develop a research project. It is worth mentioning that in this section considerable confusion was generated among the students, because they were not sure and did not feel comfortable with having to develop a method or process, let alone design a methodology for the development of their graphic proposals. Another exercise of this second objective consisted of exploring the field of research, a situation the student was not used to, particularly when it involved analysing social contexts; it required to go the centre of domestic violence, alcoholism, clinics, and schools of low socioeconomic status. To help the students it was necessary to give them support in the basics of information-gathering techniques and the characteristics of each of these techniques, selecting the most adequate for the collection of data depending on the uses and needs of each one, the gathering techniques being: quizzes, interviews, observation and focal group. This review was extended past the scheduled time.
Practical examples were developed to have a better idea of the application and reading of data collection techniques. It is important to know how and what they are used for, determining what are the advantages and disadvantages of each; usually this will get not only the best of results, but also save time and money. The compilation of theoretical information posed another challenge for students, although the low level of literacy with which students reach higher education was mentioned earlier in this work, being previously trained or having a correctly-oriented education since the beginning certainly does not contribute to an improvement in practice development. The exercises of the first section of this doctoral project were also aimed at improving writing skills; gradually it became necessary for students to write, be it short stories, brief analyses, reflections on a topic, description of images or analysis some images and their deficiencies. The exercises also aimed to encourage and help students build their confidence when writing. These elements should provide the student with enough tools to develop a pilot test. A pilot test is the first approach to the problem; they take a sample and test the statement that will be analysed. This allows the researcher to approach the problem, to get a broader understanding of the needs of the group with which we want to work, allowing thus to limit the range of variables. The pilot test permits us to evaluate the diversity of the problem and review the advantages and disadvantages that apply to the work; we must remember that a problem can be surrounded by more than one scenario. Additionally, it can allow us to have a better perception of the reach of the project. It is also true that the results of the pilot test become the basis
and support for building the justification of the project if it is feasible to develop it. The description of the pilot test and theoretical information on the subject would form an ensemble of information, so that the student is able to define what your project seeks to address and what its scope could be. Exercises to develop the pilot test were well received by the students; here they would apply each of the data collection techniques they previously studied. First a survey on which target group the project should focus was conducted. Secondly, conducting an interview or observation on what was already established; itâ€™s not about reinventing the wheel, we always have to start from pre-existent works or what surround us, so it is important to always leave a record of what is being developed, it can be useful to other researchers; having as much theoretical information as itâ€™s currently available is important too. Likewise, the vision with which the designer decides to undertake the problem is also relevant. For example, two students were interested in analysing the success of the advertising campaign for Absolut Vodka. The idea in the beginning was to examine the concepts in the ads and images etc., but the reasons for the success of the campaign were quickly established by the students, it was agreed that one of them was the major financial support that these campaigns have. On the other hand, if we analyse the problem using the point of view of Design Against Crime (DAC), which consist of checking if the message is targeted towards the right group, it is important to notice that we are not demonizing campaigns that advertise alcoholic beverages, it is simply that it is important to check that messages are received correctly by the people they are addressed to. First, when some product ads were reviewed (Absolut Vodka), it was agreed that the campaign was not exactly for adults, the models were too young and wore teen clothes, plus comparing this product with others of the same field, the others were
more modest, classy. In addition, the students, based on their experience commented that because of the pictures in the ads, the target market seemed to be people under 18, who they thought would be more attracted to the fashion style used in the images. Another comment was that in the clubs the consumers of this product were mostly minors who wanted to follow trends among their peers, commented. Students conducted a quick poll among young upper middle class secondary school students, to inquire about their favourite beverages, the first place was precisely Absolut Vodka, to the surprise of several students; the surveyed were between 12 and 15 years old and their favourite places to drink were the clubs, at school and of course private parties, purchasing this product with fake IDs. This confirmed the importance of properly setting a message to reach the target group; even when it economically benefits the Absolut Vodka Company that more people consume the product, there must be a certain degree of social responsibility, to raise awareness about the damage it can cause. What we (as graphic designers) can do to create a fundamentally responsible society.
The third objective of this thesis consisted of showing the student the importance of evaluating their graphic proposals. The GDEP students considered that submission of proposals concluded with the presentation of a prototype or graphic model, sometimes including a verbal justification that in most cases was hardly supported by any methodological process, theoretical concept or evaluation. Methodological designs allow us to keep a record of the process as well as of each decision taken when developing the evaluation proposal. Constant review of this decision-making is what allows limiting the margin of error in the final proposal.
Evaluation is an effort to determine the effectiveness of the proposal and put it into practice, which means using it in a real context to evaluate it and make the appropriate adjustments. Sometimes the designer settles with client authorization, which is actually quite important, considering the vast experience that they may have. However, one must understand that the customer is the final user or the person who will, in fact, make use of use the proposal. On the other hand, putting the proposal in a real context for some time enables us to generate results of its usability and the efficiency of its functionality, generating data that will enable the designer to make the necessary adjustments to its redesign.
This may take additional time and work. However, there is no point in delivering a product or proposal that at the end of the day wonâ€™t provide the positive result for which it was designed. It is important that the student knows what their responsibility and their role as a professional are, as well as the commitment undertaken when creating each project.
The result of testing proposals was not easy to face for the students, since they are not used to redesigning, making adjustments to a proposal involves time, money and of course effort. For some students, staunchly thinking theyâ€™re being right and not getting the expected results was discouraging when it should be positive instead; finding the flaws in your design allows an improvement at the moment, because otherwise who will be paying the price would be the client or society. In one of the projects proposed by the students, the cost of the final product was very high and even when the proposal worked, such a large amount of products was not necessary.
Chapter VIII Results The compilation of the learning of the design process: Working with a group of graphic design students from UACJ produced several lessons for the students and for the research project of this dissertation. In here we will only mention the ones with the heaviest impact. Understanding that changing the way of thinking of an individual requires time and conviction, or becoming aware of strong events of which sometimes we do not have control and to which we are exposed. The change expected in students currently cannot be determined as definitive. However, we obtained a favourable change in terms of the implementation and use of design; the project proposals student presented were initially focused on developing designs a logo, sign systems or corporate image for companies. The change proposed by the students after driving this doctoral project was focused on trying to resolve a problematic social nature through research supported design and evaluation methodology. Nowadays, this group of students agree that it is necessary to have an approach to the problem through a pilot test, and that establishing a methodological process allows a better organization of ideas, a search for specific needs according the problem and constant evaluation will narrow the margin of error. In summary, the needs of the focus group are above the client's needs. The most representative change may be the satisfaction students experience when they understand the value of their profession in their social environment. Remember that the lack of definition of graphic design students presented at the beginning of the project was confusing considering the
advanced level in which they were, meaning that after an average of four to five years studying the field, being unable to define their own profession was worrying. Excuses ranged from: the amount of definitions that exist on graphic design, lack of research in the area, lack of responsibility, argumentation in their projects, as well as the poor sustainability of these, were reasons why students hardly had a proper definition or at least agree to some authors. This group of students who finished the first projects that tried to solve social problems through design contributed in a positive way to society, thus changing an attitude to the use and application that was given to the design in the city. Students forgot all fatigue, exhaustion and difficulty to face challenges when positive results were achieved. The interest, gratitude and appreciation of the focus groups the students worked with was the best result they could get. Consequently, after learning the application and impact that the projects had, students felt satisfied and proud to have found a meaning and a purpose to their profession. In a final meeting some of their comments were:
-Student A: Will local businesses allow us to do this kind of work? -Student B: Maybe this is a good opportunity to change the type of jobs available in companies for ourselves. -Student C: Only NGOs do this kind of work, and they cannot afford to pay a designer -author: In my opinion, what is that the point of living in a city with so many problems, why generate more advertising and marketing if you cannot even enjoy freedom.
-Student F: my uncle is an alcoholic and when my mom saw that I was doing this project started crying and thanked me, and said that until that day she had understood what was that I studied and said that she thought highly of my profession.
Finally, all works followed almost the same methodological process, because there was very little time for students to get to know the various alternative methods or types of research and thereby determine their own methodological designs. Action research is a flexible type of research that was selected to support the development of the graphic proposals, so that students could apply to each of their projects even when the goals and needs were different. The outcome and scope of the objectives was positive. The work of the students had a favourable impact in each focus group and each of them successfully met its goals. (see projects in appendices) New Proposal 2005, after the development of the first projects undertaken by students of graphic design, the material was presented to the teachers Dr. Cunliffe-Charlesworth and Dr. Noel at Sheffield Hallam University; they made several observations such as: The results are very encouraging; the change was that students were very favourable. Now they can be more compromised with their environment, more conscious and responsible of their social role. The obtention of these results is very positive. However, the way of working of the students and the problems of the city still remain the same. This is because the responsibility of undertaking this task was all given to doctoral student Erika Rogel. The question is: What would be relevant for the establishment of a change, not only in a group, but also in the graphic design program (PDG). To answer this question, we should revise the issues where students had previously shown bigger gaps in
knowledge, and then establish the necessary strategies that need to be developed. The most noticeable problems are:
The students’ lack of use and application of research
The students have trouble writing essays
Establishing projects from a problematic
Including social issues in their projects
Teachers have little to no knowledge in the areas of research (approximately 60% of teachers are graduates of this same program, and we can determine that their research technique development has been null, except for those that undertook a postgraduate degree)
Change in the contents of some modules such as Work Field Research, Dissertation Seminar and Integral Workshop. According to the results shown above, it can be determined that the
project proposal was good. However, the result impacts a very small number of students, thinning the purpose of the study. To make this possible, and with input and recommendations from Dr. Hilary and Dr. Noel, it is necessary to find an alternative for the project to have a greater impact and more permanence on graphic design students from UACJ. The
restructuration of the content of the following modules: Work Field Research, Dissertation Seminar and Integral Workshop. Secondly, train another teacher (assistant) to handle a larger group of students and develop instructive material to help other teachers instruct the module in a second group. The proposal to include another module is for the purpose of including and obtaining an in-depth knowledge of the research techniques.
Reviewing the program content, one of the subjects that could support was Work Field Research. This module has as main its objective conducting a review of the companies involved in design in town. By doing a meticulous review of its contents, it was found that: the visits paid to companies were repeated every semester, and to the same places, due to the pace of their growth, significant developments werenâ€™t noted and students had much spare time. Additionally, the analysis made by the students consisted in visiting the company and asking some questions and observing their equipment. Finally, students wrote some of their experiences and observations, this being of little use to the student. Another problem was that this activity was repeated in another subject (Professional Practice/ Internship). Therefore, as a first proposal the idea was to include a vast number of information about research, which students had to implement during their visits to companies. Like that, without entirely changing the objective of the module, the basis of research, which was one of the weaknesses of the students, could be strengthened. A disadvantage of including the information in this module was that it is imparted in the last semester, the same level as the Integral Workshop module, and this not only does not allow the students to have prior knowledge, but also could make the student get confused or get data for their dissertation project too late. The suggested strategy was to develop the content of the Field Research Work module including in it the basic principles of research with four techniques for the gathering of information. The purpose of this change was to ease the burden of information in the Dissertation Seminar module making the Field Research module absorb some of this burden, in such a way that now instead of having two modules for the development of their project, they could have three.
For 2005, with the recommendations obtained according to the preliminary results the goal here would be, in addition to applying the same amount of material with the new working group, for this material to be shared with a colleague to develop the project in two groups thus encompassing more students. The Dissertation Seminar module was available for two groups, the largest number of students would be attended by the author and an assistant professor, the second, smaller group would be taught by another professor who would follow the guide previously produced. At the end it could be determined if the learning gained was more significant for the auxiliary teacher or the teacher who followed the content of the developed guide. Another change in this group in comparison to that of 2004 is that students had the option to develop their project with a partner. This decision was planned considering that students could get better results by working in pairs. Results in 2005.- The observations obtained from the changes included in the Field Research module present some complications with students as the group had three types of students a) those who were enrolled in the Dissertation Seminar module and had already taken the Field Research module, b) those who were pursuing Field Research and Dissertation Seminar at the same time and c) those who were enrolled in Dissertation Seminar but have not pursued Field Research (remember that at this point Seminar is a module of the eighth semester, and Field is in the ninth) therefore: The advantages that the student a) presented were that by the time it was necessary to undertake the compilation of data obtained from the field
research, they’d already have the skills to use the techniques that best adapt to the needs of the project. On the other hand, the disadvantage that the material developed in the Field Research module presented was that it might not related to the topic of their project. The group b) had the advantage that they could use the exercises they developed in the field research module for their project since they were undertaking both at the same time. However, the downside was that the time to review the research material remained lagged and thus their work presented poor quality. Students c) were the laggard group, even when there was always a short review in the Seminar module these students could not provide good results in the collection and analysis of information, and by the time they took the Field Research module trying to find an application for the exercises was futile because they had already completed their project by that time. Concerning the teachers’ learning: Recall that the two teachers were a) the auxiliary. – The one who would work directly with the author and b) the teacher who would work following the guidelines proposed by the author. The experience gained by a) the Assistant Professor, was broadly assessed as positive. In addition, the workload was divided between the two teachers, thus allowing more attention and support to students, who were allowed to work in pairs. In the case of Professor b) he found this material to be a bit tricky, the examples in the guide, didn’t seem very familiar to him and it was not possible to follow the required structure in its entirety, partly because he did not have entire dominion of knowledge over the area of research and design, as well as the vision of considering the design as a tool for solving social problems.
Regarding modules: It is noteworthy that following the progress of the students through the three modules was the most pertinent thing to do, that is to say, when the same teacher is in charge of the Dissertation Seminar, Integral Workshop and Field Research modules, he or she has an extensive knowledge of the studentsâ€™ chosen topics. This allows the teacher to know the project and give better guidance to the student so he or she is not continually changing the proposal. The challenges that teachers had to face were:
Teachers with different academic background: After the student approved the Dissertation Seminar module, the next semester they could join any Integral Workshop group (where it was feasible to have a different teacher from the one they had in Dissertation Seminar) The level required for approval to a teacher could not be enough for another, even when there was well defined approval criteria; so that if some students were approved in the Seminar module, the teacher with which they were taking Workshop could consider that those projects were either difficult or impossible to carry out, or they simply did not have the quality and progress to be concluded during the of Integral Workshop module (module for completion of the project), the teacher could deny them the access to his class or asked them to change their project. This could be understood from the perspective of every teacher, however, this was not the most suitable for students or for the institution, because the failure and dropout rates increased in that year. (table of retention and failure.)
Regarding students: Teamwork. - What the student initially visualized as positive about working in teams became more complex after some time. At first the student assumed that working with others would mean a smaller workload and responsibility. Nonetheless, teamwork requires more discipline, commitment and responsibility, since one must first match schedules, and then be open to the opinions and criticism of their peers and also the responsibility to deliver their part on time as agreed, so that each instalment is ready in time. Evaluation. Working in teams did not exclude individual assessment, which measured the progress and development of each student. It is impossible to exclude students who abuse their teammates and want to trick the teacher into thinking they have worked the same amount or even more than the rest of their teammates. At this stage it was necessary to raise awareness among students about the individual and group responsibility they were acquiring, but the process is long and the main problem came when some of the members of a team failed the Seminar module, when the Workshop module started this team would be incomplete and the so would the workload. General agreements in the group. Failing to reach an agreement as a team, was reason enough for wanting to separate, the problem being which member of the team would keep the information already obtained. Separation of the group. The causes ranged from economic, personal or family matters/issues to personal problems between the students, causing that they donâ€™t continue the project.
Changes established for/in 2006 The results in 2005 were successful: the assistant teacher obtained more significant knowledge than the teacher working alone with only the support of a guide designed previously from notes generated in previous years. This guide contains the programmatic structure of the topics to be developed each day, the structure indicates the topic and includes the development of the same, in order to allow the teacher to have quick access to the information on the subject. Also included in this guide was the lesson planning for each exercise; lesson planning is the one that determines the reason why every exercise should be developed and provides a holistic view of the use and application of every exercise to be undertaken during the module. One of the problems detected in 2005 was that teachers who taught modules Dissertation Seminar and Integral Workshop lacked a solid understanding of research, making it difficult to counsel studentsâ€™ projects, for this more alternatives were thought. First proposal. - If the basic problem was that the designers did not know how to develop a research, we would find teachers from various areas that have experience on the development of research projects and will fill the gap. Results. - When students wanted to investigate an issue of their area (design), teachers were in the dilemma of not being able to advise them, not having the knowledge or not being familiar with the issues chosen by the students, creating a lot of frustration not only for students but also for teachers, who were exhausted to support the ideas of the students. Another point is that there were too many projects to review, between 20 and 25
projects per teacher. Teachers protested immediately. Besides a general disagreement about Integral Workshop teachers receiving students, they presented a lack of standardization in knowledge, meaning that most of the time when they were questioned about an issue which is supposed to have been reviewed during the Seminar module, students responded they did not revised it in class, creating additional work to the Integral Workshop module because at the end of the day nobody could confirm whether or not they had reviewed the material in class. Second proposal. - Working with two teachers in the same module, one who knew how to develop research projects, and a designer. This way the designer learns from his partner and at the same time he would be able to visualise the scope of the project from the perspective of a designer. Results. - The results were not positive. The work of both teachers consisted of: the research expert professor developing the first part of the project (conceptualization of the problem, tentative title, protocol and framework), and the professor expert in the areas of design was responsible for the development of the graphic proposal of each project, its evaluation and conclusions. The flaws detected at this stage were: first, the protocol, which is the part where the project is stated, includes (statement of the problem, background of the problem, objectives, research question, hypothesis, justification and methodology of the project), points that are crucial to the impact and scope of the project. One of the major setbacks here was precisely the lack of vision of Professor-Researcher external to the area of research. The lack of cohesion in the projects was evident, since each teacher checked only their correspondent part, the final product looked like two different works; the Dissertation Seminar module was taught by Professor-researchers who could advise the student throughout the
theoretical process. However, when they moved to the next module, Integral Workshop, the professor in the area of design could reject the studentâ€™s proposal if he or she considered it nonviable. This resulted in the student feeling restless and frustrated besides delaying the conclusion of the project. On the other hand, with/while approving the projects in the Dissertation Seminar module, the teacher in charge of the approval of these projects washed his hands clean of off the project. This caused discontent among Integral Workshop teachers, arguing that the projects were being approved without having a sufficient progress and quality. Third proposal. - As a consequence of this situation the creation of an academic group was dictated; it took over the guidelines and development of design research topics for UACJ. The Academy of research for the Graphic Design Academic Program was created; its coordinator being Prof. Erika Rogel, and the members Dr. Veronica Ariza, Dr. Carles Mendez, Dr. Miguel Angel Achig, Dr. Hortensia Minguez, Dr. Rutilio Garcia, Prof. Guadalupe Gaytan, Prof. Leonardo Moreno, Prof. Salvador Valdovinos and Saulo Favela, B.A. This academy aims get organized in order to support and strengthen the functions related to the teaching-learning process, as well as the design and operation of the module catalogue/selection. It attempts to find a space for reflection, analysis and proposes a continuous improvement for the advancement and development of educational programs; to develop advanced training courses on research for graphic design teachers, in order that the teachers could manage projects from start to finish. The intention was that in having more teachers trained, the fewer projects would have to be reviewed per person, increasing the efficiency and quality of them. Lessening the lag and failure rates was another goal that the academy had.
Result. - The result of the formation of the academy was positive, working over the basis and guidelines, reaching general consensus, at this point there were more teachers aware the importance of incorporating a more solid research structure in the training of students; the part of this project concerning the raising of awareness of social issues was not yet well accepted by the whole group. Training for a group of teachers consisted of taking research courses that were given by Prof. Erika Rogel, and Dr. Veronica Ariza. (view course material) The fourth field study was focused on analysing the results of the impact of this project and its development deficiencies through the years. First, it is important to establish a scenario. Students reach higher level education with certain skills that are a result of the outline, design and structure of education in the country, which were mentioned previously. There are some critical points in the Mexican educational system that were mentioned earlier in this document, such as: the increase in the number of students directly impacts the quality of education, the variety of module selection in the Mexican equivalent of sixth form, despite efforts by standardize and rationalize the content and methods of education, poses two main problems, one is that they show little flexibility and second, academic structure does not favour the inter-institutional transit for students from one option to another. In addition to not having enough bibliographic material, there is a small and outdated documentary archive. It is noted that these complications are faced by students at the high school level. Yet another big change for students is the departmental structure that colleges have. Departmentalization consists of freely selecting how many and which modules to take on each school term, this in contrast to high school, where
the number of modules is assigned and classroom attendance is monitored continuously. When students begin college the lack of such control or supervision can confuse them, since theyâ€™re coming from a system where supervision was constant and it can make them feel too relaxed, or on the contrary, a different structure on their studies can make them feel under a lot of pressure. Another interesting fact is that education in Mexico does not promote research in basic through upper secondary level. There are very few schools that include learning techniques based on experimentation and deliberation. In addition, the increase of students enrolled in institutions must be taken in consideration; with this increase, the demand may surpass the performance of the teacher, this forces the institutions to elaborate various strategies such as offering more class groups, which requires greater staff, or over-using the one they have. It is important to consider that excessive hours in front of the group may be excessive for the teacher; it is difficult to get qualified teachers in the area. On the other hand, the content information in each module is very broad. The teacher does not encourage research, reflection, learning and teaching, even when institutions make a great effort to promote free courses seeking to support them academically; the evidence will be presented ahead. The aforementioned points are some of the causes why students show deficiencies when they reach higher education, concerning the development of research projects, low cultural and reading comprehension levels, and apathy. It is possible that these points, usually found in students, are due to the system applied in previous educational levels, lack of awareness and knowledge about what design is and its role in society; not knowing who and what design is for can also be considered as inefficient
orientation. When the student does not understand the transcendence of design, their interest towards the profession will be directed to consider it as a purely artistic and creative activity. This means that if the students are not aware of their environment and do not know what the scope of their profession is, it will be very complicated to be an indispensable part of the proposal for a generational change. Presented below is part of the results obtained with the focus groups.
Changes set for 2007-2009 First proposal. â€“ Up to this moment it was thought that the training for the professors should be permanent, as well as incorporating more teachers, besides, there must be some kind of support during the development of the practice for the teacher to feel more confident when being in front of the group, as these could enrol up to 30 students per group. A problem detected was that having several Dissertation Seminar groups for one single module resulted in students not receiving the same information, considering that the knowledge students were getting wasnâ€™t being uniform, it was proposed to work with one group. The purpose of working with a single group was to ensure that all teachers and students counted with the same information. Another objective sought by this proposal was that new teachers will be integrated to the class, in order to review or learn from those with more experience in the methodological field. Results. - The courses were well received by teachers, who displayed good disposition for research; it was also necessary to have a larger setting. The theoretical part was launched with good progress and results, at the time of moving to the definition or counselling on the project with the student, the
issues would be addressed through the field of expertise of each teacher trying to maintain a balance in the workload of individual teachers. At this stage there were favourable and unfavourable points, within the strong points was that there was a very interesting enrichment because the participation of all people present was not limited, and participation thrived on a wide range of examples. On the other hand the students were not used to these modules being so vast and they could disperse easily, it was difficult to maintain order even within teachers plus it was not administratively possible to register and pay the teachers. Second proposal. - After the experience gained in previous semesters it was proposed to make smaller groups where the Dissertation Seminar module was divided in four stages, where each part would be assigned to a teacher. The proposal was that four teachers were assigned to the same group giving them each one of the blocks, determining in advance what they might have more experience or be better prepared in and teach the same block in three different groups, and rotating the teachers. Fewer teachers were used with this proposal and it was guaranteed that the students would receive the same information since each teacher would repeat it in different groups. The strategy also contemplated at first to include the four professors in order to strengthen each teacher in the areas he or she may be weak; providing examples from each of them during the Seminar module would be important for the quality of the class. The content of the Dissertation Seminar module was divided into four blocks with about three extra weeks at the end of the module where the teachers would review and choose the projects that were more focused on their field of study, in such a way that if the group consisted of between 24-28 projects, each teacher would direct between 6 and 7 projects in the Integral Workshop module.
Both the department and the coordination of the graphic design program (GDEP) have constantly searched the preparation of teachers in the area of design research, with a vision of greater engagement and social responsibility. Additionally, the academy also has been responsible for reviewing the contents of the review of letters descriptive of each and every one of the subjects in which the student is related to the investigation. The purpose is to be mostly effective in subjects assigned to the student, check that the contents are not repeated among the subjects. In addition to monitoring that teachers meet with tracking them. This will ensure that all groups have the same information and quality in education. Updates on the reading material used are also reviewed each semester in order to keep the material up to date.
Summer 2010 In the summer of 2010 it was proposed to impart the module in a short period of time because the most experienced teacher, who writes this document, was provided the opportunity to test whether it was feasible to cover all the contents in an intensive method, the proposal here would be to work with a group of no more than 15 students, developing one single project topic seeking various applications for it to develop as individual proposals. Itâ€™s worth mentioning that in this period the adjustments in the theory of the class were minimal, and the proposal was sent to partake nationwide in the search of a wider impact. According to initial assessments to the project, that the author of it will feature all the control and information was not noticeable changes, however this step was developed with the aim of finding new
alternatives in the development and structure not only information on the student, but keep looking for more ways to changes in perception and design approach. The results in this section were very interesting, first, it was established that the group would be working collectively, not individually, and this involved a multidisciplinary
commitments. Making constant observations about the importance of teamwork and communication that should exist between each of them was one of the most challenging tasks to overcome, because students are not used to work together in teams and when they must do so, it is sometimes easier to give all the workload to one of them and then the rest of the team only adds their names to the final result. This time each student had a responsibility, not meeting it would result in the delay of the entire project, so that monitoring depended on themselves. A serial work production method was established. The challenge of changing the design to a social approach Another objective this thesis provides is to change the perception that students have about the design. That is to say, the type of design that has always been developed at the UACJ has a profile focused on marketing and advertising (see Graduate Profile Appendix). This established approach is understandable, since we are neighbours with a country that has one of the highest development rates in the fields of advertising and marketing. However, since the beginning of the development of the research for this thesis, the proposal has been focused mostly on social design. In its beginnings the graphic design program at UACJ aimed to create purchase needs and the development of informational messages through their graphic
proposals. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis project was established from the perspective of trying to solve social problems through design. Even after several changes in the structure and content of the curriculum of the graphic design program, this is still insufficient, especially training in the field of research, which is essential to enter in the field of social design. This deficiency arises because teachers basically as previously mentioned, their training is pragmatic and lack of training as researchers and educators. Also as professionals, their development has been focused in advertising and marketing, basically occupying spaces in the areas of printing in the town. Due to this teachers are not an influence for reflection on the areas of design and social impact.
Deciding the balance of the learning objectives. Each of the objectives of this thesis generated a significant amount of information. We must recall that the development of this project included Five Goals. The first objective sought to know and understand the behaviours and reactions generated in students through various exercise proposals such as: tell me a story, consciousness and perception (writing letters), media (singular impact on my life through cultural concepts), concepts of violence (development of a collage), and the last exercise, how is meaning shaped? The register of these exercises would be carried through observation but mostly evaluating the outcome of their proposals. It is important to remember that at this point students of the Graphic Design Education Program (GDEP) were not sensitized to the violence that exists in Ciudad Juarez, (this was
detected in a previous study) the results obtained with the application of these exercises were favourable. This was observed in the type of problems which students decided to work with to develop their projects. Note that at the beginning of this exercise, students found it outside their area of development and they even seemed a bit reluctant; it was necessary to give evidence as to how design plays a part in society. Gradually, students became interested. It is important to understand that the saturation of media in town is part of a familiar environment image; they were no longer able to perceive on one hand the misuse of the messages and on the other, the high degree of aggressiveness in the images. Make them understand that designers are responsible for how the information is handled was not easy. At this time there was the paradigm that if the client requests a design this should not be questioned, in such a way that good or bad design and the message was determined or focused only on the basis of the taste of those who paid. After understanding their role and their participation in society, students became more prone to investigate and consider the problems of violence in the town from another perspective. An equally important factor was when each student commented on personal situations or environmentrelated violence. The thought that their projects could influence children or young people made them decide to work with issues such as domestic violence, alcoholism, moral values, road accidents, verbal violence in primary schools and pregnancies at an early age in the city. It is important to emphasize that the interest was growing as information was being found and they made their field tests, though their limitations in the research area were quite considerable. The second objective was to review the content of the module in which students developed a project and leaving unaffected what was already established, add the exercises in gradually. The module where students develop a project is Dissertation Seminar, with previous
requirements established by UACJ. The purpose of this section was to develop exercises that were related to the research process so that the student meet the program requirements like the rest of his schoolmates but at the same time reinforced the basic points to develop a research project. It is worth mentioning that in this section considerable confusion was generated among the students, because they were not sure and did not feel comfortable with having to develop a method or process, let alone design a methodology for the development of their graphic proposals. Another exercise of this second objective consisted of exploring the field of research, a situation the student was not used to, particularly when it involved analysing social contexts; it required to go the centre of domestic violence, alcoholism, clinics, and schools of low socioeconomic status. To help the students it was necessary to give them support in the basics of information-gathering techniques and the characteristics of each of these techniques, selecting the most adequate for the collection of data depending on the uses and needs of each one, the gathering techniques being: quizzes, interviews, observation and focal group. This review was extended past the scheduled time. Practical examples were developed to have a better idea of the application and reading of data collection techniques. It is important to know how and what they are used for, determining what are the advantages and disadvantages of each; usually this will get not only the best of results, but also save time and money. (see attached student information video) The compilation of theoretical information posed another challenge for students, although the low level of literacy with which students reach higher education was mentioned earlier in this work, being previously trained
or having a correctly-oriented education since the beginning certainly does not contribute to an improvement in practice development. The exercises of the first section of this doctoral project were also aimed at improving writing skills; gradually it became necessary for students to write, be it short stories, brief analyses, reflections on a topic, description of images or analysis some images and their deficiencies. The exercises also aimed to encourage and help students build their confidence when writing. These elements should provide the student with enough tools to develop a pilot test. A pilot test is the first approach to the problem; they take a sample and test the statement that will be analysed. This allows the researcher to approach the problem, to get a broader understanding of the needs of the group with which we want to work, allowing thus to limit the range of variables. The pilot test permits us to evaluate the diversity of the problem and review the advantages and disadvantages that apply to the work; we must remember that a problem can be surrounded by more than one scenario. Additionally, it can allow us to have a better perception of the reach of the project. It is also true that the results of the pilot test become the basis and support for building the justification of the project if it is feasible to develop it. The description of the pilot test and theoretical information on the subject would form an ensemble of information, so that the student is able to define what your project seeks to address and what its scope could be. Exercises to develop the pilot test were well received by the students; here they would apply each of the data collection techniques they previously studied. First a survey on which target group the project should focus was conducted. Secondly, conducting an interview or observation on what was
already established; itâ€™s not about reinventing the wheel, we always have to start from pre-existent works or what surround us, so it is important to always leave a record of what is being developed, it can be useful to other researchers; having as much theoretical information as itâ€™s currently available is important too. Likewise, the vision with which the designer decides to undertake the problem is also relevant. For example, two students were interested in analysing the success of the advertising campaign for Absolut Vodka. The idea in the beginning was to examine the concepts in the ads and images etc., but the reasons for the success of the campaign were quickly established by the students, it was agreed that one of them was the major financial support that these campaigns have. On the other hand, if we analyse the problem using the point of view of Design Against Crime (DAC), which consist of checking if the message is targeted towards the right group, it is important to notice that we are not demonizing campaigns that advertise alcoholic beverages, it is simply that it is important to check that messages are received correctly by the people they are addressed to. First, when some product ads were reviewed (Absolut Vodka), it was agreed that the campaign was not exactly for adults, the models were too young and wore teen clothes, plus comparing this product with others of the same field, the others were more modest, classy. In addition, the students, based on their experience commented that because of the pictures in the ads, the target market seemed to be people under 18, who they thought would be more attracted to the fashion style used in the images. Another comment was that in the clubs the consumers of this product were mostly minors â€Ś to follow trends among their peers, commented. Students conducted a quick poll among young upper middle class secondary school students, to inquire about their favourite beverages, the
first place was precisely Absolut Vodka, to the surprise of several students; the surveyed were between 12 and 15 years old and their favourite places to drink were the clubs, at school and of course private parties, purchasing this product with fake IDs. This confirmed the importance of properly setting a message to reach the target group; even when it economically benefits the Absolut Vodka Company that more people consume the product, there must be a certain degree of social responsibility, to raise awareness about the damage it can cause. What we (as graphic designers) can do to create a fundamentally responsible society. The third objective of this thesis consisted of showing the student the importance of evaluating their graphic proposals. The GDEP students considered that submission of proposals concluded with the presentation of a prototype or graphic model, sometimes including a verbal justification that in most cases was hardly supported by any methodological process, theoretical concept or evaluation. Methodological designs allow us to keep a record of the process as well as of each decision taken when developing the evaluation proposal. Constant review of this decision-making is what allows limiting the margin of error in the final proposal. Evaluation is an effort to determine the effectiveness of the proposal and put it into practice, which means using it in a real context to evaluate it and make the appropriate adjustments. Sometimes the designer settles with client authorization, which is actually quite important, considering the vast experience that they may have. However, one must understand that the customer is the final user or the person who will, in fact, make use of use the proposal. On the other hand, putting the proposal in a real context for some time enables us to generate results of its usability and the efficiency of its functionality, generating data that will enable the designer to make the
necessary adjustments to its redesign. This may take additional time and work. However, there is no point in delivering a product or proposal that at the end of the day wonâ€™t provide the positive result for which it was designed. It is important that the student knows what their responsibility and their role as a professional are, as well as the commitment undertaken when creating each project. The result of testing proposals was not easy to face for the students, since they are not used to redesigning, making adjustments to a proposal involves time, money and of course effort. For some students, staunchly thinking theyâ€™re being right and not getting the expected results was discouraging when it should be positive instead; finding the flaws in your design allows an improvement at the moment, because otherwise who will be paying the price would be the client or society. In one of the projects proposed by the students, the cost of the final product was very high and even when the proposal worked, such a large amount of products was not necessary. Observe the examples.
Chapter VII Conclusions The purpose of the development of this project was to use design as a tool in the reduction of crime, this would be posed from the perspective of changing the way designers think. This reflection was structured because design in America is mainly focused towards marketing. It does not mean that this application is wrong, however, Ciudad Juarez is a town that presents a high rate of social problems, therefore it becomes necessary to reconsider the vision of this profession, which, with a
change in its
perspective to focus it mostly on the solving of social problems was what gave origin to the topic of this study; design is a discipline that not only makes pretty packaging or advertisements to increase consume, it also has the necessary elements to change patterns of behaviour, however this requires a very high ethical and social commitment. Ciudad Juarez has the necessary elements, a privileged focus group; it is noteworthy that it is not an easy task for a young man to reach a higher education level in this city, so in this level of commitment are involved not only students but institutions that also provided great support. Up to this moment all social improvement proposals remain detectable for analysis and evaluation of their contribution to the reduction of these social problems. The project, although ambitious and complex, promoted a profound change, envisioned possible development scopes, for example, encouraging a change of mind; firstly this would require an understanding of the behaviour and the conduct of the focus group. It was an advantage to suppose that it would be feasible to influence the development of the group and the right
time for it was selected. However, to do so it would be required to change the information that was being given to them from the very root of their knowledge, an issue that was not considered at the start of the project. Another problem that arose was that in the process of learning a change in the perspective of design, it became essential for students to do research now. The problem here was that students are not prepared to be self-taught from their basic training in the educational system, and they and do not know nor apply the research processes they can make use of; they reach higher education with an enormous lag in critical thinking. Despite the favourable results presented the project is still ongoing and the results so far in the different objectives and questions that were initially raised have strong evidence backup considered view and work from another perspective the local design college is sensitive to this situation and their students share and know the responsibility that parents and society places on it with the intention of creating better citizens with a high social commitment. Below we conclude from some peculiarities of the objectives of this project.
Design of the materials (from planning to achievements) The material designed to initiate the project had very specific objectives consisting of helping to sensitize students about ethical violence and social responsibility using exercises and graphic materials. This was because design was mostly focused on the consumption of goods and not to the detection of opportunities and spaces for design in social issues, sensitizing people about this topic would allow to generate a variety of proposals in different scenarios.
The workload was incremented as flaws in the very basis of the studentsâ€™ knowledge were revealed, such as lack of reading habits, lack of culture and general knowledge and the bad habit of not writing. On the first stage of evaluation positive results were obtained, however the workload was too big, some of the established exercises needed more time than it was available for reviewing its effect in the proposed change of mind on a long term. Another great adjustment in this project was that after presenting the preliminary results it was observed that said results were directly related to and were dependant of the application made by the author of this work. Due to this, the work and the learning made by the focus group would be just a sample; meaning that, in order to get permanent results, permanent solutions would have to be implemented, otherwise the project would not generate an impact or a result according to the proposed objectives. According to the results, one of the adjustments that were established was the inclusion of pedagogic courses, an academia that would revise and validate the information contents, guides and the different structural proposals in the design of the focus group or focus group. The most important aspect of this part of the study was the inclusion of research through design using action research. Some external agents different from the contents and design of the information still were the lack of knowledge about research techniques, reading and writing on the studentsâ€™ part. After concluding each part of every module, the academia had meetings were progress, adjustments and new proposals were discussed.
The participation of the professors in the process of change
was elemental since if teachers donâ€™t change, neither do the
students According to what was planned in the beginning, the project only involved designing materials for the students. After analysing the preliminary results, it was deemed as necessary to implement it more broadly to include professors of the Graphic Design academic program at UACJ; however a question rises, how would the information be applied at a macro level? Who would apply it? It would also be necessary to think about the training of the professors, otherwise it would be very difficult to check the progress if the teachers involved are not qualified to analyse the results. Considering how difficult it would be to introduce a new scope on design, the reached agreement was that the areas of research, writing and reading were vital to the development of the new designerâ€™s profile that the university has been working on. Among the biggest adjustments was to change the contents of the entire academic program, making necessary to revise and redesign every module. The most significant change in this objective was that the work started with only three professors; nowadays, the academia is comprised by three academic programs, Graphic, Industrial and Interior Design, with over 30 professors collaborating, according to the December 2012 report.
The students’ resistance to change and their learned paradigms The work with every group was a compound of experiences. The original design of the material developed with the students worked since its first implementation. However, the initial results were not enough, since they only represented the focus group in which the control was in charge of whoever applied the exercises and the experience that said person had. After a wide analysis it was determined that, to have a real impact on the students, deeper structural changes must be made. These changes must include the entire programs’ curriculum and the training of teachers. One of the strongest challenges faced with students was their resistance to change. It is comprehensible to understand why students don’t get involved in the many problems of their community, these problems become a regular part of their everyday lives they get accustomed to, despite the roughness of the situation. It is not because the students are insensible or indifferent, it’s only that they grow up immersed in scenarios of violence and corruption, and they become part of their lives because of this day-to-day coexistence. Most young people think that these problems are other people’s responsibilities, being this the approach they learned from their parents, and their parents learned from their parents. Proposing social solutions from an individual perspective is just a dreamer’s thing, because in Mexico, we’re unfortunately accustomed to pretend that nothing happens and that the only ones who can do something for the betterment of the situation are the government and its employees, politicians
and/or people who run NGOs. Adults think that the solution is in the hands of the youth, and the youth think adults and society in general are the ones who must do something. Young people are never taught to maintain a social responsibility, and they only get involved when the problem affects them directly. Students usually have problems of their own that keeps them from focusing on others. Divorce, for example, is more common every day. With this project, the students have been capable of facing reality and designing directly for this reality, the change is observed when positive results are obtained, but this results are not a logo or a poster, this result is the effect the design they created has in the group of people they worked with; seeing the effects and the improvement in the life of an individual generates a great satisfaction and in this moment, students understand the difference that makes design applied to the betterment of a social issue, as well as the importance of using formal research and the support that a methodology provides.
The challenge of switching design to a higher social compromise focus in this city Another objective addressed in this thesis was to change the perception students have about what graphic design is. Design, as taught in the UACJ has always been focused on marketing and advertising (see Graduateâ€™s Profile appendix). This established approach is understandable, since we are neighbours with a country that has one of the highest development rates in the fields of advertising and marketing. However, since the beginning of the development of the research for this thesis, the proposal
has been focused mostly on social design. In its beginnings the graphic design program at UACJ aimed to create purchase needs and the development of informational messages through their graphic proposals. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis project was established from the perspective of trying to solve social issues using design as a tool. Even after some changes in the structure and contents of the Graphic Design Academic Program it still is insufficient to adequately prepare students in fields such as research, which is essential to address and partake in issues such as social design. This deficiency is originated mainly due to the pragmatic formation of professors and their lack of training in both research and pedagogy. Their formation as professionals affects as well, since they have most likely worked in local enterprises that focus on either printing or marketing and advertising. These aspects, as a result, prevent the teachers from becoming promoters of design as a way to target and impact on social issues. This project leaves a great lesson on the use of such a powerful tool as design is, its uses and applications, and how, when done correctly and through a perspective of high social and ethical responsibility, any problem can be susceptible to analysis for its betterment.
Published on Mar 27, 2014