About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5092-5101
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.2137

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

USING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AS PROBLEM-SOLVING EXPERIENCES FOR MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DIGITAL ARTS STUDIO CLASSES

C. Cornett

East Tennessee State University (UNITED STATES)
Downtown community development potential is enhanced by attractively designed infrastructure such as road medians and verges, landscaping, pocket parks, seating, and wayfinding signage. Restoration of historic buildings and active public arts initiatives also make cities more attractive to potential business owners, developers, and visitors. Implementing these projects are, however, very expensive and time-consuming, with much of that time and cost spent in the planning stages. The development of ideas and design solutions for specific problems, and the visualization of those ideas, is part of the planning process, and the part that this study addresses.

In predominantly rural East Tennessee, there are many small cities and towns where the downtown areas have fallen into decline. Johnson City, Tennessee, is one of those cities. Even though East Tennessee University (ETSU) and the large regional medical centers are very close to downtown, there was little incentive for visitors to spend time there. Now it is undergoing a revitalization, and there is a commitment among the city leaders and the community to preserve the essential identity and history of the downtown area.

This has provided an opportunity for students in advanced multi-disciplinary digital arts classes at ETSU to engage in projects that involve real-world problem solving, collaboration, and an understanding of how their particular skills can be used for social and economic development in their own community. Over the course of several years, undergraduate and graduate students in digital media classes have produced visualization materials that range from interactive wayfinding products, to promotional campaigns for downtown hangouts, to the design of playground features for the city park, to façade renovations. These products were used by the city to help promote discussion, evaluate and test multiple solutions; help funding grantors understand a project’s goal; and persuade stakeholders to invest.

By integrating community needs with the need to help students understand how their studies and skills can influence the growth of a community, the city can be saved time and money getting to a clear idea of what is needed and desired before contracting with design firms or contractors. The projects have also resulted in continuing work with the city after graduation for some students, recognition in the community in creative awards programs, and portfolio work that demonstrates students’ understanding of projects that involve multiple community stakeholders and complex variables in the ideation process. This paper outlines the process by which we put this program into place, and specific results and benefits gained by both the students and the community.
@InProceedings{CORNETT2017USI,
author = {Cornett, C.},
title = {USING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AS PROBLEM-SOLVING EXPERIENCES FOR MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DIGITAL ARTS STUDIO CLASSES},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.2137},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.2137},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {5092-5101}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Cornett
TI - USING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AS PROBLEM-SOLVING EXPERIENCES FOR MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DIGITAL ARTS STUDIO CLASSES
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.2137
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 5092
EP - 5101
ER -
C. Cornett (2017) USING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AS PROBLEM-SOLVING EXPERIENCES FOR MULTI-DISCIPLINARY DIGITAL ARTS STUDIO CLASSES, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 5092-5101.
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