Brain Food: An AIGA Design for Good Project

With the almost constant stream of Kickstarter campaigns, it’s sometimes hard to decide which to follow, let alone which to support. The AIGA Design for Good project by the Portland chapter is one that’s not only inspiring, but also worth checking out. In collaboration with The Right Brain Initiative, this chapter is asking for your support to make their project, Brain Food, a reality.

A 50-card exploratory creative deck for kids, Brain Food is intended to meet the mission of Right Brain by integrating arts into the classroom. Drawing from the local arts community,  10 Portland artists illustrated the deck and it was all created by volunteers.

How does this help? Since 2008, The Right Brain Initiative has worked to “improve whole brain learning” by bringing the arts back into Portland classrooms. This group interweaves arts into the curriculum, so it’s part of their curriculum and not a separate activity. According to their website, they’ve served 11,000 students and more than 44 Portland metro schools.

AIGA Design for Good project

I asked why their chapter decided to take on this project, and AIGA Portland explains:

We started a Design for Good initiative in Portland in sync with the national initiative and wanted to build something that was truly useful and meaningful in our community. We believe designers can play a powerful role in social good – beyond designing posters or logos for causes. A successful outcome could only result from a true partnership with a non-profit, to understand their position and needs.

We found The Right Brain Initiative and asked, ‘How can we help?’ Through a series of brainstorming meetings, we landed on Brain Food as a collaborative project. We engaged the design community in a “Thinkstorm” event to help us spark inspiration for creative challenges for kids. Since then we have been refining artwork and content!

aigaPortlandSo, Brain Food is a different way to integrate arts into the curriculum. It “combines easy-to-find materials, a school subject, and a unique exploratory activity,” essentially bringing an artistic approach to the classroom. AIGA Portland and The Right Brain Initiative are looking for support through their Kickstarter campaign to make these decks a reality and distribute them to more than 44 Portland Metro Public Schools. If you pledge, you’ll receive a deck, too. Does this project make you want to take a crack at designing for good?

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