Monday, January 31, 2011

DEGREE PROJECT | Experiments 02 – Questionnaire Statistics

I have compiled statistics from students at KCAI based upon the questionnaire I developed. Some assumptions hold true while others have been proven to be wrong and there are a few that are perhaps too close to determine. In total I received responses from 28 students here at KCAI, so far, but I am hoping they will continue to trickle in. I was thrilled to see the response within the first hour and through out the night.

This does spark an interesting idea that could lend itself to my final project...if college campuses / student body's are my target, a way to personalize the campaign / advocacy effort would be to produce something directly from their input. The questions might be refined to help better determine certain areas where information / education / resources are lacking, perhaps? Hmm...


01. When you think of cancer do you think "that could never happen to me"?

YES – IIIII  (05)
NO – IIIII  IIIII  IIIII  IIIII  III (23)


02. Between the ages of 18 and 23 is being diagnosed with cancer even something you consider?

YES – IIIII  IIIII  IIIII  I  (16)
NO – IIIII  IIIII  (10)
MAYBE – II  (02)



03. Do you often ignore subtle changes in heath (cold symptoms, aches & pains, headaches) and rarely seek a doctor because you are too busy or not worried? What if they persist? 

IGNORE – IIIII  IIIII  I  (11)
IF IT PERSISTS – IIIII  IIII  (09)
IMMEDIATE ACTION – III  (03)
IF IT GETS WORSE – III  (03)
BLAME ON STRESS – II  (02)
UNUSUAL ACHE OR PAIN – II  (02)



04. Do you regularly get a check-up at your doctor? Is general health maintenance something you apply a significant focus to?


REGULAR CHECKUP – IIIII  IIIII  III  (13)
OCCASIONAL CHECKUP –(00)
NO – IIIII  IIIII  IIIII  (15)



05. Are you currently enrolled in a health insurance program; your own or your parents?


PARENTS – IIIII  IIIII  IIIII  IIIII  I  (21)
SCHOOL – IIII  (04)
PERSONAL – I  (01)
NONE – II  (02)


06. Would you consider lifestyle choices such as nutrition, exercise, alcohol, and smoking to contribute to cancer?

YES – IIIII  IIIII  IIIII  II  (17)
NO – I  (01)
UNSURE – IIIII  (05)
SMOKING – IIIII  I  (06)
DRINKING – I  (01)



07. What do you think causes cancer?

EVERYTHING – IIIII  IIII  (09)
SUN EXPOSURE – I  (01)
SMOKING –I  (01)
GENETICS – IIIII  IIIII  II  (12)
HEREDITARY – I  (01)
UNSURE – IIIII  I  (06)
ENVIRONMENT – IIII  (04)
STRESS – III  (03)
LIFESTYLE – I  (01)

PRO PRACTICE | Social Media Networking Sites

Below are the evaluations of the social media networking sites 20–29 from the spreadsheet...



Sunday, January 30, 2011

DEGREE PROJECT | Assumptions + Experiments 02

Based upon the discussion of my previous assumptions and experiments, a slight shift in focus upon the subject matter has taken place. We determined that they key, in this demographic, is much larger than simply lifestyle choices, it is early diagnosis and redirecting the belief / connotation of young adults being invincible and invulnerable that is determined by themselves as well as doctors and heath care providers. Obviously, wrapped up in this is the subject of lifestyle choices which I think will become a preceding factor that results by tackling the more prominent issues of early diagnosis.

The four main focuses I would like to take from here forward are...
01. self-initiative and responsibility
02. health care / doctor relationships – communication
03. invincibility / invulnerability
04. gap in care


ASSUMPTIONS
a. – The young adult demographic feels invincible from a disease such as cancer.
b. – Doctors and health care providers also perceive young adults with an invulnerability to cancer.
c. – Young adults simply ignore flu or cold-like symptoms in hopes it will dissipate on it's own; in addition to frequent headaches and dull bodily aches and pains.
d. – Young adults don't consider lifestyle choices such as nutrition, exercise, alcohol, and smoking as something that could contribute to a cancer diagnosis.
e. – There is truly a gap in care that affects young adults in-between pediatric and adult health care.
f. – Some may blame changes in health to stress or fear of over-reacting if making an appointment with a doctor.
g. – Young adults busy with school, work, and life put their health and getting check-ups on hold.
h. – Young adults are unprepared to manage and experience such a life-threatening illness.
i. – Doctors view young adults as being too young to have cancer and it is an unusual and rare occurrence.
j. – There is a lack of education and knowledge about cancer that leads to cancer fatalism, the idea that 'everything causes cancer'.


EXPERIMENTS
– questionnaire – Utilizing the student body as well as social media to get responses to assumptions carried by young adults about cancer.

01. When you think of cancer do you think "that could never happen to me"?

02. Between the ages of 18 and 23 is being diagnosed with cancer even something you consider?

03. Do you often ignore subtle changes in heath (cold symptoms, aches & pains, headaches) and rarely seek a doctor because you are too busy or not worried? What if they persist?

04. Do you regularly get a check-up at your doctor? Is general health maintenance something you apply a significant focus to?

05. Are you currently enrolled in a health insurance program; your own or your parents?

06. Would you consider lifestyle choices such as nutrition, exercise, alcohol, and smoking to contribute to cancer?

07. What do you think causes cancer?

– Information graphic displaying statistic from the questionnaire

– Interviews within the cancer community
a. Erica Brown (President of Livestrong Army KC, Associate Development Director at KU Endowment Association)

b. Michael Johnson (Cancer advocate - Sunflowers to Roses,  Director of Major Gifts at Children's Mercy Hospitals)

– Interactive print expressing one day is all it takes for a yearly check-up (statistically driven)
1/365 days
1/8760 hours
Save the Date cards
- 'cancer will save the date'
- play on purpose / format of traditional 'Save the Date' card

...

PRO PRACTICE | Social Media Bio + Resume (TAKE 001)

 BIO

Attributes as a designer...
Passionate
Energetic
Adaptive / versatile
Conceptual depth
Advocacy
Dynamic
Community
Branding
Meaningful message

01...
Hello! My name is Luke, I am a passionate, energetic, and dynamic designer. Over the past several years I have discovered the benefit of my formal education in defining the areas of design where my passion takes hold. Though my design talents are highly adaptable and versatile, my creativity ignites through advocacy, community design, and identity systems. Design is all around us and it creates a constant personal fascination, more specifically a fascination with how design brings people together. Through my design process and thinking I search for modes of embracing the ideas of advocacy, community, and branding with the ultimate goal of enriching the experience.

02...
Hello! My name is Luke, I am a passionate, energetic, and dynamic designer. Over the past several years I have begun to further define and reinvent myself as a creative, discovering areas of design where my passion takes hold. My design talents are adaptable and versatile in appealing to diverse audiences and environments; the understanding of those elements creates effective and meaningful design. I find my talent expressed best through areas of advocacy, community design, and branding. Design is all around us and I can’t help but be fascinated, more specifically a fascination with how design brings people together. Through my design process and thinking I search for meaningful messages; embracing the ideas of advocacy, community, and branding with the ultimate goal of enriching the experience.


RESUME

Education
Aug. 2009–May 2011 Kansas City Art Institute
B.F.A. Graphic Design
2011 AIGA student officer, 2010 AIGA KC A6 Student Award

Aug. 2006–May 2009 Pikes Peak Community College
A.A.S. Multimedia Graphic Design

Experience
Jan. 2011–present Sporting Kansas City
Graphic Design Intern

March 2010–present LIVESTRONG Army of Kansas City
Designer

Contact
lbabbdesign@gmail.com
lukebabb@gmail.com

Find Me
Portfolio
www.lukebabbdesign.com / www.lukebabb.com

Blog http://lbabb-design.blogspot.com/

Behance http://www.behance.net/lbabb

LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/lukebabb


Thursday, January 27, 2011

DEGREE PROJECT | Assumptions + Experiments 01

ASSUMPTIONS OF YOUNG ADULTS + CANCER
01. The majority of this demographic have mindsets of 'invincibility' and the thought that 'cancer could never happen to me'.

02. Cancer fatalism – 'everything causes cancer'

03. The fight against cancer generates hope, empowerment, and living with passion / meaning to those directly effected and others.

04. Academic research can be seen as a stagnant, passive movement in the eyes of the public.

05. Current awareness campaigns seem universal and do not seem to directly target individuals on a personal level.

06. Fundraising events are ephemeral (come and go each year) and do not raise a sustaining message.

07. In healthcare, young adults have a 'preconceived invulnerability' in regards to illness and disease, specifically cancer.

08. More often than not cancer results in death.

09. Young adults carry a lack of self-initiative and understanding of the matter.

10. Many assume certain entities (government, non-profit, universities, etc.) have cancer issues under control.

EXPERIMENTS
– Questionnaire targeting young adults / peers through social media
01. When it comes to cancer, do you feel that you are  'invincible' and 'cancer could never happen to me' given your stage in life?

02. Do you think rather than there being contributing factors to cancer diagnosis that 'everything causes cancer'?

03. What are your thoughts on fund-raising events and research, do you feel they are constantly working or are they something you disregard?

04. Do you view cancer as being a time of hope, empowerment, and life or one more associate with death and hopelessness?

– Interviews within the cancer community
a. Erica Brown (President of Livestrong Army KC, Associate Development Director at KU Endowment Association)

b. Michael Johnson (Cancer advocate - Sunflowers to Roses,  Director of Major Gifts at Children's Mercy Hospitals)

– Self-initiative / Lifestyle choice tools
a. Provide young adults with simple tasks and knowledge of contributors to cancer and how simple lifestyle choice can change that. (poster series, "I did this...", spark influence)

b. Also give knowledge of cancer statistics within their demographic (timeline / information graphic) 

– Expose demographic via information graphic
a. Show that young, tall, short, athletic, black, white, etc. can all be diagnosed.

– Cancer meter
a. Interactive piece that reflects a cancer diagnosis upon lifestyle choices and willingness to get checkups. (graphic shows increase and decrease in probability) 

SPATIAL | A Reflection on Le Corbusier's 5 Points


 In reading through Le Corbusier's Five Points Towards a New Architecture there is an immense amount of practicality, purpose and function. It is also very interesting to see how each element, or 'point', is multi-faceted as they serve multiple purposes and have somewhat of a give and take relationship with other elements.

01. THE SUPPORTS.
What resonated most with this point was the purpose and pure function of the supports. Corbusier expresses them in their most purest form, their presence is for support, foundation, stability. The mathematical / methodical thinking here as well as in other points is very interesting in that everything has its precise, specific place and a very particular and certain role to follow. The mention of the rooftop garden brings more light to the subject as well, it shows a willingness to break free from industry and perhaps the concise, particular manner of this and other elements.

02. THE ROOF GARDENS.
Sure enough, Corbusier also addresses the purpose of the rooftop gardens as well; not only are they to serve as a peaceful oasis, but they also serve a rather crucial part in the integrity of the entire building. Although beauty and luxury are displayed by the garden, below the surface we see it protects the building itself, conceptualized to be somewhat of a 'skin' and it also resolved the issue of the flat roof in regards to weather and water run-off. The most interesting point he makes is "In general, roof gardens mean to a city the recovery of all the built up area."

03. THE FREE DESIGNING OF THE GROUND-PLAN.
Through all of this precision, specificity, exact, and practical nature comes independence. It again shows the purpose and function of the above elements and how they contribute to a freedom of design creating a unique experience / transition from the facade to the interior of the space.


04. THE HORIZONTAL WINDOW.
Here, Corbusier not only convinces us of the beneficial light and illumination of horizontal windows versus vertical, but he also stresses how horizontal windows are fitting give the structure of the supports. This is also interesting as it reflects the horizontal nature of the building itself, and the strength, stability and support of the reinforced concrete as it's wider than it is tall.

05. FREE DESIGN OF THE FACADE.
With this point, Corbusier, while still practical and within function somewhat breaks free of the support construction and demonstrates the versatility the building can also have with the balcony-like extension of the floor. Here the facade can break free of the supports and dividing factors of the interior; it's interesting how he breaks from these points but still with limitation.

"Fundamentally new" is how Corbusier describes these points and it does seem that these elements are taken down to their essence. He mentions how nothing is left to be used or references from historical teachings and past periods of time, which he then supports with the emphasis placed upon industry and working towards precision and perfection. This perfection would allow the architect to have a "box of building units" to freely create, within these 5 points of course.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

PRO PRACTICE | Career Goals (TAKE 001)

Taking the time to reflect upon the goals and aspirations of my career as a designer has really given me the opportunity to consider my talents and how they apply to my passions in life.

Over the past semester I really saw certain ethics arise in regards to how I want my design talents to impact the community. Looking at my career in the 'big picture' I really hope to apply my skills to something more than advertising or branding an everyday product, I want to brand and advocate for lifestyles, community, and social causes. Speaking of ethics I feel that the ethic of a company are of great importance as well; I not only want to feel valued but I also want to know that the product I am promoting, whatever it might be, is of a worth cause and does good for the environment and people.

In recently discovering this area of interest I decided to do some surface level research and found what now stands as my 'dream job' post-graduation; becoming a designer at Milkshake located in Austin, Texas. In stumbling upon this creative agency, I found it to be exactly what I was looking for; branding taken to another level, one of social cause and community, bringing people together and making an impact. It's incredible!

In working with the Livestrong Army of Kansas City over the past year in tandem with my passion for the fight against cancer and the Livestrong message I have also considered putting fourth my creative efforts at a not-for-profit such as Livestrong HQ also in Austin, Texas. It would be an ideal place to merge my passions.


Down another avenue, which I have yet to find connectedness to the previously stated, is a fascination with spatial design and how it enriches and interacts with the user on multiple levels. More specifically I am drawn to sports and sports complex design; how design elements enrich and enliven the experience. From this I have high interest in 360 Architecture as well as Populous.

At this time in my career I can't say that I am ready to pick a path to pursue, nor do I know finitely where I will be in the next 5 years. However, I have been putting great consideration into the design communities of Kansas City and Austin. Where ever I end up I want my creative abilities to flourish and not necessary be limited geographically.

I want to be a designer 'to infinity and beyond!'

Friday, January 14, 2011

DEGREE PROJECT | On-going Research: A Summation

Well lets see...way back when I gave my Final Review presentation I was prompted with some valid feedback and potential directions to explore in respect to my degree project proposal. Based upon that feedback, personal consideration, and some additional research I have defined 8 areas in which my research will cover...below is a refresher on my degree project as well as a summation of research on this 8 points at this juncture, enjoy!
How can graphic design change the beliefs and connotations about cancer to inspire life through knowledge and tools that focus on early diagnosis and positive lifestyle choices that ultimately ignite awareness in a sustainable fashion?


In doing so I hope to take advantage of the pre-mentioned fascination with human connections; how cancer unites and rather disunites population, breaking boundaries and borders that would otherwise remain closed.

To further narrow the scope I plan to target college-aged young adults as they are a part of the demographic whose rates of survival have shown little improvement since 1975 and nearly 70,000 ages 15 to 39 are diagnosed each year.

This project focuses on this demographic not only due to the previous statistics but also due to their unique stage in life, as young adults we are on the path to success and independence and to be derailed from this path because of something seemingly uncontrollable we find ourselves helpless and isolated.

With this information and additional research I plan to take a grassroots approach to break boundaries, invade personal space, and send a message that will ultimately further the prioritization of cancer.
 01. What is the basic need and ultimately the end goal in mind?
In the broadest sense, there is a gap to be filled in all regards of healthcare for young adults. This resides on the shoulders of healthcare providers as well as the young adult demographic, and a sense of encouragement and responsibility needs to be established for both sides. Young adults need to be aware of the possibilities of cancer in regards to their health and my goal is to assist them in self-advocating in the community around them to build support. An obvious observation is that early detection/prevention is key and I hope to communicate the realities of cancer to this demographic and dispel the ignorance that exists; this is a matter that everyone should understand.

02. A focus within the young adult demographic – College students
So far, this has been the most difficult area to define and gain insight on in regards to cancer; but I think if I define an 'individual' similarly to what we produced in MX I should have better idea of the general wants & needs that may influence my project. Considering the college community in this project provides a venue to work with peer to peer interaction and relationships. A big reason for focusing on this group is most are not focused necessarily on health but on their successes entering and exiting college; most have not dealt with a serious illness or disease so in many ways cancer is a crash course, one that I hope can be avoided. Again, this demographic has such unique needs and are in such a prime time in their lives that cancer is a blindside, and I would like work towards perhaps eliminating or bringing down the wall a bit on their (our) 'invincible' mentality.

More specifically, in college, we often deal with a great deal of stress, lack of sleep, and find ourselves getting aches, pains, and colds more often than not. This is another area where we as individuals fail, we often push aside these subtle 'symptoms' and wait for them to dissipate on their own...and unfortunately the most subtle change in a person's normal health could potentially be sign of cancer. This is where our demographic gets behind, symptoms are not noted by individuals let alone doctors and therefore late diagnosis is most often the case. With doctors often being on the same side and contributing to late diagnosis, my goal is to push individuals to understand and know their bodies and when something is not right they need to advocate for themselves, push back and make issues known.

03. What partnerships can be established to further the impact of this movement?
 At this point I have several avenues that I am considering in regards to partnerships that may help further the impact of my message. I am in the process of reaching out to the oncologist of one of my good friends who fought cancer, and I am also considering the possibility of partnering with the Livestrong Army of KC which could potentially open the doors to many cancer resources. There is also the thought of reaching out to insurance companies, colleges in the area, as well as healthcare providers. Ideally if this matter could be attached from all fronts it would provide the most impact as the cause relies not only on the individuals but also outside entities such as doctors and insurance companies.

Within the primary care community there should be encouragement to get yearly check-ups, as well as for doctors not to disregard young adults with a notion that they are 'too young to get cancer'.

04. Lets spark influence...
I feel that this will be the drive of the project; the question at hand is how can I as a graphic designer spark influence and advocate change by providing tool for the given demographic to influence and advocate for themselves. Once I gain a better grasp on the focused demographic, deeper research is done, and contacts are made, I should have a better idea of what might be suited for this cause. Ultimately I would like to produce something that encourages peer to peer interaction and influence. Maybe I will just harness the power of 'peer pressure'!

05. What are the current models, their goals, problems & successes? 
In doing research thus far, I have discovered some models in the same area; however, I have not found any that specifically 'invade' and interact with the demographic in ways that I hope to pursue. Most are awareness and advocacy campaigns or support that exist online and provide information to resources. Though all of these approaches are much needed and facilitate the cause, I still feel there are a large number of us it does not reach; most focus on those diagnoses, fighting, or surviving cancer, not necessarily prevention and early diagnosis.In my research it surfaced that there are few, if any, dedicated trials or real promotion to this population.

Examples of some of these model organizations are the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance and 15-40 Connection.

06. What is needed to measure change and ultimately how goals can be met?
Some areas of my research focused on this matter and the biggest need is for relationships and communication to be developed between healthcare providers and individuals. With these relationships both parties will gain a better sense of what the benchmark is and from there we are better able to assess change. Now, there are other areas I would like to explore as well, so this is only the beginning...

07. How can this project invade personal space and what is the result?
Here the goal is to facilitate sharing; friends talking to friends and bridging the gap in care from all angles...friends, family, doctors, colleges, etc. In meeting with a close friend who fought cancer, he always seemed to refer back to relationships and communication due to the isolating and unique circumstances he was faced with. So I feel that perhaps establishing these core relationships before the fact may have some benefit...

08. What ordinary causes are there to cancer – something we can relate to?
 Taking a look at simple measures that can be made to help prevent cancer seems beneficial given the focused demographic. Looking at ways of how lifestyle choices can effect chances of cancer, such as, regular exercise, healthy eating, drugs & alcohol, and applying sunscreen. Topics such as these may effectively relate to the demographic due to their simplistic nature and seemingly commonplace.


SOURCES:
LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance
Planet Cancer
Planet Cancer (II)
Young Adult Cancer Awareness – Ways to Improve Survival Rates
Rock The Doc – 15-40 Connection