The Mobile Maker Center
By Chantal Fischzang
Visual Means (VM) met on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:20-5:20pm with nine students and Professor Chantal Fischzang as the faculty member in charge. VM is a competitive Graphic Design elective, carried out as a design studio, in which faculty and students work together to collaborate with local and global researchers to provide educators with various means to define, analyze, visualize and transform their research through design solutions.
The class partnered with RU-N faculty members and researchers Patrick Shafto, Liz Bonowitz, Lewis Baker & Vanessa LoBue, to assist them with their project, the Mobile Maker Center (MMC). The MMC is a transportable environment that presents tools for assessing learning during exploratory play in order to study children’s interactions with specially designed physical objects and computer-designed simulations. Visual Means designed an identity system for MMC that expresses the project’s intentions and values, as well as promotional materials and display graphics that encourage parents’ engagement and foster continuous involvement from the public.
During the semester, VM met with the MMC team four times at Express Newark, once at the MMC’s laboratory and finally, at Rutgers Day when the project inaugurated. The VM team presented three rounds of design iterations and finally delivered a brand toolkit, signage designs, educational materials for public distribution, and a style guide for the future of the brand.
Visual Means and the MMC continued to communicate about the production of the design materials, which extended into the beginning of the Summer. The printing of identity collateral was handled by local printing company Color Screen Pros after Visual Means assisted with quotes, file-handling and pre-press. Additionally, flyers for the MMC’s inauguration were printed at the ACM lab, with the assistance of Dana Damiani.