CUP Announces Two Opportunities For Ace Designers To Make An Impact

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is pleased to announce two new calls for designers to collaborate on creating accessible and innovative visual tools that address critical social justice issues.

CUP’s community education programs provide opportunities for designers and visual artists to put their skills where they can most make a difference. This year, we are seeking four designers (or design teams) to participate in our next four issues of Making Policy Public, our ongoing series of fold-out posters that use graphic design to explore and explain public policy. We are also seeking a small group of designers to be Fellows in our Public Access Design program, a new series of multimedia projects that use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the New Yorkers most affected by them.

Both programs will bring CUP staff together with talented designers and dedicated community organizers and advocates to tackle complex policy issues that directly impact a specific community. Together, the partners will collaborate to break down an issue and create engaging and innovative visual explanations that lead to greater social equity.

CUP’s programs achieve real results, and are recognized for their creative approaches in both the policy and design worlds. Our project topics come directly from community organizations and advocacy groups struggling to communicate these important issues, so there is always a clear audience and a real need for the final product. For example, Vendor Power!, a guide to New York City’s street vending regulations, is being used by thousands of Street Vendor Project organizers and members, as well as distributed by the Midtown Community Court in its vendor education program. Vendor Power! was also featured in the Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Triennial and in publications such as Print, Gourmet, and FastCo Design.

Public Access Design is a new program that provides our advocacy partners with faster response times for smaller projects in a variety of formats. The program focuses on topics that can be addressed in a short time frame and on issues that pertain to New York City and its residents. Project partners will be able to select from four media formats including two kinds of print graphics, interactive digital graphics, and animations.

CUP seeks designers with experience in print, motion graphics, animation, user interface design, and related fields to be Public Access Design Fellows. The first round of Fellows will be selected by an all-star jury in July. Every two months afterwards, community organizations will be able to submit project applications, a jury will select a proposal and a Fellow to partner on it, and CUP will facilitate the collaboration over a three- to four-month period.

Applications are due Friday, June 29th at 5 pm Eastern.

Making Policy Public projects present visual breakdowns of complex policies or systems — the topics are comprehensive and the explanations literally unfold across a format that goes from a pamphlet to a poster. Topics may range from the local to the national. CUP seeks designers with experience in graphic design, illustration, typography, and other aspects of print design. The next round of projects will take place in two groups, starting in late Fall of 2012 and ending in late 2013. Collaborations take place over a six- to eight-month period.

This year’s policy issues and advocacy partners are:
• The Responsible Banking Act with the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD)
• The rights of rent-regulated tenants in Chinatown and beyond with CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
• Transit budgeting and how it really works with Transportation Alternatives
• Community participation in the NYC public school system with Teachers Unite

Applications are due Friday, July 6th at 5 pm Eastern.

Designers are invited to apply to one or both programs.

To find out more about these programs, and to download application materials, please visit:
Public Access Design –
Making Policy Public –