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Ohio Northern design students to organize Grafik Intervention in Ada Business District

April—Everyone may not be aware of abandoned buildings, storefronts or other sites in urban areas, while others may see an eye sore. But, those involved in Grafik Intervention see opportunity.

The upper-level graphic design students in Prof. Brit Rowe’s Advanced Visual Communication Design course at Ohio Northern University will host a Grafik Intervention on May 9 from 9 to 10 p.m. in Ada, Ohio. The event will take place at the historic Pennsylvania Railroad Depot, located in the business district.

In addition, an exhibit will highlight the history and significance of the depot beginning at 8 p.m. Parking will be limited to the east end of the depot’s parking lot.

Through thorough research of the building’s history, interaction with the local community, and artistic minds, the students will bring awareness to what the building used to be. Students will be creating projections and involving the village residence with its future by providing viewers with questionnaires to spark feedback, dialogue and ideas.

“Creating a Grafik Intervention for Ada has been an interesting process for us as students at ONU,” said Kaitlin Bondra, a senior graphic design major from Mentor, Ohio. “The project connected us to the history of the village and allowed us to draw attention to its potential before we graduate.”

Grafik Intervention: Sparking Urban Revitalization Through Graphic Design was originally conceived as an MFA graphic design thesis project at the Academy of Art University by William Culpepper. The event uses digital projections to engage the public through visually dynamic and compelling communication methods.

The projections are designed to provide historical information in an urban context. The goal of the projections is to inspire community members to consider the potential of currently unused buildings in their community. Through engagement and awareness, only positive results can occur when active community members take action and pride in their own neighborhood.

“Getting the students out of the studio and into the community engages these young designers in a thoughtful, community-based response to social engagement,” said Prof. Rowe. “We want our students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in the field of visual communication.

“The project assignment should be seen as a way to emphasize the value of design by doing something valuable for the community and that should stimulate thought, dialog and action. Designers can also bring empathy and creativity to social challenges,” said Rowe. “The first helps to understand the human-centered solutions that can make a real difference in real people’s lives. Creativity can provide innovative solutions that have a measurable difference.”

The event is free and open to the public.

To follow the project and to see the process behind the projections, visit

The mission of the Ohio Northern graphic design program is to prepare undergraduate students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in the field of visual communication. Focusing on development and mastery of conceptual and technical skills in graphic design, illustration, and advertising as well as studio electives, cross disciplinary courses and collaborative experiences prepare students for the convergence of the design fields and for positions as creative directors across a broad spectrum of increasingly media-based careers. Graduates from the program have gone on to work at companies such as Wunderman Design, Foothold Design, Smithsonian Institution, Milan Historical Museum, NiSource, Bubbles Academy, and Recess Creative.

Founded in 1871, Ohio Northern University is a competitive, comprehensive university affiliated with the United Methodist church. ONU is one of the few private universities to offer a distinctive blend of nationally ranked liberal arts and professional programs in its five colleges.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2013–14 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.