Capilano University design students partner with seniors for one-of-a-kind project

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Student: Laura Pummell. Senior: Irma Bodo.
Student: Laura Pummell. Senior: Irma Bodo.

Typically, young people studying branding, graphic design, and marketing across Canada do projects for things like craft beer packaging, a website for a hipster coffee shop, or a concert poster for their favourite band. However this year, students in the IDEA School of Design were given a unique assignment.

They were asked to visit Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre on the North Shore, interview a senior about their experiences and the important lessons they’ve learned, and use graphic design to help share that life lesson. The result? Meaningful learning for the students, the seniors, and the community.

30 first year students partnered with 16 seniors. The students were tasked with finding out:

What is the one key message you’ve learned in life and would like to pass on?

Students interviewed the seniors and chatted about their life experiences. They then distilled the seniors’ responses down to a concise, shareable message. Then, they worked on how this personal message could be best communicated through a poster design. Once their concept was approved by the senior, the students began work on designing their poster.

After a few weeks, and subsequent interviews, the students created 30 great posters that celebrated some very experienced, life learned advice. Generations were bridged, stories shared, and communities strengthened.

Quotes from the seniors included statements such as:
“You hear all these negative things about today’s young people; then you meet a group like this and realize they are all just lovely,” and
“This makes me feel good about our future.”

Quotes from the students about the members of Silver Harbour included:
“(They) have done so much in their lives, it is SO inspiring”,
“What an amazing person, that was so much fun”, and
“I can’t wait till I’m 55, that place and the people are awesome.”

Student: Ashley Loo. Senior: Chris Robertson.
Student: Ashley Loo. Senior: Chris Robertson.
Student: Ashley Visvanathan. Senior: Ken Carriere.
Student: Ashley Visvanathan. Senior: Ken Carriere.
Student: Daniel Pauhl. Senior: Hugh McCready.
Student: Daniel Pauhl. Senior: Hugh McCready.
Student: Emily Powers. Senior: Jane Millard.
Student: Emily Powers. Senior: Jane Millard.
Student: Ian Kaart. Senior: Robert Dick.
Student: Ian Kaart. Senior: Robert Dick.
Student: Jessica Peng. Senior: Peg Mcisaac.
Student: Jessica Peng. Senior: Peg Mcisaac.
Student: Joelle Lawrence.  Senior: Dorothy Dormur.
Student: Joelle Lawrence.
Senior: Dorothy Dormur.
Student: Natalie Heaman. Senior: Dorothy Murray.
Student: Natalie Heaman. Senior: Dorothy Murray.
Student: Ryan McDiarmid. Senior: Neil Lerner.
Student: Ryan McDiarmid. Senior: Neil Lerner.
Student: Sam Evans. Senior: Ken Carriere.
Student: Sam Evans. Senior: Ken Carriere.
Student: Sierra Holmes. Senior: Neil Lerner.
Student: Sierra Holmes. Senior: Neil Lerner.

About the IDEA School of Design:
The IDEA School of Design at Capilano University in North Vancouver runs a 4-year Bachelor of Design program with a career-focussed curriculum. Students may select concentration options in branding, illustration, or interactive design.

About Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre:

Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre is a recreational centre in the heart of North Vancouver. It is designed to inspire and enhance the physical and mental well-being of adults 55 plus.

For more information:
Dominique Walker (IDEA School Instructor)
dominiquewalker@capilanou.ca
Annwen Loverin (Executive Director at Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre)
annwen@silverharbourcentre.com