fostering futures in design

by Olivia Noll

triptych image featuring Dove's cucumber refillable deodorant, a layered mushroom visual by Bolt Threads, and Seedlip's compostable mushroom gift packaging

Do you ever think back to the ways you expressed your creativity as a child? Did you stick googly eyes into mounds of Playdoh, crafting a crew of creatures? Maybe your fingers pulled paint across paper, until blank canvases became abstract masterpieces. Perhaps you even dared to cover your bedroom walls with gestural crayon strokes, from the baseboards to as high as your kid arms could reach. Or… was that just me?

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.”

— Picasso 

In his TED talk, “Do schools kill creativity?,” Sir Ken Robinson illustrates his belief that schools around the world are not using a broad enough definition of intelligence, and instead are educating students out of being creative. 

Many talented minds are steered away from the arts, especially students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, for fear that creativity won’t lead to a viable career. Ultimately, graphic design is dominated by people who can afford to take risks, depriving the field of necessary diversity to spark great ideas.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.”

— Picasso 

In his TED talk, “Do schools kill creativity?,” Sir Ken Robinson illustrates his belief that schools around the world are not using a broad enough definition of intelligence, and instead are educating students out of being creative. 

Many talented minds are steered away from the arts, especially students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, for fear that creativity won’t lead to a viable career. Ultimately, graphic design is dominated by people who can afford to take risks, depriving the field of necessary diversity to spark great ideas.

triptych image featuring Adidas's collaboration with Bolt Threads on a new mushroom-based shoe
triptych image featuring Adidas's collaboration with Bolt Threads on a new mushroom-based shoe
triptych image featuring Dove's new refillable deodorant

Design B&B is dedicated to growing young designers, especially in our local Chicago community. It’s our responsibility to foster inclusivity and help build the pipeline for the future of the field. That’s why we connected with Lindsey Richards, a graphic arts teacher at Prosser Career Academy, to form a partnership that would impact emerging designers at a pivotal point in their educational journeys.

Prosser Career Academy, a predominantly Hispanic high school in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood, is a public four-year vocational high school. They celebrate all forms of intelligence, offering curriculum in fields from automotive technology to digital arts.

triptych image featuring Dove's new refillable deodorant

Design B&B is dedicated to growing young designers, especially in our local Chicago community. It’s our responsibility to foster inclusivity and help build the pipeline for the future of the field. That’s why we connected with Lindsey Richards, a graphic arts teacher at Prosser Career Academy, to form a partnership that would impact emerging designers at a pivotal point in their educational journeys.

Prosser Career Academy, a predominantly Hispanic high school in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood, is a public four-year vocational high school. They celebrate all forms of intelligence, offering curriculum in fields from automotive technology to digital arts.

Each summer, we welcome two Prosser interns into our coop. Equipped with a brief on day one of their internships, students spend their summers researching, strategizing, and designing brilliant branding solutions. Each year I’m in awe of how the students transform from shy and unsure to confident rock stars as they present their work on the final day of the internship. Our briefs have ranged from ice cream to potato chips to cronuts. Apparently we like food. Our goal is to give the students a real taste of day-to-day life in the field. Ba dum tss.

triptych image featuring Dove's new refillable deodorant

Each summer, we welcome two Prosser interns into our coop. Equipped with a brief on day one of their internships, students spend their summers researching, strategizing, and designing brilliant branding solutions. Each year I’m in awe of how the students transform from shy and unsure to confident rock stars as they present their work on the final day of the internship. Our briefs have ranged from ice cream to potato chips to cronuts. Apparently we like food. Our goal is to give the students a real taste of day-to-day life in the field. Ba dum tss.

triptych image featuring Dove's new refillable deodorant
triptych image featuring Everlane's sustainable clothing and smiling employee

“The mentors at Design B&B have gone above and beyond to support young creatives, offering them real-life experience that would not be possible in the classroom alone.

— Lindsey Richards, Prosser Career Academy Digital Media Instructor and Academy Coordinator for CTE

From selecting the perfect photo style, to designing ownable patterns, our interns exercise their design capabilities as they build robust brand toolkits. We go deep on technical skills (pen tool practice, anyone?), and exercise soft skills like communication, giving and receiving feedback, and presenting work. By immersing the students in all aspects of the role, our hope is that they will see themselves as a professional designer — confident, successful, and creative.”

“The mentors at Design B&B have gone above and beyond to support young creatives, offering them real-life experience that would not be possible in the classroom alone.

— Lindsey Richards, Prosser Career Academy Digital Media Instructor and Academy Coordinator for CTE

From selecting the perfect photo style, to designing ownable patterns, our interns exercise their design capabilities as they build robust brand toolkits. We go deep on technical skills (pen tool practice, anyone?), and exercise soft skills like communication, giving and receiving feedback, and presenting work. By immersing the students in all aspects of the role, our hope is that they will see themselves as a professional designer — confident, successful, and creative.”

triptych image featuring Adidas's collaboration with Bolt Threads on a new mushroom-based shoe

“It helped me improve my confidence in my work and for that, I am grateful.

— Arielle Levy, 2021 Design B&B Intern and current Senior at Prosser Career Academy

If Prosser interns are any indication of the future of design, I can assure you, it’s in good hands! 

“It helped me improve my confidence in my work and for that, I am grateful.

— Arielle Levy, 2021 Design B&B Intern and current Senior at Prosser Career Academy

If Prosser interns are any indication of the future of design, I can assure you, it’s in good hands! 

Olivia Noll has helped facilitate the Prosser internship program for several years and is passionate about mentoring budding designers.