Today, for the second time, I led a two-day workshop in Visual Design at General Assembly (GA) San Francisco, as part of the User Experience Design Immersive. Nearly 60 students got a crash course in visual design fundamentals: concept, content, composition, typography, color, voice, tone, and what makes a brand. And that was Day One.
The workshop is a mix of theory and practice, principles and project examples. GA’s teaching model is “I do, we do, you do” — so the course content is a balance of lecture and facilitated group discussion, before individuals are equipped to implement on their own or in teams.
Day Two is all about activation — applying the lessons learned to a deliverable. Following a short recap, we democratically voted on a topic of interest to all students, knowing the constraint of the in-class assignment was to design a poster in under two hours. The topic selected by this cohort was the California drought — something we can, sadly, all relate to — and a matter of some urgency. The students are divided into teams of 10, with each team focusing on one aspect of the topic. Grouped with people they may not know, they learn how to do by doing.
I enjoy teaching for so many reasons: working towards the lightbulb moments, encouraging guided discovery, facilitating conversations, making connections, learning from each other. I enjoy teaching at GA because the students are diverse in age and experience, and they are all genuinely interested in the subject matter.
And the workshops? It’s an extraordinary environment in which something is experienced together, and experienced only once.