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An Type Guide Made by a Student for Students - Explorative Learning

A student in CCA designed a Type guide for his fellow students because he saw the need.

Photo of Lucy Chen
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Bill Chien is a talented design student @California College of Arts. Coming to CCA, one of the best design school on the west coast, he aspired to be a graphic designer able to do a variety of creative practices. 

However, he was not satisfied with the not-so-interdisciplinary approach of teaching and learning at school. Bill does not want to be defined as a graphic design major, as he said, "We have been neglecting the fact that we are all makers, and our artistic practices are connected in multiple ways". 

Therefore, he wants to do something DIFFERENT. Inspired by one of his classes called Design and Culture, where interdisciplinary moments happen, I decided to do something in order to break the bubble phenomenon. Instead of attempting to tackle social problems that graphic design alone can’t really make a difference for, I focused on the community that I live in. Instead of simply drawing beautiful letters, which was totally sufficient for a good score in class, he made a typography guide specifically for CCA students, because many students want to learn more about the types, but they did not do so cause "they are not graphic design students".

He took on lots of his own time to do this and did not do it to receive extra credit. I admire his talent and devotion to really think beyond class and explore his design practices beyond boundaries of class.

You can read the whole design process in Bill's post

Specifically, please check all that apply:

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a founding class student at Minerva School, a very experimental college that takes students to 7 countries during 4 years. Now studying psychology and philosophy, i am really interested in learning about learning.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

It is very difficult for students to be independent thinkers in college due to lots of schoolwork and pressure to get good grades. Bill's exploration for the sake of learning and the need of the community is a real deal. I am wondering how can we encourage more students to do so? and encourage teachers to value and inspire such explorative learning.

1 comment

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Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Lucy!

Thank you for sharing Bill Chien's project. I noticed that he is publishing his book soon. I wonder if higher education institutions should act more like a publishing house and give students an outlet to share their work more widely. 

Have you read this post Broaden Horizons and Develop Problem Solvers and Senior Year Crisis/ Crashed a Class ? Are these examples closer to the 'learning for the joy of learning' that you have in mind?

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