Oakwood ReBrand

A useful philosophy to follow throughout the entire process and guide your decisions, but especially in the first stages are expressed in this Universal Design Brief.

Express the Essence

Create Emotional Impact

Delivery the Gift of Delight

Compel People to Think

Inspire People to Act

Design Process

Design Brief

Do Good Design

Make A Difference

AIGA Gain Conference 2012

Oakwood School ReBrand

Oakwood Notes

Teachers Perceptions:


  • Student Behavior
  • Nothing in Depth
  • Student Engagement
  • Title One label, poor self esteem
  • Poor Perceptiion of Abilities/Capabilities
  • Inconsistent discipline and program follow through
  • Parent involvement
  • low academic performing
  • negative attitude


  • Parents, Students, Teachers, Staff, Community

Strengths or Existing Programs/Efforts

  • Academic Scores have gone up
  • Avid College Prep Program
  • School Pledge
  • WatchDogs(Dads)/WatchMoms
  • Students are capable
  • Teachers
  • PTA
  • 3-Point Growth
  • Community Garden
  • Partner with Bear Creek
  • Building Parent Volunteer Program
  • Staff
  • Family Nights
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Bridges After School Program
  • Run/walk program

Opportunities for branding products

  • pens
  • banner
  • video
  • website
  • marque
  • flag
  • business cards
  • wearable items—t-shirts, hats, etc.
  • signage
  • newsletter
  • Huskie logo
  • embrace the Oak Trees
  • Revisit Lifeskills Program
  • Revisit  the 3-points program (Respect, Problem-solve, Make Good Choices)
  • Professional dress code for teachers and staff
  • Connect with local media and other community organizations Rotary, Lions, etc.
  • Help parents see the value in education


  • “If you do this, then you will kill this”
  • “What are we teaching?” Needs retooling 
  •  “Design, Foster, Spread”
  • “Design is a way to see the world”
  • “I’m learning. But not what I thought I would”
  • “Foundation of how you see design”
  • “Close is never close enough”
  • “Generations without change reflects a lack of memory about what it was like before things went bad”
  • “Your Own Backyard”
  • “Home Street Home”
  • “Bated Breath”
  • “Seeing all the strands”—Matrix
  • “All kids have access to healthy choice and opportunity”
  • “Toast Oakwood”
  • “Who matters in your life?”
  • “Magic wand what could you do to change your community take a difference?”
  • “Your Street”
  • “Don’t bother me I’m dreaming” 
  • “I knew that, now I can relate to it.”
  • “With hammer in hand, every challenge looks like a nail”
  • “Storytelling and narrative important to creating impact”

Curriculum in line with community needs

Indaba—Zulu for gathering of people                                                                

Design Indaba—a better world through creativity

Possible Applications—what will make a difference?

  • Poster series with student portraits, like One Word
  • Video
  • illustrated book (Oakwood history, includes today’s students)
  • mural
  • sculpture
  • Logo, visual Identity
  • Wearables
  • Have teachers or kids each do short video clips of what goes on at school
  • Or still shots, give students cameras?
  • Capture a positive or special event/ moment—Capture a negative also?

Community (re)development

  • Say “Hi” personal affirmation
  • Community organizing at Oakwood including parents students and faculty/staff
  • Connect the dots between crime drugs education poverty
  • Bureaucracy creates lack of individual or personal ownership to responsibility, pass the buck
  • Connect local knowledge to larger systems
  • 4 tenets of sustainability
  • Living principles website


  • Redesign art component of the curriculum, which meets the current requirements of standards
  • Options/alternatives for students, not narrow silos 
  • Brainstorm options/possibilities 
  • Problem seen as opportunity
  • Proximity designs.org
  • Problem SEEKing not necessarily problem solving implies taking more pro active approach
  • entrepreneurialism using Kickstarter to fund and Twitter or Facebook to design, publish and distribute
  • What Systems are at work
  • Because of design thinking+design making
  • DEO—Design Executive Officer
  • Solving world-changing problems
  • GSD—Get stuff done


    • Case studies, examples, storytelling
    • Stories
    • Creative Narratives
    • “Data substantiated by stories”
    • Visualization of complex atmospheric data
    • Vertical perspective video
    • Think make
    • Create a physical experience
    • Inspire Ideate Impact
    • What are you passionate about
    • Passion and convinceability

Starling Murmuration—critical system

Our Initial Impressions

  • Outside—neg vs inside classroom—pos appearance
  • School Pride—neg
  • Available Technology—pos
  • gates and fences protective and security—pos vs unfriendly unwelcoming—neg
  • walk a mile—pos
  • playground not inviting—neg
  • teacher/admin excitement and welcoming about our project
  • Time, lack of, reasons why—neg
  • student behavior and discipline, consequences or lack of—neg
  • need for more art—neg
  • need for more options for learning—neg
  • school as sense of home as safe, welcoming and fun place to learn





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s