In 2010, beloved Art Center faculty member Norman Schureman was killed in a tragic act of gun violence. Now, three years later, his sons Milo, 15, and Kian, 12, are students at the Aveson Global Leadership Academy, a public charter school in Altadena. On May 31, a group of Designmatters’ faculty, students and alumni visited the school’s sixth and ninth grade classes to introduce Uncool: The Anti-gun Violence Project — a series of children’s books and the Where’s Daryl? middle school curriculum — dedicated to Norman’s memory.
Designmatters Director Elisa Ruffino gave Kian’s sixth grade class an overview of the project and explained that artists and designers are creative problem solvers who play a vital and exciting role in social change. “With Designmatters, we like to say that innovation is not about seeing the world as it is, but as it could be,” she said, adding, “We’re thrilled to be carrying on this work in Norman’s honor, in his spirit.”
“Making a book is a lot of work,” Illustration instructor David Tillinghast told the students. He described the many steps it takes, from research, brainstorming and rapid protoyping, to creating the art work, refining the story and transferring the work onto a computer for layout, further refinement and ultimately printing.
Tillinghast then invited two of the Designmatters’ children’s book author-illustrators to speak. As their books were passed around the classroom, Kin Lok (Zoarmax 133’s Big Question) and Juan Marco (My Imagination Book) detailed their creative process and took questions from curious students.
Sixth grade teacher Tom Hyatt, a fan of the books and the project as a whole, noted that Lok’s story is great for teaching about perspective. “The artist is from Earth,” he said, “but he’s writing from the perspective of an alien.”
The College is donating two sets of the four-book series to Aveson, one for each of its campuses, along with the “Where’s Daryl” curriculum package.