Design club ideas?

4 years ago from , Student

I'm thinking about starting one at my university, and I would love to hear some ideas on what the club can potentially do!

A few ideas I had in mind: - design materials for other clubs on campus - have design workshops - have a design competition

In addition to the above ideas,which would happen sporadically throughout the semester, I really want this club to be active... so what is something fun we could do, maybe once or twice a week as a club?

All ideas are greatly appreciated!


  • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, 4 years ago

    You might also consider taking on projects for non-profits or starting up a side project together.

    5 points
  • Ben BarryBen Barry, 4 years ago (edited 4 years ago )

    I helped restart my universities dormant design club when I was in school (~10 years ago), so I have given this subject a fair amount of thought. Hopefully some of it will be useful.

    Previously the club had been modeled on professional organizations like the AIGA, with monthly meetings and alumni speakers. They would also do once a semester events like a potluck in the park.

    Our design program was intense, and a lot of students also had part-time jobs or internships. Because of this, when we restarted the club there were a few key changes that we made to try and be as accommodating to busy schedules as possible.

    First we setup an online message board—this is likely moot now with social media, but Facebook, Twitter, and Slack didn't exist in the same way back then. Facilitating communication amongst students outside the classroom helped encourage collaboration and resource sharing. I wasn't sure students at my school would use it, but they really took to it. It became a pretty active discussion and critique.

    Second we recognized that highly structured monthly meetings were too infrequent and serious. We started what we called "creative lunch" at a bar / burger joint just off campus every Friday afternoon. This frequency worked well because if you couldn't attend one week you didn't suddenly feel disconnected from the organization.

    Third, our design program had a rigorous entry and midpoint review process. In the entry review for the program professors could not offer advanced feedback for students so as to be unbiased. As students though, we could, so our group organized critiques for the reviews to help incoming design students have a better idea how to be prepared and get accepted in to the program.

    Fourth, we still did isolated events from time to time, like the potluck. Or one time we loaded scanners in our laptops and spent an afternoon scanning weird ephemera in the library and sharing with everyone in the group.

    Volunteering your design skills is an admirable goal, but there are many opportunities to get practical experience. In my opinion the most valuable thing a student organization can do is help people establish and build strong relationships with other students. I think it is especially important to connect people at all levels of a program. It's easy to get to know the people you are in class with every day, but harder to meet people a year above or below you. Ten years on, these connections and friendships with people are the most valuable thing for me. I've gotten job opportunities, hired people, slept on peoples couches, etc... all because of friendships I made because of our club.

    The best advice I got when restarting my schools club was to just give people a time and place to show up and they will. People just need the space and permission to behave a certain way. As designers, creating these conditions is central to everything we do.

    Best of luck.

    Here are some links showing the stuff we did:

    4 points
  • Wyatt CampizWyatt Campiz, 4 years ago

    I participated in the club associated with my major. We would do fun things like stop motions and we would offer our services to other clubs on campus. For example, we would shoot various events on campus like the play/musical or the annual talent show. I'm not sure what equipment you have access to... We also started an annual animation festival on campus.

    Unfortunately, we were always small. Less than 10 active members.

    0 points
  • Dennis Meng, 4 years ago

    If there are early stage startups in the area (or at the university), offer to help them with design projects for free! Early stage companies always have a need for that kind of stuff, whether it's redesigning a logo, landing page, or some clunky interaction on their site.

    0 points