Imagine you're a student entering the College of Design. You're full of inspiration and enthusiasm, ready for new experiences and eager to share your creative ideas.
It can be difficult to focus on building your skills and sharing your creativity if you can't afford the materials and supplies needed by a first-year Design student. Students in our Core Design Program take a required studio — Design Studies 102 — and a required introductory drawing and visual communication course — Design Studies 131 — along with other classes that provide the foundation for success in their chosen majors.
In their first year of study, College of Design students focus on the design process and build a portfolio of projects to submit for admission into one of our degree programs. We want them to be able to concentrate on their creativity and the quality of their work – not worry about how to pay for the materials needed to produce it.
Three years ago, our then-multicultural liaison officer, Audrey Kennis, established the Design Closet to provide first-year students who cannot afford the additional cost of the required supplies with recycled and gently used materials donated by other students, staff and faculty. We're building on that initiative to grow the impact of the Design Closet. Subsidizing the cost of portfolio kits and materials for Design Studies 102 and 131 can make a huge difference by lessening the financial burden so students can focus on creating their best work!
A basic portfolio consists of a thick chipboard cover duct-taped on one of the long edges to form a hinge that allows the portfolio to lie flat once filled with its contents. Each portfolio includes a minimum of 19 and a maximum of 24 pages showcasing work completed in the DSN S 102 and DSN S 131 courses. The Iowa State University Book Store sells pre-made portfolio-building kits of materials that include 26 sheets for the interior pages plus the front and back chipboard covers for $19.99. A $25 contribution will cover the cost of the portfolio kit plus additional supplies like tape, spray adhesive, photocopies or printing, etc.
The supply list for DSN 131 includes a portfolio case (to carry flat work in); supply caddy (to store and carry all the pens, pencils, erasers, etc.); sketchpad; sketchbook; cardboard; tracing paper; a variety of graphite, mechanical and colored pencils; multiple erasers; various pens and markers; charcoal sticks; watercolor palette, paints and brushes; masking and Scotch tape; X-acto knife, scissors and T-square. While many of these materials can be reused by students after the first year, they represent a significant initial investment. A $50 contribution will allow us to provide a student with an introductory supply kit for this class.
Our goal is to make Design accessible for every student. We hope one day to be able to provide new portfolio kits and drawing kits to every first-year College of Design student. With your support, we can!