A Graphic System for an Educational Toolkit

The client, Taller de Fotoperiodismo, is an educational nonprofit organization.
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It was the first time the organization was able to visualize and publish their innovative educational model and methodology.
We developed an educational toolkit for K-12 teachers (2014).


talking bubble amarilloTaller de Fotoperiodismo (TFP) asked us to design and produce three curriculum guides (K-12) for their Department of Education’s Teachers Workshop. With a Design Thinking mindset, I proposed using a modular system folder for cost effectiveness (they could print individual lessons, on demand, instead of printing the whole guide). The folder format allows for the easy handling of the guides and for the TFP to replace or reorder content in a flexible manner. A conversation with the client’s educational consultant and the program’s director gave me the idea to approach the work creatively in the form of a toolkit, with interface influencing the manner with which the material was categorized iconographically.

User-Centered Design (UCD) allows us to define user requirements and to ideate / conceptualize quickly. We inquired about the challenges and possible ways to improve the teachers’ experience in integrating photography and video into their English, Spanish and Math curricula. Prototypes were made and tested during brief, semi-structured interviews with teachers.

As we have done with many other projects, during the iterative (create, test and adjust) production, we created a parallel narrative of the project’s history for the benefit of the client and the design team. The design guidelines were later expanded for additional publication promoting the client’s services.



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About the author

Dr. Maria de Mater O'Neill

Twenty-five years of experience in art and design education. Award winning painter and designer. Author of Practice-Based Doctoral research “Developing Methods of Resilience for Design Practice”, a design model to improve real time resilience thinking for designers under stressors. She is a Fulbright Specialist Roster candidate.