The DXD Store: Building Meaningful Connections

Creating a merchandise store for DXD that features students' artwork in order to raise and distribute the funds for the students and promote the importance of racial diversity in the design industry.

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KEYWORDS

Branding, Critical Thinking, Design, Entrepreneurship, Systems Thinking

Seth Hiranand

Jackson Li

SUMMARY

During our initial research we found out that DXD’s communication strategies can be improved through audience engagement, which is something they are currently lacking. We framed our research based on the following question - How can DXD raise awareness and elevate existing programs around the importance of diversity by making meaningful connections with the target audience? Our proposal is a merchandise platform that supports black and brown artists/designers by helping them raise and distribute the funds through their own artworks.
We aim to accomplish four goals:
1. Increase level of interest in the organization through engaging designs, bringing participants into the cause
2. Awareness of dxd’s goals and initiatives
3. Increase exposure of student work
4. Raising funds through easy collection and distribution.

challenge 

So the challenge we’ve identified here is: how can we benefit minority designers through the five interconnected aspects of the design ecosystem. It can possibly be a unifying project that encompasses all these aspects into one benefit. The core goal of this concept is to further empower, differentiate, distinguish and elevate diversity of students by sparking conversations around the DxD brand. And we want to utilize the network and capacity of dxd to bring people together to elevate this program. Through researching previous case studies, we have the insight that DxD will need to organize non-traditional pathways of raising funds, and with this, they will need to diversify their communication channel and strategy. Lastly, it’s to create a business model that can be replicated with easy implementation, eventually finding a way to continuously integrate this into a range of people's lives.

Outcome

Our final prototype is a merchandise marketing campaign, featuring and integrating student work and designs into a range of merchandise, to be sold by DxD. In tandem with our idea is a physical deliverable presented to the DxD team: a full operational start-to-finish framework and guide, which DxD can implement, and continuously operate in a streamlined process with the requirement of minimal resources. The outcome and footprint of this idea is four-fold, hitting multiple points of the quest set out by DxD. The effects are: increasing level of interest in DxD through engaging designs which brings eyes and therefore participants into the cause, increasing awareness of DxD’s goals and initiatives, exposure of student work, and raising funds through easy collection and distribution. Moreover, the impact of our proposed opportunity aims to accomplish the following: Making the entry barrier low for people to support the cause and producing tangible readily-available results.