What a year it has been here at the Hive! Things were buzzing and the Hive turned five years old in May. We had lots of “news” this year, including new design projects, new virtual and in-person events, new post-baccalaureate associates (post-bacs for short!), and many new learnings!
Let’s review this past academic year, highlighting exciting and interesting happenings and ideas—new Hive classes, inspiring events that we’ve hosted, thoughts on our move to distance learning, space innovations—and top it off with some cool Instagram features we’ve introduced.
Three new post-bacs joined the Hive team this year: Peri Cuppens, a graduate of Pitzer College, Crystal Orazu, a graduate of Pomona College, and Elizabeth (Katy) Lewis, a graduate of Scripps College. They joined Lily Yang, a graduate of Scripps College, who completed her third semester as a post-bac at the end of the Fall 2019 semester. Even though our current post-bacs graduated from The Claremont Colleges, they can apply from anywhere! This year, the post-bacs were also teaching assistants for the Hive’s classes, both recurring and new. Check out our team page to see our full roster of permanent staff, post-bacs, and student staff.
Designing Your Team
Peri, who was captain of the Pomona-Pitzer women’s soccer team during her senior year, led an initiative called Designing Your Team and produced the Power Moves Deck. Modeled after SYPartner’s Superpowers Deck, the Power Moves Deck is used with teams, and helps each team member identify their leadership strength. Team members choose from 18 strengths, and as the team discusses each other’s power move picks, they see how they can lean on one another in team building and during their games. Many a team at the 5Cs has been wowed by their sessions with Peri! In March, when colleges and universities across the country made the move to distance learning, Peri used MURAL—a virtual whiteboard tool—to virtualize the Power Moves Deck, so that she can conduct sessions remotely with sports teams. Check out the MURAL below.
Early in the academic year, a major redesign of one of the Hive’s favorite makerspaces happened! The Toolbox, a key Hive makerspace where students can make and build projects, was redesigned. The ReTool project was designed and led by Lily and our Director of Design and Creativity, Kareem Collie. New vinyl stickers adorn the walls and tables in the space, instructing visitors how to safely create their projects in a series of four progressive stages: Draft, Divide, Combine, Finish.
This year, a record-breaking 23 classes utilized the Hive space! Nine of them were Hive course grant recipients, and all of these classes incorporated the Hive’s core principles. As for the directors of the Hive, in addition to the ever-popular Introduction to Human-Centered Design (E180 at Harvey Mudd College), they taught three new design classes for 5C students.
Shannon Randolph, our Director of Community and Global Engagement, taught Design for Environmental Behavior Change through Pomona College’s Environmental Analysis Department. Students applied human-centered design and systems thinking to design equitable solutions for real-world environmental problems in the realm of urban mobility in Southern California. The class partnered with three organizations working to enact equitable change within the Southern California transportation space. Check out Shannon’s reflection on this new class and the pivot to online.
Our Director of Design and Creativity, Kareem Collie, taught Critical Design Studio, through Harvey Mudd College’s Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts Department. In this visual communication and design class, students considered how visual texts establish how information is understood, how facts are revealed (or hidden), and how design, illustration, typography, and color impact our perception of the world. The class went through five major design projects and applied design as a mode of discourse.
Our Founding Director, Fred Leichter, offered a new advanced human-centered design independent study class in which students mastered human-centered design through a series of design challenges, in-depth readings, and pop-ins to the introductory human-centered design course, which was being taught concurrently, to help coach those students on their projects.
Move to Distance Learning
In mid-March, as students were preparing for spring break, The Claremont Colleges announced that the remainder of the semester would be taught remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring break was extended to allow students and faculty time to prepare for the new mode of distance learning. The Hive’s three spring classes—Human-Centered Design, Critical Design Studio, and Design for Environmental Behavior Change—experienced this change.
We quickly started preparing for how we might bring the generative and creative mindset of the Hive to online classes. Fred incorporated a variety of Zoom games and stokes to keep the energy high in his Human-Centered Design class. He discovered innovative ways to use breakout rooms to change the flow of discussion and class time. Kareem used Slack with his Critical Design Studio class, creating a channel for each class day in the semester, where the class shared design project works-in-progress and critiques. Shannon utilized Zoom as a meeting space for her students and community partners, as well as MURAL as a project board. All three directors found MURAL to be useful and exciting for asynchronous collaboration, especially the human-centered design tools that MURAL already has integrated into its framework. Students even suggested that the professors introduce MURAL into class when we all return to in-person instruction!
Programming and workshops are an important part of the Hive’s yearly offerings, and we were determined to still have engaging and inspiring events while our students and staff were remote. First up was our Creative Careers in Design panel, for which a few of our panelists were already planning to join remotely, so the transition was smooth. We had about 50 participants, mostly Claremont Colleges students, as well as students from other universities. Our panelists were Victor Saad, founder of the Experience Institute, Timothy Moore, associate strategist at The Design Gym and a former post-bac at the Hive, and Gail Gallaher, Environmental Sustainability Science Advisor at Odyssey STEM Academy and a former student staffer at the Hive. Kareem moderated the panel, and they discussed their varied experiences in the field of design, what design looks like for them in these changing times, how they practice design outside of their work life, and how a student might approach a career in design. Click here to read more about the panelists and watch the recording of the Creative Careers in Design panel!
Our second virtual event was a social gathering, called Let’s Bee Together. We invited all the friends of the Hive to join us for an event that was part happy hour, part afternoon social, part community gathering. Four of our full-time staffers, Kareem, Linda (everyone knows Operations Czar Shimoda, who keeps the Hive machine running!), Shannon, and Crystal, each led a different breakout room with the themes: Show, Tell, Make, and Play. Participants were welcomed by Fred, Katy, and Peri and then invited to join a breakout room of their choice to take part in the activities planned by the host. It was great fun!
Made @ the Hive Series
We hosted a diverse and exciting series of Made @ the Hive workshops, all in-person. These workshops offered students and community members a chance to get into the flow of making and exercising their creativity each week. Mostly led by our post-bacs, they consisted of simple, visually-appealing projects that visitors could complete in one session. This year’s series included fun events such as shibori cloth dyeing, slime making, bullet journaling, hair oil making, nerikomi clay baking, and candle making!
Each academic year, we invite inspiring guests, who are innovative in their field and utilize human-centered design and creativity to better the world. This year was no different!
Clown Curious with Barbara Ann Michaels
Professional clown and performance artist Barbara Ann Michaels joined the Hive to show us how to inject levity and empathy into our everyday experience of the world. Attendees learned how to use body language and humor to unfurl their natural, positive, and connective confidence in any setting.
Visual Thinking Strategies with Dabney Hailey
Dabney Hailey, founder and principal of Hailey Group, revealed how to discern unexpected details in art and share these observations within a team. Students and staff were able to hone their skills of speaking in a group and observing with all senses.
Design as a Tool for Social Justice with Tania Anaissie
Tania Anaissie, founder and CEO of equity-based design firm Beytna Design, taught students about liberatory design and shared tools that Beytna Design uses for its clients while taking on exciting challenges to design for social justice.
Just Design with Chelina Odbert
In collaboration with the Pomona College Physics department, the Hive welcomed Chelina Odbert, co-founder and Executive Director of Kounkuey Design Initiative, who demonstrated how we can build healthier communities. She shared with attendees how to use the tools of design, planning, research, and advocacy most effectively alongside community members.
Tools for Generative Thinking with Jo Thorogood
A close friend of the Hive and founder of The Sage Network, Jo Thorogood taught students how to use the science behind creativity to enhance their ability to generate great ideas. The generative thinking tools introduced to participants help them brainstorm when tackling any project!
Capoeira: Freedom at Play
Capoeira, a martial art from Brazil, encompasses music, movement, self-defense, and a spirit of liberation. Attendees practiced capoeira and learned about its history with advanced capoeiristas.
This was a big year for the Hive’s Instagram too! Our post-bacs creatively and continually came up with fresh and buzzing content, as well as developed regular features.
The Weekly Roundup series started in Fall 2019. Each week, we highlighted one of the Hive’s six core principles through multimedia collections of intriguing stories, products, publications, podcasts, and more. View the Weekly Roundup series summary here!
The Failure Friday series on the Hive’s IGTV invited people to share a recent failure. These fun fails normalize failure as part of growth, and as part of the everyday fabric of everyone’s lives. Click here to see us fail!
In the move to remote learning and physical distancing, many of us were left feeling uninspired and disconnected. The #MakingItThrough series highlights what Hivers are making to make it through this time. Visit our Instagram to check out #MakingItThrough!
The Hive would like to thank everyone who contributed their ideas, materials, time and effort, as well as overall presence within our physical and virtual space for making this year one to remember. We hope looking back at this academic year brings you joy and a spark of creative spirit to share with others.
If we missed anything—an inspiring moment or memory for you that took place within or because of the Hive—please share it with us!
Be well and take care,
Katy and the Hive team