Exhibition Design | Socially Engaged Art


Upon completing the first phase of Bittersweet, an international organization became interested in showing this exhibition in Amsterdam in Fall of 2012. Phase two of this project was focused on refining and exploring how the exhibition would be experienced beyond the Augsburg community. The advanced Graphic Design course in the summer of 2012 solved the design problems through research and interpretation, visual exploration of how to represent this information, and ultimately designing the evolution of this exhibition to be not only mobile but virtual as well. 

Bittersweet: the Dark Truth About Chocolate is an awareness campaign that investigates child labor and human trafficking in the cocoa industry. In November of 2011, our design students (in Art 102, 225 and 330 classes) at Augsburg University collaborated in the first phase of this project to address this global issue head-on in an exhibition in the The Student Art Gallery in Christensen Center. With sensitivity to the complexity of this issue, we began with extensive research, drawing on experts in the field.  We met with Chris Bayer, Principal Consultant for Tulane University and researcher who has researched the cocoa sector while living in West Africa, via Skype. Bayer provided a first hand account of his research experience to help us better understand the nuances of the problem. Currently, Bayer works with “10 Campaign,” a joint initiative of civil society organizations. This initiative's mission includes calling to end to abusive child labor in the production of cocoa in West Africa. As a result of this project, we discovered the gravity and depth of the cocoa industry and used our work to raise awareness and concern to the Augsburg University Community.