Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Arts Alive SDSU’s ICT Program Hosts Arts and Entrepreneurship Event

Graphic design and entrepreneurship professors collaborate on an arts entrepreneurship course, allowing students to pitch business ideas to a judge panel to receive a cash prize.

Arts Alive SDSU’s ICT Program Hosts Arts and Entrepreneurship Event

by Gabriela Romero

​December 4, 2020

The arts entrepreneurship course (Art 541 GD4), part of Arts Alive SDSU Interdisciplinary Collaborative Teaching program (ICT), enhances students’ visual thinking skills through cross-curriculum teaching with co-teachers Dr. Congcong Zheng of business and Ms. Min Choi of design. Through the fall ‘20 semester, they’ve prepared their students for a unique business opportunity: develop and build a business model to present to judges comprised of Southern California business and design leaders - Bennett Peji (California Humanities), John Ball (Principal at Mires Ball), Mark Pecota (CEO of Launchboom), and Jennifer Struebing (Vice President of Balboa Manufacturing).

Thirty-six design and business students pitched a business idea at the beginning of the semester, built a branding system around it, and evaluated its business feasibility. From those pitches, four teams comprised of eight to ten students each, will present their ideas and branding systems in front of the judges to win up to $500 as a cash prize.

This culminating event, “SDSU NEXT - Design and Entrepreneurship for the Future,” will take place virtually on Dec. 7 from 7 - 9 p.m. and is open to the public. Register for the ICT presentation here.

Choi says design and business co-exist, and she breaks down how the course operates. “Once students identify a business opportunity, research and analyze the market, design students develop a brand system such as logo, stationery, website, packaging, advertising, etc., while business students are working on the business model and providing feedback to design,” Choi elaborates.

Arts entrepreneurship professors asked students to reflect on how this joint experience has shaped their view on collaboration, design and entrepreneurship.

Design student Brittany Matez says, “One thing I will take away from [Art 541 GD4] is to push myself to think more in depth when thinking about the design solution and to not go with my first instinct or answer to the problem. I will push myself to think outside of the box when it comes to my designs and to push the boundaries.”

“From a design perspective, it felt like a real-world application to work with a client” arts entrepreneurship student Riley Murphey says. “It was nice to have full creative control and have the support of [business students] who make it look more professional on the end I’m not good at doing [as a someone who focuses on design].”

Zheng expects the event to be as powerful as a face-to-face event. She says, “We are constrained by the limitations of Zoom events but we can reach more people through a virtual format. The broad reach also adds to the excitement for the event. When design and business are seamlessly merged together, the audience will see its power, no matter virtual or face-to-face!”

Since 2015, Arts Alive SDSU has gathered faculty and students from the three art schools with faculty and students from the humanities and sciences to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum. The Arts Alive SDSU ICT program allows students following any degree track to immerse themselves in creative activities in classroom and laboratory settings.

By providing access to cross-curriculum study for students to have a well-rounded education and reach their potential, this event is part of SDSU’s Strategic plan for achieving a “Students at Our Core” goal. Read more about the plan here, and register to view the pitching competition here.

“A whole team of people in PSFA and Fowler worked to make this course and the event possible. Join us and you will not be disappointed!” Zheng says.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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