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UMD's Audra Buck-Coleman, department of art, and her team recieve a Core77 Design Award for their project, Sticks + Stones.
The UMD Department of Art is proud to announce that Sticks + Stones, a collaborative design project lead by Assistant Professor Audra Buck-Coleman, has been awarded the winner of the Design Education Initiatives in this year’s Core77 Design Awards. This is the first time that design education has been recognized as an important category in a professional design competition.
Sticks + Stones is an international multi-university collaborative that investigates labeling and stereotyping in graphic design.  
The project gathers graphic design students from diverse geographical regions of the globe to explore their similarities and differences, to examine their perceptions of the “other,” and to create a greater understanding of their responsibilities as creators of visual messages.
“The most rewarding part was seeing the interaction and cross-cultural collaborations,” said Buck-Coleman. “The Maryland students engaged with the students from different locations to create a significant and engaging exhibit. The exhibit would not have been what it was without such a diverse set of input from these design students.”
During the 2010 Sticks + Stones iteration, students from China, Germany, Israel, Russia, Poland, England, Turkey, and the United States gathered in Berlin, Germany for a two-week symposium. They participated in discussions and symposium activities focused around the topics of culture, immigration/migration and representation.  Students collaborated on a series of corresponding design projects that were exhibited at the Designtransfer gallery in Berlin, in June 2010.
“What pushed Sticks + Stones to the top of our list was how it promoted cultural awareness by working with cultural diversity as opposed to just working on or about cultural diversity,” said the Jury Captain, Dr. Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, associate dean of Anthropology at Swinburne University in Australia. “Its philosophy of social democracy has the potential to foster transformation through the promotion of empathy, mutual understanding and social justice.”
Working with Buck-Coleman, Sticks + Stones’ primary investigators are Mark Biddle, professor of design at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and Ann McDonald, associate professor of design at Northeastern University.
The Sticks + Stones faculty and students said they are especially thankful to the generous support of UMD’s College of Arts & Humanities, UMD Center for Teaching & Excellence, Nancy H. Clarvit, the DAAD German Academic Exchange Service, Elliott-Hall and various academic institutions in China, Germany, Turkey and the U.S.
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