Third year graphic design students enrolled in the Three Dimensional Design Studio had a unique opportunity this year (2011) to participate in the designing phases of an NSF Grant proposal for a Watershed Research Center at Acton Lake (near Oxford, Ohio). Collaborating with architecture and interior design students in four different design teams, students were asked to design and develop information and exhibit graphics that would potentially be built and installed, should the next phase of NSF Grant funding be awarded.

Each of the four teams of six to eight students was tasked with defining just what would be necessary in, not only the design and implementation of laboratory facilities for the study of watershed developments, but also the education of elementary, middle and high school aged kids. Teams were allowed to outline their own facility requirements, and were encouraged to include ideas of branding, information graphics and exhibit design applied in print, interactive, packaging and environmental graphic installations.

At the end of the semester, each team presented work to a panel of reviewers, including representatives from state agencies, Miami faculty, and professional designers.