The Lemonade Project Session Two

“Birthing as Resistance”

“Type ‘girls’ into the search engine and describe what you see.”

Set in the darkened auditorium of our Midtown neighbors, the Alliance Française d’Atlanta, a group of men and women attending The Lemonade Project Session Two faced a projection screen. With cell phone in hand, they searched for images of men, boys, girls, and women, as similar screenshots from a Google search appeared before them.

“I see mostly women.”

“There’s only one girl, and she looks out of place.”

Observations rang out into the air, often met with nods of agreement and collective musing, as we journeyed through a meaningful collaborative exercise showcasing the media’s role in our own socialization and the conceptualization of ourselves.

Yet, before socialization lays claim to us, we are born. Merriam-Webster defines birth as the emergence of a new individual from the body of its parent. But, what does birthing truly mean? Can it only be used in reference to the relationship between a living thing, and its parent? Can it inhabit more?

At MODA, we present design in all of it forms, including redesign. What if we could radically transform birthing as a process that we can do for ourselves? What if, in the process of birthing, we could design our own self-concept that encourages the blossoming of our true selves? What if birthing became an act of resistance against prejudice?

As we exchanged stories that November night, we slowly chipped away at the lessons society taught us in our youths. We took steps together towards our own rebirths, and began the long journey towards designing social justice for both ourselves and our communities.

-Blair Banks, MODA Education Coordinator and Design Club Manager

The Lemonade Project Session One

Get In Formation.

MODA is no stranger to radical ideas and out-of-the-box conversations about design’s capacity to solve problems, transform lives, and make the world a better place. So, naturally, no one was surprised to find a printed copy of Beyonce’s Lemonade Syllabus laying on a round marble table in the office of Laura Flusche, MODA's Executive Director, one morning.

Fast forward through expansive conversations about Beyonce’s visual album and all of the design decisions that went into producing something so spectacular, juxtaposed with conversation about our need to design for social justice — that's how the Lemonade Project was born at MODA. Before we knew it we had a timeline, one rallying around fearless leaders Blair Banks and Ariana Hamilton, and a launch plan for 12 months of Lemonade activation. This program marks a year-long effort to design an open and accepting space for conversation and action intended to advance social justice in Atlanta.

With the announcement of the Lemonade Project, the MODA team opened registration for three sessions to be held in October, November, and December 2016. In just a few days, all the sessions sold out. Moving quickly from a 200 seat lecture hall to a 400 seat theatre, MODA opened up the wait list for Session One in order to accommodate as many people as possible, and kicked off the project with a screening of the visual album followed by breakout conversations dedicated to the themes that inform the chapters of Lemonade. Being in that room, watching Lemonade on the big screen, and being a part of the conversation that followed was nothing short of amazing. And just like that, the beyhive was In Formation.

MODA Design Club

The Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) believes that design solves problems, transforms lives, and makes the world a better place – and it also believes that kids are great problem-solvers because they see the world with fresh eyes and vivid imagination. MODA’s classes, camps, and family activities are designed to help kids fall in love with the problem-solving power of design and to empower youth to use design thinking to face the real world challenges they encounter in everyday life.

In order to teach these skills to as many metro-Atlanta children as possible, MODA offers a free membership to any child, 0 – 17 of age, who walks through their front door. Memberships are valid until a child turns 18, and provide a wide variety of benefits that keep kids learning about design:

  1. A free personalized membership card

  2. Unlimited free exhibition admission (and free admission for an adult of their choice)

  3. Inspiring newsletters featuring design challenges kids can do at home

  4. Invitations to invite-only Design Club activities all year round

In support of this revolutionary program, MODA joined forces with HOW Design Live in Atlanta. At MODA’s How Design Live booth – marked by colorful towers that are part of the playful Design Club brand, created by Atlanta firms Primal Screen and Son & Sons – HOW Design Live attendees made donations in support of Design Club and were invited to participate in the “LEGO Selfie Challenge” where they were asked to build representations of themselves using only the iconic, colorful blocks as their medium.

Participants included some of the design world’s superstars, like Steff Geissbuhler, Ken Carbone, Brian Singer, and Chip Kidd (who returned to the booth several times to make gentle adjustments to his LEGO hair). The Atlanta design community rallied around the effort, using MODA’s rally cry, “We Want More Design, Atlanta,” to encourage peers from across the world to support this important initiative.

HOW Design Live LEGO Selfies: