Where Do You Give?

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MEET OUR FINALISTS: Kristen Baumlier-Faber

May 07, 2012 by Sasha  | 

Kristen Baumlier-Faber is a professor from Cleveland, Ohio. Her submission, entitled Hand + Heart, focuses on gaming to educate users and inspire them to give to those in need.

WDYG: What is your educational and professional background?

KBF: I have a BFA and MFA degrees in Fine Arts. I currently teach in the Integrated Media and Digital Arts areas at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

WDYG: What inspired you to enter our contest?

KBF:I was interested in the unique focus of the contest of how art and design could inspire and encourage people to give to others in need.  I believe that art and design have the potential to create positive change and when I read about the contest I immediately felt like I wanted to create something.

WDYG: Tell us a little bit about the message you hope to get across through your design.

KBF: The Hand + Heart design focuses on how games and the internet can be used to create a place where interaction, discussion, and a community are created that centers around giving to others.  The design includes the main trivia game, but also has a blog, animations, and a sharing section where those who give and those who receive support can share stories about giving.  For a game or website to work well, they need to be dynamic and constantly changing, provide meaningful interaction for users, and have a good interface and design.  Games can be used to bring awareness to issues, to educate, and to entertain and I created Hand + Heart as both a game and website in order to do this. 

WDYG: How do you think art can shape or change the way we think and talk about giving?

KBF: I believe art and design can have a powerful impact on our thoughts and action about giving.  Art has the power to present questions, reframe an idea in a new way, and create new ways for an audience to interact. 

WDYG: Who is your favorite artist/designer?

KBF: This is a tough question since there are a lot of people whose work I admire.  Some top picks: Joseph Bueys, Olafur Eliasson, Kim Abeles, Stefan Sagmeister, MichalRovner, and David Byrne. 


Sasha Feldstein is a program associate in the education and community engagement department at AJWS, where she manages WhereDoYouGive.org. Aside from wanting to be and play outside all of the time, she is interested in radical reconceptualizations of ancient traditions and in deeply exploring why we give, where we give, how we give and what it means to define giving tzedakah as pursuing justice. Sasha can be reached at sfeldstein@ajws.org.

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