Designing help for Ukraine

In an ongoing collaboration with New York City College of Technology, of the City University of New York, design students have been working on projects for UNICEF. In a great partnership, new designers get real world experience and UNICEF gets fresh ideas and new perspectives on seemingly intractable problems: Form meets function for the good of children’s rights. For these animations, student designer Andriy Dorodkin took on a project from the UNICEF Ukraine country office who “needed support in designing a social media campaign aiming to draw international attention to children affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine.” The resulting animations were spurred by a fantastic concept proposed in the class, and Andriy’s designs for a series of 15-second videos visualizing challenges faced by children. He tells his story below.

See Andriy’s storyboards for health animation and education animation 

Hi, my name is Andriy Dorodkin and I would like to tell you about my experience working on the project Children of Ukraine. Let me begin by telling a little bit about myself. I was born in Ukraine and moved to the United States of America 15 years ago. I am currently a college student, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Design and that is where the UNICEF Children of Ukraine project started. It seemed like it was just going to be another assignment for class by my Design Team professor, but this time it was different, this time it may make a difference for many children. Considering my background, I was very excited to hear that I was chosen to work on the project to help children of Ukraine. My classmates were soon surprised to find out that though I’ve been in the US for years, I am Ukrainian, which made working on a project about children of Ukraine a perfect fit. I thought about ideas for these kids from my homeland and began sketching my ideas. I take this project close to my heart and soul. Helping children is very important and being part of it means a lot to me. I was thrilled to meet UNICEF staff and discuss my ideas. They are hard-working team of individuals that have inspired me to work even harder and greatly expended my knowledge of art. Working in teams from USA and Ukraine has been fantastic. It was very exciting to hear that my vision and storyboard will come to life. With their help and guidance sketched ideas and storyboards on paper became alive and I hope that the awareness will bring a positive impact on kids’ lives.

A group of young men standing in a line.
UNICEF HQCUNY professor Nasser McMayo, student Jeffrey Guaraca, designer Andriy Dorodkin and UNICEF creative producer Ueli Johner.

I would also like to point out that it could not have happened without professor McMayo from Design Team class. He is a one-of-a-kind teacher and he was the one who brought the students and UNICEF together, pushed everyone’s ideas forward and encouraged us to give our best. When I first saw the finished animations I was overwhelmed with joy, the team of animators and illustrators from Kyiv have done  wonderful work. I would like to thank personally everyone who helped made this happen.

An image of hands sewing a teddt bear's arms.
UNICEF HQImages from the storyboard created by Andriy Dorodkin for his CUNY/UNICEF class.

Once Andriy’s designs were complete, UNICEF staff in Ukraine contacted a local animation studio in Kyiv that was brought on to fully realize the designs into the new animations. Four video animations have been launched through UNICEF. Follow UNICEF Instagram to see the full series of animations.

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