This was a project for my Design in the Social Environment class. Teamed up with Hadley Chillura, we created Project AquaMera, a water awareness campaign within the UT Austin community.
Project AquaMera is a student-led project with the goal of lifting public awareness of wise water practices within the UT Austin community. Partnered with Texas Living Waters, we aim to inform students of the small things they can do within their power that will help conserve and protect our water.
This project features two main components; a physical installation and a social media campaign. The physical installation consists of a mural of clean, fun, and safe water painted on a 4x8 board, covered by 432 stickers featuring 10 different wise water practices students can do, offered in 3 different color variations. Students are encouraged to take a sticker, suggesting that as they take the pledges, our water will become bright, friendly, and joyful places we can come to appreciate more.
The social media campaign utilizes Instagram as a tool to reach students digitally. Infographics tied to each sticker will be posted on the Project AquaMera Instagram page, where we will also track the reach and impressions of these infographics.
First, we researched the existing state of water in Texas. We looked at articles of problems small towns were having with their local water supplies (like finding radium, a carcinogen, in the water), and we looked at the sites of water protection groups in the Austin area to see what problems were affecting us locally. We then conducted a survey to see what UT students knew about our water and protecting it and if they cared to know more. This survey compared to an earlier survey we looked at on people from all over Texas showed us people generally don't think they're doing enough to conserve water.
We came to the conclusion that students aren't aware of what they can do to protect water, but they'd like to know. The issue then came up of how to inform these students of the small, actionable items they could reasonably do.
We created a brand identity for this project, designing several logo iterations that we felt would tie water awareness to the UT community. We chose the Lora typeface as the main typeface for it's soft features and dreamlike quality.
The Physical installation
The physical installation consists of a mural of clean, fun, and safe water painted on a 4x8 board, covered by 432 stickers featuring 10 different wise water practices students can do, offered in 3 different color variations. Students are encouraged to take a sticker, suggesting that as they take the pledges, our water will become bright, friendly, and joyful places we can come to appreciate more.
We installed the physical installation outside the Gregory Gym plaza at noon on April 23rd. We experienced lots of traffic as this was a place students often frequented between classes and going for lunch. We were out for four hours, and in this time students came and took stickers. Some took multiple for their roommates, talking about how they felt could really benefit from the advice of the stickers. Other students quietly took a sticker and went on their way and hopefully took note of the social media links to explore the issue of water awareness on their own time.
The Social media campaign
The social media campaign utilizes Instagram as a tool to spread the information on the stickers digitally as well as track who is viewing it. We posted daily infographics corresponding to the stickers one week prior to the physical launch.
The account gained most traction on Earth Day, where we received over 200 followers. We assume people must have been tracking the tags like #conservation and #cleanwater that we were using. The posts averaged about 150 likes.
The largest demographic interacting with our account was 18-24 year olds, or college-aged students. The next largest group was 13-17 year olds. We are pleased that we were able to reach the youth so that they might be able to change their water-usage habits from an early stage.
The following video was one of the final components of our project. Quickly tasked to create a pitch video, we made our case for the project’s purpose and goals in under three minutes.