Ahrens '94 to Present "Design for Good" Lecture

Justin Ahrens
Justin Ahrens

Oct. 31, 2013             

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— On Thursday, November 7, Illinois Wesleyan alumnus Justin Ahrens, Class of 1994, will present his “Design for Good” lecture as part of the “Unraveling Inequality” Fall 2013 Course Cluster. The event will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art Building, Room 218 (6 Ames Plaza West, Bloomington).

The event is free and open to the public.

Ahrens is the founder and principal of Rule29, a strategic design firm in Geneva, Ill., founded in 2000, that specializes in branding, social media and “making creative matter” through print, online, environmental, documentary and motion design.

He describes the subject of his lecture as: “‘See Different. Do Different.’ As creatives, we are built to see the world differently than most. It’s one of our unique, innovative traits. We all say we want to be a part of changing the world, but how do you actually accomplish this?”

Ahrens will stress the importance of doing work, instead of simply talking about it, and how activism can improve not only your career, but your community and the world as well. He will also discuss how the power of “the story” can transform both perspective and people by sharing his stories of working with a variety of organizations, including his experience of working in Africa, which changed his outlook and desire to help others.

Using his talents to help other creative professionals and support important social causes has played a major part in Ahrens’ career. He has been on the board of advisors for the HOW Design Conference and professional design organization, AIGA, and continually speaks at design and business conferences about design strategies and leadership.

Through his travels to Africa, Ahrens has served as an advisor to the not-for-profits Life in Abundance (LIA) and Engaging Philanthropy, Inspiring Creatives (EPIC). He has helped create awareness and raise funds to help people living in the slums of Northeast Africa and Asia by working with LIA and Lifewater, a not-for-profit that is working to solve an urgent water and sanitation crisis.

Recently, Ahrens has served as an advisor and research assistant for senior design and strategy classes at The University of Notre Dame and Kent State University on projects that address social problems. Ahrens is also working on a new “Design for Good” project entitled “Wheels 4 Water.” During the summer of 2014, He and his team will ride 1,000 miles, from Boston to their hometown of Chicago, to raise awareness and support the work of Lifewater.

For additional information about Ahrens’ lecture, contact the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art at (309) 556-3077.

Contact: Danielle Kamp ‘15 (309) 556-3181, univcomm@iwu.edu