University of Minnesota Associate Professor, Dr. Abimbola Asojo has been awarded a $1500 grant for a project titled An Interior Design Project Focused at Alleviating the Sufferings of Victims of Human Trafficking in the 2013 Fairchild Topical Issues Grant competition category of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC).
Asojo received the award during the 2013 IDEC Annual Conference in Indianapolis held from Sunday, February 17 to Tuesday, February 19, 2013.
Asojo said: “I am very excited of the opportunity for the student to work on a real life project to make a difference in the community.” The grant would be used to redesign the Imprisoned Show set in spring 2013.
The academia, who believes in community enhancement said: “I learn about Imprisoned Show through Bukola Oriola who is my hair braider. I was at her shop braiding my hair one day, when her show came up on Channel 14, and I was drawn to making a difference through design with the issue of human trafficking. I like to have community based projects in my design classes, and I thought this presents a great opportunity to do that.”
Students and their professor will tour the studio to see the current set. After the students design the set, “we will be very excited to be able to implement their design using the funding from the Fair child 2013 Fairchild Topical Issues Grant,” Asojo stated.
Imprisoned Show is a talk show produced by Oriola and dedicated to preventing human trafficking in the community through public awareness and enlightening the community using broadcast media. The program also advocates for victims and reaches out to survivors within and outside the state of Minnesota.
Oriola, who is also a survivor of human trafficking in Minnesota, saw the need to combat and prevent human trafficking through education. She began the talk show in 2010 and with the help of a dedicated crew; Imprisoned Show has aired in 20 cities across the Twin Cities. The crew also emerged 2012 Best Crew of the year in the V.I.P Awards by North Metro TV, the public access television where the show is produced.
Asojo noted that “the goal of this project is to expose interior design students to issues of human trafficking through design problem-solving for the set of the Imprisoned show on a Minnesota public television channel,” adding “Interior design students in a second year lighting design class at the University of Minnesota will design of the set of the show in the television station in spring 2013. The class will collaborate with Oriola, camera team, editor, and television station personnel.”
The professor who hopes to make Imprisoned Show “very creative” through the design solutions by her students concluded, “ultimately, through the design problem-solving process we would be able to demonstrate the public benefits of interior design to the community. Since this set is on public television, we believe it will also serve to attract students and the community at large to interior design and they will better understand the contribution of interior design to health, safety, welfare and well being of society.”
According to the approved statement of the Board of Directors published on its website in August 2012, “the mission of The Interior Design Educators Council, Inc. is the advancement of interior design education, scholarship, and service.”