Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 24th 2015 Contents B45
May 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Editor-in-chief Felicia Amow-
Hosein s new magazine champions
the catchphrase, "AmP It Up!"
which translates to: "Be Passionate.
Be Loud. Be Yourself."
Amow-Hosein started her career
in publishing at Caribbean Belle mag-
azine, where she worked as the mar-
keting manager at Safari Publications
for seven years. But her journey to
AmPassion magazine began with her
"I wanted to prove to the world
that this age group has something
important to say. I see it with my
two children. They have opinions;
they're not rude and they have clear
ideas about what they want to do
with their life. As their mother I have
to fine-tune it sometimes, but they
are very focused.
"My children are very creative.
They both love art, they draw, they
love craft and they read books. If
electricity goes, my children know
exactly what to do! Not a lot of par-
ents can say that. I thought there
must be other children out there who
are just as creative, those who cook,
who are into drama and play pan."
AmPassion magazine seems set to
inspire this generation of young peo-
ple to step boldly into pursuing their
passions. From the feedback received
thus far, T&T teens have long awaited
opportunities to claim a media source
AmPassion Teen magazine is a
half-sized, fully-glossed tri-annual
magazine designed and created by
and for pre-teens, teens and young
adults aged 11--21 years old.
According to the magazine's official
description, AmPassion Teen edu-
cates, inspires and motivates young
people to be passionate about life
and all that they set out to do; to be
loud, bold and daring in their endeav-
ours; and to be themselves.
AmPassion Teen also intends to
provide a positive, creative outlet for
young people to showcase their tal-
ents and creativity, share their inter-
ests and express their views. Twenty
per cent of the magazine's content
is created by teens themselves.
The magazine interacts directly
with its youth audience through word
of mouth, on Instagram through the
"what I love about AmPassion Teen"
hashtag, Snapchat, Facebook and by
AmPassion seems to be striking
the right tone with young people
across the board. Reminiscing on the
huge crowds of young people at
AmPassion's launch event on March
15, at Fiesta Plaza, MovieTowne,
Amow-Hosein described the vibe as
positive and enthusiastic.
"It's exciting, overwhelming and
humbling," said Amow-Hosein.
"I love interacting with the
teenagers, because they contact me
by email and by phone and so far
have been eagerly looking forward
to every issue of the magazine."
In the March-May issue one can
find the usual pop-trending topics
like Artistes and TV shows we love,
but then there are some other
delightfully unexpected conversations
like Coding as the fourth literacy,
Vampism Unmasked, which is about
staying awake all night like vampires
with minimal sleep, and Feminism
Today, written from the perspective
of a 15-year-old student.
The tone of the magazine is quin-
tessentially millennial with bold and
unorthodox design choices largely
inspired by Amow-Hosein's two chil-
dren, who comprise AmPassion's
Design is more important to our
lives than many people may realise.
Design and art have many things
in common. They both require the
creation of something original and
creative. But design goes a couple
of steps further.
"Design is really about under-
standing problems and users and
developing solutions," said Lesley-
Ann Noel, co-ordinator and lecturer
at UWI St Augustine's Visual Arts
Unit. Her specialty is design.
"And that is a little different to
art," Noel continued. "Because in
art you may be making a statement,
but you're not necessarily pressed
to come up with a solution. [Design-
ers] use the same tools, but it's a
This is why Noel and her col-
leagues have organised their first
design colloquium under the theme
Ministry of Design: From cottage
industry to state enterprise. Some
of the country's best creative minds
have been invited to present papers
on "How design can improve gov-
ernance or how design practice can
be improved through government
intervention," according to an official
description of the event.
The colloquium comes off Thurs-
day and Friday, May 28-29, at UWI's
Open Campus Auditorium in St
Augustine. There will also be an
exhibition of work from past and
current students and staff of the
Visual Arts Unit.
Noel said organisers of the collo-
quium---architect Michael Lee Poy
is co-chairing the event along with
Noel---wanted to get people to think
of "the different ways design can
"We were thinking it's an election
year and this could be a kind of
provocative way of getting people
to talk about design," said Noel.
Among the presenters are
artist/designer John Stollmeyer,
artist/designer Dean Arlen and fash-
ion designer Robert Young. Besides
the local contingent, there will be
presenters from the US, the UK and
Australia, who will make their pre-
sentations via video, and presenters
from Puerto Rico and the Dominican
The presentations are innovative
and thought-provoking. They aim
to help the audience think of solving
some of our most trying problems
in novel ways.
Cilla Benjamin, a lecturer in UWI
St Augustine's Faculty of Engineer-
ing, is suggesting a redesign of our
healthcare institutions to improve
"Traditional hospital design may
have led to built-in inefficiencies,"
she argues in her abstract.
Interior designer Christy Maingot
is going to lay out possible solutions
to the perennial problem of flooding
"To mitigate these negative effects
associated with increased stormwater
run-off in the city, both practical
and strategic planning must be
done," she writes.
Michelle Leacock, a graphic arts
teacher in a secondary school, will
discuss the approach she uses to get
her students---most of whom chose
art "because it is seen as a way of
getting away from the harder sub-
jects'"---more engaged and likely to
think about art and design as a career
"Having a Ministry of Design will
not only be able to fund programmes
like this in schools, but will truly
change the educational landscape in
general, giving students more
options, choices and greater acces-
sibility," writes Leacock.
There are signs of increased appre-
ciation of the diverse and unique
role of design.
The Visual Arts Unit is hoping to
eventually offer a design degree, said
Noel. Right now students can spe-
cialise in fine art or design but they
all get a visual arts degree.
Noel teaches a course on design
for an MBA programme at the Arthur
Lok Jack Graduate School of Busi-
The Visual Arts Unit is trying to
develop collaborations with the Fac-
ulty of Engineering. Visual arts stu-
dents worked with the literacy NGO
Bridge Foundation to create story-
books for children in Guayaguayare.
And home furnishing company
Lensyl was involved in a programme
in which visual arts students
designed furniture and pitched it to
"We want to continue identifying
problems in society or problems in
the economy or manufacturing-
related problems and then developing
solutions for them," said Noel.
or find them on Twitter,
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Call 645-0873 or 663-2141
A Ministry of Design
not so far-fetched
"What if the government of
T&T directed substantial
financial investment towards
design initiatives on a national
level? If there were a Ministry
of Design, how could this
ministry encourage and
stimulate design, and create an
awareness of its importance
among the general population
and other ministries?"
MINISTRY OF DESIGN FACEBOOK
Design by Melissa Miller
Mom launches teen magazine
editor-in-chief, on the
runway at AmPassion
Teen magazine's launch
at Fiesta Plaza, March 15,
2015. PHOTO COURTESY
LIME.TT/ ALICIA ALI
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