Art Director, Science & Memory
Senior, Advertising Major
Art Director, Science & Memory Ghana
Role in Science & Memory Ghana: Choe served as one of three art directors for Science & Memory Ghana. However, all members of the team wore multiple hats, from shooting photos and conducting research to devising strategy. Choe also created the font for the campaign the Science & Memeory team is working on to promote the benefits of composting in Ghana.
Dream job: Start an ad agency where the voices of minorities are better heard, possibly in Korea
The challenges of cross-cultural communication: We had to be careful, because it can seem intrusive: ‘Why are these Americans coming to tell us they know better?’ As a Korean American, culture is important to me. But culture is such a deep and multilayered thing. It’s not something you can learn in a book. You have to be there to immerse yourself in it, face to face.’
His contributions to the campaign: I love typography, so a professor challenged me to create a font for the whole campaign. I hand-wrote some lettering and then generated that into a digital font. It's so cool that the photos we're taking and the art we're designing—or in my case the font I created—will be on billboards in a different country on a different continent.
How advertising can make the world a better place: This is not a campaign for a retail company to sell products. I feel like my hard work in this new environment is making baby steps toward a better planet. The advertising industry has a lot of power, and that can be both awesome and dangerous. So I want to make sure I’m giving back with my work.
“Walking through the market in Ghana, using all five senses to sponge it in—you can’t get that in a classroom. For students like me who are trying to visually tell a story, this was a priceless experience.” —David Choe
Communicating Climate Change Across Cultures
Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time—and one of the most misunderstood. Scientists have reams of data to communicate. But to reach an increasingly polarized public, they need more than data. They need story.
And story—in the form of well-researched articles, powerful films, and interactive advertising campaigns—lies at the heart of Science & Memory.
In this one-of-a-kind program, advertising and journalism students travel around the world to weave compelling narratives around complex subjects. They immerse themselves in some of the ecological and human environments most affected by climate change. And they learn how to increase understanding and drive action using all the tools in the modern communicator’s toolbox.
In Alaska, Science & Memory students shot drone footage of melting glaciers for “Will You Change?”—which was shortlisted for a film festival, by the way—and interviewed local fishermen. On the Oregon Coast, they went on research expeditions with oceanographers and framed the hard facts of rising sea levels with captivating data stories.
Just this spring, students launched a fully immersive campaign in Ghana, complete with roadside billboards and explanatory video animations. Proving that advertising can do so much more than sell product, the Science & Memory Ghana cohort is navigating the delicate dance of cross-cultural communication to promote the benefits of composting to Ghanaian farmers.
Where will Science & Memory go next? What science stories will they tell? And will you be with them?
What Our Alumni Are Saying
“Working on Science & Memory was not like anything else I worked on in school. It was a real project working on real problems. And it was for a cause that I and all of my fellow students and professors believed in.” —Helen Torney
BA '15 (Advertising)
Team member, Science & Memory Alaska, 2014-15
Helen Torney, who designed Science & Memory’s logo, is an art director in Brooklyn, New York. She works at the international advertising agency Anomaly, No. 5 on AdAge’s 2018 “A-List.”
Choose Your Own Adventure