building foundations of community at Emily Carr

Say Hi!

My name is Megan Carpick, and Say Hi! is my graduation project for my degree in Communication Design. It is a program aimed at helping foundation students at Emily Carr find community and make friends. Say Hi! is a brand, an attitude, and a suite of social tools designed to foster friendship, curiosity, knowledge, and engagement. Check out my website at the link below!

my portfolio

Why Say Hi?

In all universities, including Emily Carr, there are students who feel isolated from their new community, which severely impacts their mental health, university experience, and academic performance. My project aims to create physical tools to help first-year students to bridge the awkward gap of silence between themselves and their classmates in order to form meaningful friendships, feel less isolated, and improve mental health & wellbeing. I find that physical interventions make it easier for students to communicate face to face.

This project was conceived as an answer to the question: How might design provide support to first year students at Emily Carr through practical information and prompting interaction, while fostering an attitude of friendliness, courage, curiosity, and optimism, fostering confidence and community. Say Hi! is simple, friendly, courageous, youthful, engaging, and joyous. The main goal of Say Hi! is to make the transition to university easier, whether you are from out of town, a commuter, or a local student. It encourages students to reach out, take advantage of every opportunity, and be part of their new community.

Welcome Package Tote

This tote bag contains the Say Hi! welcome package. Every Foundation student receives one at orientation.

(Click on the images for the full view.)

Foundation Survival Guide

Full of information and advice, this handbook answers all the questions Foundation students have about their new school. This 24-page guide is the cornerstone of the Welcome Package, and contains "Stuff You Should Know," "Advice from Seniors," blank templates for your school schedule, maps of the school, and space for notes.

A look inside the Survival Guide.

Shareable Candy Pouches

A small, resealable holographic baggie filled with a handful of skittles. Perfect for offering to a new classmate to strike up dialogue or for sharing with a new friend.

Icebreaker Passport

A booklet consisting of 10 quick prompts to help students strike up a conversation with peers. At the back, there is a space to redeem a free hot drink from the cafeteria upon completion.

A look inside the Icebreaker Passport.

Icon Stickers

Brand stickers in all colours– trade them and display them! These stickers represent the say hi! brand and attitude– if you see one, it’s ok to say hi.

Community Convo Decks

These Community Convo Decks are not included in the welcome bags, but rather are located around the school in communal areas (the library, the foundation lounge, the cafeteria). They each include 50 conversation prompts. Pick one up and get talking!

Monthly Event Calendar

One of the biggest barriers preventing students from having a rich extracurricular life was simply the lack of centralized event information.
Distributed in the Foundation Lounge at the start of every month, the Say Hi! Event Calendar condenses all the news about events in the school and city for students to get informed and get out there.

Foundation Feedback Box

This box is a permanent fixture in the Foundation Lounge. Students are welcome to voice comments, concerns, and ask for specific help they need. It removes the fear of asking for help face to face; for example, a student can ask for information on student counselling services and can leave their email for a response.

Foundation Table Tents

These colourful table tents live on the Foundation Community Table in the Cafeteria, marking a safe communal space for first-years to sit, eat, meet, and mingle.

Thank you for checking out my Graduation Project! You can see more at my portfolio website, here.