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UNESCO and Accademia Italiana in action

It started with one email, then six ‘UNESCO in Action leaflet’ mockups and an internship.


When Alessandro Mearini wrote to UNESCO Bangkok, his intention was to show his students how a design profession can do more than just to achieve commercial purposes but also be part of a change in a society and increase awareness about the social issues.

“[This] would offer the possibility to our new generation of professionals to be aware of a different way to use their skills and at the same time the opportunity to build up a more solid portfolio for their future career,” he wrote in his mail.

As a result ‘UNESCO in Action leaflet’ design project was given to six students from Bangkok’s based Accademia Italiana Fashion and Design Institute, majoring in Graphic Design and Visual Communication.  The leaflet is aimed to promote UNESCO Bangkok activities using short and concise text and many visual images and info graphs.

The students had to be engaged in several steps that professional designers normally undertake for a project development, from a meeting with the client to the implementation of reviews and feedbacks to the final delivery.

At present the six designs of ‘UNESCO in Action’ leaflets have been submitted to UNESCO and they will be taken into consideration for the future print. One student from the Institute expressed his interest for an internship with UNESCO Bangkok and his application is now in process.

“[The students] are definitely more confident about their capacity and what they can do,” said Mr. Mearini, teaching at Accademia Italiana Fashion and Design Institute.

“I think this was a great chance to prove themselves and their skills. They walked their first step in the world of professional design with a big organization such as UNESCO and they managed to produce a valuable outcome. Some of them overcame the fear of a real meeting and now they feel more comfortable about presenting their own projects, while others just started being more positive about the decision-making process.”

Following are some of the students’ views about this project:

Filippo Monti, 24, Italy

“It was the first time I got a commission from a real client and I found it really stimulating.”

Vip Pachariyangkun, 24, Thailand

“Because it was 'UNESCO', I felt a lot of pressure to do well.  This project gave me the push that I needed to step out of my comfort zone and try working with different styles and techniques. This project not only improves my illustrator skills but also will make me more careful about the work that I will do from now on as I do realize that every little details counts with a big production like this one.”

Maneesa Chawla, 21, Thailand

“This project gave me a chance to learn how to work with clients and that our choice is not always the best choice. It is more what the clients want and what we can do to achieve it. Most importantly, it teaches us to work within a limited timeline.

“UNESCO gave us a good chance to work professionally.”

Thanawit Thanasubsin, 27, Thailand

“It was the first time I had to make a live presentation of my work to a real client and it seemed I did it well. The outcome that we produced from the first feedback was positive and it made me feel motivated to do a better job.

“With the UNESCO project I did learn a lot about how to create a better brochure; all the small details that professionals need to consider while working on a task; how to design an Infograph for a specific topic and how to fit everything in a specific space. It helped me also to improve my communicational skills, for example how to combine all the elements of a layout together for a specific target.

“UNESCO helped me to better consider and calculate timing on a project development and to better understand the importance of a deadline.”

Pachara Bualert, 21, Thailand

“I learnt how to make a proper presentation to a real client. Personally, I do not like giving presentations because I do get nervous and scared, but working with UNESCO helped me to gain confidence for future live presentations.

“Working with UNESCO was definitely an amazing experience; furthermore it helped me to gain confidence about my creativity and to be ready to defend my project. Showing me how an organization works somehow made me more ready to step into the professional world that waits for me after I graduate.”

Thaspan Thasnanipan, 22, Thailand

“I've learnt a lot from this project and it taught me how to work with real clients that made me know a way to improve myself to be a professional graphic designer.”


By Rojana Manowalailao, UNESCO Bangkok