Farough Abed gave his graduate students a challenging assignment last semester: Design a poster that would express their individual concepts of ``the fate of the Earth.'' Mr. Abed, who teaches visual design in the school of education at Indiana University, was so pleased with the results that he sent slides of the students' work to the Monitor.

``The subject matter of visual design,'' Abed wrote, ``can be taught using content from any number of fields, and combining my own area of expertise with such global issues gives me great satisfaction. In many ways the primary motive for teaching and learning is to share a purpose that brings meaning for all of us as human beings.''

In preparing their projects, the students were not allowed to use computers. ``What tools one chooses to employ must not enter the initial phase of the design,'' Abed says. ``Otherwise the outcome is very constrained and dull.

``In these days of high-tech computer graphics, it is very easy to work through a reverse process, beginning with what the technology has to offer rather than the design. Because the computer allows the student to manipulate objects until a design is `found,' I prohibited its use for the final project on the fate of the earth. Technical know-how must be taught, but visual design is the true lesson.''

From the dozen posters created by the students, the Monitor chose four for display here. They represent four countries. Near each poster is a brief comment from the artist.

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