Appalachia + AGI + Automattic

Connecting Appalachian Mountains High School Students With Global Leaders In Design and Technology Using Remote Collaboration Technologies.

In Collaboration With Rebrand Cities And Drexel University ExCITe Center.

Project Goal

Building upon the ethos of WordPress — the open and collaborative technology platform co-founded in 2003 by Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg at the age of 19 — Alliance Graphique Internationale design legends Marian Bantjes, Michael Bierut, Minchaya Chayosumrit, Yung-Chen Nieh, Alejandro Paul, Taku Satoh, Eddie Opara, Nancy Skolos are creating visual designs for the web together with high school students in Paintsville, Kentucky and digital designers at Automattic in an all-remote collaboration that spans the world. The one-of-kind visual designs crafted by the AGI designers will center around themes that include Home, Art, Photo, Science, Code, Poetry, Water, and Music to be presented on the dedicated websites Home.blog, Art.blog, Photo.blog, Science.blog, Code.blog, Poetry.blog, Water.blog, Music.blog as permanent symbols on the Internet of digital creativity.

High school students in Paintsville, Kentucky will receive training on web design from Automattic, personal branding from CEO Hajj Flemings of Rebrand Cities, and a personal virtual tour of Drexel University’s ExCITe Center by Director and Professor Youngmoo Kim – the world authority on turning STEM to STEAM. Their interviews of the AGI designers and Automattic designers Kjell Reigstad, Cristel Rossignol, Allan Cole, Mel Choyce, Ballio Chan, Sarah Semark, Ashley von Clausburg, Joan Rho will appear as special blog posts on each of the site’s first entries.

Paintsville Independent is a high performing Kentucky school situated in the coal fields of Appalachia. We represent what is exceptional about public education.

“John and I were attending a technology seminar at a local community college and were discussing tech jobs in Appalachia. One of the issues I brought up was the export of our talented people and why can’t we work together to develop industries that would keep them at home. John pointed out that he had nearly 600 employees that worked remotely from all points in the world, and from there we started working on partnering Paintsville students with his designers.”

– David Gibson, Superintendent of Paintsville Independent Schools

These brand new Project A3 (Appalachia, AGI, Automattic) websites will be available to enjoy as an expression of youth and possibility, the intersection of art and science, and the special kind of freedom that the open web and open source technologies fight to protect for future generations.