Volunteer Profile: Joshua Ziehwein

Today on the blog we are highlighting layout design volunteer, Joshua Ziehwein, to learn more about his volunteer role and expertise.

How did you get involved with FFEN? How long have you been volunteering with FFEN?

I became involved with FFEN at the very beginning of 2021 after looking for ways to become more involved and active in designing for communities.

What is your professional background and experience in and how does it relate to your volunteer role?

I am currently an architecture student at the University of Minnesota. With my background in design, architecture, and sustainability I am able to continually take on new and exciting challenges as a layout volunteer for FFEN. This allows me to learn through my experiences with FFEN, while simultaneously doing work that I believe actually makes a difference for our society.

What has your engagement or projects you have worked on look like with FFEN?

With every project I work on with FFEN, I find myself encountering new challenges that each require a unique outlook. Compared to my studio experiences at college, these projects allow me to engage with food shelf members and facilitate ideas and conversations that will help me develop essential skills I will need as an architect.

How do you see your skill sets and professional experience supporting hunger relief work and food shelf engagements?

The skill sets I have developed have helped me to not only develop efficient layouts and designs, but also allow me to successfully share broader ideas through visual graphics to large groups. While I do not have any professional experience in my young career, FFEN is providing me with useful skills that will stay with me as my career grows.

Can you talk about what drew you to volunteer in hunger relief and why it is important to you?

My interest in hunger relief began with this last fall semester in my architecture studio. This studio, which focused heavily on designing through community engagement with respect to Minneapolis’s Lake St. corridor, allowed me to develop the scope of my project and decide the direction I wanted to take it. Through investigating the impact the murder of George Floyd had on this community, I found myself focusing on the struggles of food insecurity. Throughout the semester I began to realize the lasting change design can leave on hunger relief and became motivated to get involved.