Promoting Standards Through Art

Imparting awareness of standards sometimes requires tiring work that reaches but a handful of people - those in the field or those who apply standards in their daily work. In order to broaden the canvas and reach audiences, the Standards Institution of Israel (SII) decided to appeal to the world of art. We wanted to show, through artistic representation, the importance of standards in our daily lives

The International Environmental Children's Drawing Contest
SII took upon itself to promote within Israel the International Environmental Children's Drawing Contest held annually by IQNet, The International Certification Network, and by JQA, the Japan Quality Assurance Organization.

To increase awareness of the competition among Israeli children and to pursue wide media coverage, SII asked the minister of education and culture to help in the spreading of our message. Minister Limor Livnat buckled down to the matter, and in a festive ceremony held in her bureau with the participation of SII Director General Ziva Patir and a group of children who participated in last year's competition, the competition was launched. The launch succeeded in gaining much coverage in all the communications media: national newspapers, children's magazines and electronic media.

SII produced a poster and a colorful information booklet, distributed by direct and electronic mail to all educational institutions, community centers, children's and youth clubs, and similar locations.

The Ministry of Education and Culture contributed by sending a letter to all art teachers in the schools that urged them to urge their charges to participate.

We placed on SII's home page on the Internet a special banner devoted to the children's drawing contest, including full details on entering the contest. In addition, we placed on our site paintings that won in previous years as well as paintings from Israeli schools that were submitted to the competition in the previous year.

Following the wide coverage in the mass media and exposure on the Internet site, we received many enquiries from children and from parents requesting details for their children. As part of our engagement with the potential painters and with the educational institutions, we pointed out the importance of learning about the environment and about the internalization of values as an educational message - values as a strategic objective that will help achieve a better quality of life in the future. The children were thus exposed to standards as they relate to the environment and learned of their importance.

As well, we encouraged the educational institutions to mount an exhibition of paintings before they were sent to Japan. The exhibition itself was a valuable learning experience for the children, and served them as a source of pride before those who viewed the exhibition on the eve of its journey to Japan. The children who learned about the environment through their creativity also gained the feeling that they are an active part of an international process.

At the time of sending the drawings to Japan, we succeeded in placing on national radio one of the children whose painting was sent to the competition. The girl told listeners about the contest and expressed her wish that this year paintings from Israel would be awarded a prize.

Standards and Quality - As seen through the eyes of young artists
The Standards Institution of Israel succeeded in establishing a strong connection with the young artists that served to deepen the connection between its activities and the community. In light of the success of a similar project that we undertook in earlier years, we appealed this year to two prestigious art schools. We requested of one that they take old SII inspection instruments, no longer in use, although that served SII laboratories for many years in ascertaining product conformance to Israeli and international standards. Students who took on the brief of the essence of standards and their importance in the advancement of industry and the economy in general, and to the advancement of international trade, were asked to take these inspection instruments and to create from them "something different," something not at all connected to the instrument itself, but that however would be an artistic expression. We received a spectacular variety of submissions.

We requested students of the second art school, after they were briefed on standardization and on quality, to describe what they understood quality to mean. Sixty works were received, in photographs and in posters, each one with an impressive and different message.

These stirring materials were dedicated at a special SII exhibit during National Quality Week (an annual SII event that promotes standardization and quality in Israel).

The exhibit received much media coverage and was a win-win for all concerned - for the students who created these works, for SII, which succeeded in transmitting its messages to another audience, and of course also for the wide audience that visited the exhibit and was exposed to the messages of quality and standardization as a way of life.

For more information, contact:
Mrs Vered Oren
Spokesperson and Head of Public Relations
The Standards Institution of Israel
42 Chaim Levanon Street
Tel-Aviv, Israel
TEL: 972-3-6465116
FAX: 972-3-6465079