Inneract Project started in 2004, directly as a result of Maurice Woods’ life. As a kid, Maurice always loved to create things but never considered it as a profession. As one of the tallest kids on the block, basketball seemed like the most logical career path. His athletic abilities helped him secure a college scholarship, but it would be another two years before he realized he could take his passion for creating and parlay it into a career in graphic design.
Upon the start of his junior year at the University of Washington, Maurice was faced with the reality that he might not make it to the NBA. This led him to consider other career alternatives. While searching through the UW course catalog with his mother, he came upon courses in graphic design. Though neither had ever heard of it before, she suggested he try it because she knew he liked to “draw” and thought he might enjoy it. In a classic case of “mother knows best,” Maurice took that step and discovered a new world in graphic design. Since then, he has never looked back.
The Inneract Project was born in Maurice’s Visual Communication Design (VCD) graduate class at the University of Washington in Seattle. The assignment? Use design to try to change the world. Because Maurice has always been interested in using his design skills to enhance self-pride and cultural awareness within urban communities, he envisioned a program that would bring design to the community, not the community to design. He figured there must be kids in the community who love to draw and create things just as he did as a child, but who may not know about design as a career. He developed a plan and put it on paper. He then created posters and drove them to every community center throughout the Seattle area. Maurice’s vision began with a free class and three students at Western Seattle’s Delridge Community Center. Today, Maurice has had classes as large as 30 kids. His classes still remain free.