The 2019 Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards

2019 Design Incubation Educators Awards competition in 4 categories: Creative Work, Published Research, Teaching, Service

As the awards program enters its fourth year, we are committed to forming a jury of esteemed design educators with diverse perspectives and experiences. Design Incubation is pleased to announce the 2019 Communication Design Educators Awards jury, consisting of internationally recognized design educators: Audrey G. Bennett, Saki Mafundikwa, Steven McCarthy, Maria Rogal (chair), and Teal Triggs. 

This awards program furthers Design Incubation’s aim to discover and draw attention to new creative work, published research, teaching, and service in our broad and varied discipline. We hope our colleagues will help to identify excellent contributions within their network and encourge faculty to submit their applications. New this year is a nominations period (through July 31st) and a timeline aimed that we hope avoids peak times in academic calendars. Information on the awards program in available on our website.

Nominations and entries can be completed online, in our awards call for entries.

About the Jury

Audrey G. Bennett is a tenured Professor of Art and Design at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is a former Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and a former College Art Association Professional Development Fellow. She studies the user-centered design of multimodal and intersensory images for communication across cultures. Her research publications include: “How Design Education Can Use Generative Play to Innovate for Social Change” (International Journal of Design); Engendering Interaction with Images (Intellect/University of Chicago Press); The Rise of Research in Graphic Design (Princeton Architectural Press); “Interactive Aesthetics” (Design Issues); and “Good Design is Good Social Change” (Visible Language). She is the co-editor of the Icograda Design Education Manifesto 2011, and a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Image and Text (South Africa), and New Design Ideas (Azerbaijan). 

Saki Mafundikwa is the founder and director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA) his country’s first graphic design and new media college. He has an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University. He is a design educator, designer, author, filmmaker and farmer. His book, Afrikan Alphabets: the Story of Writing in Africa was published in 2004. Besides being of historical importance, it is also the first book on Afrikan typography. His award-winning first film, Shungu: The Resilience of a People premiered at 2009’s International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). He has been published widely on design and cultural issues and is currently working on the first Afrikan Design Textbook

Steven McCarthy is Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He conceived of the Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards and chaired the jury in both 2016 and 2017. McCarthy’s teaching, scholarship, and contributions to the discipline include lectures, exhibitions, publications, and grant-funded research on a global scale. His creative work was featured in 130+ exhibitions and he is the author of The Designer As… Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepreneur, Curator and Collaborator: New Models for Communicating (BIS, Amsterdam). From 2014–2017, McCarthy served on the board of directors of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. 

Maria Rogal, Jury Chair, is Professor of Graphic Design and leads the new Design & Visual Communications MFA at the University of Florida. She is the founder of D4D Lab, an award-winning initiative to co-design with indigenous entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to generate sustainable local outcomes supporting self-determination. She has lectured and published about social and co-design, recently co-authoring “CoDesigning for Development,” which appears in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design. Her research has been funded by AIGA, Sappi, and Fulbright programs, among others, and her creative design work has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions. 

Teal Triggs is Professor of Graphic Design and leads on the MPhil/PhD programme in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art, London. As a graphic design historian, researcher and educator she lectures and broadcasts widely and her writings have appeared in numerous international design publications and edited books. Her recent books include: co-editor of The Graphic Design Reader (Bloomsbury), author of Fanzines (Thames & Hudson), and The School of Art (Wide Eyed) which was shortlisted for the ALCS 2016 Educational Writer’s Award. She is a Fellow of the International Society of Typographic Designers and the Royal Society of Arts.

A Day of Writing

Come spend an uninterrupted day working on a writing project.

Quinnipiac University
October 6th 2019
10:00am –4:00pm

Design Incubation is proud to be able to partner with Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut to offer a Day of Writing. Join long-time author Robin Landa and spend an uninterrupted day working on a writing project of your choice. This event will be held the day after the Design Incubation Colloquium at Quinnipiac University.

Participants will spend the day writing or conducting preliminary work on a writing project. The Day of Writing is open to design faculty and to those working in related fields.

Using the online registration system (see below), applicants should submit a 150-500 word synopsis of the project they intend to work on along with their title and institutional affiliation. The cost is $30 for the day. A total of 12 seats are available for this event.

Optional Event at 9:00am 

Start the day early and get your creative juices flowing with a short hike on Sleeping Giant Tower Trail. Host, writer and fellow hiker Courtney Marchese will lead the group to the stone tower and overlook (3 miles total). The hike starts directly across from the main QU entrance and is rated as “moderate” and appropriate for all skill levels.

Applications will be considered immediately upon submission and they can be submitted through September 30th, 2019. Official letters of acceptance can be provided to allow attendees to request funding from their institutions.

Quinnipiac Day of Writing Application Form

Complete the form below and submit online. Payment will be required upon acceptance to secure the seat.
  • 200–500 word description of the writing project.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Submit a Case Study— Global LEAP: New Frontiers in Design for Social Innovation

The team that brought us LEAP Dialogues: Career Pathways in Design for Social Innovation has a new project. They would like to consider your work in their upcoming project— Global LEAP: New Frontiers in Design for Social Innovation.

Award recipients of the Design Incubation Educators Awards 2019 in the category of Service—Marianna Amatullo, Jennifer May, and Andrew Shea—along with Bryan Boyer work together on this new effort to consider innovation and social impact design as a moral and philanthropic imperative across the globe.

“Our commitment is to represent a diverse overview of design practices that are shaping the field of social innovation across countries and continents. Our book will not present a singular definition of “design for social innovation,” but will instead celebrate the many heterogeneous and dynamic forms of how designers engage critical challenges in their communities, cultures, and countries.”

For details, visit their website, and consider submitting your work for consideration. They are looking for 50 design projects that have made an impact- no matter the level of scale. Find out more & submit or nominate a project at http://globalleapbook.com. Deadline is May 31!

The Design Incubation Residency at Haddon Avenue Writing Institute 2019

Rolling acceptances until Sept 30, 2019. Only 14 seats are available for this event.

October 25-27, 2019

Design Incubation is proud to be able to partner with the Haddon Avenue Writing Institute to offer a design-writing residency. This 3-day residency allows researchers and scholars time to work on existing writing projects or to start a new writing project. The residency is open to design faculty and to those working in related fields. It offers participants concentrated time to work on writing projects and the opportunity to take advantage of one-on-one consultations with event facilitator Maggie Taft. Using the online registration system (see below), applicants should submit a CV and a 200-500-word synopsis of the project they intend to work on. The cost is $180 for 3 days. A total of 14 seats are available for this event.

Applications will be considered immediately upon submission and they can be submitted through September 30th, 2019. Official letters of acceptance will be provided to allow attendees to request funding from their institutions.

Dates:

October 25-27, 2019

The Haddon Avenue Design Writing Residency Schedule:

Friday, October 25th: 10-5

10-11:00: Individual Writing Session

11:00-12:00: Welcome; Goal setting

12:00-1:00: Individual writing session

1:00-2:00: Lunch (bring your own or in the neighborhood)

2:00-5:00: Individual writing session

Saturday, October 26th: 9-5

9-9:30: Goal setting

9:30-12:30: Individual writing session and optional one-on-one strategy sessions by appointment

12:30-1:30: Lunch (bring your own or in the neighborhood)

1:30-2:00: Techniques for overcoming writer’s block, the blinking cursor, and other writing obstacles

2:00-5:00: Individual writing session and optional one-on-one strategy sessions by appointment

Sunday, October 27th: 9-1pm

9-12:00: Individual writing session and optional one-on-one strategy sessions by appointment

12:00-12:30: Group wrap up

12:30-4:00: Open writing (Optional)

Writing Residency Application Form

Complete the form below and submit online. Payment will be required upon acceptance to secure the seat.
  • 200–500 word description of the writing project.
  • Upload cv in one of the following formats: in txt, rtf, docx, or pdf format
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: txt, rtf, docx, doc, pdf.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call for Entries: 2019 Communication Design Educators Awards

An international juried competition of communication design research, practice, teaching, and service.

We are excited to announce the beginning of the 2019 Communication Design Educators Awards season.

The aim of the awards program is to discover and draw attention to new creative work, published research, teaching, and service in our broad and varied discipline. We hope to expand the design record, promote excellence and share knowledge within the field.

Promoting Excellence

Help us support fellow design educators and advance the discipline by sharing this announcement. Encourage your colleagues to help us find the most talented faculty in our field and to recognize their efforts through a peer-review process.

New this year—Nomination

This year we are launching a new initiative—a nomination process. We ask mentors and colleagues to identify outstanding creative work, published research, teaching, and service being done by educators in our field and to nominate these individuals for an award.

How the nomination process work

Beginning from April 15 through July 31, 2019, you are invited to nominate a colleague’s creative work, published research, teaching, and service. Our short online nomination form will automatically notify your colleague that their project has been recommended for an award.

We will also contact the nominee to ensure they have received your recommendation and encourage them to submit their materials. All nominees are offered early submission to the awards allowing them to begin their entries immediately.

Self-nomination

We will continue to accept self-nominated entries to the awards. These applicants should submit their materials between June 1 and August 31, 2019. (No form completion needed for self-nomination. Simply enter.)

Important dates

  • April 15–July 31: Nomination Process Opens
  • April 15–August 31: Nominated educators may submit application materials
  • June 1–August 31: Self-nominated educators may submit application materials
  • September 2–30: Jury reviews applications
  • October 10: Award recipients notified
  • October 15: Award recipients announced

Nominate a Colleague’s Work

To nominate a colleague’s work, complete the following form:

Awards Nomination

  • Please give name to project that you nominate for award consideration. If official project name is not known, offer the most descriptive title.
  • Select all categories applicable to this project for award consideration.
  • Please provide a description of the project/work being nominated. Provide links to online works, if possible. (Not required. Nominee will rewrite this description when officially entering the work for consideration.)
  • Please describe the impact this project offers to the discipline (quality, impact, rigor, innovation, etc.)
  • Not required. If support materials are available, please share these here. Nominee will submit documentation when officially entering work for consideration. (4 files max, 5MB max file size.)
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf, txt, rtf.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Official Award Entry Form

To submit an official entry for the 2019 Communication Design Educators Awards, complete the following form:

Introducing MUGEN — A Javascript Library for Teaching Code Through Game Design

This tool allows students to rapidly develop a small game-like interactive experience with a minimal amount of coding.

Brian James
Assistant Professor
St John’s University

Teaching computer coding to students of design presents a unique context, with its own set of challenges. Design students may lack deep intrinsic motivation toward the subject, perceiving code-related classes as unwelcome, stress-inducing requirements in the curriculum. Additionally, they may be intimidated not only by the task of coding in general, but also by the complexity of the software development kits used by more experienced coders. Finally, the time and cognitive load required to code even a small interactive project can be daunting even to the most motivated learner.

Design students do, however, bring unique strengths to the table. Designers are often highly motivated to learn tools that help them make tangible creative pieces. They typically bring skills such as illustration, photography, and project management to their work. And design students who have internalized the lessons of working with grids, character styles, and similar visual systems are primed to work with analogous systems in a coding context.

The Mini UnGame ENgine (MUGEN) is an attempt to bridge these challenges and opportunities by presenting design students with a simple, pedagogically oriented JavaScript library, developed by the author, that allows them to rapidly develop a small game-like interactive experience with a minimal amount of code. MUGEN offers teachers a flexible tool that can support an instructional approach focused on visual design, or an approach focused more on coding, or on an approach that balances the two.

This presentation will describe MUGEN’s aims and current state of development, share tentative results of its first deployment in a design classroom, and consider possibilities for future development and applications of this pedagogical work-in-progress.

Disrupting Genius: A Dialogical Approach to Design Pedagogy

Disruptive making methods to teach collaboration, discourage individual bias, and support understanding and connection amongst design students.

Bree McMahon 
Assistant Professor 
University of Arkansas

Rachael L. Paine 
Adjunct Professor
North Carolina State University

We are interested in examining the theme of ego and idea hoarding in student studios and design culture, methods for disrupting the existing monological status quo approach to design pedagogy, and opportunities for future culture shifts. During a short presentation, we will examine these themes and the outcomes of a classroom workshop case study which employed disruptive making methods to teach collaboration, discourage individual bias, and support understanding and connection amongst design students.

Dr. Philip Plowright criticizes the culture of design which aims to keep design unknowable (Plowright, personal communication, October 24, 2018). The conceptual foundations of design practice claim to be “indescribable and personal” (Plowright, 2017), with designers clinging to assertions that methods are idiosyncratic, steeped in personal genius. A genius instructor, fearful of sharing knowable, repeatable methods, must surely produce students who further promote this broken culture. When a designer’s goal is to be the smartest person in the room, the ego runs wild, idea hoarding takes over, creativity dwindles, and conversation suffocates.

During a collaborative design charette, students responded to questions about design authorship, origination, and agency. Using rapid prototyping, iterative processes, design dialogue, and making methods, students created multiple compositions reflecting their insights. Disruptive prompts were introduced throughout the workshop. A formal discussion followed the charette and participants engaged in a conversation.

Students explored complex topics in design culture and also learned methods for collaboration, which allowed for free knowledge exchange, design critique, and creative innovation. Challenging the traditional studio model provides a learning space for addressing new challenges or “wicked problems” while also learning skills for reaching agreements, coordinating actions, discussing specific goals, and exploring new modes of discovery (Dubberly & Pangaro, 2017).

Adopting a pedagogical approach that disrupts the idiosyncratic design culture keeps the ego in check, generates collaboration, fosters creativity, and encourages conversation. In the case of this workshop, participants began to see themselves as a smaller part of the collective whole, rather than an individual genius seeking personal gratification and recognition.

CITATIONS:

Dubberly, H., & Pangaro, P. (2017). Distinguishing between control and collaboration—and communication and conversation. She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation. 2. 116-118. 10.1016/j.sheji.2016.12.002.

Dubberly, H., & Pangaro, P. “What is conversation? How can we design for effective conversation?” Dubberly Design Office, 1 May 2009, Retrieved from www.dubberly.com/articles/what-is-conversation.html.

Pask, G. (1976). Conversation theory: Applications in education and epistemology. Elsevier Publishing Company, New York, NY, USA.

Plowright, P. (2017). Update – Project Goal. The cognitive structure of design methods (architecture). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/project/The-cognitive-structure-of-design-methods-architecture

Price of Values

The purpose of this study is to inform advertisers, designers and consumers of our individual values, collective values and ethical standards.

Shruthi Manjula Balakrishna
Graduate student
Vermont College of Fine Arts

When stopped to consider the culture of the 21st century: Each morning, we hear a half dozen ads on the radio before our feet touch the floor. Staggering out of bed, we pass brand logos on our clothing and in our bathrooms. By the end of the day, hundreds – perhaps thousands of marketing messages would have targeted us, and yet so little is understood about how marketing affects our lives, our society, our world and most importantly, our personal values.

This research paper takes a hard look at the dangerous side effects of advertising – especially for women. The paper reviews how us women, who are biologically more vulnerable to alcohol than men, and who often suffer from depression and eating disorders, are more likely to seek connection to alcohol, food, and cigarettes, partly as a response to disconnection in our human relationships. The paper proposes that this disconnection is a sense of emptiness, and people who feel empty make great consumers. The text ponders on how this emptiness makes us turn to products, especially potentially addictive products, to fill us up, to make us feel whole.

Additionally, the paper deliberates the importance of responsible and empathetic design to make real, world changing, culture defining, values shaping difference. It discusses how every one of us designers in the advertising industry have an important role to play, and since the advertising industry played a part in building and setting in motion the wagon of consumerism and capitalism that is now diving us to the edge of the cliff, we should help solve these worldwide problems in a responsible and engaging way.

To demonstrate the observations, research, and opinions discussed in the paper, posters were designed in pop-art style because pop-art is not only drawn form mass media and popular culture, but is also “coolly” ambivalent. Whether that suggests an acceptance of the popular world or a shocked withdrawal is viewer interpretation – all with a sprinkle of parody.

The purpose of this study is to inform advertisers, designers and consumers that our individual values, collective values and ethical standards define us both as individuals and as people.

African Americans in Advertising: Images, Stereotypes, and Symbolism

Dissecting social, cultural and historical meanings in images is to explore the dynamics of social power and ideology that produced them.

Omari Souza
Assistant Professor
Texas State University

Through advertising, designers play a vital role in crafting a product’s identity. These identities construct cultural “myths” and morality of products, teams, political affiliations, and their respective consumers. A brand is a visual signifier of a lifestyle that imbues the consumer’s social status with the economic and social value of the products they use.  While this may have positive economic implications, the consumer’s subscription to various brand narratives can encourage tribalism in addition to negatively impact the understanding of others.

For example, the characteristics and symbols that have historically been used to represent blacks in advertising have forged permanent images of African Americans into the American psyche. These characteristics have exceeded the conventional boundaries of symbols and evolved into an icon. These icons have had detrimental impacts on African Americans who reside in western society. 

The work of dissecting social, cultural and historical meanings in images is to explore the dynamics of social power and ideology that produced them. This research examines the manifestation of widely shared social assumptions of African Americans in Advertisements of the Jim Crow South. The 1940s psychological experiment Doll Test will be used to contextualize the impact of these images and will conclude by drawing parallels between racist ads of the past and current Ads that echo similar motifs.

Teaching the History of Graphic Design to Visual Learners

Solution: add a significant drawing component to the curriculum

Ingrid Hess 
Assistant Professor 
University of Massachusetts Lowell

I teach the History of Graphic Design to art and design students. Most of them are visual learners. I find it an exciting challenge to teach in a way that inspires learning among these students. Below are excerpts from an article I wrote for the international journal Visual Inquiry in 2013 entitled, “How Drawing Helps Keep History Present”.

When I was an art student, one of my favorite classes was art history. I remember my professor’s lectures to be fascinating yet I remember almost nothing about art history itself. The information she shared with the class didn’t stick with me. Two decades later I was asked to teach a History of Graphic Design class. I was thrilled and terrified. How could I teach a class as interesting as the one I took years before yet help my students retain the information they were learning? My solution was simple: add a significant drawing component to the curriculum. By having students create work based on the lectures I presented they put their knowledge into immediate use. The results were astounding. On tests throughout the semester, questions relating to the drawing assignments were much more likely to be answered correctly than other questions.

A pleasant surprise—regardless of a student’s inherent drawing skill, using drawing was an effective tool. My class consisted of both art majors and non-art majors. I graded not on the expertise of the rendering, but rather on how each student integrated new knowledge of graphic design history into the drawing assignments.

The most rewarding part of the course was seeing how much the students loved the drawing assignments. At the end of the class when I asked the students what they thought they would remember from the semester, all of them stated a lesson that went along with a drawing assignment.