Press Release: Changes at Design Incubation

September 2021

It’s been a season of change here at Design Incubation, and we have news to share with you. In addition to continuing our colloquia virtually, we’ve also started a Designing Your Research Agenda series of public events, and we continue to work on new resources for design faculty.

Design Incubation provides infrastructure and support for researchers and we develop initiatives to serve design faculty. The Design Incubation Fellowship, which has run annually for the past seven years, is now fully “incubated.” Aaris Sherin and Robin Landa will continue the Fellowship, independent of Design Incubation. They are thrilled with all the wonderful outcomes of the Fellowship over the years and look forward to continuing to work with design writers. Design Incubation will continue to support design writing initiatives, and we are planning future DI activities such as workshops and writing groups.

In light of taking full responsibility for the Fellowship, and after seven years of service, Aaris Sherin will be stepping down from her position as Chair of Design Incubation. She has enjoyed working on the colloquia, the 2017 Census, and various initiatives to help design faculty with writing. Aaris is proud of how the organization has grown and is honored to have been part of that process. 

Additionally, after six years of service, Robin Landa will be stepping down from her position as Chair of Design Incubation. She found working with design writers on their book proposals in the DI Fellowship very fulfilling and was proud to be part of the Fellowship team. She also is gratified to have connected so many design faculty with DI during her tenure and was thrilled about the recent collaborations between the AIGA DEC and DI. Robin is honored to have been part of this fine organization.

Alex Girard who has been leading our peer review efforts for the past four years will be moving on from the role of Director of Peer Review. We are grateful for all Alex’s work and expertise in helping to shape the colloquia. Alex recently received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor. Congratulations, Alex!

We are excited to announce that Camila Afanador-Llach will be joining the Design Incubation leadership team as Director of Peer Review. Camila is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts and Art History at Florida Atlantic University. Through her work, she imagines futures for the discipline of graphic design by mapping relationships between design practice and humanistic inquiry. 

In addition to their current directorship roles, Jessica Barness and Heather Synder Quinn will be stepping into the roles as Chairs of Design Incubation, joining Liz DeLuna and Dan Wong.

Please join us in thanking Aaris, Robin, and Alex for all their contributions over the years, and welcoming Camila to the team!

Design Incubation has additional Director of Communications role(s) to fill, in the areas of communications, design, and marketing. If you are interested in participating with the organization, please contact us at and provide a cv and letter of interest.