Educators need diverse representation in course materials—students must feel seen in order to truly succeed.
Mia Culbertson Assistant Professor Kutztown University
Typography is central to design, yet the standard curriculum centers around Western, able-bodied, straight, white, and male figures, frequently misrepresenting or excluding marginalized communities. In educational and professional spaces, this can have harmful effects on BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled designer and student communities. Creating a typography classroom that prioritizes equitable representation will avoid alienating minority student communities and reduce stereotyping through uninformed design decisions.
There has been a recent push in our discipline to decenter and decolonize our curriculum with the publication of resources like Decentering Whiteness in Design History Resources (Pass et al., 2020) and Extra Bold (Lupton et al., 2021); in this presentation I will discuss the importance of doing so specifically within the realm of typography. As the visual preservation of language, typography can be intricate, particularly when positioned within the larger context of world history. As often seen in other fields, minority communities’ contributions are often excluded from the canon despite frequently serving as the foundation on which Western designers expanded on; for example, facets of typography in the Belgian Art Nouveau movement can be linked to traditional Congolese motifs.
To send emerging designers out into the world who truly understand the cultural nuances of typography and creating with rather than for communities, educators need diverse representation in course materials—students must feel seen in order to truly succeed. Teaching non-Latin communications such as the ancient Vai syllabary and introducing designers from marginalized communities like Angel DeCora empowers students and ensures these significant contributions to the development of typography are not forgotten or “othered”; it also helps ensure students’ broad perspective and historical context as they develop their own typographic practices, avoiding stereotypes and appropriation in design. Decentering pedagogical perspective in the typography classroom has widespread implications for marginalized student communities and our discipline at large.
Design education strategies and pedagogical methods for remote, online, hybrid, and face-to-face learning
June 16, 2021 3pm – 4:30pm
This event offers the opportunity for an open discussion of successful activities and challenging teaching scenarios during these chaotic academic transitions. Come join us to discuss your experiences with design education strategies and pedagogical methods for remote, online, virtual, hybrid, and asynchronous learning. Ideas for discussion include conventional vs. unconventional instructional methodologies, student warm-ups, interstitial exercises, laboratory assignments, minor and major course projects, critiques, rubrics, collaboration, discussions, challenges, and serendipity. Share your experiences and stories.
Robin Landa, Distinguished Professor in the Michael Graves College at Kean University and author of the newly published 4th edition of Advertising by Design(Wiley) and 6th edition of Graphic Design Solutions(Cengage) will moderate this workshop.
Presentation and Directives Robin Landa, Kean University
Accepted presentations will be videotaped by the researchers and published online on the Design Incubation channel which is due by October 2, 2021. A moderated discussion will be held virtually on October 23, 2021. We encourage all attendees to watch the videos in advance of the moderated discussion. This event is open to all interested in Communication Design research.
Hosted by Christine Lhowe, Assistant Professor and Christine Krus, Professor of Art & Design, College of Communication and the Arts, Seton Hall University.
A Virtual Conference Saturday, April 10, 2021, 1PM EST.
Presentations will be published on the Design Incubation YouTube Channel after April 3, 2021. Virtual Conference will be held online on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 1pm EST.
Colloquium 7.3: Florida Atlantic University (#DI2021apr) will be held online. Registration for this event below.
Virtually hosted by Camila Afanador-Llach, Assistant Professor + Graduate Coordinator, Graphic Design, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University. This event is open to all interested in Communication Design research.
An interdisciplinary collaboration to develop a series of interactive Design Thinking (DT) learning modules for medical learners
Hannah Park Assistant Professor School of Architecture and Design University of Kansas
Blake Lesselroth, School of Community Medicine, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa Maria Jose Cardona Giraldo, School of Architecture and Design, University of Kansas Denise Chiao, School of Architecture and Design, University of Kansas Kaitlyn M Jerome, School of Architecture and Design, University of Kansas Arturo Erasmo Pinilla Perez, School of Architecture and Design, University of Kansas Shant Thomas, School of Architecture and Design, University of Kansas Jane Jarshaw, School of Community Medicine, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa
Empathy is a crucial trait for medical learners working towards their medical education competencies in (1) Patient Care; (2) Communication; and (3) Systems-Based Practice. Although medical schools typically teach about empathy during the preclinical years, research has shown that empathy erodes during the clinical years as a function of stress, fatigue, and a “hidden curriculum” that can foster emotional compartmentalization. Responding with an evidence-based and patient-centered plan that addresses the social determinants of health, future medical curricula must teach learners how to co-create solutions with their patients that address the needs and concerns of society at large.
In Spring 2020, a group of designers, a physician, and a medical student from two public universities chartered an interdisciplinary collaboration, Design Thinking X Medical Education, to develop a series of interactive Design Thinking (DT) learning modules for medical learners. DT is a methodology for creative problem-finding and solving that emphasizes empathy and a people-centered approach. The team hypothesizes DT can empower clinicians’ empathy and systems thinking ability to support the ethnically and socioeconomically diverse patient populations.
Through empathy-building intervention via DT, the project aims to enable the medical learners to (1) recognize their biases; (2) apply practicable skills to understand patients’ perspectives; and (3) use the feedback to deliver context-sensitive care. The final design deliverables of the project include teaching materials, evaluation forms, and instruction guides. By sharing the process and outcomes of the project, the presentation will showcase a range of DT strategies to prepare medical learners for supporting vulnerable populations. Furthermore, we will also discuss how DT education can attract non-design disciplines such as medicine.
Presentations and discussion of Research and Scholarship in Communication Design at the 109th Annual CAA Conference 2021.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
6:00 PM – 6:30 PM
This is a virtual conference.
Video presentations of design research, history, theory, and practice in the field of communication design. A live moderated discussion will occur during the conference. Conference registration is required.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM Live Q&As Online – Meeting B
Aaris Sherin Professor St. John’s University
Dan Wong Associate Professor New York City College of Technology, CUNY
College students today are more aware of our climate crisis than previous generations. Many are actively looking for ways to use their creative talents to take much needed climate action in the classroom and out.
During this event, design educators are invited to join members of the Climate Designers EDU team as they share their own work and answer questions about how educators can bring climate-related projects and parameters into their classrooms.
The Climate Designers EDU team will provide an overview of the CD EDU initiative, share student work, demo their v1 climate project submission process, and answer any questions educators might have about the initiative or how to “climify” design projects.
In the summer of 2020, design educators were exhausted. They had just finished a spring semester unlike any other, in which halfway through they were required to quickly transition their classes to a remote format due to a global pandemic. Many had lost access to childcare; many were home schooling their young children. As they looked ahead to the fall—another uncertain and tenuous semester as a global health crisis continued to unfold—the anxiety and lack of support they felt was palpable.
The AIGA Design Educators Community Steering Committee felt this firsthand. We knew something had to be done to support educators during such a challenging and uncertain time. Most design conferences had been cancelled or postponed, including the AIGA national conference. We decided to convene our first virtual conference to directly address the issues weighing heavily on educators. We called it the SHIFT 2020 Virtual Summit.
About the event
The events of 2020 required design educators to shift many things: priorities, expectations, formats, locations, modalities, and perspectives. The suddenness of these shifts also revealed many previously unseen or overlooked aspects of design education: weaknesses, biases, inequities, issues of accessibility—as well as opportunities for innovation and evolution. Questions lingered about what it means to be a design educator and what our role might look like in the future. The SHIFT Virtual Summit, Aug. 3-7, was a week-long online event that gathered the design education community to take stock of where we were, what we had learned, and what we wanted to do next. The summit focused on themes of Teaching, Research, and Community, with one day of the summit devoted to each theme. We wanted to create a space that allowed participants to pause, listen, reflect, and learn from each other. Through dialogue and discourse, we aimed to explore pluralistic answers to the following questions:
How must our teaching shift?
How must our research shift?
How must our community shift?
The primary goal of the summit was to bring together as many different voices and perspectives as possible, especially those that have been historically underrepresented in conversations around design education. As such, we decided to forego the traditional call for proposals and peer review process, and instead opted for an intentional arrangement of curated content. We identified key issues and topics that were of interest to educators in the current moment, and hand-selected speakers and panelists who would provide diverse perspectives and expertise. Some of the topics addressed: inclusion in the classroom, virtual critiques, decolonial design, global community, design in k-12 education, design educators and mental health, inclusive graphic design history, tenure and promotion, sponsored research and studios, and more. View the full list of events on the DEC website: https://educators.aiga.org/shift-2020/
It was important to us that the participant experience was manageable and accessible for all, so we planned both synchronous and asynchronous content, and a schedule that accommodated multiple time zones. The events of the summit took many formats: pre-recorded panels, user-submitted videos, live panels, live virtual roundtables, and live virtual mixer sessions. All pre-recorded videos included closed captioning, and many live events included ASL interpreters. All sessions were recorded and can be viewed on the AIGA DEC Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQo7UMhLPFcb_Mbw4zCXks_BQcg337cZ7
Another fundamental aspect of the conference was to provide opportunities for connection amongst participants. Many virtual meetings and webinars tend to isolate participants and create disjointed experiences. We wanted to bring people together. Our main hub for the week was Slack. Channels were created for each of the three themes, teaching, research, community, as well as for introductions, social chatter and general announcements. Conversations about the panels and video content were carried out in Slack each day. Throughout the week, volunteers helped to moderate the conversations.
The summit was a 100% volunteer-run event, and free and open to all design educators. AIGA DEC Steering Committee members Alberto Rigau, Liese Zahabi and Ali Place co-chaired the event. It was developed in partnership with the AIGA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force. The summit would not have been possible without the DEC Steering Committee members, DEI Task Force members and numerous other educators who generously volunteered their time and effort to make the event a resounding success. We cannot thank them enough for their contributions.
To keep the summit free and open to all, we capitalized on the affordances of free digital tools and platforms, such as Slack and YouTube. The DEC received funding from AIGA National to upgrade the DEC Zoom account and to provide ASL interpretation at live sessions.
The SHIFT Virtual Summit was an incredible success that surpassed all our expectations. At the end of the week, 1,200 participants had registered and joined our Slack community (more than four times number of participants at the largest DEC conference to date). What surprised us even more was the global reach of the event—more than 25 countries were represented. Pre-recorded videos garnered hundreds of views. The live roundtable discussions were full of insightful and forward-thinking ideas. The Slack channels were buzzing with boisterous conversations that were thoughtful and caring. Threads popped up about crucial topics like supporting students who can’t afford laptop computers, how to teach community-oriented service learning courses remotely, and what it’s like to be a mother on the tenure track. Participants had a chance to share stories, seek advice and offer words of encouragement. It was a beautiful display of connection and community.
The outcomes of the SHIFT Virtual Summit will take the form of a Living Archive. Rather than a static collection of papers written by a handful of people, we wanted to capture ideas shared and discussed during the summit and make it accessible and editable by our attendees. The Living Archive includes resources shared, tips and tricks, ideas, links, quotes, discussions and debates, and more, culled from the Slack channels as well as the chat transcripts from live sessions. In addition, we announced a call for submissions for materials from and about the summit. We are seeking various types of submissions, including research-based papers, visual expressions, practical and hands-on submissions, and other kinds of writing which will be peer-reviewed and edited together in a publication that will also be part of the SHIFT Living Archive.
Alison Place is a design educator, researcher and practitioner. Her research examines the intersection of feminism and design as a space for radical speculation and critical making. She is currently writing a book that aims to define feminist design through key principles, methods, interviews and case studies. She is an assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Arkansas School of Art, and is currently serving as interim director of the graphic design program. She is also a member of the AIGA Design Educators Community National Steering Committee. Previously, she worked for more than ten years as a creative director and designer for higher education and nonprofit institutions. She earned an M.F.A. in experience design from Miami University of Ohio, and a B.S. in graphic design and journalism from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.
Liese Zahabi is a graphic/interaction designer and Assistant Professor of Design at the University of New Hampshire. She received her Master of Graphic Design from North Carolina State University, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Eastern Michigan University. She has been working as a designer for twenty years, and teaches courses in graphic design, interaction design, motion design and animation, typography, game design, user experience and design research. Liese’s academic research focuses on search as a cognitive and cultural process, and how the design of metaphoric interfaces can change the experience of digital search tasks. Her creative design work is also metaphorical and explores how the nature of search manifests itself in visual patterns and sense-making, how the digital record influences memory and our understanding of history, and how language and image intersect within the context of the Internet.
Alberto Rigau is a graduate of the Masters in Graphic Design program at NC State University’s College of Design and a Poynter Institute Visual Journalism Fellow. He pursued undergraduate studies in cultural anthropology, graphic design and photography at Syracuse University. He runs Estudio Interlínea, a design studio that engages design and anthropology through the crafting and conceptualization of brands, exhibits, way-finding systems, publications, books, architectural collaborations of an interpretative nature. Alberto’s work has been recognized here and abroad. He currently lectures on design thinking methodologies and creativity as a tool to ignite meaningful cultural experiences.
Students apply for a specific role that was provided with a list of job responsibilities
Abby Guido Assistant Professor Tyler School of Art and Architecture
While the design industry has shifted from the individual designer creating work in a silo to a more collaborative approach, relying on both diversity of thought and expertise, design education is falling behind, where the focus is often on the individual and the iterative process of incorporating feedback, design students are missing a key component to becoming a successful designer today: learning how to be strong team members, how to generate diverse ideas, how to be thoughtful leaders, among other soft skills. As the design industry continues to embrace collaboration, design educators should explore how to better expose students to group design work in their curriculum.
In the past, I have assigned group projects that allowed the students to select their roles and responsibilities with their teammates. While this has sometimes worked, more often it did not and I found myself spending most of my time helping the team push through personal issues, rather than focusing on the work itself. In response, I changed my approach in a course during the spring of 2020 called, “Event Design.” I had my students apply for a specific role that was provided with a list of job responsibilities, on a specific project team for a given event we would be designing for. This approach was much more successful, the students embraced their roles, created beautiful work, and were able to seamlessly pivot when our project and course had to majorly adjust due to the coronavirus and the cancelation of the in-person events we were designing for.
The students in this course shared that their experience collaborating allowed them to learn new skills they had not considered needing to know. I witnessed a huge change in all of the students, and an opportunity to help better prepare our students for their careers.