Announcement: Educators Communication Design Awards 2017

Design Incubation, the esteemed 2017 awards jury, and Bloomsbury Publishing is pleased to announce the recipients of the Design Incubation Educators Awards in Communication Design 2017 in the categories of Scholarship: Creative Work, Scholarship: Published Research, Service, and Teaching.
Thank you to all who entered the competition and those who participated in recognizing the efforts of academics in design research.

Category: Scholarship Creative Work

Portraits of Obama: Media, Fidelity, and the 44th President
Scholarship: Creative Work Award Winner

Kareem Collie


Harvey Mudd

Stanford University

Category: Scholarship Published Research

Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities
Scholarship: Published Research Award Winner

Jessica Barness

Associate Professor
Kent State University

Amy Papaelias

Assistant Professor
SUNY New Paltz

Category: Service

The Sit&Tell Project
Service Award Winner

Jenn Stucker
Associate Professor
Bowling Green State University

Category: Teaching

BMORE Than The Story
Teaching Award Winner

Audra Buck-Coleman
Associate Professor

University of Maryland College Park


White Plains Storefront Project: Art In Vacant Spaces
Teaching Award Runner-up

Warren Lehrer

School of Art+Design
Purchase College, SUNY
Founding Faculty Member
Designer as Author Graduate Program
SVA (School of Visual Arts)


Science Through Storybooks
Teaching Award Runner-up

Martha Carothers


University of Delaware


Audrey Bennett
Communication and Media
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Steven McCarthy (Chair)
Professor of Graphic Design
University of Minnesota

Emily McVarish
Associate Professor
Graphic Design; Design; Writing
California College of Art

Maria Rogal
Professor of Graphic Design
University of Florida

David Shields
Associate Professor & Chair of Department of Graphic Design
Virginia Commonwealth University


Theorizing Fashiontech as an Emerging Design Practice

Anne Galperin
Associate Professor
Graphic Design
SUNY New Paltz

Like so many other endeavors contemporary designers find themselves involved in, fashiontech (a marriage of conventional apparel and electronic/digital technology for fun and/or function) unites a variety of professionals in collaboration. Experience and interaction designers, industrial and fashion designers, engineers, programmers and users all have a role to play in the conceptualization and creation of fabrics, garments, hardware, and programming.

Hybrid practices such as this one require new theoretical frameworks in order to describe, understand and innovate in emerging fields.

As an initial step toward the creation of a such a framework for fashiontech, selected concepts originating in areas as diverse as tangible computing, fashion, semiotics, sociology, women’s studies, craft and maker culture will be described, compared and contrasted. (This will not exclude issues of concern in the apparel, technology and design industries including unsustainable or ethically compromised resource production, labor, and manufacturing, and the planned obsolescence typical of both fashion and technology.)

This synthetic construction is intended to be useful to students, educators and makers in fashiontech-related fields as they envision, create and theorize about such garments. As a demonstration the framework will be used to analyze and position pivotal fashiontech garments, one possible example being the Cute Circuit-designed dress Katy Perry wore to the 2010 Met Costume Institute Gala.

Colloquium 4.1: San Jose State

Design Incubation Colloquium 4.1 (#DI2017sep2) will be held at San Jose State University on Saturday, Sept 30, 2017.

Design Incubation is going to the Bay Area! We are excited to announce our first trip to Silicon Valley, and we hope that the West Coast will be regular destination for discussions in design thinking and collaboration in academic design research and scholarship.

Hosted by John Delacruz

Design Incubation Colloquium 4.1 (#DI2017sep2) will be held at San Jose State University. This event is open to all interested in Communication Design research.

Saturday, September 30, 2017
Time: 10:30–4:30
Dwight Bentel Hall 117
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0000


Abstract submission for presentations deadline August 5, 2017.  For details visit the Call for Submissions, and Submission Process description.


10:30-12:30 Morning Presentations

Featured Presentation

Reading Design: An Introduction to Critical Theory
Dave Peacock
Associate Creative Director, LiveAreaLabs
Faculty, Vermont College of Fine Arts


Tina Korani
Assistant Professor of Media Design
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
San Jose State University

Racism Untaught
John O’Neill
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
University of Minnesota Duluth

The 45th City: Visualizing and Experiencing Fake News
Jonathan Hanahan
Assistant Professor, Communication Design
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Washington University in St. Louis

Safe Niños: A Co-Creation Case Study
Susannah Ramshaw
Associate Director
ArtCenter College of Design

Agents of Change:Inspiring the Next Generation of Art Directors 
James Wojtowicz
Associate Director of Art Direction and Industry Development
School of Advertising
Academy of Art University
San Francisco, California

Moderated Discussion

12:30–1:45 Lunch provided, courtesy of host.

1:45–4:30 Afternoon Presentations

When the Process is the Product: Pollock, Gehry and the Illusion of Randomness
Craig Konyk AIA
Assistant Professor
School of Public Architecture
Michael Graves College
Kean University

Beyond the Page: InDesign for Rapid UI/UX Prototyping
Dave Gottwald
Assistant Professor
Art + Design
College Of Art And Architecture
University Of Idaho 

Basic Web Design as Foundation of Publication Design
Bruno Ribeiro
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design 
Department of Art and Design
California Polytechnic State University

Be Good To Me: How Advertising Students Made San Jose Think Twice About Illegal Dumping
John Delacruz
Professor of Advertising
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
San Jose State University

Designfulness: Teaching Designers To Mindfully Create A Sustainable Future
Rachel Beth Egenhoefer
Chair, Department of Art + Architecture 
Program Director & Associate Professor, Design
University of San Francisco

Teaching Sea Changes
Andrea English
Department Of Design
San José State University

Moderated Discussion

New Design Incubation Initiatives: Design Survey and Ask the Editor

Augmented Reality Overcoming Learning Disabilities

Renée Stevens
Assistant Professor
Multimedia Photography & Design Department
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Syracuse University

The future of AR and mixed realities are here. With Apple’s introduction of ARkit launching this fall, I was able to design and develop an app concept to use inside this new space called tagAR. An app that will help enhance social networking and empower those who struggle to remember people’s names in a crowd. I will share my concept, workflow, limitations of the technology as it changes and finally show how AR is going to advance the power of design for social good, specifically those who have a learning disability or are dyslexic, like myself.

Designing for Autonomous Machines

Alex Liebergesell
Associate Professor 
Graduate Communications Design
Pratt Institute

“The Future of Employment”, published by the Oxford Martin School in 2013, predicts significant displacement of human labor forces over the coming two decades, as computerization and robotics continue to migrate from routine manual to non-routine cognitive tasks. While designers fare well in the study’s susceptibility-to-displacement rankings, we will need to establish new “complementarities” with the creative and social intelligence capabilities of cutting edge robotics if we are to thrive.  The recent acquisition of Google xLab/Boston Dynamics and their proprioceptively advanced robots by Softbank, the Japanese inventor and domestic distributor of the emotionally responsive home companion “Pepper,” is just one indication of how quickly technological, market and social developments are converging to propel smart, autonomous machines into our everyday lives. These machines’ near-future capacity for causal reasoning and insight — and uncanny humanoid presence — will call upon designers’ expertise in shaping language, user experiences and interactions, all unique and generalist meta-cognitive skills that still define specific human advantages. Having shifted from a preoccupation with form to the construction of meaning, design practice — whether in communications, products or space planning — can seek to take additional steps in creating conversations, codifying behaviors, and defining new artifacts and physical ecosystems that are sensible, graspable and navigable to both humans and machines in innumerable settings. Moreover, by modeling positive speech and behavior, shared environments and common social values, designers, when creating and coexisting alongside autonomous machines, will do no less than encourage humans to recognize and cherish reciprocity, civility and labor.

Making the Machine Human: Embracing Printing Technologies in Crafting a Present-Day Moveable Typeface

Peter P. Bella, Jr
Assistant Professor

Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne

How human can the machine become in relation to the craft of moveable type and modern printing technologies? The letterpress has been an instrumental aspect of typography for centuries. The mechanical process of raised letterforms transferring ink to paper has a humanistic quality that exemplifies our senses and emotions. Movable type has seen centuries of adaptations—lead, wood, polymer and more; along with the creation tools and technologies—such as pantographs, plate makers, and computer. Has moveable type met its end, has letterpress found its zenith? Has technology surpassed this mechanical time machine and the cold nature of cast metal?

3D printing has varying qualities and expectations dependent on numerous variables. These virtues of 3D printing offer the design of typography, moveable type, and printing techniques an amplitude of potential expressions and experiential opportunities. Examples of 3D printing’s use in the realm of typography are found in 3D sculptures expressive of the letters architecture, and letterforms designed in three-dimensional space, never intended for physical traditional letterpress printing methods. This research is concerned with something entirely different finding a middle ground between perfection and form defining its own voice and concept through the qualities that are characteristically built into the machine.

This research suggest letterpress printing and moveable type has untapped life yet to be revealed presenting the challenging demands of typography and the mechanical properties of 3D printing methods applied to the creation of moveable type, its design, printing, and communicative qualities by personifying 3D printing technologies to create a moveable typeface with humanistic qualities and design voice. This moveable type exploration embraces the 3D printer as a machine to create a typeface never intended to meet the standards of perfection, but to embody the inherent artistic and humanistic aesthetics of the machine by pushing technology to its limits and discovering how human a 3D printed movable typeface can become.

Bloomsbury Publishing Sponsors Design Incubation Educators Awards

Design Incubation is excited to announce a partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing for the Design Incubation Educators Awards.

Bloomsbury publishes books on various design education topics from academic research on the history and theory of the discipline through introductory textbooks to practical guides and manuals.

Bloomsbury Press Release

Bloomsbury will be sponsoring the 2017 Design Incubation Educators Awards competition.


The Process Of Exploring the Next Urban Condition

Adam Fromme
MFA Candidate
Department of Design
The Ohio State University

Urban transportation within the United States is at a critical point.

The automobile dictates our infrastructure, but there is a hunger for something else. Many mass transit solutions ignore the need to develop unique urban neighborhood identities. It seems time for a different approach. The Ohio State University’s Department of Design (Columbus, Ohio, USA) held a 16-week graduate studio in the spring of 2016 to explore this idea, based in our city’s needs.

The course structure provided a defined pathway through the problem’s complexity while allowing ‘the question’ to be responsive to the research. This sensitivity to the moment is in sharp contrast to traditional path-to-goal curriculum, yet reflective of most professional-facing design projects. While uncomfortable at times for the students, within this flexible format they were able to apply practices, trends, and technologies to specific city-, neighborhood-, and street-based needs in a system that would serve the unique needs of Columbus.

The deliverable was an immersive installation in a gallery space corresponding to the Barnett Symposium “Planning Creative Cities” 11–13 May 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. The 6 diverse graduate design students and their professor explored social change in a metro area, realizing that sometimes the best spark for change can come from building the tools to change the conversation.

Reveal, Empower, Propel: Design Education for a Tenacious Community

Herb Vincent Peterson
Associate Professor of Design: Coordinator of Graphic Design
Co-Founder of Marion Design Co.
Division of Art + Design
Indiana Wesleyan University

Wendy Puffer
Assistant Professor: Coordinator of Design for Social Impact
Co-Founder of Marion Design Co.
Division of Art + Design
Indiana Wesleyan University

No larger than 30,000 people and deeply bruised by a downtrodden economy rooted in racial tensions, the rustbelt town of Marion, Indiana begs to become triumphant once again. A community previously slated to become the thriving metropolis of the Mid-West, now promotes a residue of the past with blighted storefronts, broken homes, and vast and vacant warehouses. Here lies the real crossroads of America. Never before has there been such a need to see Design as a mechanism to reveal a true identity within a community and empower its people to propel forward into a new chapter of vibrant life.

How can design empower radical change? How can students learning design employ empathy to develop relational design practices and drive trust in a community plagued by deep trauma? What is the responsibility of University design programs connected to rust-belt and blighted American towns?

This is the story about a social design studio and the subsequent movements that change how we consider community activism and design education. The studio of faculty and undergraduates face wicked problems head on while gaining experience conducting ethnographic research with community members. The environment of unbridled growth of ideas, reflective of the academic model of the middle ages, encourages individuality and freedom of thought. Through an immersive experience where students learn to become design leaders, the social design studio of Marion Design Co. utilizes design thinking strategies engaging community toward authentic relationships, bringing much needed hope and innovation.

Framing Metaphors in Visual Identity Design

Jason E. Murdock
Undergraduate Instructor
School of Visual Communication Design
Kent State University

The metaphors used by designers to describe the logos they create reveal something about the technology they have at their disposal, as well as how they think these graphic devices should be applied.

Brand, mark, signature, and signet are all metaphors that frame logos as instruments for making impressions onto surfaces as a way to denote ownership and authorship, and these metaphors dominated visual identity design during the first half of the twentieth century. During the second half of the century, as design thinking shifted away from authorship and ownership toward service, experience, and participation, new metaphors emerged to describe new functions for logos. Container, icon, kit of parts, and module are all metaphors that frame logos as components of a larger systems—ascribing to them a variety of possible applications—and these metaphors are becoming increasingly prevalent in twenty-first century visual identity design.

This shift in framing metaphors coincides with the shift from Swiss and International Style Modernism to American Modernism and Postmodernism, or, as Dubberly (2008) has put it, from a mechanical-object ethos to an organic-systems ethos. This presentation offers a framework for understanding the logos created during this transitional period in graphic design history by identifying and defining three framing metaphors—logo as signature, logo as motif, and logo as building block—and providing visual evidence by way of case studies. Unlike other classification systems—such as Mollerup’s “Taxonomic tree of trademarks” (2013)—that take a morphological (i.e. a form-based) approach to categorization, the framework presented here takes a more pragmatic approach by categorizing logos based on how they are described and used.