Communication Design Educators Awards 2018: Design Incubation

2018 Design Incubation Educators Awards competition in 4 categories— Creative Work, Published Research, Teaching, Service.

Call for Entries: Deadline, May 31, 2018


Works in Process

Scholarship: Creative Work Award Winner

George Garrastegui
Assistant Professor
Communication Design
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

What Does Democratic Design Look Like? Establishing the Center for Design in the Public Interest at the University of California, Davis

Scholarship: Creative Work Award Runner Up

Susan Verba
University of California, Davis




Lowering Barriers to Access at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Teaching Award Winner

Helen Armstrong
Associate Professor
North Carolina State University


LEAP Dialogues: The Educators Guide

Service Award Winner

Mariana Amatullo
Associate Professor
Parsons School of Design, The New School

Andrew Shea
Assistant Professor
Parsons School of Design, The New School

Jennifer May
Director, Designmatters
ArtCenter College of Design

Recognition of excellence through peer review in scholarship, teaching, and service is fundamental to the professional development of communication design academics. To support this need, Design Incubation established the Communication Design Educators Awards in 2016.

An independent jury of esteemed design educators is invited by the Awards Jury Chair. This year’s jury chair, Maria Rogal, invited these internationally recognized jurors: Jorge Meza Aguilar, Ruki Ravikumar, Wendy Siuyi Wong, and Steven McCarthy. Rogal writes, “this jury reflects the diverse perspectives and experiences that exist in communication design today.”

The awards acknowledge faculty accomplishments in the areas of published research, creative work, teaching, and service. The award processes and procedures are rigorous, transparent, and objective. They reflect Design Incubation’s mission to foster professional development and discourse within the design community.

This year, award entries are open February 1, 2018 – May 31, 2018 via the online application. An overview of the awards program is on our website.

We are excited to announce Bloomsbury Publishing is sponsoring this year’s awards.

The 2018 Jury

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 125+ 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.

Jorge Meza Aguilar is Professor of Strategic Design and Provost for Outreach and Collaboration at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, where he founded the Bachelor in Interactive Design and the Master in Strategic Design and Innovation programs. He is widely recognized as an expert in strategic design and is the founding Director of Estrategas Digitales which focuses on research, strategic design, branding, trend forecasting, branding, Internet, and digital media. Meza is also a consultant and entreprenuer and holds degrees in art, graphic design, and systems engineering. Previously, he studied in and worked as a designer in Poland at Advertising Agency Schulz.

Ruki Ravikumar is Director of Education at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, a position she has held since April 2017. She joined the museum following thirteen years of service at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she held successive positions as professor of graphic design; director of graduate programs; chair of the Department of Design; assistant dean; and most recently, as associate dean of the College of Fine Arts & Design. In addition to her practice as an educator and published researcher in the areas of intersections between graphic design and culture and their impact on design education, she is also an award winning graphic designer. Further, she has served in leadership roles at the local and national levels of AIGA, the professional association for design.

Maria Rogal, Jury Chair, is Professor of Graphic Design, School of Art + Art History at the University of Florida and was Interim Director from 2015–2017. She is the founder of Design for Development (D4D), an award-winning initiative to co-design with indigenous entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to generate sustainable and responsible local outcomes. She has lectured and published about D4D, 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.

Wendy Siuyi Wong is Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Design at the York University, Toronto, Canada. She has established an international reputation as an expert in Chinese graphic design history and Chinese comic art history. She is the author of Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua, published by Princeton Architectural Press (2002). She is a contributor to the Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design (2012), The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design (2015), and acts as a regional editor of the Greater China region for the Encyclopedia of East Asian Design to be published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Also, Dr. Wong has served as an editorial board member of Journal of Design History.

Communication Design Faculty Census 2018

We invite faculty, researchers and interested parties to engage with the data collected as part of the Faculty Census 2018 and to use the information gathered here to support their own work and their engagement with institutions in higher education.

Design Incubation Fellowship Redux: Fellows Get Published

Meaghan Barry, Assistant Professor at Oakland University and Aaron Ganci, Assistant Professor at Indiana University’s Herron School of Art and Design, two of our 2016 Design Incubation Fellows have recently published in the journal Design and Culture.

Barry’s Statement of Practice interview with designer, performance artist, and Cranbrook Designer-in-Residence Elliot Earls explores the many facets of Earl’s practice and the evolution of his thinking about design, education and performance over the last several decades.

Ganci reviewed John McCarthy and Peter Wright’s text, Taking [A]part: The Politics and Aesthetics of Participation in Experience-Centered Design.

Barry and Ganci continued their writing projects with the support of Design Incubation’s Fellowship Director, Aaris Sherin, to craft these articles.

For more information on how Design Incubation supports design writing and publishing see the Fellowship page on the Design Incubation website. Applications for the 2018 program will be accepted June 1, 2017 – September 1, 2017.

Critical Practices as Design Scholarship: Strategies and Opportunities

Jessica Barness
Assistant Professor
School of Visual Communication Design
Kent State University

Steven McCarthy
College of Design
University of Minnesota

Conventional academic scholarship typically involves publishing one’s research findings in journals and books, or in the arts, performing or exhibiting creative work. Design straddles these worlds and adds its own cultural norms, such as industry competitions that seek the commercial work of professional practitioners, or the fine arts tradition with its emphasis on gallery shows. Design scholarship, whether written or visual, does not always fit these models: How might design faculty approach the dissemination of creative work that is neither client-based nor fine art?

Over the past decade, another path to knowledge formation and scholarly productivity has emerged: critical making. Involving a speculative approach to design (experimental, future-oriented, expressive), critical making combines an authorial point-of-view with the tangible aspects of media, technology, materials and process. Critical making is experiential and uses design to create knowledge across disciplines.

Through critical making, some design faculty have found diverse scholarly venues to share their creative and intellectual work. These dissemination venues often take their cues from other disciplinary cultures like the humanities, the arts, science, engineering and business, and can include publications, exhibitions, performances, and conferences. These venues can be an advantage to design scholars as they are already generally recognized and legitimized by academic culture. However, faculty may not fully understand the opportunities for an enhanced, rigorous approach to scholarship – a strategic integration of making and writing – that moves beyond industry practice and fine arts traditions yet remains distinctly relevant to the design discipline.

Considerations of this presentation will include faculty effort, the scholarly product, the selection process, dissemination venues, scope (local, regional, national, international), and the resulting impact. The challenges in assessing interdisciplinary work and the roles in collaborative projects will be discussed, as will the implications for tenure and promotion.

Webinar: The Writing and Publishing Challenge @RGD

A webinar discussing design scholarship with an emphasis on the intersection of professional practice and writing.

A webinar discussing design scholarship with an emphasis on the intersection of professional practice and writing. Information about discipline specific journals and book publishers.

As design educators we are increasingly asked to do it all. We need to excel in the classroom, provide service to our institution, maintain a professional practice and publish and engage in design-related scholarship.

See more at:


Graphic Design Histories of the Olympics

By examining the role of the Olympics in different geographical and political contexts, I focus on how communication design becomes a vehicle for the promotion of new national identities and even new forms of citizenship.

As a scholar interested in understanding space, I see acts of spatial representation as primary means of creating the realm of “spatial conception”—where communication design plays a key role expanding from place-marketing campaigns to unofficial and often subversive spatial imaginaries.

By examining the role of the Olympics in different geographical and political contexts, I focus on how communication design becomes a vehicle for the promotion of new national identities and even new forms of citizenship. My research proposes the term “Olympic design milieu” as a way of understanding the multiplicity of design generated by the Olympics—this includes officially created symbols and constructions that aim to facilitate the Olympics and induce civic pride, but it also incorporates unauthorized acts by political or civil society groups that question or oppose the Olympics.

“Graphic Design Histories of the Olympics” includes chapters of my recently published book Designing the Olympics: Representation, Participation, Contestation as well as a film I produced with director Marija Stojnic titled Olympic Design: Mexico 1968: Visual Identity: Lance Wyman (2014).

The three chapters featured focus on three elements of the Olympic design milieu. Chapter 1, “Through the Lens of Graphic Design: Nationalism, Internationalism, and Universalism in the Tokyo 1964 Design Program,” reveals how the Tokyo 1964 graphic design program played an important role in re-articulating Japan’s postwar identity. The next chapter, “Not for a Nation, but for the People: London 2012 Brand Design as a New Paradigm of Olympic Design,” looks at Wolff Olins’ design as the first conscious effort of Olympic designers to induce public participation in the design process. This marked the expansion of the Olympic design operation from an exclusive affair (a sponsors-only right to Olympic properties) to a matter of engagement across society. Finally, the chapter titled “Opposing the Olympic City: Designerly Ways of Dissenting” demonstrates the potential of design to induce alternative forms of participatory citizenship by looking at materialized practices of Olympic opposition.

The accompanying film features Lance Wyman describing how his official Mexico 1968 Olympic designs convey a “sense of place.” Appropriating these official symbols, powerful subversions by the student movement of the same era show the blurring of the official and the unofficial, the authoritative and the subversive in the Mexico 1968 Olympic milieu.

Jilly Traganou was born in Athens and studied architecture at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. A scholarship from Japan’s Ministry of Education brought her to Japan in the early ‘90s and inspired her PhD work (University of Westminster) on the representation of space through travelling, resulting in the book The Tokaido Road: Traveling and Representation in Edo and Meiji Japan (Routledge 2003). Her interest in theorizing travel led to a co-edited volume with Miodrag Mitrasinovic titled Travel, Space, Architecture (Ashgate 2009).

Living in Athens in 2003-2004, Jilly experienced the making of an Olympic City and began new research into Olympic design. Her new book Designing the Olympics: Representation, Participation, Contestation was published this year. This summer, she continued her research in the Olympics as a Fulbright scholar in Brazil during the 2016 Games. Her work has been supported by the Bard Graduate Center, The Japan Foundation, The Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton, Design History Society, and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts among others. She is an associate professor of spatial studies at Parsons School of Design, The New School.


Inaugural Communication Design Educators Awards

Design Incubation is pleased to announce the results of the inaugural Communication Design Educators Awards!

Design Incubation is pleased to announce the results of the inaugural Communication Design Educators Awards

Design Incubation Communication Design Educators Awards is a competition. We offer recognition in 3 categories: Scholarship (design research, creative production, and/or professional practice), Teaching, and Service  (departmental, institutional, community) in the field of Communication Design. The purpose of these awards is to showcase design excellence and ingenuity in the academic study of design.

Category: Scholarship (winner)

Graphic Design Histories of the Olympic Games

Jilly Traganou
Associate Professor
Parsons School of Design

Category: Teaching (winner)

The Phaistos Project — 45 Symbols

Pascal Glissmann
Assistant Professor
Parsons School for Design

Olivier Arcioli
Lecturer and Researcher
Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Andreas Henrich
Academy of Media Arts Cologne

Category: Service (winner)

Design Edu Today

Gary Rozanc
Assistant Professor of Graphic Design
University of Maryland

Category: Scholarship (runner-up)

Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution

Basma Hamdy
Assistant Professor
Graphic Design Department

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar

Category: Teaching (runner-up)

Intercultural Design Collaborations in Sustainability

Kelly Murdoch-Kitt
Assistant Professor, Graphic Design
College of Imaging Arts & Sciences
Rochester Institute of Technology

Denielle J Emans
Assistant Professor
Graphic Design Department
Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar



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

Elizabeth Guffey
Professor of Art History
Purchase College, SUNY
Founding Editor of Design and Culture

Elizabeth Resnick
Professor of Graphic Design
Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Maria Rogal
Professor of Graphic Design
University of Florida

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

For details, visit the awards page at

Deadline: Submission deadline is May 30, 2016. The application form can be downloaded here.

Announcement of Awards
The awards will be announced the first week of September 2016.


CAA Conference Session: Panel Discussion

Communication Design Scholarship: Opportunities and Approaches

Time: 02/04/2016, 12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Location: Hoover, Mezzanine Level

In collaboration with CAA Task Force on Design at the 104th Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Chair: Dan Wong, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York

  • Mike Zender, University of Cincinnati; Visible Language
  • Elizabeth Guffey, State University of New York at Purchase; Design & Culture
  • Aaris Sherin, St. John’s University; Design Incubation
  • David Cabianca, York University

Discussant: Kathryn Weinstein, Queen’s College, City University of New York

Design programs in American colleges and universities are adding design research, contemporary practice, and publishing that demonstrates rigor and impact factor to the requirements of design educators’ scholarly activities. With these changing requirements, the need for reputable and established modes of dissemination has reached a critical mass.

From practice to theory, this panel examines research formats, forms of investigation, representation of research, venues, organizations, and publishing opportunities available to Communication Design educators and researchers. It will discuss contemporary design research approaches and formats, and note various organizations and publishing outlets accessible to educators, researchers, and practitioners of design. In conclusion, the panel will explore where practice fits within academia.

Self-Publishing in Higher Education: Meaning and Approach

James Pannafino
Associate Professor
Interactive and Graphic Design
Millersville University, Pennsylvania

Publishing a book is one of the most ambitious goals an educator can have. Recent changes in the publishing industry have created unique opportunities for new forms of distribution. Educators can now create legitimate scholarly outputs with self-publishing platforms utilizing both online and print on demand (POD) technology. Pannafinno, the author of Interdisciplinary Interaction Design: A Visual Guide to Basic Theories, Models and Ideas for Thinking and Designing for Interactive Web Design and Digital Device Experiences will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various modes of self-publishing.

Design and Culture: Peer-Review Journals From the Inside Out

Elizabeth Guffey
Professor of Art & Design History
State University of New York at Purchase
Editor, Design & Culture

Rarely do we get a chance to see from the inside what the editorial process of peer review journals looks like. We will provide an unusual chance to see what the editorial process looks like, from the editors’ point of view, beginning with initial review of submissions through the peer review process and to final publication. We will also discuss some of the realities of publishing—including the timely pressures on editors to produce well-balanced journal issues with a variety of high-quality articles.