Towards a Typographic Pluriverse

The notion of decolonizing type is massive in scope: from its history, to its design, application, technology, and future.

Laura Rossi García
Professional Lecturer
DePaul University

This research examines the history, practice, and pedagogy of typography. Typography is at the core of design—both implicit and explicit in its role in shaping language, culture, and power structures—but it is mired in “racial homogeneity and dominated by white men.”1 The selection, use, and application of typography—from style to legibility—can uphold or disrupt dynamics of power: who can read it, who uses it, who made it, whose voice does it carry—human, machine, the included or the excluded. While there is great movement to decolonize design, less is happening specific to decolonizing typography, or decolonizing type pedagogy. “Letterforms are loaded cultural objects” 2 —a container for language— and an “extension of the spiritual, social, political, and historic mind-set of nations”.3

The very notion of decolonizing type is massive in scope: from its history, to its design, application, technology, and future. How do we broaden and re-frame the structures and systems that exist in order to make room for oppressed and marginalized voices and make inclusive the societies in which we live? This presentation will introduce a series of case studies that serve as examples for how to reconsider the very root of thought around type systems and their effects and influence on our students, the field of design, and ultimately our products, systems, and societies.

1. Munro, Silas. “Typography as a Radical Act in an Industry Ever-dominate by White Men,” AIGA Eye on Design, August 26, 2019. Accessed: December 15, 2020. URL: https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/tre-seals-is-turning-typography-into-a-radical-act/
2. Munro, Silas. Ib, id.
3. Shehab, Bahia and Haytham Nawar. “Early Arabic Printing” in A History of Arab Graphic Design. American University in Cairo Press: 2020. pp. 29-41.

Colloquium 8.1: Seton Hall University

Saturday, October 23, 2021
Time: 1:00pm–2:00pm
Online ZOOM event

Hosted by Christine Lhowe, Assistant Professor and Christine Krus, Professor of Art & Design, College of Communication and the Arts, Seton Hall University.

Presentations will be published on the Design Incubation YouTube Channel after October 5, 2021. Virtual Conference will be held online on Saturday, October 23, 2021 at 1pm EST.

Moderators

Camila Afanador Llach
Assistant Professor
Florida Atlantic University

Christine Lhowe
Assistant Professor
Seton Hall University

Christine Krus
Professor
Seton Hall University

Presentations

Towards a Typographic Pluriverse
Laura Rossi García
Professional Lecturer
DePaul University

Social Media as Design-Writing Process Tool
Dori Griffin
Assistant Professor
University of Florida

Utterly Butterly Propaganda: An Analysis of Illustration as a Tool of Persuasion in Amul™ Ads
Kruttika Susarla
Graduate Student
Washington University in St. Louis

Mash Maker: Improvisation for Design Student Studios 
Ryan Slone
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Bree McMahon
Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Redefining The Default: Decentering Pedagogical Perspective in the Typography Classroom
Mia Culbertson
Assistant Professor
Kutztown University

Interactive Storytelling for Packaging: Design Using Augmented Technology to Explore Personal and Social Identities
Linh Dao
Assistant Professor
California Polytechnic State University



Designing Your Research Agenda 1.2

Friday, October 29, 2021
4PM EST
Online ZOOM Event

Designing Your Research Agenda is an panel discussion and open forum for design scholars and researchers to discuss various aspects of their research agendas. We aim to open a dialog regarding multiple challenges discovering one’s design research inquiry. Design Incubation will also be discussing some of their ongoing work with the mission and focus of supporting design research. Designing Your Research Agenda is an ongoing design research event series.

Some of the questions we will discuss with panelists

  • How did you determine your research agenda (high level timeline of your career/trajectory)
  • How do you define research and why do you think it matters — for society, the field, yourself?
  • How do your department and institution define and support the work you do?
  • How would you describe/categorize your department and institution?
  • How do you position your research: design theory, design history, design practice, design research (traditional graphic design, speculative design, UX/UI, typography, AR, VR, creative computing, design solutions, etc.), design pedagogy, or something else?
  • What barriers (if any) exist at your institution or in the field for creating and disseminating your research?

Moderators

Jessica Barness and Heather Snyder Quinn

PANELISTS

Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton
Associate Professor of Graphic Design
North Carolina State University and
Faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts

Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at North Carolina State University. She has taught graphic design at Southeastern Louisiana University and Typography at Loyola Marymount University. She is also a faculty in the low-residency MFA program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts. In addition, Arceneaux is the principal at Blacvoice Design, a studio specializing in branding, electronic media, identity, illustration, print, and publication design for educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. Arceneaux’s research focuses on discovering Black people omitted from the graphic design history canon. Recently, her research is focused on Black women who have made significant contributions to the graphic design profession. She is also interested in the visual representation of Black people in the media and popular culture, primarily through the lens of stereotypes.

Instagram: @blacvoice

Liat Berdugo 
Associate Professor of Art and Architecture
University of San Francisco

Liat Berdugo is an artist and writer whose work investigates embodiment, labor, and militarization in relation to capitalism, technological utopianism, and the Middle East. Her work has been exhibited and screened at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), MoMA PS1 (New York), Transmediale (Berlin), V2_Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam), and The Wrong Biennale (online), among others. Her writing appears in Rhizome, Temporary Art Review, Real Life, Places, and The Institute for Network Cultures, among others, and her latest book is The Weaponized Camera in the Middle East (Bloomsbury/I.B.Tauris,  2021). She is one half of the art collective, Anxious to Make, and is the co-founder of the Living Room Light Exchange, a monthly new media art series. Berdugo received an MFA from RISD and a BA from Brown University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco. Berdugo lives and works in Oakland, CA. More at www.liatberdugo.com

Instagram: @whatliat
Twitter: @whatliat

Caspar Lam 
Assistant Professor
Director of the BFA Communication Design Program
Parsons School of Design

Caspar Lam is an Assistant Professor and the Director of the BFA Communication Design Program at Parsons. He is also a partner at Synoptic Office, an award-winning design consultancy working globally with leading cultural, civic, and business organizations. His research and practice explore the systematic relationships among graphic design, data, language, and their influence on visual culture. Caspar holds an MFA from Yale and degrees in biology and design from the University of Texas at Austin. He formerly led design and digital strategy at Artstor, a Mellon-funded non-profit developing digital products related to metadata and publishing for institutions like Harvard and Cornell. Adobe, AIGA, and the ID Annual Design Review have recognized his work. He has been a visiting critic at the Hong Kong Design Institute and served as an Adjunct Associate Research Scholar at Columbia University ́s GSAPP. He sits on the board of directors of AIGA NY.

More at www.synopticoffice.com

Instagram: @synopticoffice

Mapping the Landscape of Research and Scholarly Activities in Communication Design

Design Research Society’s Festival of Emergence.
Friday, Sept 10 at 8am EST

Jessica Barness, Heather Synder Quinn, Dan Wong, Liz DeLuna

Facilitators: Laura Rossi Garcia, Nathan Matteson, Rebecca Tegtmeyer, Matt Wizinsky

https://drsfestivalofemergence.org/

This moment requires a potentially radical pivot towards reconsidering research and scholarship (R&S) in Communication Design. Academic institutions look to the disciplines for their knowledge and theoretical development within the field. They also expect established definitions and norms for research and scholarship, as the ways we bring forth novel work into thinking beyond the status quo. Therefore R&S must be defined by the discipline to ensure consensus among peers and thought leaders and subsequently recognized by institutions based upon their missions. We could be doing this better. The goal of this Moment is to generate a living, visual document to further establish historical precedents and future trajectories for Communication Design R&S. As the landscape broadens with new technological innovations, global crises force us to adopt new ways to share and communicate ideas and establish new methods, projects, and theses. This collaborative map will help to frame subsequent public discussions.

Outline: This Moment is part presentation, part workshop, and part coffee break.

The agenda will be as follows:

  • Brief introduction by the proposers
  • Proposers present a series of prompts
  • Groups are given access to a Miro online whiteboard
  • Full group collaboratively discussing a holistic map of Communication Design R&S

Design Incubation Colloquium 7.3: Florida Atlantic 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.

Please view research presentations before attending the moderated discussion on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

Presentations

Forensic Abstraction in Israel/Palestine: the Graphic Representations of Bodies in Citizen Media
Liat Berdugo
Assistant Professor
University of San Francisco

The Spectacle of Violence: Illustrating Surpanakha’s Mutilation
Shreyas R Krishnan
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Washington University in St.Louis

Visual and Verbal Communication on Sustainable Packaging As a Vehicle for Public Education and Awareness
Hyena Nam
Adjunct Professor
Visual Communication Department
Kent State University

Stories from the Mchafukoge: Kanga as a Form of Visual Communication
Ziddi Msangi
Associate Professor
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Vermont College of Fine Arts

Addressing Opportunity: The Landscape of Inequality
Mia Cinelli
Assistant Professor
The University of Kentucky

Shoshana Shapiro
PhD Candidate
University of Michigan

Understanding Racial And Gender Bias In Ai And How To Avoid It In Your Designs And Design Education
Sarah Pagliaccio
Adjunct Professor
Lesley University
College of Art and Design
Brandeis University

Designing Products of the Future Through Speculative Design
Mehrdad Sedaghat-Baghbani
Assistant Professor
Florida Atlantic University

Connecting Scholars, Building Community, Design Research Network(ing) | Design Incubation Affiliated Society Meeting

This open forum will have design scholars and researchers discuss various research topics, offer their ideas, discuss opportunities for contributors/participants/collaborators, and open dialog regarding multiple challenges within the design research field.

Friday, February 12, 2021
12:30 PM Eastern Time (the US and Canada)
Online ZOOM Event

This is the Affiliated Society meeting of the 109th CAA Annual Conference. The meeting is open to non-conference attendees as well. Please register in advance for this event.

Overview:

Please join us at The College Art Association (CAA) Design Incubation Affiliated Society meeting | Connecting Scholars, Building Community, Design Research Network(ing) virtually on Friday, February 12, from 12:30-1:30 pm (EST).

Design Incubation is a volunteer academic organization whose focus and mission are facilitating research and scholarship in design. We aim to foster discussion and collaboration among academics and industry professionals. We are a resource for those working and studying within the field.

This open forum will have design scholars and researchers discuss various research topics, offer their ideas, discuss opportunities for contributors/participants/collaborators, and open dialog regarding multiple challenges within the design research field. Design Incubation will also be discussing some of their ongoing work with the mission/focus of supporting design research.

Some of the questions we will discuss with panelists include:

  • How did you determine your research agenda?
  • How do your dept and institution define and support the work you do?
  • How would you describe/categorize your dept and institution?
  • If you were going to position your research within a category, would you say your work addresses: design theory,
    design history, design practice, design research (traditional graphic design, speculative design, UXUI, typography, AR, VR, creative computing, design solutions, etc.), design pedagogy, something else?

MODERATOR:

Dan Wong
Associate Professor, New York City College of Technology, CUNY
Co-founder/Executive Director, Design Incubation

Dan’s research considers the forms and methodologies of communication design research and innovates through the practice of communication design.

PANELISTS:

Heather­­­ Snyder Quinn
Assistant Professor, DePaul University’s School of Design
Director of Design Futures, Design Incubation

Heather’s research uses design fiction and speculative design to question the ethics of emerging technologies, challenge technocratic power, and imagine possible futures.

Jessica Barness
Associate Professor, School of Visual Communication Design, Kent State University
Director of Research Initiatives, Design Incubation

Jessica’s research focuses on social media, publication practices, and the design of scholarship, and how these relate to issues of power and representation.

Ayako Takase
Assistant Professor of Industrial Design, Rhode Island School of Design
Director of Master Program
Co-Founder, Observatory Design

Ayako’s design research focuses on evolving relationships between people, objects, and technology in the context of work.

Penina Acayo Laker
Assistant Professor, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University St. Louis
Co-Principal Investigator, Mobility for All by All

Penina’s research centers around topics that utilize a human-centered approach to solving social problems.


Registration required. Please use your institutional email to register.

Design Incubation Colloquium 7.2: 109th CAA Annual Conference

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

CO-CHAIRS

Aaris Sherin
Professor
St. John’s University

Dan Wong
Associate Professor
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

DISCUSSANT

Liz DeLuna
Professor
St. John’s University

Presentations

Spencer Thornton Banks in St. Louis
Aggie Toppins
Associate Professor
Washington University in St. Louis

One Year On: Reflections on the Launch of the Chinese Type Archive
Caspar Lam
Assistant Professor of Communication Design
Parsons School of Design

YuJune Park
Assistant Professor of Communication Design
Parsons School of Design

Honeybee Colonies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Studio Classroom
Mark Randall
Assistant Professor
The New School, Parsons School of Design

Design Thinking X Medical Education: Empowering Empathy for Patient-Centered Care
Hannah Park
Assistant Professor
School of Architecture and Design
University of Kansas

Edgelands: Using Creative Technology to Predict the Future
Jonathan Hanahan
Assistant Professor
Washington University in St. Louis

Adaptation in Design Research: Combatting Social Isolation in Older Adults
Christine Lhowe
Assistant Professor
Seton Hall University

Feminine Archetypes on Women’s Suffrage Postcards as Agents of Propaganda
Andrea Hempstead
Assistant Professor
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Teaching Communications Design History Beyond the Canon
Carey Gibbons
Visiting Assistant Professor
Pratt Institute

Graphic Design Principles: A History- And Context-Based First-Year Design Textbook

Insight into the process of design innovation, influence, and interpretation

Anita Giraldo
Associate Professor
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Patricia Childers
Adjunct Professor
New York City College of Technology, CUNY

In teaching first-year students, we find that most have definite “style” preferences. However, many have little idea about the nuances that resonate with them. While still in its development phase, research has begun into a design textbook to teach various design principles by scaffolding skills and design history to complete a series of one-semester projects. This book aims to bridge the gap between creation and context so that students can make informed design decisions.

Integral to this project is the awareness of the often-overlooked influences and lack of diversity in the cannon of graphic design. Students’ research interests will not be limited. Instead, students are encouraged to contribute to design history by introducing objects or designers that are not part of the cannon. The range of student contributions will create an overview of a specific time and place.

The projects include the development of a graphic image, a hand-drawn typographic project, and a three-dimensional or time-based media project. It culminates in the design of a tribute poster to a significant graphic or industrial designer.

The book covers many aspects and principles of graphic design. However, this is a book for a freshmen design course. The outcome is to open the door to how visual elements influence the viewer and solve problems and laying the foundation for true design thinking. With insight into the process of design innovation, influence, and interpretation, student will be better prepared to advance their design study with a better understanding of the layered process of design.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 7.1: Oakland University, MI on October 17, 2020.

Reading Design: An Introduction to Critical Theory

Dave Peacock
Associate Creative Director, LiveAreaLabs
Faculty, Vermont College of Fine Arts

What is theory? How does theory relate to graphic design? In short, theories are frameworks for understanding and making sense of the world. Further, they allow us to ask specific kinds of questions and follow particular lines of reasoning. For designers, theory is a means to move beyond purely aesthetic concerns and address issues such as power, representation, and commodity culture.

This presentation will highlight a handful of theories that have influenced literature, art history and, more recently, design discourse over the last few decades. Examples from art, popular culture and graphic design will help facilitate an introductory understanding of several important ideas, including Marxism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Feminism. Designers and educators will also gain insight into how to incorporate theory into their writing, research and design work.

Dave Peacock is a designer and educator based in Seattle, Washington. He is an Associate Creative Director at LiveArea (livearealabs.com), a creative, marketing and technology agency with a focus on interaction design and digital retail. Dave also serves as co-chair and faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he teaches in the Graphic Design MFA program. Dave has exhibited nationally and internationally, and his work has been recognized by Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, Graphic Design USA, AIGA, The ADDY Awards, Print Magazine, How Magazine, The Northwest Emmy Awards and The Seattle Show. A Colorado native, Dave holds an MFA in Visual Communication Design from the University of Washington and a BFA from the University of Utah.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 4.1: San Jose State on Saturday, Sept 30, 2017.

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.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 2.3: St. John’s University on Saturday, January 16, 2016.