Centered: People and Ideas Diversifying Design

Examples of sophisticated, intelligent design from many cultures around the world

Kaleena Sales
Associate Professor
Tennessee State University

This book has its origins in Beyond the Bauhaus, a series of short essays Sales developed through her board service with AIGA’s Design Educators Community Steering Committee in 2019. Her goal with that series was to amplify design work from underrepresented groups who have been left out of the design canon. The first article featured the beautifully designed West African Adinkra symbols from the Akan people of Côte d’Ivoire and discussed the deep meaning within the symbols, as well as the use of common visual principles within the designs. What she hoped to demonstrate to readers was that there were examples of sophisticated, intelligent design in many cultures around the world, many of which were developed prior to movements like the Bauhaus. The next essay was on the work of AfriCOBRA, a civil rights–era artist collective based in Chicago. While the work of AfriCOBRA has made its impact within the fine arts scene, gaining notoriety during the height of the Black Power Movement, she sought to share their work through the lens of design. Though the group did not self-identify as designers, if educators and practitioners are interested in learning from diverse design methodologies, it makes sense to look beyond the boundaries of our professional discipline to find examples of successful design. In AfriCOBRA’s work, we find a delightful use of expressive lettering, rhythmic patterns, and bold colors. This work is particularly inspiring because these artists found a way to codify their visual language. They decided on a shared aesthetic vision and executed it time and again. Working against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, these artists intentionally pursued a Black aesthetic, reflecting pride in their community and identities. 

As the article series grew, contributors began to submit essays about other design histories worthy of inclusion in the canon. Caspar Lam and YuJune Park wrote an essay about the Chinese Type Archive featuring the evolving typographic language of modern Chinese. Stephen Child and Isabella D’Agnenica contributed an article on the Gee’s Bend Quilters, a group of Black women from Alabama who mastered an improvisational style of quilting. Dina Benbrahim wrote an essay titled “Moroccan Design Stories, with Shape and Soul,” analyzing the typographic and geometric designs found within Moroccan design history. Other early contributors to the article series were Ali Place, who examined the role of women in computer programming, and Aggie Toppins, who investigated the story behind the I AM a Man placard from the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike.

As this work moved from an article series to a book, there was space for some of these essays to develop into fuller writings with more in-depth research. A critical component that she hoped to achieve was to peel back the aesthetic layers of the designs to allow each reader to understand the social, political, and cultural contexts surrounding the making of the work. In examining the contexts, readers will discover how different cultural groups determine meaning, and how non-canonical ideologies and methods offer additional ways of making than what is offered by the grid-based Swiss styles of mainstream graphic design.

When she began this book process, she envisioned a neat and streamlined series of essays, matching in length and format. What developed over time became something much more organic, with essays and interviews of varying lengths. Often, she was left speechless and humbled at the generous sharing of knowledge. Nuveen Barwari’s essay, “Kurdish Fragments: Mapping Pattern as Language,” discusses the displacement of millions of Kurdish people and its impact on decorative art practices. She examines Kurdish rugs as artifacts of erasure, explaining how identity is employed through metaphors and floral themes. In her interview with Sadie Red Wing, she explains how Indigenous tribal communities have used Traditional Ecological Knowledge to inform their understanding of design and how visual sovereignty is at the heart of her work. In her conversation with Saki Mafundikwa, he explains how the colorful visual landscape of Zimbabwe offers a counter to the white space of German and Swiss design. She also draws comparisons between design and American soul music, bringing to light the creative genius of Black people across cultures and disciplines. Other essays and interviews in the book offer similar insight into perspectives and ideologies that aren’t reflected in modernist design. Further still, design leaders Ellen Lupton and Cheryl D. Holmes Miller offer perspective on the future of design, its pedagogy, and ways to reconcile the past. Practitioners Tré Seals of Vocal Type and Zipeng Zhu discuss the relationship between their work and their identity.

This small sampling of stories offers more than a quick glimpse into design artifacts. she asks of the reader to consider what we don’t know, and what questions have yet to be asked. she asks the reader to rethink the definition of design to expand beyond contemporary and digital practices and beyond the boundaries of the Western design canon.

Kaleena Sales is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Tennessee State University, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) in Nashville, TN. Her research is rooted in racial justice and equity, with a specific focus on the ways culture informs aesthetics. Kaleena is co-author of the book, Extra-Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-Racist, Non-Binary Field Guild for Graphic Designers, alongside Ellen Lupton, Farah Kafei, Jennifer Tobias, Josh A. Halstead, Leslie Xia, and Valentina Vergara. Through her service on AIGA’s Design Educators Community Steering Committee, Kaleena advocated for a more inclusive view of design history through her Beyond the Bauhaus writing series, which served as inspiration for her new book, Centered: People and Ideas Diversifying Design, published by Princeton Architectural Press. Kaleena is currently researching the intersection of Black culture and design as a doctoral student at North Carolina State University.

The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression, and Reflection 

An anthology centering a range of perspectives, spotlights teaching practices, research, stories, and conversations from a Black/African diasporic lens.

Anne H. Berry
Associate Professor
Cleveland State University

Jennifer Rittner
Visiting Assistant Professor 
Parsons School of Design

Kelly Walters
Assistant Professor of Communication Design 
Parsons School of Design

Lesley-Ann Noel, PhD
Assistant Professor
NC State University

Penina Laker 
Assistant Professor
Washington University in St. Louis

Kareem Collie
User Experience Design Lead
IBM

Excluded from traditional design history and educational canons that heavily favor European modernist influences, the work and experiences of Black designers have been systematically overlooked in the profession for decades. However, given the national focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the aftermath of the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests in the United States, educators, practitioners, and students now have the opportunity—as well as the social and political momentum—to make long-term, systemic changes in design education, research, and practice, reclaiming the contributions of Black designers in the process.

The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression, and Reflection (BEID), an anthology centering a range of perspectives, spotlights teaching practices, research, stories, and conversations from a Black/African diasporic lens. Through the voices represented, this text exemplifies the inherently collaborative and multidisciplinary nature of design, providing access to ideas and topics for a variety of audiences, meeting people as they are and wherever they are in their knowledge about design. BEID is a reference for students in design, communication, and related areas of study, as well as a reference for diverse audiences, including but not limited to educators and academics from cultural studies, media studies, film, sociology, psychology, history, critical theory, and other social sciences.

Of particular note is the role of Sylvia Harris’ seminal 1998 essay “Searching for a Black Aesthetic in American Graphic Design” as a foundational piece for the text. In publishing this book, the editors have responded to her call to “contribute to [the existing] body of knowledge and support a generation of designers hungry to see their people and experience reflected in the mirror of our profession.” At least a portion of the wide range of work and research undertaken by Black designers has been codified in this text that we as design educators, practitioners, and former students wish we previously had in our collections and need for our own teaching, scholarship, and practice.

At the time the book was conceived and published, moreover, it was the first of its kind. The editorial team was inspired by a number of books on related topics, yet no other text captured both the diversity and breadth of Black contributions to design history and creative practice—past, present, and future—in one resource/anthology. Ultimately, The Black Experience in Design serves as both inspiration and a catalyst for the next generation of creative minds tasked with imagining, shaping, and designing our future. As author and critic Steven Heller noted, The Black Experience in Design is “A long time coming.”

The Writing/Publication Process

The publication of The Black Experience in Design began and ended in the midst of the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic. The entirety of the editorial team process and book production, consequently, was conducted via email and Zoom meetings across three time zones and with the aid of Slack and Miro applications.

The starting point for the project was a special issue journal focused on Black designers. However, as a result of editorial team conversations, discussions shifted away from a particular venue or format to focus more squarely on our collective goals, i.e., what we hoped to achieve through our efforts. Namely, reaching a diverse creative audience and covering a wide range of topics. A book provided the flexibility needed, and we subsequently developed a table of contents that spoke to the range of subjects we aimed to address.

BEID grew from approximately 50 contributors to 70, nearly doubling the size of the manuscript. Yet, the outcome reflects only a portion of the month of outreach undertaken, including interviews and rounds of feedback and editing. Importantly, we strived to build connections among contributors and editors during a period of cultural, social, and political upheaval; by meeting with contributors within our respective chapters and hosting writing sessions, we provided support and promoted a sense of community.

The Design Process

The initial illustration concept stemmed from the idea of Black designers being trapped within a box. No matter how hard we try to reshape or reform that box, it still remains present. The goal, subsequently, was to demonstrate this concept visually; the illustrations represent variations of reclaiming or breaking free from the aforementioned box. Each chapter has its own themes and related motifs that accompany introductions and individual essays within each chapter.

The typography of the book was thoroughly researched and considered to meet the needs of a massive, complex system. The moments of dialogue leave ample space to pause and reflect on the words and mimic the feeling of an actual conversation. The chapter introductions use a large, lean serif that dances around the illustrations. All components work together as a system to help the reader digest the information and enjoy the experience.

Impact + Outcomes

  • The retail store Target pre-ordered 8,000 copies.
  • The School of Visual Arts (NY, NY) donated $2,000 to help cover publication costs.
  • We launched a Kickstarter campaign that garnered nearly 300 backers and raised over $21,000, exceeding our $15k goal.
  • BEID has been acquired by colleagues at the following institutions and organizations: California College of the Arts, Cleveland State University, The College of New Jersey, CUNY College of Technology, Drexel University, East Tennessee State University, Inneract Project, Kansas City Art Institute, Kent State University, Lesley University, Maryland Institute College of Art, National Museum of African American History and Culture, University of Notre Dame, North Carolina State University, Parsons School of Design, Penn State University, Pentagram, Princeton University, Rhode Island School of Design, San Francisco State University, Tennessee State University, University Arts London, University of Connecticut, University of Michigan, the University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech, Washington University in St. Louis, Yale University
  • Via Kickstarter, BEID has been shared in the following countries internationally: Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.
  • As of mid-October 2022, BEID has sold approximately 5,000 copies.
  • An audiobook version of The Black Experience in Design is currently in production.

Biography

Anne H. Berry is a writer, designer, and design educator at Cleveland State University. Her published writing includes “The Virtual Design Classroom” for Communication Arts magazine and “The Black Designer’s Identity” for the inaugural issue of the Recognize anthology featuring commentary from Indigenous people and people of color. She is also co-creator of the award-winning project Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design, and the Mueller Report and managing editor of The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression, and Reflection.

Jennifer Rittner is a writer and educator currently serving as Visiting Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design. She has been published in the New York Times, DMI: Journal, and AIGA Eye on Design; and in 2021 served as guest editor for a special issue on design & policing for Design Museum magazine. A daughter of women, Jennifer centers the voices of her near ancestors Bernadette, Aurea, and Dianqui in her practices.

Kelly Walters is a designer, educator and founder of the multidisciplinary design studio Bright Polka Dot. Her ongoing design research interrogates the complexities of identity formation, systems of value, and the shared vernacular in and around Black visual culture. She is the author of Black, Brown + Latinx Design Educators: Conversations on Design and Race published by Princeton Architectural Press and a coeditor of The Black Experience in Design. Kelly is an Assistant Professor of Communication Design at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York.

Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel focuses on equity, social justice, and the experiences of people who are often excluded from design education, research and practice. She promotes greater critical awareness among designers and design students by introducing critical theory concepts and vocabulary into the design studio e.g. through The Designer’s Critical Alphabet and the Positionality Wheel.

Penina Laker is a designer, researcher, and educator at Washington University in St. Louis. Her practice and research is centered around investigating and applying methodologies that utilize a human-centered approach to solving social problems, locally and internationally. She is currently broadening the scope and access of design education to young people in Uganda through her DesignEd workshops and My African Aesthetic, a podcast she cohosts.

Kareem Collie is a designer, strategist, and educator specializing in collaborative and human-centered design approaches to capture, reveal, and produce visual narratives and user experiences. He is the former Director of Design and Creativity at the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity at The Claremont Colleges and is now a Global Design Lead at IBM Consulting.

Academic Marginality and Exclusion for Graphic Design Educators of the United States

Visual design education is rapidly shifting from Western and print-centric to diversifying with emerging technology and globalization

Yeohyun Ahn
Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Graphic Design has been a predominantly white and European-centric academic area deeply rooted in Bauhaus, a German art school from 1919 to 1933, combining crafts and the fine arts to approach constructive and universal design for mass production. It has dominated modern graphic design for over 100 years. Now visual design education is rapidly shifting from Western and print-centric to diversifying with emerging technology and globalization. This research aims to create original and impactful exhibition design and research opportunities (symposium) for academically underrepresented and marginal graphic design educators in the United States. The study investigates the future of visual design education and research, crossing boundaries among creative coding, 3d printing, Guerrilla projection, speculative design, sound, data visualization, augmented reality with activism, and cultural identity impacted by globalization. It results in an original exhibition design that frames a newly curated exhibition. The curated exhibition invites sixteen outstanding visual design educators of the US who are highly regarded but academically undervalued and depreciated from conservative, homogenous, and print-centric professional graphic design communities. The design methodology, Design Thinking, is employed to create the user-friendly and inclusive interface design for the virtual reality gallery. The virtual exhibition brings global exposure and tap into an extensive network of academically underrepresented graphic design educators and underserved audiences. The exhibition visitors gain new in-person and immersive virtual experiences for evolving graphic design. It incubates new visual design perspectives being open-minded, alternative, diverse, and inclusive visual communication design education, practices, research, and communities of the US.

This research was presented at the Design Incubation Colloquium 8.2: Annual CAA Conference on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

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.

CFP Cross Journal Special Issue: Making Justice Together

Deadline for submissions: November 15, 2020.
Publication of special issue: June 2021.

Original papers are invited for peer-review that address one of the following three topics:

Generative Justice in Design

Journal: New Design Ideas (Azerbaijan)

Marginalized Identities in the Design of Aesthetics for Resistance

Journal: Image & Text (South Africa)

Interconnected Apart: Design Research(ers) in the Periphery, in Isolation

Journal: Wicked Solutions Annual (USA, forthcoming

About the Special Issue

Making Justice Together is a refereed cross-journal special issue edited by Audrey G. Bennett (University of Michigan, USA) that aims to face down injustice and inequity with the dissemination of criticism, history, research, and theory on the use of design resources collaboratively and cross-culturally to yield social justice. We intend the expression making justice together to be read in two ways. First, how can the collaborative processes of designing (making, fabricating, producing, prototyping, speculating, visualizing) integrate concepts of justice (inclusion, equity, diversity, access, freedom, democracy)? Second, how can the social process of justice (in institutions, civic spaces, legal systems, ecosystems, industry) benefit from design knowledge and resources?

Generative Justice in Design

co-edited by Ron Eglash, Ph.D., University of Michigan, USA

Journal: New Design Ideas (Azerbaijan)

Extractive economies, whether capitalist or communist, have similar failures. They extract value from ecological systems in the destruction of nature; from workers in the alienation of labor, and from civic life in the colonization of our social networks. The opposite is a generative economy: one in which value is not extracted, but rather circulated in unalienated form. For all three categories (ecological value, labor value, and social value) generative justice is defined as follows: The universal right to generate unalienated value and directly participate in its benefits; the rights of value generators to create their own conditions of production; and the rights of communities of value generation to nurture self-sustaining paths for its circulation. New opportunities for design in generative justice include agroecology, where forms of organic value circulate from plants to people and back again; commons-based peer production, which ranges from feminist makerspaces to localized currencies; and in platform cooperatives, where worker ownership is creating alternatives for everything from Uber to Facebook. By decolonizing the circular economy, design in generative justice exposes greenwashing and empowers Indigenous, anti-racist and queer theory critiques. How are designers facilitating generative justice, creating new innovations for unalienated value circulation that address grassroots empowerment, egalitarian futures, and ecological collaboration with our nonhuman allies? We seek original papers on this topic to be refereed for free publication in the New Design Ideas

Journal which is indexed in Scopus. Authors should follow the journal’s submission guidelines here and submit papers in APA style to Audrey Bennett (agbennet@umich.edu) and Ron Eglash (eglash@umich.edu)

Papers may take one of the following formats:

  • original articles (5000 words)
  • state-of-the-art reviews (2500 words)
  • short communications (1500 words)

Marginalized Identities in the Design of Aesthetics for Resistance

co-edited by Neeta Verma, University of Notre Dame, USA

Journal: Image & Text (South Africa)

From the Civil Rights era to present-day movements in the West like Me too and Black Lives Matter, it has been proven that organized resistance can make an impact on policy and bring about social change. Whereas historical protests typically have been centralized around leaders–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights movement, Nelson Mandella and the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Mahatma Gandhi and the Quit India Movement through satyagraha (true principle and Ahimsa (non-violence)) for India’s Independence from Britain–today’s protests are more centralized around communication technology and media (e.g., #blacklivesmatter, #metoo, etc…). Movements no longer brand the leaders’ identities, instead they brand and operate around the core principles of the movements. What does it mean today to design for resistance particularly in the wake of the “lynching” of George Floyd by Minneapolis police? What are the affordances and constraints of marginalizing human identities and promoting mantras and slogans in the design of aesthetics for resistance? We seek original papers that address these questions and others to be refereed for publication in Image & Text. We invite original articles (5000 words) for peer review. Authors should follow the journal’s submission guidelines here and submit papers using Harvard Reference style to Audrey Bennett (agbennet@umich.edu) and Neeta Verma (nverma@nd.edu).

Interconnected Apart: Design Research(ers) in the Periphery, in Isolation

co-edited by Dan Wong, designincubation.com and New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Journal: Wicked Solutions Annual (USA, forthcoming)

Social distancing has created unprecedented challenges for underrepresented communities and the designers who work with them. The question is: When proximity and collaboration are constrained, what is the impact? This session will bring together designers who conduct research for and with underrepresented communities that are underserved, economically-disadvantaged, or marginalized. We seek papers that speak to the future of design research for and with communities within the periphery of society in terms of equity and access during this current period of social distancing. We also seek panelists who represent minority groups and can speak on related topics. We are particularly interested in design research and designers that “intersect” two or more underrepresented social and political identities and disciplines of design. We seek original papers on this topic to be refereed for publication in the new Wicked Solutions Research Annual of the CAA Committee on Design and Design Incubation. Papers should take the following format:

  • original articles (2500 words excluding bibliography) as Microsoft Word documents using Chicago Manual of Style, footnotes, and bibliography format for citations. The paper should include 1) Research question / Problem definition, 2) Methodology / Methods of data collection and analysis, 3) Data analysis and findings, 4) Conclusion, and 5) Bibliography. The content of your paper should include a statement of its original contribution to the discipline supported by an appropriate literature review. Please include four to six keywords with your paper.

Submit papers to Audrey Bennett (agbennet@umich.edu) and Dan Wong (dwong@citytech.cuny.edu).

Visible Language Special Issue on the History of Visual Communication Design

Scholarship: Published Research Award Winner

Dori Griffin, Assistant Professor, University of Florida (Editor)

The history of graphic design as expressed in survey texts is well-known for being overpopulated by white Euro-American men. I believe that escaping this disciplinary echo chamber requires active, intentional effort from scholar-practitioners within the discipline. My own position as a design scholar and educator is one I’m determined to operationalize for inclusion. Therefore I was excited when Mike Zender, editor of Visible Language, invited me to guest-edit a special issue devoted to the history of visual communication design. As the longest-running peer reviewed journal of visual communication design research in the United States, Visible Language has played a significant role in both constructing and deconstructing a canonical notion of graphic design history, a subject I examined in the journal’s fiftieth anniversary issue (Griffin 2016). In cultivating submissions for the history issue, I was determined to facilitate as global and diverse a range as possible. It was vital for the issue to contribute to the ongoing work of building a more inclusive history of graphic design. Part of this work relies on an active critique of the power structures which have led to a canonical history based on exclusions around race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, class, professional identity, and geography. And part of the work requires intentionally and explicitly inviting as-yet unheard voices to contribute to the disciplinary dialogue. Though the term “decolonization” is often used to describe such efforts, I’m cautious about its application. In the words of Tuck and Yang (2012), “Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools.” Instead, I’d describe my editorial goal as recuperative, opening up the dialogic spaces of design-historical discourse to include individuals, ideas, and practices too long excluded from that narrative.

It’s a truism that graphic design history is predicated on a shallow understanding of stylistically conceptualized movements and that the discipline lacks an evidence-based, critically-informed history (e.g. Blauvelt 1994-5; Woodham 1995; Triggs 2009, 2011). Yet as I worked on this editorial project, I became convinced that this conceptualization is invalid. As I noted in the introduction to the special issue, it is not the case that histories of visual communication design, beyond style or connoisseurship or visual data, do not exist. Rather, they inhabit spaces conceptualized as external to the core of our discipline. There are scholars and practitioners already at work conducting historical research which significantly expands familiar, survey-text style notions of graphic design history. Their work may be published in adjacent fields in the humanities and social sciences, rendering it less familiar to design educators. Or historical research might undergird a contemporary studio design practice rather than a scholarly publishing practice, and thus it escapes representation in the formal literature of design history. It is vital to make room for these voices within our field. As I shaped the history-themed issue of Visible Language, I actively cultivated participation from both kinds of researchers. Including their voices within graphic design’s established communities of dialogue greatly enriches the conversations which can take place in these spaces.

The four authors whose articles were selected for publication through the journal’s double-blind peer review process expand the narrative of graphic design history through specific case studies. Each illustrates the complexity of our discipline’s historical narratives. Collectively, the authors’ research speaks to the intersections between canonized Euro-American design conventions and the diverse ways design practice occurs and is understood in a wide range of local and global contexts. The authors’ contributions to the dialogic disciplinary narratives of graphic design history are the most important outcome of this project. In “The Implications of Media,” Islamic art historian Hala Auji undertakes a close contextual and material reading of the Nafir Suriya, a series of Arabic-language broadsides originally printed in Beirut in 1860 and re-issued in 1990. In “Ismar David’s Quest for Original Hebrew Typographic Signs,” practicing designer Shani Avni contextualizes David’s design process for the David Hebrew type family (1954), documenting David’s negotiation of the tension between tradition and innovation through a research-based design process. In “Mana Mātātuhi,” practicing designer Johnson Witehira documents Māori visual culture’s incorporation of Latin-alphabet lettering and typography into culturally specific ways of seeing, knowing, and expressing. In “Lower Case in the Flatlands,” design historian Trond Klevgaard explores the adaptation and application of Avant Garde Modernist strategies in locations traditionally defined as “peripheral.” The abstracts for all four articles are included in the “evidence of outcome” section.

Serving as guest editor for this special issue of Visible Language led to an invitation to join the editorial team as the associate editor for statements of practice at Design & Culture, the journal of the Design Studies Forum. The July 2019 issue is the journal’s first issue under the direction of its new editors in chief, who describe their “conscious formation of an editorial and advisory board of accomplished scholars who work beyond the silos of their disciplines and who hail from regions not always represented in design’s dominant canons and conversations.” They note that they “are also attentive to the politics of citations and are committed to broadening the scholarly dialog to include voices too frequently dismissed or engaged only at the margins” (Adams, Keshavarz and Traganou 2019, 154). Within this conceptual framework, the issue’s statement of practice is by Nadine Chahine, whose insightful essay discusses her work as a designer of Arabic typefaces and the complex role typography plays in a diverse range of Arabic cultural and political expressions. I’m honored to contribute to this ongoing work of diversification, in however small a way. It’s thrilling to collaborate with practitioners and scholars who prioritize a global, participatory, and inclusive notion of design history and praxis. Editorial work is not glamorous. But approaching it with a passion for cultivating diversity and inclusion holds the power to shape future histories of graphic design into narratives more representative of all peoples and practices within the domain of design. [989 words]

Bibliography

Adams, B., M. Keshavarz and J. Traganou. 2019. “Editorial.” Design and Culture 11:2, 153-6.

Blauvelt, A. 1994-5. “New Perspectives: Critical Histories of Graphic Design.” Visible Language volumes 28.3, 28.4, 29.1.

Griffin, D. 2015. “The Role of Visible Language in Building and Critiquing a Canon of Graphic Design History.” Visible Language 50:3, 6-27.

Triggs, T. 2009. “Designing Graphic Design History.” Journal of Design History 22 (4): 325–40. https://doi.org/10.1093/jdh/epp041.

———. 2011. “Graphic Design History: Past, Present, and Future.” Design Issues 27 (1): 3–6. https://doi.org/10.1162/DESI_a_00051.

Tuck, E., and K. Yang. 2012. “Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1:1, 1-¬40.

Woodham, J. 1995. “Resisting Colonization: Design History Has Its Own Identity.” Design Issues 11 (1): 22–37. https://doi.org/10.2307/1511613.

Dori Griffin is an assistant professor of graphic design in the University of Florida’s School of Art + Art History. Her research centers around two interrelated areas of inquiry. Her historical research expands the narrative of graphic design as it has been practiced and consumed in the past, with particular focus on how popular visual artifacts and print media shape national and international dialogues about culture, politics, and identity. Her pedagogical research explores how to develop globalized curriculum and diverse, learner-centered practices for design history pedagogy, particularly in the context of studio education. She is a frequent contributor to the peer-reviewed scholarly dialogues of the discipline, with publications in Dialectic, Visible Language, Design & Culture, the Journal of Communication Design, and the Journal of Design History, among others. Currently, she serves as the associate editor for statements of practice at Design & Culture.

Recipient of recognition in the Design Incubation Communication Design Awards 2019.