Courses from three different schools collaborated on the project: Applied Infancy Development, Machine Design, and Graphic Design 3.
Nancy Wynn Associate Professor Merrimack College
Nicholas Paolino Undergraduate Design Researcher Merrimack College
Much child development research is biased towards
privileged, white, mid-socioeconomic cultures. For example, data suggests
mothers should use child-directed speech to promote language development (Rowe,
2008). Yet, recent evidence shows this type of talk is not promoted universally
(Rowe, 2012). As a result, educational and clinical practices, as well as
policies, may not address the needs of non-white, under-privileged
populations. During the spring semester of 2019, three Merrimack College
professors created an interdisciplinary project to promote positive development
in infants/toddlers. The project’s goal was the development of a toy prototype
that addressed specific developmental domains and considered various
Courses from three different schools collaborated on the
project: Applied Infancy Development, Machine Design, and Graphic Design 3.
Students enrolled in discipline-specific courses were divided into eight
groups, each consisting of one Graphic Design student and multiple students
from Education and Mechanical Engineering. The modes for assessment were
completion of the toys, marketing materials, and the development of
Education students were the researchers and “clients.”
Engineering students created the toy prototypes. Graphic design students
designed marketing materials including branding, packaging and advertising.
Throughout the semester, students met in large group meetings, virtual group
meetings, made oral presentations, and publicly demonstrated their final
designs. The pedagogical plan was to adopt a peer model whereby students could
teach their peers what they learned in their respective disciplines and work
together to synthesize their ideas.
Despite some challenges, the teams completed their
prototypes and branding with much success. Afterwards, project assessment
included: What changes should be implemented? Were the virtual meetings
beneficial? Who might gain from inclusion—business students and marketing
faculty? Additional funding?
The project captured the professional world of toy design quite well, and the faculty members are planning for round two in 2022.
Identifying strategies, filling gaps in organizational offerings, andcollaboratively expand reach of local organizations.
Friday, February 14, 2020 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Hilton Chicago – Lower Level – Salon C-1
Design Incubation will host the College Art Association (CAA) conference business meeting for “Supporting the Chicago Design Community | Design Incubation Affiliated” at the Hilton Chicago on Friday, February 14th from 12:30–1:30 pm. There is no cost to attend this meeting.
Leaders from midwest design organizations including The Society of Typographic Arts, IxDA, AIGA, The New Media Caucus, Chicago Speculative Futures, The Society of Typographic Aficionados, Hexagon, The Chicago Design Archive, SEGD, and others will discuss industry, academic, and educational needs in the region. We hope this conversation will identify strategies for filling gaps in our organizational offerings, find opportunities for Design Incubation to support these long-standing groups, and collaboratively expand all of our reach.
Design Incubation is a volunteer academic organization whose focus and mission is the facilitation of research and scholarship in communication design. Our aim is to foster discussion and collaboration among academics and industry professionals. We are a resource for those working and studying within the field.
An installation showcasing the evolution of design from 1920s to the present.
Sharon Oiga Associate Professor University of Illinois at Chicago
Guy Villa Jr. Assistant Professor Columbia College
Daria Tsoupikova Associate Professor UIC School of Design
Chicago Design Milestones is a media installation that
brings to life the evolution of Chicago design by examining and showcasing the
historic characteristics of design works from the 1920s to the present. Project
material was researched and culled from the robust collection of the Chicago
Design Archive (CDA), which holds over 3,200 works from over 1,100 designers
and 400 firms. The CDA, the UIC School of Design & Electronic Visualization
Laboratory, and Columbia College Chicago collaborated together on this project,
as their underlying and ongoing quest is to spotlight the role of Chicago as a
major national design center through the use of innovative technologies.
A significant challenge was figuring out how to
represent the thousands of archived works from the past 100 years. This was
done by scouring every single image, over countless hours, and selecting
representative works for each decade.
Another challenge was figuring out how to best employ
the distinctive installation structure of 150 Media Stream, comprised of 89 LED
vertical blades that reach 22 feet high and span 150 feet wide — a vertical
pattern combined with massive horizontality, which are opposing but interesting
dynamics. These are constructs the team made sure to utilize, by ensuring that
particular images animate to traverse the unique terrain.
Chicago design history is not commonly brought to the
attention of the general public. The project offers it outside of the confines
and prompting of a book, classroom or school, and it is instead framed in the
context of an immersive technological experience.
The aim is to engage onlookers and inspire them with the city’s creative history. Hopefully, viewers delight and marvel in what they see. Perhaps they will feel a sense of nostalgia, a feeling of pride for the city, or gain a stronger appreciation for Chicago history and creativity.
Research in Communication Design. Presentation of unique, significant creative work, design education, practice of design, case studies, contemporary practice, new technologies, methods, and design research. A moderated discussion will follow the series of presentations.
The colloquium session is open to all conference attendees.
Design Intervention and Engagement: Design Incubation Colloquium 6.2
There is a presumed canon of visual communication design, one that includes its history, theory, practice, and even the interpretation of its global impact. While it is convenient to take this canon at face value, there are alternative lenses through which we can view the field. In order to continue advancing the discipline in equitable ways, to be inclusive and engage with a variety of practitioners and users, it is important to consider a multitude of alternative viewpoints. Interventions in our attitudes happen in many ways—from envisioning how design alters the world, to methods we use to interpret design in new contexts. This panel will explore such critical interventions, uncovering new ways to re-engage with design education, design practice, and design communities.
Friday, February 14, 2020 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Hilton Chicago – Lower Level – Salon C-1
Heather Quinn Assistant Professor DePaul University
Nathan Matteson Assistant Professor DePaul University
Recent advances in technology and improvements of accessibility allow designers to deliver meaningful experiences to broad populations of ages, cultures, abilities, etc.—those who have previously been isolated from the discourse. These rapid changes in technology have also changed the landscape of design practice (for both better and worse) creating the conditions for more collaborative and multi-disciplinary teams who leverage these new or improved tools. This panel will address research projects working at the edge of contemporary technology, across disciplines, and within emerging disciplines. They leverage technological innovation to address issues of representation and access.
Friday, February 14, 2020 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM Hilton Chicago – Lower Level – Salon C-1
Alex Girard Assistant Professor Southern Connecticut State University
Dan Wong Associate Professor New York City College of Technology, CUNY
Sharon Oiga, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago Guy Villa Jr, Assistant Professor, Columbia College Chicago and Daria Tsoupikova, Associate Professor University of Illinois at Chicago
Other Chicago Design Milestones team members: Jack Weiss, Chicago Design Archive; Cheri Gearhart, Chicago Design Archive; Wayne Stuetzer, Chicago Design Archive; Krystofer Kim, Lead Animator, NASA; Ali Khan, Animator, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago Design Milestones is a new media public installation that took place throughout July, 2019, at 150 Media Stream in Chicago. It brought to life the evolution of Chicago design by examining and showcasing the historic characteristics of design works from the 1920s to the present. Project material was researched and culled directly from the vast collection of the Chicago Design Archive (CDA), which holds over 3,200 works from over 1,100 designers and 400 firms. Members of the CDA, the UIC School of Design & Electronic Visualization Laboratory, and Columbia College Chicago collaborated together on this project as a team, as their underlying and ongoing quest is to spotlight the role of Chicago as a major national design center through the use of innovative technologies, including 150 Media Stream’s unique display structure, the largest media screen (3,000+ square feet) in Chicago.
The team consists of design educators, animators, and members of the CDA. It is worthy to note that the Milestones project was initiated by the design educators of the team. With knowledge of the holdings of the CDA, it was the design educators that conceived of the opportunity to collaborate, to develop initial concepts, and to lead the project. It is their belief and practice to author and generate projects of personal interest in order to help advance the field of design with designers’ own concerns.
The Chicago Design Archive is a singular organization in that there is no other like it doing this type of documentation and presentation of Chicago design work—locating, procuring, organizing, and showcasing Chicago-related design in the form of images as well as articles, essays, interviews, and videos. This includes works from the pre-digital era, with the population of works beginning in the 1920s. This is over 100 hundred years of Chicago design work gathered up and organized in one place.
A significant challenge of the Milestones project was to figure out how to represent the thousands of archived works from the past 10 decades. The process of curating the works was scientific in that observation was key—untold hours of patient looking. Year by year, decade by decade, each image was scoured until 100 years of images passed in front of the eyes of the team. There wasn’t an agenda when the team first started looking, no plan of what to find, no expectations. The team wanted the images to speak to them, to tell them what was significant—and they did. In each decade, the images showed what colors they liked, what shapes they preferred, and very interestingly, what stories they held. Some of the images spoke more than others. They were the ones that were singled out as possibilities. From this pool, images were selected based on their potential for animation and their inherent magnetism to engage, inform, and spark the curiosity of any passerby.
Another challenge was to figure out how to best employ the distinctive installation structure of 150 Media Stream, which comprises of 89 LED vertical blades that reach varying heights up to 22 feet high and span 150 feet wide. This configuration forms a vertical pattern that is combined with extreme horizontality—interesting but opposing dynamics built into the structure. These are constructs the team intentionally utilized, by ensuring that particular images animate to traverse the unusual terrain.
The Milestones project is out of the ordinary in that Chicago design history is rarely brought to the attention of the general public. Bringing awareness to historically-relevant creative work was central to the project’s intent and importance. The project afforded design history outside of the confines and prompting of a book, classroom or school, and it was instead framed in the context and excitement of an immersive technological experience. The completion and success of this experiential design project has lead to ideas and invitations for further work at other public venues for new media at the international scale.
In advance of the debut of Chicago Design Milestones at 150 Media Stream, a preview gala and exhibition was held at Archeworks—a Chicago-based design lab and media outlet dedicated to using design as an agent of change in the public interest. The preview exhibition (lead by Lauren Meranda of CDA) featured the static images of the works selected for animation in Chicago Design Milestones.
For the opening of Chicago Design Milestones, a catalog was produced. It contained images of all of the design works included in the project as well as related examples of work from the Archive. It was an opportunity to not only celebrate the works selected for the project but to also highlight additional CDA holdings. The catalog further documented the team’s research by including the lists of descriptive terms that were generated and used to characterize the design and themes for each of the decades. Considered to be a valuable component of the project, the Chicago History Museum is presently acquiring the catalog for their collection.
In the end, the team hoped to engage onlookers and inspire them with the city’s creative history. Perhaps viewers delighted and marveled in what they saw. Perhaps they felt a sense of nostalgia, a feeling of pride for the city, or gained a stronger appreciation for Chicago history and design. Additionally, by example, the team hoped to have widened the conceptual space for designers, to explore, research and play.
Holding an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and BFA degrees in Graphic Design and Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Sharon Oiga’s work investigates the process of design — the ways in which ideas are expressed and disseminated, ranging from the micro level of experimental typographic form to the macro level of self-authoring and publishing. At UIC, she is an Associate Professor and Chair of Graphic Design. Previously, Sharon partnered with design firms where she specialized in identity, branding, publication design, and packaging. Her work is consistently recognized through awards, publications, exhibitions, and funding. A two-time recipient of the Sappi Ideas That Matter grant, Sharon was also honored to receive the UIC Silver Circle Teaching Award. She has written about her teaching in UCDA’s Designer Magazine.
Sharon serves as Chair of the Society of Typographic Aficionados, and she is a Director of the Chicago Design Archive.
Guy Villa Jr Columbia College Chicago
Holding a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Guy Villa Jr
is an Assistant Professor at Columbia College Chicago. His research interests include procedural image-making and photography, and experimental design processes. He has professional experience in editorial and identity design for not-for-profit organizations, start-ups, and other businesses. In recognition for his work, he was named a Platinum Winner by Graphis, for which he was interviewed and featured in the Graphis Letterhead 7 book. He was also interviewed by Print magazine, and his work was published in the annual. Aside from teaching, Guy speaks regularly at regional, national and international confer- ences and events. He is also Chair of the STA Design Inspiration Weekend, an annual forum for designers held by The Society of Typographic Arts. Recently, he was a juror for the international TypeCon Typography Award and a proposal reviewer for the TypeCon Education Forum.
Daria Tsoupikova University of Illinois at Chicago
Holding an MFA in Computer Graphics from Syracuse University, Daria Tsoupikova is an Associate Professor of New Media Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Positioned at the crossroads of artistic and technological innovation, her research and artwork explores the potential of new media and inter- activity in relation to traditional arts. Through the development of virtual reality (VR) art projects and networked multi-user exhibitions for VR projection systems, her work applies computer graphics art to various research domains, including educational multimedia, cultural heritage and virtual rehabilitation for stroke survivors. Daria’s work has been exhibited and published by ACM SIGGRAPH, IEEE VR, ISEA, among many others. Past projects have received funding from NSF, National Institute on Disability and Rehabili- tation Research and the Department of Education. A former Fulbright Scholar, Daria is currently partnering with the Hand Rehabilitation Laboratory to develop a multi-user virtual environment to aid in hand rehabilitation.
Solution: add a significant drawing component to the curriculum
Ingrid Hess Assistant Professor University of Massachusetts Lowell
I teach the History of Graphic Design to art and design
students. Most of them are visual learners. I find it an exciting challenge to
teach in a way that inspires learning among these students. Below are excerpts
from an article I wrote for the international journal Visual Inquiry in 2013
entitled, “How Drawing Helps Keep History Present”.
When I was an art student, one of my favorite classes
was art history. I remember my professor’s lectures to be fascinating yet I
remember almost nothing about art history itself. The information she shared
with the class didn’t stick with me. Two decades later I was asked to teach a
History of Graphic Design class. I was thrilled and terrified. How could I
teach a class as interesting as the one I took years before yet help my
students retain the information they were learning? My solution was simple: add
a significant drawing component to the curriculum. By having students create
work based on the lectures I presented they put their knowledge into immediate
use. The results were astounding. On tests throughout the semester, questions
relating to the drawing assignments were much more likely to be answered
correctly than other questions.
A pleasant surprise—regardless of a student’s inherent
drawing skill, using drawing was an effective tool. My class consisted of both
art majors and non-art majors. I graded not on the expertise of the rendering,
but rather on how each student integrated new knowledge of graphic design
history into the drawing assignments.
The most rewarding part of the course was seeing how much the students loved the drawing assignments. At the end of the class when I asked the students what they thought they would remember from the semester, all of them stated a lesson that went along with a drawing assignment.
Presentations and discussion in Research and Scholarship in Communication Design at the 107th Annual CAA Conference 2019 in NYC.
Hosted by CAA Affiliated Society, Design Incubation.
Research in Communication Design. Presentation of unique, significant creative work, design education, practice of design, case studies, contemporary practice, new technologies, methods, and design research. A moderated discussion will follow the series of presentations.
Design Incubation Colloquium 5.2: CAA 2019 New York City Thursday, February 14, 2019 10:30am–12:00pm New York Hilton Midtown, Second Floor Regent
Call for Participation: 3-day academic design research and writing workshop. Application deadline, September 1, 2018
Application deadline: Sept 1, 2018 Fellowship dates: January 10-12, 2019 Location: St. John’s University, Manhattan Campus, 51 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003
Target Audience: Design academics in one or more of the following areas: graphic design, information design, branding, marketing, advertising, typography, web, interaction, film and video, animation, illustration, game design. Full-time tenure track or tenured faculty are given preference but any academic may apply. Applicants who are tenure track or tenured faculty are given first priority but other faculty or independent researchers may apply.
Format: All Fellows accepted into the program participate in the Fellowship Workshop as part of the overall experience. The Fellowship workshops offers participants the opportunity to share and develop ideas for research and individual writing projects while receiving constructive feedback from faculty mentors and peers in their field.
Fellows arrive with a draft of their writing and work on this specific project throughout the various sessions of the Fellowship Workshop. Each meeting includes a number of short informational sessions and a session devoted to analyzing and editing written work. The remainder of the 3-day workshop will be focused on activities which allow participants to share their projects with peers and receive structured feedback. Between sessions, Fellows will have time to execute revisions, review others participants work, and engage in discussions. Initiation of and work on collaborative projects is encouraged.
Design Incubation’s Communication Design Educators Awards program was established to recognize and showcase faculty accomplishments through peer review. This competition reflects the organization’s mission to foster professional development and discourse within the academic design community. Since 2016, applicants from around the world have entered this awards competition recognizing design excellence and ingenuity in the academic study of communication design, with categories in published research, creative work, teaching, and service. The award processes and procedures are rigorous, transparent, objective and professional. Each year, entries are reviewed and ranked by an independent, renown jury of design educators and researchers across a broad range of design expertise and scholarly accomplishment within the discipline.
After envisioning the academic design awards and chairing the jury, University of Minnesota graphic design professor Steven McCarthy is passing along the role of Chair. We value his continued support and involvement in the program. Design Incubation offers their gratitude for his leadership in the launch of this important effort.
We are excited to announce María Rogal, Professor of Graphic Design in the school of Art + Art History at the University of Florida will chair the 2018 jury. She has had the distinction of being a juror of the awards since its inception. McCarthy writes, “Rogal brings vast experience, great powers of empathy, and astute judgment to the task. Rogal’s disciplinary connections and intellectual network will undoubtedly offer the jury some fresh input as the competition enters its third year.”
Rogal offers McCarthy her greatest respect and appreciation of his leadership over many years, particularly in having recognized the need for professional development and creating a program to support it. Rogal writes, “the diverse submissions I reviewed over the past two years were rewarding and inspiring. But this process also highlighted how important these awards and the application process can be for communication design educators. Through the application and peer review process itself, we also support professional development.”
We thank Bloomsbury Publishing, the sponsor of these awards. The 2018 awards program will follow the same timeline as previous years, with entries due May 31, 2018. An overview of the awards program is on our website. Look for more information on the program in the coming months.
Warren Lehrer Professor School of Art+Design, Purchase College, SUNY Founding Faculty Member, SVA (School of Visual Arts) Designer as Author Graduate Program”
For two years in a row, the White Plains BID (Business Improvement District) asked me and my Community Design class at Purchase College, SUNY to “improve the visual appearance of vacant storefronts in downtown White Plains and thereby enhance the ambiance and pedestrian experience in the downtown business district.”
Community Design is a senior level graphic design class that serves the campus and non-profit communities while providing students with “real” projects that interrogate ideas of community, civic engagement, and an expanded role of the designer. The class functions as a design studio that works on multiple projects of different kinds, scales and media with a variety of clients/collaborators. In the fall of 2015, the Storefront project was one of 11 projects. In 2016, it was one of 6.
In year one of the Storefront project, the students and I reframed “the brief” to go beyond “aesthetic enhancement” of the vacant storefronts, by creating works of visual poetry that reflect the conditions of downtown White Plains and the people who inhabit it. As the class had ten other projects on its plate that semester, and the course is not a writing course (I also teach a elective writing course for designers), we brought in Judith Sloan to write poetry for the project. (Judith is my partner in EarSay, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to uncovering and portraying stories of the uncelebrated.) After researching White Plains and interviewing residents, commuters, historians and city officials, Judith wrote five poems that left room for visual interpretation by students.
Each student in the Storefront team did their own primary and secondary research on nearby White Plains and selected a poem or poems they were interested in. From the 20% commercial vacancy stock, students picked storefronts they thought most suitable for their selected poem(s) and began visualizing them within the frame of the storefront using typography as well as shape, color, texture, image, sequence, metaphor. The student’s interpretive “performance” of a text into a space was influenced by the store’s configuration, number of windows, and proximity to other landmarks (train station, bookstore, other vacant spaces, etc). Invariably, the design student’s re-composition of the poem necessitated consultation with the poet, sometimes culminating in collaborative re-writes. This fluid collaboration/negotiation between designer and writer, the whole creative team and the BID/property owners, and with materials and vendors—helped catapult the project beyond a normal class assignment or traditional designer/client relationship. The resulting transformation of a blighted area into an activated public space fusing poetry and art was an enlarging and successful experience for everyone involved. The windows stimulated conversation, enchantment and change in the community. Half the stores utilized in year one have since rented, the commercial vacancy rate is down to 17%, and the White Plains BID approached me to do the project again—with an expanded budget—for a second and now third year. In year two of the project, we expanded the media beyond printed vinyls and lenticulars, to include laser cutting, digital monitors and projections.
Warren Lehrer is a designer, writer, and educator known as a pioneer of visual literature and design authorship. Awards include: Center for Book Arts Honoree, the Brendan Gill Prize, the Innovative Use of Archives Award, three AIGA Book Awards, a Media That Matters Award. Grants/fellowships include: NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, Rockefeller, Ford, Greenwall Foundations. Collections include: MoMA, the Getty Museum, Georges Pompidou Centre, Tate Gallery. With Judith Sloan, Lehrer co-founded EarSay, an arts organization dedicated to portraying lives of the uncelebrated. Lehrer is also a playwright, performer, and frequent lecturer and keynote speaker. He is a full professor at Purchase College, SUNY, and a founding faculty member of the Designer as Author grad program at SVA. His recent illuminated novel, A LIFE IN BOOKS, has received nine awards, including the International Book Award for Best New Fiction, the IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award, and a Print Magazine Design Award.