Bringing participatory and critical mechanisms
together to fuel creative action
Denielle Emans specializes in the area of visual communication with an emphasis on bringing social innovation and intercultural communication together to fuel creative action. Denielle has taught at the University-level for over eleven years and encourages students to think of themselves as influential craftsmen and storytellers with the ability to lead change.
Denielle is currently an Associate Professor in the Graphic Design department at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar and a Ph.D. Candidate within the Centre for Communication and Social Change at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She holds a Master’s degree in Graphic Design from North Carolina State University’s School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
I am made up of equal parts:
As an active designer, Denielle’s principal area of concentration is participatory and collaborative design, with attention to the inclusion of diverse design approaches and outcomes. Her aim is to introduce the notion of empathy as an essential trait of design, rather than a methodology focused on calculating profit and sales. She describes her design practice as a universal language that works across disciplines, industries, and borders to move beyond consumer products to consider environments, interactive tools, and engaging experiences. Her work experience is as diverse as her clients, with projects conceived for global organizations such as the World Bank and small start-up companies such as Tilt Inc.
Over the past 6 years, I have worked with my research partner, Kelly Murdoch-Kitt, (assistant professor at University of Michigan’s Stamps School of Art and…