Scholarship

Research

Recent Presentations, Publications & Projects


Intercultural Collaboration by Design

I am excited to announce that the book I have been working on with Kelly M. Murdoch-Kitt is available for pre-order! “Intercultural Collaboration by Design” introduces a framework for collaborating across cultures and features charming illustrations by illustrator Tammi Heneveld. This handbook helps people work, learn, and teach across cultures….

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IAMCR Madrid 2019

I was absolutely charmed by Spanish hospitality this July when I visited the city of Madrid for the IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research) Conference. The central theme of this year’s conference was Communication, Technology, and Human Dignity: Disputed Rights, Contested Truths. The opening ceremony was held at…

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MODE 2019 Summit

The MODE Summit in New Zealand was an absolute blast this past week! MODE is a gathering of design educators and researchers who specialize in the area of motion design. The theme for the 2019 edition was (inter)play, the way in which two or more things have an effect on…

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Reimagining Health & Safety Communication in Qatar

I am so grateful to this incredible group of people for dedicating their time and creative energy to the workshop series “Reimagining Health & Safety Communication for Multilingual Workers in Qatar.” What an honor it has been to work together to examine, discuss, and design for inclusive and accessible health,…

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Information+ Conference

The Information+ Conference 2018 was absolutely inspiring! This inter­disciplinary platform brought together a fantastic lineup of speakers who explored a range of historic and future practices in information design and data visualization. The entire event was thoughtful, inclusive and beyond informative! I can’t remember the last time I attended a…

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AIGA Decipher

I am still recovering from jet-lag but wanted to share just a few thoughts about the fun I had this past week at AIGA Decipher 2018. There was so much great energy from all the speakers, participants, and keynotes—it’s hard to know where to begin. One of the outstanding sessions…

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DRS2018 in Limerick, Ireland

I had the distinct opportunity to participate in the PhD by Design event this June, a one-day event held prior to the DRS 2018 (Design Research Society) Conference in Limerick, Ireland (June 25-28, 2018). This event was established as a vehicle to vocalize, discuss, and work through some of the many…

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MAKE: 2018 AIGA Design Educators Conference

It was a privilege to take part in the MAKE: AIGA Design Educators Conference at Herron School of Art + Design in beautiful Indianapolis this week (June 7-9, 2018). The conference was an opportunity for design educators, researchers, and practitioners to come together to establish a space to explore the…

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Vested Summit

Wow! I had an amazing time in Guana (Egypt) over the past four days serving as a mentor, workshop leader, and speaker at Vested Summit (May 9-12, 2018)! It was an honor to get to know the conscious tech community—a diverse group of startups, investors, designers, and developers working together to make conscious…

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CAA Conversations Podcast

Last week, Kelly Murdoch-Kitt and I were honored to be featured in a podcast produced by the College Art Association (CAA)! The weekly CAA Conversations Podcast explores arts and pedagogy, tackling everything from the day-to-day grind to the big, universal questions of the field. Episode 29 of the series features…

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AIGA Design Conference 2017 in Minneapolis

The annual AIGA (the professional association for design) design conference has consistently provided an opportunity for the design community to make connections through inspiring presentations, networking events, and educational sessions. The 2017 conference title “connect” went on to reflect the importance of fostering meaningful connections with other designers and across design work….

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AMI Retreat 2017

During the Eid al-Adha break, I had the opportunity to visit Limassol for the three-day Advanced Media Institute Conference (AMIRetreat 2017). It was both an opportunity to engage in dynamic conversations about “Journalism, Society and Politics in the Digital Media Era,” but also to enjoy some rest and relaxation in…

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Sustainability and Social Science Research Symposium

Just a few short days after our commencement ceremonies at VCUArts Qatar, I jumped on a plane headed to Michigan to participate in the “Sustainability and Social Science Research Symposium.” The conference was held at the University of Michigan (U of M) in cooperation with the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme…

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Riwaq Al Fikr with Jessica Walsh

This March, I was humbled by the invitation to participate in the Riwaq Al Fikr event on the topic of “Design for Social Change” with keynote guest speaker, Jessica Walsh, partner at Sagmeister & Walsh. Sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Zayed University, this panel…

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RVArts Majlis Conversations

I really enjoyed chatting with the collaborative team of Valerie Molnar & Matt Spahr during the special Tasmeem edition of the video podcast VCU ALT Lab, entitled RVArts Majlis Conversations. The RVArts Cultural Passport is a VCUarts Richmond initiative that explores the diversity of visual and performing arts in the…

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ICDHS Taipei Taiwan

After spending a week in Taiwan for The International Conference on Design History and Design Studies (ICDHS), I am smitten with the city of Taipei. Not only did we have an opportunity to attend some fantastic talks and presentations at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, but the…

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World Design Capital Taipei

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Taipei was the opportunity to visit the International Design House Exhibitions as part of the World Design Capital Taipei 2016. With Songshan Cultural & Creative Park serving as the main exhibition area, we had a whirlwind tour of the major halls…

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AIGA Design Conference 2016 in Las Vegas

It has been an incredible week in Las Vegas at the AIGA Design Conference: the Shape of Design. There were provocative sessions, discipline-driven symposia, and inspiring speakers. The 2016 Conference brought together a diverse group of designers, artists, writers, strategists, inventors and other creative thinkers to explore and explain the…

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2016 IAMCR Conference

I was honored to attend the 2016 IAMCR Conference recently held at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom from July 27–31, 2016. The conference theme of memory, commemoration, and communication was a meaningful opportunity to examine how the media speak to local and global audiences, in both the past and…

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AASHE 2015 Conference & Expo

I recently returned from the ‘AASHE 2015 Conference and Expo: Transforming Sustainability Education‘ and am bursting with sustainability-related ideas and inspiration. Having been accepted to the Conference and Expo with Kelly Murdoch-Kitt (following a double-blind, peer review process), I invited four outstanding graphic design students from my “Design for a Sustainable Future” course…

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islPAL Brisbane

It was an absolute pleasure to attend the ‘Third International Conference on Leadership in Pedagogies and Learning’ held in Brisbane this September on the beautiful Stuartholme campus. The goal of islPAL is to promote high-quality pedagogies and effective learning across disciplines, for safe, sustainable living, lifelong learning, and community well-being. This…

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LearnxDesign: 3rd International Conference

It has been an inspiring week in Chicago, filled with fresh ideas about contemporary design education research and the teaching of design. The LearnxDesign Conference (aka the 3rd International Conference for Design Education Researchers), was an engaging week focused on design methodologies and teaching tools. Organized by the DESIGN-ED Coalition, in…

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AIGA Spaces of Learning Conference

This April, the AIGA made history with the organization’s first ever Design Educators Conference coordinated outside the United States, in neighboring Canada. Held in Toronto on the beautiful York University campus, the three-day event had an excellent array of keynote speakers including Denise Gonzales Crisp, Carl DiSalvo, and Sanne van der…

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Design with the other 90%: Cumulus Conference

The first Cumulus conference hosted in Africa took place this September in lovely Johannesburg at the Greenside Design Center (GDC) and the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA). The ‘Design with the other 90%: Changing the world by design’ conference was a wonderful opportunity to discuss the role of…

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AIGA New Ventures: Intersections in Design Education

I had the unique opportunity to virtually present my research with Kelly Murdoch–Kitt at the AIGA Design Education Conference, New Ventures: Intersections in Design Education, held in Portland, Oregon. Our paper, titled “Click. Connect. Crit: Teaching global collaboration for international design innovation,” was met with great interest as we shared…

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Studies in Material Thinking Journal

Throughout the 2012-2013 year, I conducted a collaborative project with my colleague, Kelly Murdoch–Kitt, on intercultural design exchanges in the University classroom. It is our belief that design educators must learn to develop and lead successful intercultural projects and exchanges for students entering into a globally connected and diverse profession….

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Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons Conference

Hosted by the Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, the Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons Conference focused on the intimate connections between environmental justice and sustainability. True sustainability can only be achieved when all communities have healthy air, water, food, green space, and security, and when all people have…

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Arts in Society Conference

Rome was an absolutely beautiful host city for the Ninth International Conference on the Arts in Society ‘The Lives of Art’ held at Sapienza University this June. The conference focused on the intersection of academia and social impact, bringing together interdisciplinary and international perspectives to discuss new developments in art and design,…

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DRS 2014: Design’s Big Debates

DRS 2014: Design’s Big Debates gave me an opportunity to experience the nightless nights and sunny days of a Midsummer in Umeå, Sweden. The main purpose of the Design Research Society’s 7th Biennial Conference, hosted by Umeå Institute of Design, was to foster a shared design discourse by focusing on key big issues in…

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UCDA 2014 Design Education Summit

Thanks to my research partners Kelly Murdoch–Kitt and Dr. Kelly Norris Martin, I was able to virtually attend the UCDA (University and College Designers Association) Annual Design Education Summit. Held in May of 2014, this summit for graphic design educators enables opportunities for professional participation and development. As part of the…

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DesignEd Asia 2013 at PolyU

I was (and am) extremely grateful for the opportunity to visit Hong Kong as part of my participation in the DesignEd Asia Conference held at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The conference was structured around the theme “Delimitation – Creating with Constraints” and featured engaging presentations surrounding culture, space, business, design…

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DRS // CUMULUS in Oslo 2013

I recently had the unique opportunity to visit Oslo Norway for the 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers (jointly held by DRS and Cumulus) at the Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. The conference revolved around the theme of “Design Learning for Tomorrow – Design Education from Kindergarten to…

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Tasmeem Doha 2013

We just got back from the Tasmeem Doha (Hybrid Making) Conference yesterday and wow, what an adventure! After spending the weekend of March 16 and 17 focused on the dual themes of hybridization—in terms of interdisciplinarity or collaborative work—we headed back to a busy Art Week in Dubai (Design Days,…

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Multilingual Children’s Book Design

A few weeks ago, amidst a whirlwind day at University, I was called to a press check for the multilingual children’s book I have been working on for over a year now. As you might imagine, it was very exciting to see the pages running through the huge press and…

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AIGA Geographics Conference

The AIGA design education conference titled “Geo/graphics” was a stimulating symposium held this December at the East-West Center of the University of Hawai’i Manoa in sun-drenched Honolulu (Hawaii, USA). Led by educators from around the globe, the conference encouraged rich discussion and debate on the theme of transnational design through panel…

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Crossing the Emirates Exhibition

The Crossing the Emirates Exhibition opened on May 29 at FN Design Studio (Unit 26, Al Serkal Avenue) in Al Quoz, Dubai. The Design Studio is pronounced fann or فن – the Arabic word for “the arts.” Not only was the space beautiful, but Wafa (the gallery owner) is an…

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WAGL 2012

The Women as Global Leaders Conference (WAGL 2012) celebrated the courage and creativity of socially responsible leaders and their capacity to leave a lasting legacy, impacting the sustainable future development of communities and organizations across the world. The conference presented a unique dialogue and exchange of ideas with some of the…

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Typography Day 2012

The 5th annual Typography Day Conference (TypoDay 2012) was organized at the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. The conference allowed me to share research, network with typographers from across the globe and collect research on mother-tongue typography projects. Over a three day period, TypoDay 2012…

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Khatt Foundation Type Design Exhibition

During the Fall 2011 semester, I participated in the 5-day Arabic Typography Workshop (led by Khatt Foundation) held at Tashkeel, Dubai. As a group, we created a typeface full of unique letterforms and designed posters to show them off. Each poster displayed the letter-forms while also using the full collaborative…

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