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 full complexity of making and its applications within today’s social and political contexts.

I really enjoyed getting to know more of the AIGA DEC community, spending lots of research time with Kelly Murdoch-Kitt, and participating in the panel “Privilege, Power and Community Design” (with Rachel-Beth Egenhoefer, Kelly Murdoch-Kitt, and Mindy Magyar) where I shared my experiences teaching community design with Basma Hamdy at VCUarts Qatar.

As a panel, we discussed a variety of approaches to broaching challenging topics with students and communities, participating in collaborative design with marginalized groups, and exploring systemic power structures. We also presented pedagogical approaches that we hope might enable students to create meaningful experiences for others.

I’m already looking forward to the next AIGA Design Educators Conference, Decipher, in Ann Arbor, Michigan this September! Will you be there? Join us at Stamps School of Art and Design (University of Michigan) for more discussions on crucial themes of defining, doing, disseminating, supporting, and teaching design research.