Super cool websites for typography and game lovers alike. There's nothing to do but dig into the fun!   Kern Me This online game that will help you learn the art of "kerning" - what a fun way to perfect your typographic eye! Your mission is simple: achieve pleasant and readable text by distributing the space between letters. Typographers call this activity kerning. Your solution will be compared to a typographer's solution, and you...

This project was a collaboration between GDES students and MAHATAT, a public art organization located in the Middle East. During the collaboration, students worked to revive the magic of traditional ‘wonder-boxes’ by developing prototypes in English and Arabic, while considering the need for both functionality and portability. The project methodology leveraged interactive and trans-media approaches for engaging the community in dynamic cultural and visual storytelling. Following the assembly of the boxes,...

The first MEDEA Symposium held in Kuwait took place this December at the American University of Kuwait (AUK). Board Members from universities around the MENA region spent three days together conducting workshops and participating in roundtable discussions with design educators in Kuwait. Workshops for design students were held on Saturday (December 6th) from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at AUK in the Design Department. Workshop 1: Islamic (Universal) Design led by Julia Towsend (Associate Professor in...

Sustainability—it’s a word we hear a lot. We casually refer to sustainable choices, products, and lifestyles, but what exactly is this idea of sustainability? In order to unravel this buzzword, nineteen Graphic Design seniors from Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus in Doha, Qatar (VCUQ) and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY USA collaborated across the globe to make meaningful connections between the concept of sustainability and our day-to-day lives. The...

This project asked students to choose a (perishable or non-perishable) product that satisfies an essential need for a “makeover” using experimental print formats. The goal was to take the mundane package and breathe life into the item using a system-based approach. The package should engage the audience in an interactive or playful manner while taking into consideration the ethics of mass production and sustainable solutions within a throw-away culture. Co-taught with...

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 design in social advancement with like-minded designers and educators from across the globe. [gallery columns="2" link="none" size="full" ids="7039,7034"] Presentations revolved around the...

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 ideas about our experience teaching design collaboration across international borders. New ventures are propelling design educators and students to rethink what...

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. Teaching students to approach problems by using collaborative and interpersonal skills can provide them with durable assets to better understand international...

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 meaningful involvement in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. As part of the conference lineup, I virtually...

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, including research, practice, policy, and teaching. [gallery columns="2" size="full" link="none" ids="7004,7007,7008,7006"] Kelly Murdoch-Kitt and I presented “Matters of responsibility: Prioritizing sustainability in design curricula...

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 the design discipline. As an alternative to traditional paper presentations, the conference encouraged participants to take part in 'debates and conversations'....

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 conference activities, we presented two papers - focused on topics of sustainability and collaboration. The first presentation with Kelly Murdoch–Kitt was...

This scaffolded project asked students to utilize the environment, city and/or immediate surrounding space as a basis to create a grid for a modular typeface. Using the found grid system, students playfully engaged in a design process that utilized components and modules to generate each letterform. Using the software application Glyphs, students completed the working typeface through a system of constants and variables. Upon completion of the typeface, students developed...

The goal of this project is to design a calendar that simultaneously explores time and numerals in a creative and functional manner. Students were asked to consider a variety of solutions by investigating lunar phases, astrology, historical references, the meaning of numbers, culture, seasons, religion, nature, information architecture, and more. "Time has no divisions to mark its passage. There is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning...

A roundup of design related history starts now. History of Typography Check out this synopsis of the history of typography through a fun short paper-letter animation. It's both entertaining and educational. In order to complete the animation, it took Ben Barrett-Forrest from Forrest Media 291 Paper Letters, 2,454 Photographs, and 140 hours of work. Now that's dedication. Type meets history. History meets animation. What could be better? History of the Internet Great use of infographics in...

Water is vital to life; this is a simple fact, but human behaviors and relationships with water are increasingly complex. This ongoing research in cross-cultural design education between two geographically distinct classrooms encourages students to collaborate virtually, exchange ideas, explore possibilities, and create new tools, approaches, and communication solutions around our planet’s most precious and imperiled resource. An outcome of this research is a series of student design projects that illustrate...

The second annual MEDEA symposium was held April 4-5 in the welcoming city of Amman, Jordan. The thematic agenda for the symposium was a focus on the development of MEDEA's strategic plan including, promoting and sharing research activities, workshops and conferences. The MEDEA board of directors and members met for two days, working together to finalize initiatives, build consensus, and delegate tasks.  ...

Japan has been at the top of my list in terms of places in the world I would like to visit for a long time now. The culture, the design, and the food have always called to me from across the seas. I couldn't believe my luck when I heard our Departmental Field Study was a trip to Japan. Shiawase! With almost all of the graphic design faculty in attendance, we were...