Graduate research focused on using principles of graphic design to deconstruct, evaluate and reconstruct methods for developing organizational structures within a collaborative problem-solving environment. This effort culminated into a thesis, Creative Problem-Solving Through Methods of Collaborative Improvisation, which mapped how these new methods enrich the creative process by developing a sense of community while also generating a unique design solution.
Beyond maintaining a freelance and consulting practice, current area of academic interest and research focuses on:
Identifying intersections between industry and academic areas;
Developing projects based on these intersections that allow students to engage with curriculum in collaborative and true-to-industry ways;
Mapping the impact these projects have on student experience, retention and program completion rates.
Art History Student Journal
Presented at the 2017 Annual College Art Association Conference in New York.
Student designers were challenged with developing, mapping (identifying a format, tool, output, timeline, etc.) and executing a way for Art History students to showcase their research. The design student-driven solution was to create static entries for each paper, as well as a videos acting as a teaser/trailer for the paper. Each designer developed a solution (static document + video), representing three-to-four solutions for each paper. The writers selected the solution to be used in the final product. The final product was published online, links below.
Gallup Strengths Quest + Typography
Based on a common typographic assignment, this project was developed to facilitate the exploration of personal strengths, while encouraging students to experiment with expressive typography. In partnership with the Academic Advising Office, students completed the StrengthsFinder Assessment, identifying their five strengths. Using only the letterforms, students worked to visually express the meaning behind each word as it relates to them. The Academic Advising Office provided guided discussions and feedback related to the understanding and expression of the words, while graphic design faculty provided feedback related to the execution of the project.
Healthy Bodies Healthy Communities
This project was designed to develop a sense of community in the classroom, while supporting local community initiatives. In addition, it challenges students to evaluate and evolve their understanding of project ownership and collaboration. To achieve this, students work within Adobe Illustrator files, in sequential turns, using a layer-based process similar to the game play of Jenga. Students are only able to work within one layer at a time, only manipulating the assets in that layer, responding to the previous contributions of their peers.
Provided with a gallery as a blank canvas, teams of graphic design students developed, marketed and installed an exhibit using classic works of literature as the source (rethinking and redesigning materials) and means (repurposing actual books) for the installation.
While faculty guided the process, the concept, scope, installation, etc. were the responsibilities of the student teams to define and execute.
The Apprentice Project
Website (top), Water Bottles (bottom)
In a multidisciplinary project, graphic design students created the visual identity for a film developed by Colorado Film School students. This was done as marketing students developed marketing plans, accounting students developed budgets, communication students facilitated team communication and computer science students developed reports and statistical data.
Project packages were pitched to industry representatives – Winning project films were funded and produced.