I have designed curriculum for, and taught design to, high school students, college sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as high school teachers. Currently, I teach sophomore, junior, and seniors studying graphic design. I teach in all areas of design, ranging from introductory to advanced, print to digital, but specialize in teaching typography, design research methods, and design for good. Prior to joining The University of Arkansas, I specialized in teaching typography, interaction design, and design research methods.
It is critical for students to define, frame, and explain design problems on their own. I believe in encouraging student independence in every way possible from the beginning phase of defining a problem, where student involvement may increase participation, motivation and ownership of the project, continuing to the critique phase of the project, where student-driven critiques, that change in structure, can improve students’ verbal communication and presentation skills.
I do not believe in art directing. I strive to plant the seed of an idea and then step away for students to develop the idea independently. This type of independent thinking begins to set the stage for students to be life-long learners who are passionate about their ability to think and design. My approach to critique is honesty. At the beginning of each course, I tell my students that this is my approach and that some days they will like this and some days they won’t, but ultimately, they can trust me to give them an honest critique of their work and thinking. I believe I have struck a balance as a teacher who is respected, approachable, and one with high expectations.
My primary goal as a teacher is to provide my students with the skills and knowledge needed to be inquisitive, socially responsible, and confident designers who are aware of the ever-changing global context of design. I strive to create the conditions for a learning environment that is engaging and comfortable, and one that encourages students to explore, discover, and push the boundaries of what design is and can be.
photo: Novo Studio