As a director and as an instructor, talent development and cultivation has always been a key component of my academic life. Additionally, my “teaching philosophy” is broadly applicable in professional settings as well, where I have a long history of talent identification, recruitment, mentorship, assessment, and general guidance.
My teacing philosophy is primarily driven by a belief that establishing the right conditions for learning is critical to success. At the core, this means developing high levels of trust, a key component for developing creative confidence in aspiring designers. That trust comes from many places, but it begins with meeting students where they are, not necessarily where you think they should be.
I believe in working alongside students and colleagues to provide mentorship and supportive assistance. The inception, development, and implementation of ideas requires a creating a culture of inquiry and a constructive environment where criticism is welcomed and failure isn’t stigmatized.
An environment for learning also requires the proper materials, resources, setting, and people. Increasingly, multi-modal settings require careful attention as remote learners need to enjoy equity and opportunities that are commensurate with their in-person peers.
I believe that good ideas can emerge from anywhere, and that with the right attention they can grow into meaningful solutions and useful outcomes. Applying a process-driven approach to their development provides students with the tools, techniques and confidence they will need to successfully embark upon their careers.
Project outcomes provide evidence of the effectiveness of this philosophy. In conjunction with Spring and Winter Shows, the School of Graphic Design produced Sizzle Reels and Gallery Books to showcase the best student work from the semester.
Sizzle Reels can be seen here.
Placement and Opportunity
Students from the School of Graphic Design have been widely celebrated, acknowledged, and published. MFA thesis projects have also found success beyond academic walls as commercial projects and otherwise.
School of Graphic Design alumni can be found at well-known companies such as Nike, Apple, Google, IBM, Facebook (Meta), Gap, Uber, AutoDesk, Intuit, AirBnb, EventBrite, Gensler and Amazon — and at world-class design studios such as IDEO, Frog, Hybrid Design, Tolleson, Character, Tomorrow Partners, Moving Brands, Elixir, Volume, The Office, Mucho, and SapientRazorfish.
Glowing orb art courtesy Heather Tang