1-9 Oct 2016 | AIGA Frontier Design Educators Conference | Bozeman, Montana
The landscape of design is changing quickly and it's time to rethink design education, together. As the field embraces an increasingly amorphous definition of practice and an ever-expanding toolset, educators have a unique opportunity to imagine the many possible futures of graphic design, and to speculate, dream, and ideate on the role of future graphic designers.
More than 100 graphic design professors and professionals attended the three-day national AIGA Design Educators Community conference Oct. 7-9 hosted by Montana State University's School of Art in the College of Arts and Architecture.
This is the first time in the organization's history that Montana has played host to one of its national Design Educator Conferences. Through its partnership with the AIGA, the DEC supports the unique activities and responsibilities of the design educator at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels in a wide variety of institutional settings.
The conference, themed "Frontier," hosted several graphic design luminaries who served as creative instigators during the event giving public lectures and offering panel discussions. The five instigators were:
April Greiman, Graphic Space Instructor Woodbury University, from Los Angeles, recognized as one of the first designers to embrace computer technology as a design tool.
Marc English, Graduate Studies Professor at the Academy of Art University, from Austin, Texas, a design shaman and author of "Designing Identity: Graphic Design as a Business Strategy."
Saki Mafundikwa, Founder and Director Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts, who wrote the book on Africa's graphic design heritage, "Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Afrika," then opened a school of graphic arts in his native Zimbabwe.
Juliette Cezzar, Assistant Professor of Communication Design New School's Parsons School of Design , a design professional, author, and assistant professor of Communication Design at the New School's Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Rick Griffith, the co-founder of the design firm Matter in Denver. Griffith is also the Denver City Commissioner for Public Art and Culture.
Two of the co-chairs of the conference - Meta Newhouse, MSU graphic design professor in the MSU School of Art and Colin Frazer, MSU assistant professor of graphic design - said the lasting influence of hosting such a successful AIGA DEC in Bozeman is twofold: it brings national attention to the education excellence offered by the Graphic Design Program at Montana State University; and affirms Bozeman as the burgeoning design hub of the Northern Rockies.
"Many stakeholders worked together to support the event including MSU faculty, staff, students and local professionals," they said.
The conference was also co-chaired by William Culpepper, online associate director and a professor of graphic design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
The national event brought graphic design professors at all levels of their career paths to share best practice teaching methods through peer-to-peer workshops. Organizers said the conference format of sharing ideas in workshops was a purposeful departure from the typical, traditional paper presentations and was extremely effective for both presenters and participants.
During the three-day conference, participants selected from more than 50 design pedagogy-related workshops, or panel discussions; along with studio tours of local creative studios, visits to the Museum of the Rockies and a bus tour of Yellowstone National Park.