Always learning how to make people learn
Design Education has been a big a big part of my career in Design. Everything started in 2005 while attending graduate school at The University of Iowa. Since then, I have had experience teaching in almost every area of design, from Art & Design foundations to more complex problems such as comprehensive branding identity.
For many years, I worked as a lecturer for the University of Iowa in which I was the single faculty responsible to the web/interactive component of their curriculum. I designed classes, assignments, lesson plans and taught students how to approach designs for the screen. Since August 2014, I have been an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Grand Valley State University. I teach Graphic Design in the Department of Art and Design, from print to web, freshmen to seniors.
In these years, I have really discovered a fondness for teaching. Teaching allows me to be a constant learner. Different students motivate me to push myself further and provide a better learning environment every time. Every semester is different than the previous one. Especially in Design when technologies and modes of communication keep appearing in our society. The reward comes when you can really see the students improve their learning and get better at design. It really makes you feel satisfied about your job.
In this long page, I have gathered samples of works from my students in the latest years. Feel free to browse through them and comment with an email or a tweet. :-)
I have included these documents in pdf format for your convenience.
Art and Design Foundations
These are works designed to make students start understanding 2D space and composition. Subjects such as shape organization, grouping, balance, tension, color theory, figure-ground relationships and type and image combinations are practiced.
Rachel Slezak, Noah Henscheid and Cyprian Alexander
Daniel Razowski and Rain Xu
Nicolette Looks, Jordinn west, Grant Mortenson, Hannah Colmer, Ashley Van Dyke and Chase Hasper
These are projects that focus on the use of type to create compositions. In this, issues of typographic finesse are discussed and stressed (choice of type, legibility, readability, alignment, leading, kerning, measure, hierarchy). Type is practiced in a expressive and also in informative ways.
Chase Hasper, Grant Mortenson, Jordinn West, Chase Hasper
Chase Hasper, Jordinn West, Kelsey Kolokowski
Andrew Woycik and Zac Freeland
Symbols, Logos and Icons
These are projects that focus on symbolism, meaning and semiotics applied to Graphic Design. Students are stressed principles of visual economy, simplification, metaphor and symbolism.
Chase Hasper, Lina Perez, Nicolette Looks and Josh Ford
Chase Hasper, Kelsey Kolokowski, David Shankin and Laura Smith/ Morgan Gould
Rachel Slezak and Jamie Klimowski
These are projects that teach students how to respond to the page integrating type, image, color in effective compositions. Projects take shape in single or multi-page documents, in various scales and number of parts. Principles of sequential Design are stressed towards the end in editorial assignments.
Nick Ciliak and Andrew Woycik
These are projects that explore the interaction of Graphic Design and the 3-D shapes of packages. Students are exposed to principles of packaging communication and production.
Leslie Harris and Lauren Winarski
Web, UI and Digital Design
These are projects that focus on design applied to screens of various sizes and functions. From websites (developed or planned only) to mobile applications and user interfaces, students are presented with the subtleties of screen-based design and how a designer can excel at them with strong stress on user interaction and user experience.
These are multi-device projects that encompass all aforementioned areas that become part of a single subject. Students prepare printed and web materials along with planning customer experience at points of sale and signage, when applicable.
David Shankin and Matt Badyna
At this point, senior students must develop a semester-long project, learning how to manage their time, budget and project. The final product is an exhibition of the work with the student's graduating class.