teaching philosophy

As a professional designer and creative I believe that the designers of tomorrow will be part of shaping our future, today.

As a professional designer and creative I believe that the designers of tomorrow will be part of shaping our future, today. With design involving critical thinking, technology, psychology, sociology, and culture coming together to solve problems, my classrooms are places for thinking beyond two dimensions, they are places to learn, experiment, and create, where exploring multiple ideas can be expressed visually as well as articulated verbally.

Before students design for the future, they must understand the past. History and design movements are studied along with cultural movements for an understanding of how design not only reflects culture, designers are part of creating it. Basic principles of design, terminology, methods of problem-solving, aspects of composition, visual hierarchy, balance, rhythm, scale, texture, symmetry, color theory are taught, or reiterated as part of any design education, and continues throughout students’ education and career.


Students are expected to:

  • Participate in class discussion.
  • Read assigned texts/watch video.
  • Complete homework assignments.
  • Document their process.
  • Include research.
  • Participate in class critiques.
  • Complete final project.

Classrooms are places for a collaborative environment that involves discussion, feed back, students presenting their work, talking about their process, and being able to defend design decisions in an open and safe space where they can learn the skills needed to have a professional career. Classes may break out into small groups or cross collaborate with other design disciplines that may include: writers, videographers, motion graphics among others as well as working with real businesses to solve design challenges.

Students should leave my class:

  • With an understanding of basic design principles.
  • Ability to demonstrate and apply design terminology.
  • Expand ideas about visual design by exposure to history, design movements, culture, society, politics, different design practices.
  • Learn about the creative, cultural, professional implications of design.
  • Demonstrate competency with technical skills using analogue and digital tools.
  • Gain further experience in collaboration and working in teams.
  • Grown in comfort level presenting work.

Students will learn how design can not only be studied, but practiced in a way that gives them the tools to become professional designers.

While working on my MFA thesis in communication design, in my research I found that designers who embrace change, new experiences, new mediums, and new processes are the ones that stay relevant. I want students to leave being able to design, collaborate, and have the knowledge required to adapt as our roles and responsibilities continually grow.

As a creative director responsible for hiring, I have found design graduates or those with a few years out of college sending portfolios reminiscent of art projects instead of an understanding of design both theoretical and practical. Interpersonal skills, professional communication etiquette, and the ability to speak up, ask questions and navigate a remote or hybrid environment seems harder for them than those previously in the workforce prior to the pandemic. The newest generation of designers are lacking the tools needed to present themselves as a designer and critical thinker, engaged and ready to solve today’s design challenges. Remote designers might have their camera off in meetings or spend them looking down at a cell phone when the camera is on. They might feel uncomfortable presenting on screen, and the opportunity for mentorship is not the same when those spontaneous connections of being in person are never made.

As a practicing designer, mentor, educator, I have the knowledge and experience to guide them with an understanding of how their design education flows into a professional career. Todays’ students are not bound by our times, but rather part of it. They document, change, and participate in the creation of work that become makers and documenters of history. Being in the classroom and embracing new experiences every time I teach only deepens my own passion for the work I do, and makes me, at the end of the day, a better designer.

I want my students to leave engaged and ready to solve today’s design challenges, which requires a curiosity and questioning for answers, and an unyielding way of solving problems.