THESE ARE SOME OF THE INNOVATIVE COURSES THAT I TEACH
INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCES
EDITORIAL DESIGN WITH GRAPHIC DESIGNERS
AND ADVERTISING PHOTOGRAPHERS
THE POSITIVE NEGATIVE MAGAZINE PROJECT
Taught since 2004-2005 with Denis Defibaugh, School of Photography/Advertising Photography, CIAS
I began teaching with Denis in Winter Quarter 2005, and for the first 2 courses,
the projects involved the design and shooting of 3 spreads in the 10 week quarter.
In the winter of 2007, I suggested that we try to produce a magazine instead. This first magazine was called Drem. In the winter course in 2008, we decided to create
a larger, more ambitious 100 page version of the magazine, which we called Positive Negative. For this project, students may choose to write about any topic, as long as they write from a specific position on the issue... either positive or negative. Each year, the process is refined and the magazine is improved and enhanced. In 2012,
we introduced the electronic version of the magazine to the course. We have now completed Volume 9. The magazine has won numerous RIT, national and international awards, and this project has been a fantastic and rewarding experience.
The course has become a high profile course, and attracts our best and brightest students. Many students from the course have become art directors and photo editors at high profile magazines such as GQ, Time, Complex, Rachel Ray, Glamour and many others, which increases RIT’s national reputation. This course has also built a network of alumni who continue to support Positive Negative, and hopefully will support their programs in the future.
EDITORIAL DESIGN WITH GRAPHIC DESIGNERS AND ILLUSTRATORS ADOBE DESIGN ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS COMPETITION SUBMISSIONS
Taught since 2006-2007 with Bob Dorsey, School of Art/Illustration, CIAS
Bob Dorsey and I have taught this course together since the spring of 2007. The projects previously involved the design and illustration of various types of magazine spreads and sections. In 2012, I suggested that we increase the rigor of the course by requiring students to submit their best work done during the course to the Adobe Design Achievement Awards Competition and the Society of Publication Designers Student Competition. Since that time, we have had several interdisciplinary student teams reach the Semi-finalist level of the Adobe Competition.
PACKAGING DESIGN WITH PACKAGING SCIENCE INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAMWORK WITH CORPORATE SPONSORED COMPETITIONS
Taught since 2009-2010 with Karen Proctor of the College of Applied Sciences and Technology (CAST)/Packaging Science
I have been teaching Packaging Design with and without interdisciplinary partnerships at RIT since 1991 when I partnered with Bob Kahute in Industrial Design. After several years of teaching Packaging Design with graphic designers, I reached out
to Karen Proctor in CAST to see if we could create a collaborative course. The first course we taught together was in 2009- 2010. We had 2 corporate sponsors for competitions during the 10 week quarter. Colgate-Palmolive’s project was to create packaging for dish soap. General Mills’ project was to create packaging for snack foods in the convenience store supply channel. After this positive experience,
we decided to expand on these projects.
INTERDISCIPLINARY CORPORATE SPONSORED COMPETITIONS
Taught since 2010-2011 with Karen Proctor and Alex Lobos, School
of Design/industrial Design, CIAS
I thought that it would be great to try to diversify this collaboration even more
by adding Industrial Design to the mix, and Karen readily agreed to try. I asked Alex Lobos to join and he brought a great balance to the partnership. The first experience in 2011 was rather cumbersome, because I had 25 students, Alex had 20, and Karen had 12 students.....it was a GIGANTIC class. To make things more complicated,
we had 2 sponsored competitions in the 10 week quarter. Colgate-Palmolive’s competition involved the design of dish soap packaging. The Kraft Foods’ competition required students to design snack packaging specifically for convenience
Since this first experience, we have worked with sponsors such as Wegmans, American Packaging, Unilever, ABVI and Sun Products. With each competition, we streamline the process and the course. Our students learn a great deal about the vocabularies, challenges and contributions made by each discipline in the process
of bringing a new package to market. In addition, students are inspired by working
on a real world problem and communicating with real clients. We have had several students enter the packaging profession as a result of this course. Packaging
Design has become a high profile course at RIT, and it attracts the best and
INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAMWORK AND THE PAPERBOARD PACKAGING ALLIANCE STUDENT DESIGN CHALLENGE COMPETITION
Taught since 2015 with Bill Wynkoop, CAST/Packaging Science Adjunct with participation of Graphic Designers, Industrial Designers and Packaging Science Students
Last spring, I had the opportunity to teach another section of Packaging Design with graphic designers. I wanted to partner with another discipline to enrich my students’ experience, so I contacted Packaging Science and spoke with Bill Wynkoop, who has been the RIT representative to the Paperboard Packaging Alliance Student Design Challenge Competition for 10 years. I taught the course with my students until the
last 6 weeks of the semester, when Bill brought his packaging science students over to work with us on the competition. Although there was not equal representation of graphic designers, industrial designers and packaging science students, we thought
it was worth building on for another experience this spring, 2016.
This competition attracts the top 17 University Packaging Design Programs in the US, each of whom send in individual and team solution submissions to the competition. Each year, the Alliance provides a new brief for all participating programs to follow. The 2015 brief involved the design of an interactive package for a toy as a movie promotion. One of our 9 teams from RIT won Third Place in the National Competition, for a package inspired by the Sugar Skull film. The awards were given at PackExpo
in Las Vegas, and our students were there to receive their monetary awards.
This spring, the brief involved creating innovative upscale package designs for dry good products. Our 8 teams sent RIT’s submissions in late May and notification of the top 3 nationally winning teams will be in August. Our solutions include packaging for chocolate-covered pretzels, cookies, several cereal products, ramen noodles, exotic popcorn, ice cream cones, and pasta.
Bill and I have made changes to the scheduling of the course so all participants
meet at the same times for the 6 weeks of the project, and we have added field
trips and lectures to share information with all disciplines. This years’ group of graphic designers, industrial designers and packaging science students have had
a great time.
INDUSTRIAL DESIGN COURSE TEACHING
GRAPHIC DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS
Taught from 2007-2013, course continues in Industrial Design Program
I was asked by the Industrial Design Graduate Program Chair David Morgan to write
a course to help Industrial Design undergraduates with issues such as typographic principles, color strategies, personal branding systems and visual presentation fundamentals. I decided to call this course Graphic Tactics. I was fortunate to teach this course for the first 6 years, until it was determined that I was needed to teach exclusively in the Graphic Design program. Working with the ID students is always
a fantastic experience, and with my combined experience and interests in Graphic Design and Industrial Design, it was a perfect fit. The course is now an elective
in the Industrial Design Program.
Taught since 2000 for Extended Studies, now Interdisciplinary Studies
My love for letters and words runs deep, and I have always loved drawing letters... even when making comps and drawing typefaces for ads in the days before the computer. In 1998, I decided to take a calligraphy course through the Extended Studies Department at RIT with the amazing Gail Vick Barnhardt, a nationally- recognized calligrapher and artist. I continued to study with her and with other experts. In 2000, she moved from the area, and recommended me to replace
her to teach calligraphy. I have been teaching since the Fall Quarter 2000 as an adjunct, and now it is an overload in my full-time schedule. In the Extended Studies incarnation, the course was open to both RIT and non-RIT students, which created a diverse and lively environment. When Extended Studies ended, the course remained open to all RIT students, and when the course was reviewed for semester conversion, I requested that it remain open to all RIT students. I love the blend of diverse interests, skills and objectives for taking the course. Students learn so much from each other in creating their final projects, which in some cases have been wildly experimental. Students LOVE and NEED to work with their hands....and to have a break from the electronic world. The course is always full with a wait list, and attracts students from all over RIT.
I teach a different hand or hands each semester, so students may take the course more than once for credit, and many do. The course is extremely valuable especially for graphic designers and visual media specialists, for whom minute spatial issues are critical. Learning calligraphy assists everyone in understanding the importance
of both positive and negative space, line spacing, visual hierarchy and many other typographic considerations. In addition, the course provides a strong foundation for those students who want to do hand lettering, which is enormously popular. (And usually horribly done without a fundamental understanding of letterform design, construction and proportion.)
I believe that having this course sets RIT apart from other art and design programs
in the US. There are very few programs that offer calligraphy, even as a workshop or infrequent course offering. The combination of calligraphy, typography and printing-related courses and resources at RIT is unique among university design programs.
Providing this opportunity for our students is an honor and a gift for me, and one
of the highlights of my teaching career.
CALLIGRAPHY AND TYPE DESIGN COURSE SEQUENCE
Taught with Kris Holmes, 2011-2015
I was extremely fortunate to meet the incredible Kris Holmes, of Bigelow and Holmes and designer of many typefaces, including the ubiquitous typeface Lucida. She has been very generous to agree to be a guest critic in my calligraphy courses, and for
a number of years, we discussed the idea of a year-long experience for students to learn a calligraphic hand and use this as a point of departure to create a typeface.
We wrote the course and eventually, in the spring of 2011, Kris taught her first Type Design course at RIT. The prerequisite was that students had to have taken my calligraphy course and had to submit their best sample of miniscules (lowercase letters) to her in order to be considered for entry in the course. This approach attracted the best and brightest students. Each year, I visited her class as a critic
or guest for critiques and presentations, and the work produced in this class was just phenomenal. My students were so fortunate to have the experience of working with an internationally known and respected typeface designer of the calibre of Kris Holmes. Students included their typeface designs in their portfolios, and several students were hired on this basis alone. Kris and I believe that this combination course was unique in the university system in the US, and gave RIT a high profile in the areas of calligraphy and type design.
CIAS IMAGE LINK HERE