On 30, Jan 2023 | In Research | By Matthew
Nominated for the 2023 Communication Design Educators Award in TeachingDesign Incubation
Impact: Research reveals that most institutions of higher education deemphasize visual thinking. This Design Thinking based course is impactful because it presents open-ended design problems to a cross-section of learners from diverse academic backgrounds and shows creative motion and interactive outcomes. Courses like this are an example of design in service to higher education.
My work in this course joins the growing conversation around pedagogy. Innovators like Meredith Davis propose Design Thinking principles to address new graduates’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and creative skills gaps.
Publications like AIGA Designer 2025 note that communication modalities and technologies are complex and changing rapidly. Designers are thinking about flexible, responsive, complex, and customizable solutions to ambiguous problems and crafting for different audiences and multimodal experiences. As one can imagine, teaching motion and interaction in this environment presents unique challenges, opportunities, and outcomes.Read more…
Open-Ended Question: How can a designer communicate a story of their choice to the beneficiary?
Framework: In this problem, students take the lead. They pick their topics, timelines, goals, and expectations within my grading rubric. I take a support role, coaching them towards more professional work with personalized conceptual and technical mentoring.
How can designers collaboratively ideate, prototype, and test interactive designs like websites and apps without the cost, time, and restraints of coding?
Use Chrome to interact with the Figma prototypes.
Open-Ended Question: How can a designer communicate a musician’s originally intended meaning via the interaction of non-objective, system-based graphics that are precisely set in motion to individual sounds within a non-lyrical, animated music video?
Research: This problem includes a brief history of graphic scores from 1950s avant-garde music composers and starts with a quick exercise to get students to make systems and behaviors quickly.
Ask me if you’d like to see my problem descriptions.
Open-Ended Question: How can designers communicate their studious observation, illustration, and mimicry skills with an animation that blends physical and digital forms of making?
Research: The first step to successfully designing motion is to become a studious observer of motion (Stone & Wahlin, 2018, p290). Motion designers watch all aspects of their life, from technology to nature and everything in between. Students studied the 12 Principles of Animation (Illusions of Life).