Career Overview

For me, design is a way to determine how things function, not just how they look. Design involves assembling the right people, asking and responding to questions, and iterating forms continuously. This process works equally well for small graphic design projects as it does to running classrooms and organizations. Below is an attempt to organize 20 years of this work.

 

g Organizational Leadership
I have become increasingly interested and invested in creating healthy and productive work environments — the combination of spacemaking, systems and collaborative working.

The D.O. designed a building identity that soon filled our then-empty building with individual artists and arts organizations. More
The Design Office

In 2007, I founded a small shared workspace. Since then, it has quadrupled in size and housed more than 30 graphic designers, industrial designers, type designers, architects, photographers and programmers. Members

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The D.O. provides just enough infrastructure to enable peer to peer collaborations and learning. Common areas and resources keep the curated group of practitioners connected, while everyone is working on their own businesses and bodies of work. More at thedesignoffice.org

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The D.O. initiates and funds projects, from furniture to software. Projects

Events such as book signings, lectures, works-in-progress critiques open up the space to the larger community. Events


Rhode Island School of Design

As Head of the Graphic Design Department from Jan 2014 until Jan 2017, I led a talented community of 225+ undergraduates and graduates, 12 full-time faculty, 4 staff members and an additional 30 part-time faculty members. During this period, I led renovations to our graduate studio, created an exhibition and event space, scripted new curriculum and more. More at risd.edu and risd.gd


Extra-curricular events — panels, lectures, workshops, etc. — bring together faculty, top practitioners in the field, and students. More

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The GD Commons opened in fall of 2015. Read more about it at commons.risd.gd


I have initiated projects that help the community stay informed and connected. The Notices tumblr theme, outputs flyers and has an animated kiosk mode. See the project


‘Newly Formed,’ taught by Christopher Sleboda, was one of several new research electives in spring 2016. See all the electives

7 Data-Driven Systems
There are many types of data, and many ways to work with it. I find it important to make it approachable, penetrable and purposeful. Projects
Database projects for large audiences

Printable realtime guide to a three-month exhibit created for the RISD Museum. Hundreds of visitors pressed the button daily to print a visual summary of events, weather and extra info from a browser application running in the blue box. More

 

Touchscreen kiosk for U.S. military cemeteries worldwide. One million annual visitors access the project at the Normandy American Visitor Cemetery. More

 


Web-based software
This website uses Flatfile, a WordPress theme I co-created for artists that blends a portfolio site with a blog. Flatfile was a paid theme for the first year, and since has been distributed free under the GNU Public License. More

I have initiated and designed several re-usable software systems. These generally arise to meet an organizational or community need. See these projects.

The Charrette WordPress theme was created for project-based classroom management. More


Visualization

Reuters Financial Infographics consists of dozens of visualizations and table layouts syndicated to top newspapers worldwide. More

 


Visualization of traffic light colors in twelve second exposures. Part of Yale MFA Thesis, Take Your Time

( Custom Design Objects
In addition to systems work, I maintain a practice creating distinct and unique design objects, whether resulting from a commission or personal interest.

The shape of letters has been an ongoing area of interest, leading to one-offs, short-run experiments and typefaces. Projects

Editions/Ephemera/Books

Modern Pictograms is a set of 234 icons for desktop, web and mobile designers. Printed specimen, font and distribution with three foundries and own website. 160,000+ downloads since 2012. More

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The shape of letters has been an ongoing area of interest, leading to one-offs, short-run experiments and typefaces. See projects

Monograph of architect Ira Rakatansky, designed and co-edited with Lynnette Widder, was a four-year effort that surveyed the work of the first Modernist architect in Rhode Island. Published by William Stout Publishers in 2010.

B Teaching & Research
I have taught more than twenty undergraduate and graduate-level courses dating back to 2006.



Present research interests center around the Web browser as a general purpose design tool. I have taught front-end Web programming as a creative act, central to creating digitally native forms and interactions. Additionally, I am consistently testing and documenting collaborative working models — alternates to the solo auteur model of making work. This particularly plays out at The Design Office, where the term “WE” helps to organize our efforts.


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November 1, 2014