design = respect. Every being (including the natural world) merits respect. Designing well is one way we can manifest our respect for each other in the world. As an educator, researcher, and designer, my goal is to support inclusivity, multivocality, and value multiple perspectives and experiences. Having lived on four continents and traveled to six in my youth shaped my worldview. As a result of my experiences, I value multiple kinds of knowledges, frameworks, and perspectives which exist in and constitute the world. I strive to include this worldview in my teaching, research, and service. My current project focuses on framing a methodology for designers to work responsibly and authentically with people in context.
Research interests: human-centered design, design thinking, co-design, horizontal methods, decoloniality, contextual design.
Maria Rogal’s trans-cultural background and perspective influences her work, in which she explores the potential of design and visual communication to positively shape the human experience. She is the founder of Design for Development (D4D), an initiative to co-design with indigenous entrepreneurs in rural Mexico and subject matter experts on grassroots economic development projects. By co-designing with clients as partners it is possible to develop products and strategies relevant to the context and constituents. Her intent is to orient the design discipline toward methods and socially conscious outcomes that are sustainable and responsible.
With Raúl Sánchez, she co-authored the chapter “Co-Designing for Development” in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design, edited by RB Egenhoffer. London: Routledge Press (2018). Rogal is the recipient of several grants to support her work, including a Sappi “Ideas That Matter” grant, the inaugural American Institute of Graphic Arts Design Research Grant and three Fulbright grants. She shares her work on design methods and pedagogy at conferences, including the AIGA H3 Biennial Conference, the AIGA New Contexts/New Practices Social Economies thread, GLIDE ‘10: Global Interaction in Design—where she was awarded best paper—and at MX Design Conference: Social Impact of Design (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City). Her article “Identity and Representation: (Yucatec) Maya in the Visual Culture of Tourism” was published in the Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Journal and she was one of 24 international educators to contribute to the Icograda Design Education Manifesto Update. Her creative design work has appeared in national and international juried exhibitions in the UK, Hungary, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, and the US. She has worked as a senior designer for Sapient (Atlanta) on the design of large-scale websites for international clients, including the Dutch bank ING and at other design and marketing firms as well as with the US Government. She has also served on design juries, including chairing Design Incubation’s Communication Design Educators Awards program (founded by Steven McCarthy).
Rogal received her MFA in Design/Visual Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BA in Political Science from Villanova University. She also studied design at the University of Maryland as a post-bac student to begin her career in design. You will see the influences of a liberal arts education, early work in economic and social development, and an interest in political economy in her work.