Professor, Graphic Design / Design & Visual Communications
Affiliate Faculty, Center for Latin American Studies and Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship
Research Interests: co-design, design with the pluriverse, equitable design
Geographical Focus: México
design with and for respect. As an educator, researcher, and designer, I aim to support inclusivity and multivocality. I value multiple perspectives and experiences. Having lived on four continents and traveled to six shaped my worldview. As a result of my experiences then and now, 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.
My trans-cultural background and perspective influence my work, in which I explore the potential of design and visual communication to shape the human experience positively. I founded Design for Development (D4D) 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, I find it possible to develop products and strategies relevant to the context and constituents. To this end, I intend to orient the design discipline toward methods and socially conscious outcomes that are sustainable and responsible. Most recently, I co-founded Codesigning Equitable Futures with Dori Griffin and Laura Gonzales.
With Raúl Sánchez, I co-authored the chapter “CoDesigning for Development” in The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Design, edited by RB Egenhoffer. London: Routledge Press (2018). I received several grants to support my work, including a Sappi “Ideas That Matter” grant, the inaugural American Institute of Graphic Arts Design Research Grant, and three Fulbright grants. I share my 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 I was awarded best paper—and at MX Design Conference: Social Impact of Design (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City). My article “Identity and Representation: (Yucatec) Maya in the Visual Culture of Tourism” was published in the Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Journal. I was one of 24 international educators contributing to the Icograda Design Education Manifesto Update.
My creative design work has appeared in national and international juried exhibitions in the UK, Hungary, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, and the US. In the past, I have worked as a senior designer for Sapient (Atlanta) on the design of large-scale websites for international clients, including the Dutch bank ING, and worked at other design agencies as well as with the US Government. I served on design juries, including Design Incubation’s Communication Design Educators Awards program from 2016–2022, and chaired the program in 2018 and 2019.
I received my MFA in Design/Visual Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University. Before that, I studied Political Science at Villanova University, where I received my BA, and at the University of Maryland, where I studied advertising design. You will see the influences of a liberal arts education, early work in economic and social development, and an interest in equity in my work.