Since 1993, I have created and taught digital design and career development courses for designers, illustrators and animators, at the following institutions, among others: the Center for Electronic Art, and San Francisco State University in San Francisco; The Graduate School in Washington D.C.; The Cooper Union for Science and the Arts, Marymount College, Hunter College, and Touro University in New York.
My methods are always hands-on, and class projects meet real-world objectives. In my courses, technology supports the design process. My students are firmly grounded in the principles of visual design and typography. They also learn how to craft a project brief, identify client goals, conduct research, develop concepts, and present design ideas, before approaching their digital tools. They learn to identify the expectations of the target audience, usually not the client (user-centered design). I stress the importance of user-testing their projects.
My job is to show them how they to find a starting point for inspiration, and then I provide constructive feedback and demonstrate alternative approaches to solving the design challenge. They gain experience in collaboration, including brainstorming and critique. For me, a great source of personal satisfaction is how much I am also learning through teaching.
When students enroll in design courses simply to learn software such as Photoshop or CSS, I offer them the context in which software is a useful tool, some much-needed structure, and a more thoughtful approach to design which will help them throughout their careers.
I always leave them with enough knowledge and experience to go further on their own. You can read about the student experience in my reviews.
I love watching the light go on.
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