2D and 3D Foundation Design
Industrial Design Studios: Freshman through Junior level Studios
Circuitry and Smart Textiles
I approach the teaching of Industrial Design as being larger than merely the aesthetic end of engineering. Industrial Design requires that the product function in a manner that addresses a specific need, but more often many needs. The best designs result from the product designer’s ability to blend aesthetics, function, and user-needs, while being conscious of the environment, culture, economics and the society it must perform within.
Teaching at Parsons School of Design in NYC for 15 years focused on cutting edge design markets, both in terms of technology and social developments. A deep commitment to sustainability, ergonomics, user-‐based design and equitability was rooted in all projects. My experience working within a community that was rich in cultural diversity, with classrooms made up of many nationalities and cultural backgrounds taught me to approach all students and projects with an emphasis on finding that common language that design provides in order to express the diverse experiences we all bring to the table regardless of native tongue, or cultural background. Teaching at Kutztown University for 6 years with its strong emphasis on education theory made me conscious of how to approach the teaching of my subject matter; to be stringent in matching the assignment to the desired outcome, developing appropriate assessment strategies to ensure the goals have been met. Teaching at Jefferson (formerly Philadelphia University) since 2011, has taught me a great deal about running collaborative and cross disciplinary projects, and expanding the classroom on a global level. I have had the opportunity to develop curriculum and try out methodologies. This is in many ways the way of the student, as I to continue to learn and experiment.
Being able to teach a student to walk through the design process is an exercise in trust. To trust in the ambiguity and the unknown, and believe you will not fail…or if you do that your teacher will help you up and get you back on the path. All of the skills needed are available to the student who keeps going forward with confidence from the above lessons. Any processes can be learned or contracted. It is the confidence that is needed first, and that comes from knowing someone is walking along side of you, gently guiding. This is a journey, the student’s time at University. Where they come in as children and they leave ready to walk out into the world. It is an amazing journey, and a privilege to share it with them. I believe that students will excel to the degree in which the teacher sets a high bar for them, and is clear in the expectation and demonstrated confidence that the student can reach that bar, with the appropriate tools and guidance. I do not believe that any student truly is satisfied with mediocrity, and it is my job to help the student find the sweet spot that will call out to them when almost every bit of energy is drained yet one more brilliant idea is there on the horizon.
At Jefferson, I coordinate and oversee the Sophomore Industrial Design Studio curriculum. I also teach Freshman, and Junior Industrial Design Studios as needed. Together with the Textile Department I have developed curriculum for a Smart Textile course, integrating soft circuitry with weaving. I have also developed curriculum for and am currently teaching a series of three Lighting courses for a minor/concentration in Lighting Design that are cross-listed between Industrial Design, Architecture, and Interior Design.
Lectures and Workshops
In addition to class room teaching, I also lecture on the changing field of Lighting Design, as well as offer workshops on Lighting Design to schools that do not currently have a lighting program or equipment for their students to explore the magic of illuminating public spaces. Contact me for more information.