AIGA is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected organizations for practicing designers. Born from this organization, the AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC) seeks to enhance the abilities of design educators and educational institutions to prepare future designers for excellence in design practice, design theory and design writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels while supporting the fundamental mission of AIGA. The DEC is comprised of 13 dedicated educators providing service and leadership to the Community. These 13 represent a range of experience, interests, types of programs, and regions.
I have served on the DEC since 2018 and am honored to announce that as of Summer 2020 I will be leading alongside the Chair of Design at Virginia Tech as AIGA DEC Co-Chair. Institutions with faculty on the committee include: California College of the Arts, The New School Parsons School of Design, University of Florida, University of Arkansas, Tennessee State University, and many more including a handful of practicing designers.
AIGA’s purpose is to further excellence in design as a broadly-defined discipline, strategic tool for business and cultural force. AIGA is a professional association committed to stimulating thinking about design through the exchange of ideas and information, the encouragement of critical analysis and research, and the advancement of education and ethical practice.
The DEC was established in 2004 to support the unique activities and responsibilities of the design educator at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels in a wide variety of institutional settings. The broad goals of this community are to:
facilitate communication among design educators
create, foster and promote dialogue
produce design education events such as conferences and competitions
present current research and teaching methods
establish standards for design education
differentiate between design’s various subdisciplines
raise the level of design-driven thinking in schools across the country
communicate the value of design education to the larger profession
Subjects of interest to the Design Educators Community Steering Committee span teaching, research and service. They include curriculum and program development, design theory and history, methodology, typography, usability research, and the social roles of designers, as well as tenure, promotion, teaching standards and school accreditation.
AIGA periodically assesses the changing context for practice and implications for the pre-service, college education of designers, and continuing education of professionals. We examine social, technological, and economic trends that will shape the environment in which designers work and identify related competencies for successful practice. For instance, the prescient“Design Futures”, comprised of seven competencies, which were approved by the full membership of NASAD and currently guide accreditation reviews of institutions with programs in communication design.