Discourse of Intersection

Two examples presented at a recent talk/discussion at New Mexico State University. Many art and design programs are in the midst of developing a new level of academic criteria – reactive to the changing needs, values, opportunities and technical advances of the art and design community. The following ideas were identified as current topics, concerns, and trends in design academia and reflective of the shifting nature of commercial criteria being asked of students as they enter the workforce.

Unlike any other form of artistic expression / graphic design has the unique capacity to embrace, promote and bear witness to all other forms of visual communication.

John P. Corrigan | 2011

Forward: A proposition

Shifting core departmental values to envelope Design Thinking where design is seen as a visual language—the broad definition of design becomes inclusive and democratic in nature.

  • The common language of design is influenced by culture
  • Interpretive language surges through many disciplines of expression across the spectrum of  departmental demographics and needs
  • In order to increase depth students are encouraged to overlap projects, disciplines and media
  • Critical Thinking; infusion of current events, culture, politics
  • Teaching HOW to research informs appropriate and unique design solutions
  • Vision and Voice
  • Examining historically successful campaigns in art and design to evaluate point of view, message delivery, and audience recognition
  • Conviction /articulation /conversation
  • A departmental dedication towards nurturing a passion for positive, smart, creative engagement of polarizing issues such as: cultural conditions, sustainability, and social justice
  • Community outreach and connection
  • Exceeding the discrepancy between academia and real world experience
  • Real community based student lead projects can extend into many classes and subject matter
  • Understand that with a mixed community multiple view points from students can extend beyond campus, bring solutions home, develop a voice and point of view.

Media Neutrality

  • Not presuming a specific outcome without the work leading to the project
  • Allow the solution to drive design, not the reverse
  • Allow flexibility
  • Understand that design solutions may/may not be visual
  • Understanding the uniqueness of current muti‐media opportunities including: web channels, video exchange, pod casting, image sharing, social networks.

fig. 1 “Intersect” Graphic used to represent the connection and overlap between art and design. The three identified points of intersection create a new inter-media experience. As each graph rotates the area of interaction shifts.


fig. 2 “Discourse” A mapping diagram used to illustrate the history of visual communication and design. At each divergence a new vocabulary is created to evoke potential dogmatic criteria in which work[s] are initiated and practiced.



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