» I am a designer who is committed to the integration of concept, form and technology to communicate in an insightful and expressive manner as I explore various design problems. I utilize a thorough understanding of digital media and technology coupled with a maturing command over conceptual and theoretical practice to explore complex problems related to design and visual communication. As I complete my first year in the MFA program, I note that one of my primary concerns, as a designer is to consider and explore how design can have the potential for altruism and/or societal benefit.

Altruism and/or Societal Benefit are…
  • Information organization and design
  • Posters for you to learn
  • A website to make you think
  • A more comfortable chair

    » After earning a degree in Human Services (psychology) from Montreat College in North Carolina, I traveled throughout Europe for the better part of a year. Much of this time was spent writing and reflecting on an educational center I wanted to start, where groups of all sizes could come to learn about teamwork, team building and leadership.

    » Upon returning home in 1998, I was living with my parents and painting office buildings while contemplating “the school idea.” Depression and confusion gave way to a helpless life-stance that stifled nearly all of my creative output. This depression I am certain was the result of not pursuing what had always been a very important aspect of my life, creative communication. In 2000 I again changed gears and launched Creative Root, a design consultancy that provides cutting edge corporate creative solutions.

    » Yet again, restlessness and dissatisfaction invaded my life. Pushing pixels and working with design as only a commodity was leaving me empty and basically bored. This time I countered with the move to attend graduate school. Creative Root continues while I pursue this MFA. In this way, I can be a part of a larger, richer experience ­ which embraces the cross fertilization of the professional practice of design with the academic exploration ­ neither of which are mutually exclusive to each other. This continued involvement allows me to employ what I learn here in the proof of concept.

    » My objective in pursuing an MFA is two-fold. First, I seek to strengthen my formal and conceptual skills ­ and ground them in a stronger theoretical framework. I strive to have an open and discerning eye for the human (natural and unnatural) and cultural hints that so many people cannot perceive or generally overlook. Second, I desire to investigate personality, emotional intelligence and academic maturity within an ethnographic framework. I feel that stable and productive members of society are a result of simply understanding themselves, their position in life, their culture or the world around them. With a careful and capable voice, I will attempt to visually exemplify these concepts.

    » This has been a year of discomfort, challenge and growth. I have worked tirelessly at identifying and labeling my inherent traits, then cross referencing them against what I perceive to be a strength or weakness. From this effort I am in the process of creating an internal database of what I can offer a student, my department, the university, the world and myself. The theme of this year has been that of education research, design sensitivity and thought provocation. I have accomplished this through research into educational practices, teaching (a challenging assistantship assignment), research application development and then writing about these experiences and practices. I have taken risks this year on a conceptual level, and have worked to explore new methodologies, including most recently participating in the Mexico Program to explore ethnographic methods as they relate to communication.

    » Next year I strive to further explore and employ ethnography with regards to design, thought provocation and time-based media.

    » Ethnography: All that I do is an ethnographic study. My design centers on the minuscule (human) and grand (cultural) clues that elude the eye and flit around in the wind. I want to further understand and communicate these highly important glimpses into human nature.

    » Thought Provocation: I will do this by constructing a serious of “O-Matic” research engines. The O-Matic research, data-warehouse and propaganda tool is a web-enabled, database driven application that allows a researcher to ask a series of questions, house the results and then through viral marketing (in this case e-cards) build awareness to their cause while challenging others to think about the issue related to the specific O-Matic engine.

    » Time-Based Media: In some cases two-dimensional design is limiting as a medium to present my work. I feel that a multi-disciplinary, multi-media approach provides the needed flexibility, portability and appearance some of my research requires for proper transmission.

    Biafra, Jello ­ ideas
    Cocom, Juan Castillo ­ ethnography, anthropology
    Davis, Joshua ­ creativity
    Edison, Thomas ­ creative genius
    Franklin, Ben ­ creative genius
    Gondry, Michel - concept
    Garrett, Jesse James ­ information design
    Morrison, Jim - nihilism, excess
    Rice, John ­ educational and democratic ideals
    Shedroff, Nathan ­ experience design
    Smith, Winston ­ aesthetic, communicative art
    Thomas, Allen - freethinker
    Zeldman, Jeffrey ­ design web design, standards

  • INDEX | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | OUTDEX