Teaching Statement

In teaching, I strive not only to pass on the skills and knowledge that are part of my design practice and heritage but also to impart the students with passion for what designers do. I wish to instill in them the sense of being privileged to communicate messages and an awareness of the responsibility it entails. I strive for students to be responsible global citizens with an awareness of ethical principles, impact of our actions on society and the environment who can collaborate with colleagues from other disciplines and whose designs deal with clients' problems head on.

I observe developments in the design field and address these in my practice as well as in my teaching. Designing on global scale, blurring of boundaries between the design disciplines, interdisciplinary collaboration and sustainable design practices are integral parts of my own research. I use this experience as an example to my students and I often involve them in my projects. I also actively seek out projects that allow my students to collaborate with professionals from other disciplines.

I place emphasis on a concept behind a solution and teach students how to generate strong ideas though research and analysis while developing their individual voice and expression. I use my advertising background to teach the basics of targeting the right audience, and recognizing consumer trends and behaviors.

Certain techniques and visual approaches are more appropriate than others, depending on the communication goals. I do not believe in watering down design standards and substituting them with cheap computer gimmicks. Computers have become indispensable in our day and age, but computer skills have to be supported by strong design awareness and concept development. Besides spending time in lecture and discussion aimed at strengthening these, students generate numerous sketches and develop several of them before they take a project to the computer.

Each class has its own dynamics. Although I adhere to the course criteria, I try to be sensitive in adjusting the content of the class to create an atmosphere conducive to learning. I often meet individually with students to assess their progress. I offer encouragement and constructive criticism suggesting ways for improvement in specific works. I give "hands on" demonstrations in order to broaden students' horizons of
the many possible solutions to a design problem. I suggest relevant designers, design schools, and books that relate to the student's concept.

In addition, I take advantage of small group critiques during which I meet with five to six students at one time. Small groups are informal enough to allow open discussion and give relevant feedback to strengthen concepts and execution. The projects are formally presented at a critique where students defend their choices. The class then reacts and gives feedback. I encourage everybody to use relevant visual vocabulary and express why a solution is successful or not and how it can be improved. This sharpens students' reasoning, observation and design skills all at once.

To prepare students for employment, I address issues such as applying for internships, résumé writing, portfolio development, design and computer skills as expected by industry; production, and printing processes. I also discuss problems related to working for international markets. I encourage students to become involved in the local art and design community and I provide them with opportunities to do so.

I use my education, training and practice to advance students' understanding of design and I strive to help them find themselves, and their own voice in their work.