Maria Rogal, Associate Professor
MFA, Virginia Commonwealth University
e: mrogal (at) ufl (dot) edu
design for

Research interests: design for development, design theory, semiotics, ethnography, intercultural design, typography

    Maria Rogal spent her formative years living in the US and internationally in Laos, Peru, and Liberia. Her trans-cultural perspective influences her work, which focuses on the relationship between culture and design and how we can leverage the potential of design, broadly defined, to positively shape the human experience. Since 2003, she has worked in Mexico on the Design for Development (D4D) initiative in which graphic design students and faculty work “in the field” with artisans, farmers, and organizers from marginalized Maya communities to foster small business development and create cultural programs. In 2008 she received the inaugural AIGA Design Research Grant (2008) to continue the D4D initiative and presented papers on aspects of this work at GLIDE ‘10: Global Interaction in Design (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)—where she was awarded best paper—and at MX09 Design Conference: Social Impact of Design (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City). Other writings include “Mexico: My, Your, Our Fantasy: The Problem of Flatness in Intercultural Representations of Mexicanidad” (International Journal of Intercultural Communication), “Cultural Hybridization in the Visual Vernacular” (European Academy of Design), and “South of the Border…Down Mexico Way” (Visible Language). Her creative work has been exhibited in national and international juried venues, including in the UK, Hungary, Venezuela, and Cuba.

Brian Slawson, Associate Professor
MFA, University of Michigan
e: slawson (at) ufl (dot) edu

    Brian Slawson teaches graphic design classes at the upper-division and graduate level. Generally, these courses are concept-driven, emphasize creative research and a deliberative design process, and ask students to be articulate about their visual design decisions. Slawson’s research interests began at the intersection of design, technology and learning. On these topics he offered a workshop at the Summer Design Institute (2003) at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and has presented talks at the National Educational Computing Conference (Boston), Center for Excellence in Education (Indiana University) and the National Art Education Association Conference (Chicago). A new research direction involves printing history among the Cherokee. The search for documents and artifacts has taken him to numerous archives, libraries and historic sites in Georgia and Oklahoma, as well the Houghton Library at Harvard University. In 2008, he wrote a feature article for the newsletter of the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah and has presented talks at SECAC (Jacksonville 2004) and at a UF Center for Latin American Studies Conference on Communication Technologies and the Impacts on Indigenous Languages (2007). He has also delivered invited lectures at Sam Houston State University and Florida Southern College, as well as other classrooms on the UF campus.