National Museum of the American Indian DC

National Museum of the American Indian DC

Aesthetics & Meaning in surface design

Drawing Research 

In the fall of 2017 I completed a visual study of Nitsitapii (Blackfoot) art and design from the Object Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian in Maryland, followed by a responsive series of studio works.  My research methods included onsite drawings in the collections of objects including bags, dresses, shirts and moccasins. The drawings that I generated analyzed the formulation of pattern units and repetition structure. I also examined materiality in several media of interest including quilling, beading, embroidery, and dress construction.

The time spent with the objects focused my attention on the role of surface design in the psychological experience of wearing/ using. I considered surface design/ pattern as both a visual experience and encoded information. Back in the studio I continue to explore these central questions: How does pattern create visual energy and impact psychology? How does pattern function as a storage system for cultural information/ code?  When does surface design contribute to the transformation of the daily into the timeless? How does the act of embellishment strengthen interpersonal relationships? 


Everyday creativity in mother-makers


This project explores the impact of motherhood on making practice and creativity, as well as the role of collaboration and play in creative process. The project is a year long mail-based collaboration with three artists. Objects are created in three steps, with each artist starting an object, mailing the object to the next artist to continue and finally mailing to the last artist to complete.  The format mirrors the exquisite corps drawing game, but does not consider head/body/feet, rather begin/ add/ resolve. The three makers all work in fibers/ soft sculpture, have an interest in the talismanic properties of art objects and see motherhood as generative to creative practice. 

Project Collaborators:

Rachel Klinghoffer:

Brett Windham:


 Detail Collaborative Object RBA Round 1

Detail Collaborative Object RBA Round 1

 Tag Cloud/ Parsons Student Learning Portfolio

Tag Cloud/ Parsons Student Learning Portfolio

Reflection in design practice

does reflecting in a Digital workspace enhance design student learning and creativity?

This question has inspired my deep engagement in the The New School’s Electronic Learning Portfolio (ELP) initiative.  I serve as Special Assistant to the Provost for Learning Portfolios, the Learning Portfolio Liaison for Parsons, member of the University ELP Committee, and have developed several of our curricular directives and resources. 

A paper co-authored with Mariah Doren, Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Learning at Parsons School of Design is pending publication: A Pedagogy for Reflective Practice: Art and Design Thinking Made Visible, 2018. 

Conference Co-presentations with Mariah Doren include: 

The Virtual Studio: Reflection Practice. 2017 DEL (Digitally Engaged Learning), London, England.

The Virtual Studio: Strategies for Integrating E-Learning Portfolios. 2016 AAEEBL (The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning), Boston, MA.