National Museum of the American Indian DC

National Museum of the American Indian DC

Aesthetics & codification in surface design

Drawing and collage as methods 

I am pleased to spend my sabbatical in fall of 2017 completing 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 will include onsite drawings in the collections and comparative collages made from photography of the objects.  

My point of investigation at the Cultural Resources Center will be the use of surface design in daily objects (cradleboards, bags, dresses, blanket strips) as well as the use of surface design on ritual objects (ceremonial clothing, shields). I am considering the role of surface design/ pattern as both a visual experience and encoded information. How does pattern transform visual energy and impact psychology? How does pattern function as a storage system for cultural information/ code? These questions will be approached through a visual analysis of the collection objects.  The research drawings that I generate will analyze the formulation of pattern unit and repetition structure. They will also examine materiality in several media of interest including quilling and beading. Photographing and collaging will allow comparison across objects.

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. 

Balancing the Functions of “Learning” and “Portfolio”

The following potentials of the ELP are being explored by students and faculty.

Learning: collecting/ research/ analysis/ immersion/ new experience/ skill/ inspiration/ tool/ environment/ context/ reference/ narrative/ brainstorm/ iteration/ failure/ play/ culture/ connections/ reflection/ experiment/ prototype/ material/ sensory/ information/ questions/ data

Portfolio: collection/ record/ categorize/ document/ draft/ present/ archive/ market/ container/ overview/ progression/ objective/ style/ voice/ network/ evolving/ edit/ sharing/ access/ mobile/ sort/ display/ context/ relationships/ ownership/ story/ identity