Pamela Napier, Indiana University, and Collabo Creative
Terri Wada, Indiana University, and Collabo Creative

This presentation will give an overview and update of where our team is currently with the progress of our AIGA Design Faculty Research Grant, which was awarded for the 2015-2017 cycle.

Our research project focuses mainly on Design Education in regards to teaching People-Centered Design in a collegiate or post-secondary educational context. The outcomes of this project are centered around providing relevant teaching tools along with an established curriculum structure, in order to enable more schools to teach People-Centered Design and Design Research. The tools and curriculum that have been developed thus far have been tested, evaluated and revised within our own curriculum at (insert institution), and are now ready to begin the “Alpha” testing in different educational contexts.

At the AIGA Design Conference in Las Vegas (October 2016), we presented a holistic overview of our participatory design research frameworks as they relate to Design Education and curriculum structure. We used this venue as an opportunity to recruit Design Educators to test these materials in their respective curricula, and had over 30 educators in our Pecha Kucha session express an interest in participating.

From January – May 2017, we will be enlisting Design Educator participants from at least 3 different institutions, and from May – July 2017 we will be engaged in remote planning/curriculum preparation with those selected Design Educators in order for them to implement the curriculum tools within their programs in the fall of 2017.

For the “Lightning Round Presentation,” we will present a brief overview of our teaching tools, announce revisions we have made to the curriculum structure based on initial internal testing, and discuss our overall project timeline with implementation dates for our Beta test platform to go live.


Pamela Napier is Cofounder, Design Strategist & VP of Operations at Collabo Creative, and Assistant Professor of Visual Communication Design at Herron School of Art and Design—has been teaching across both graduate and undergraduate curricula for the past 7 years. Through both teaching and practice, Pamela has been invited to give presentations, facilitate workshops, and co-design events nationally and internationally, and has worked with an array of local, regional and national clients in the field of Design Research. She has been an AIGA member since 2002, and has been recently appointed as the AIGA Indy Chapter Education Director.

Terri Wada is Cofounder, Design Strategist & President of Collabo Creative, and Adjunct Faculty in the Visual Communication Design department at Herron School of Art and Design —is both a practitioner and educator of Design Thinking and Design Research with about a decade of experience in the field. As a part of her work with Collabo, she consults and carries out research projects for a diverse range of organizations including non-profits, start-ups and fortune 500 companies. Terri’s expertise in Design is evident in the numerous lectures and presentations she’s been invited to give nationally and abroad. Her most recent speaking endeavor includes holding a People-Centered Design workshop for the U.S. Army at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.