Join us in Los Angeles for AIGA Converge!

Registration rates
AIGA Members: $225
Nonmembers: $275
Students: $75*

Though we urge attendees to register online, registration will be accepted onsite at the conference on a space available basis. A processing fee of $25 will be added to all registrations that are not completed online. Online registration will close on May 19, 2017 at 8pm EST (5pm PST).

*Note for student attendees: You must be both a student and a dues-paying member of AIGA to qualify for the $75 registration rate.

Cancellation policy
There will be a $20 fee for cancellations made prior to April 1. AIGA will refund 50 percent of conference fees paid for cancellations made between April 1 and May 1. No refunds will be available after May 1.


Converge conference sessions will take place in SCI (the interactive building) within the School of Cinematic Arts. Download PDF version of the schedule here

12:00pm (SCI Lobby)

Registration and Book Table open

1:00–2:00pm (SCI 108)

Pre-Conference Panel

Designing Archives: Towards a Vertical Interdisciplinarity
Virginia Kuhn (chair), Nike Nivar Ortiz, Maria Zalewska

1:00–3:00pm (SCI 209)


Maps, Friendly Mapping Tools, and Open Data
David Ramos

Participants must be Converge attendees (sign-up when you complete your conference registration).

1:00–3:00pm (SCI L106)


Making Core Memory: The Women who put Man on the Moon
Daniela Rosner, Samantha Shorey

Participants must be Converge attendees (sign-up when you complete your conference registration).



3:30–5:30pm (SCI)

School of Cinematic Arts Research Lab Tours

Read full descriptions of the labs here, and sign up via Google Forms.

3:30–4:30pm (SCI 106)

Pre-conference Panel

Real Knowledges, Virtual Designs: A Roundtable on Conducting Practice-Based Research in Virtual Reality
Adam Sulzdorf-Liszkiewicz, Kate Parsons, Samantha Gorman, Luis Blackaller, Tonia Beglari

3:30–5:30pm (SCI 209)


Using Digital Archives to teach Global Design History
Dori Griffin

Participants must be Converge attendees (sign-up when you complete your conference registration).

3:30–5:30pm (SCI L114)


Data Visualization as Participatory Action Research Method
Andrew DeRosa

Participants must be Converge attendees (sign-up when you complete your conference registration).

3:30–5:30pm (SCI L106)


How to Teach Design to Non-Design Students and Create Programs for Non-Designers
Joyce Walsh

Participants must be Converge attendees (sign-up when you complete your conference registration).

5:30–7:00pm (SCI Main Level)

Kickoff Reception

8:00am (SCI Lobby)

Registration and Book Table open

9:00am (SCI 106)

Opening Remarks and DEC Welcome/Introduction

9:30am (SCI 106)

Keynote: Johanna Drucker

10:30am–12pm (SCI 106)

Long Paper Session: Practice and Process

The Critical Turn: Critical Design; As A Matter Of Course
Daniel Jasper

Developing Complex Systems With Low-Fidelity Prototypes
Thomas Maiorana

Visual Thinking Methods for Understanding Each Other
Jessica Parris Westbrook, Adam Trowbridge

10:30am–12pm (SCI 108)

Long Paper Session: Data and Information

Data as Medium
Nicole Coleman

Case Study: Disease Modeling as an Interdisciplinary Practice
Courtney Marchese

12pm (SCI Lobby)

Lunch (provided) with Panel Discussion

The Work of Design Today: New Practices in Research and Creative Activity
This panel will examine how critical practices in design are changing. Johanna Drucker, John Jennings, Michael Gibson, and Keith Owens will discuss how design educators and researchers can evolve their work, and find new projects and modes of publication.

1:30–2:30pm (SCI 106)

Panel Session

Shape Of An Absence: Designing The Black Subject And The Case For Critical Race Design Studies
John Jennings (chair), Peter Fine, Stacey Robinson, Marshall Shorts, Intelligent Mischief

1:30–2:30pm (SCI 108)

Panel Session

Co-eval: Rethinking Contemporary Approaches To Collaboration And Critical Inquiry
Nathan Matteson (co-chair), Heather Snyder Quinn (co-chair), Eamon Duede, Ian Lynam, Kelly Bjork

5:00pm (SCI 106)

Keynote: Erik Loyer

6:00–7:30pm (SCI Courtyard)

Courtyard Celebration

Join us for an evening outdoors with food, beverages, and a live guest music performance.

8:00am (SCI Lobby)

Registration opens

Research Development and Publication Coaching Sessions (register on-site)

Facilitated by AIGA DEC Dialectic Managing Editor Keith Owens and Producer Michael Gibson. The overarching goal of this workshop/coaching session is to immerse the participants in a learning experience that will help them “see/read their manuscripts/proposals through the eyes of an editor or a producer.” A secondary goal, which operates just behind the one above, is to help all participants improve their abilities to frame and construct their scholarship, research reports, critical analyses, etc. Starts at 8AM sharp.

9:00–10:30am (SCI 108)

Long Paper Session: Forming an Interdisciplinary Team

Assuming Roles That Help Empathize, Translate, and Improve the Visibility of Design Research
David Wang

Collaborating across the University
Karen Zimmermann, Jennifer Nichols, Carolina Gonzalez

Design for Collaborative Research
Xinyi Li, Rebecca Sutton Koeser

1:00–2:30pm (SCI 108)

Lunch (provided) with Panel Discussion (optional)
Book Table opens (SCI Lobby)

Shared Futures: Practices and Methods of Speculative Design, World Building, Design Fiction and Participatory Design
Joshua McVeigh-Schultz (panel chair), Emilia Yang, Biayna Bogosian, Laura Cechanowicz, Karl Baumann

2:30–4pm (SCI 106)

2:30–4pm (SCI 108)

Panel Session

Designing Deformance
Jacqueline Lorber Kasunic, Jentery Sayers, Kate Sweetapple

4:00–5:00pm (SCI 106)

Keynote: Casey Reas

5:00–5:30pm (SCI 106)

Closing remarks… farewell, Convergers!


Conference Location

School of Cinematic Arts (SCA)
University of Southern California
900 West 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211

Organizing Committee

Jessica Barness

Associate Professor, School of Visual Communication Design, Kent State University

Her research resides at the intersection of design, humanistic inquiry, and interactive systems, investigated through a critical, practice-based approach. She has presented and exhibited her work internationally, and has published research in Design and Culture, Dialectic, Visual Communication, and Message, among others. She recently co-edited a special issue of the journal Visible Language with Amy Papaelias entitled “Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities” (2015).

Vicki Callahan

Associate Professor, School of Cinematic Arts, at the University of Southern California.

Her research and teaching is focused on the integration of theory and practice with attention to issues in film and media history, feminist studies, digital culture, media strategies for social change, and public scholarship. She was an NEH fellow for the inaugural workshop, “Scholarship in Sound and Image,” on Videographic Criticism at Middlebury College, and in 2015 she was in residence at University College Cork, Ireland as a Fulbright Scholar with a focus on digital media praxis.

Heather Corcoran

Director, College and Graduate School of Art; Professor, Design, Washington University in St. Louis

Her work explores relationships between information and expression in collaborative projects for social impact and self-generated projects for exhibition. She was lead author on the article “Making cancer surveillance data more accessible for the public through Dataspark,” published in Visible Language in 2013, and co-principal investigator on a grant funded by the National Cancer Institute (NIH), 2009-11. An exhibition of her work, Reading Time: Visual Timelines, Texts, and Canons, opened at Gallery 360 at Northeastern University in Boston in 2014.

Sarah Lowe

Professor, Graphic Design, University of Tennessee

Her work across technology, cultural heritage and museum studies researching the design of digital engagement with the public has led to research partnerships with The National Park Service, The US Holocaust Museum, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. Her work has been presented at CUMULUS, NORDES and the Museum Computer Network (MCN) in addition to several DEC conferences. In 2012/13 she was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Oslo, Norway, researching the design of educational technologies in relation to learning theory.

Amy Papaelias

Assistant Professor, Graphic Design, SUNY New Paltz

She has presented her design research and pedagogy at Theorizing the Web, the Type Directors Club, NYC DH Week, TypeCon, and other DEC conferences. In 2013, Amy participated in One Week One Tool, an NEH-funded Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities. She co-edited a special issue of the journal Visible Language with Jessica Barness entitled “Critical Making: Design and the Digital Humanities” (2015). She is a founding member of

Holly Willis

Chair, Media Arts + Practice, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California

Former DEC Steering Committee co-chair, Holly works at the intersection of cinema, design, media literacy and the humanities. She co-founded and launched the practice-based Media Arts + Practice program integrating design research and critical theory/making, and is currently involved with USC’s Mellon-funded Digital Humanities Program supporting humanists in manifesting their research through media-rich experiences. She has helped organize and has presented at many previous DEC conferences, including New Contexts/New Practices, Schools of Thought III and NEXT.


Converge brand and design

Glyphix, Kent State University

Larrie King (Assistant Professor & Creative Director)
Jordan AG. Kauffman (Project Manager & Designer)
Designers: Kels Damicone, Nate Druss, Gracie Harms, Julia Holmberg, Samantha Hudak, Jenna Myler, Emily Prusak, Cory Sutter, Grant Wang

Keynote Speakers

Johanna Drucker

“Digital Projects and the Role of the Designer”

The kinds of design tasks that come up in digital projects that are extensions of but also, sometimes, very different from, what designers have done in traditional roles, particularly graphic design. What are the current boundaries for design as a profession? What pedagogical and critical issues arise in regard to the pressures on designers to understand the “back-end” technical requirements of digital platforms as well as the “front-end” user experience. And how might critical concerns about the role of design in a consumer-driven model of experience challenge the terms of efficiency on which digital design is often premised?

Johanna Drucker is the Breslauer Professor of Bibliography in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. She has published and lectured on a wide array of topics related to graphic design, visual epistemology, aesthetics, contemporary art, artists’ books, and digital humanities. Her most recent titles include Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Harvard University Press, 2014) and Diagrammatic Writing (Onomatopée, 2013).

Casey Reas

“ULTRACONCENTRATED: Image, Media, Software”

Gathering source material from newspapers, social media profiles, broadcast television, and YouTube searches, Casey Reas has created series of software-based collages that manifest his personal confrontations with media. Reas, an artist and educator based in Los Angeles, will speak about his work with mass media from 2012 to the present. Reas is a co-founder of the Processing Foundation, whose mission is to promote software literacy within the visual arts and visual literacy within technology-related fields – and to make these fields accessible to diverse communities.

Erik Loyer

“Embodied Convergence: Personal stories of interdisciplinary collaboration and the impacts it has on the lives of the collaborators”

Erik Loyer is a digital media artist and designer who uses tactile interfaces to tell stories and make arguments. Whether original or collaborative, fiction or non-fiction, non-profit or commercial, Loyer’s apps, websites, and creative tools have received international recognition in the digital humanities, electronic literature, indie games, and digital comics fields.


Conference Location

School of Cinematic Arts
University of Southern California
900 West 34th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211


Get around LA by car or public transit, and take advantage of some discounts for conference attendees.

The main airport is Los Angeles International (LAX).

– 17.5 miles to USC from the airport
– 6 miles to Marina del Rey from the airport
– 7.5 miles to Culver City from the airport
– 12 miles to Santa Monica from the airport

Delta Airlines is offering a two to 10 percent discount (depending on when you make your reservation and fare type selected) for CONVERGE attendees flying into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). When making your reservations online at, select “Book a Trip”, then “Advanced Search”, and enter meeting event code NMPHZ in the appropriate box. You can also receive the discount by calling 800-328-1111 and mentioning the same code but please note that Delta charges a fee for phone reservations.

Avis is offering reduced car rental rates for conference participants. Make your reservations online or call 800 331 1600 and mention the AWD number J770134.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) serves the area.

The hotels in Culver City and Santa Monica are near LA’s new Metro Expo Line; the Metro fare is $1.75 one way; travel from Santa Monica is approximately 45 minutes; from Culver City, it is approximately 20 minutes. Download a Metro Expo Line map here (PDF).