AAS Communication Design Students join our community with a diverse mix of previous life experiences. They are practitioners in fields like biology, law, economics, and medical research, all of which trained them to apply a specific set of methodologies to look at the world. Yet they discovered and acknowledged a growing passion for Communication Design. Going back to school—to initiate this compelling shift of their practice—takes courage and dedication. It has my uttermost respect.
Learning the methodologies of a new discipline, we tell them in their first week, starts with unlearning. Leaving behind what you know in order to see the world anew will lead to questions that trigger rethinking and shaping the future. Beyond critical thinking and agency to foster sustainable thinking and social justice, our students develop creative skills that are independent of technology, media, or zeitgeist.
The class of 20/21 had to unlearn, learn, and invent faster than we could have anticipated. The COVID-19 pandemic hit right in the middle of their studies and the program had to transition to remote learning. Students actively shaped our altered reality in which making—the translation of ideas into form & material—no longer included many of our traditional analog processes. Besides this ability to rethink practices, the resilience of the AAS Communication Design community is grounded in the remarkable sense of peer-to-peer collaboration. In this spirit, this website is a landscape of interweaved graduates’ projects to reflect cross-pollination, encounters of the familiar with the unexpected, and new meanings in the margins.