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Seeking Plural Narratives: Connecting and Collaborating With Students on Graphic Design Histories

What do we teach? What do we leave out? How are students contributors of knowledge and leaders in society? How might we encourage design students to engage in inquiry-based research practices? What does an inclusive design history look like? In what ways does this research become a public resource for the community? Seeking Plural Narratives is an experiment between Kansas City Art Institute’s graphic design histories students and University at Buffalo’s typographic systems’ students that attempts to answer these questions. Research partners from both universities investigate, challenge, create and tell an engaging alternate narrative to the Eurocentric design and typographic cultures. This talk will share the process of this research initiative.


Dina Benbrahim

Assistant Professor in Design University at Buffalo, SUNY

Dina Benbrahim is an Arab multidisciplinary creative who uses a feminist lens to focus on illuminating the power in human beings to be transformative forces in society. She is currently an Endowed Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Arkansas. Her research investigates design for visibility, civic action, and social justice for marginalized communities to collectively reimagine equitable futures. Previously, Benbrahim was an Assistant Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She also has eight years of industry experience in design, art direction, copywriting, and entrepreneurship in New York and Casablanca, with SYPartners New York, J. Walter Thompson New York and Casablanca, and Shem’s Publicité. Her work has been featured in national and international exhibitions and received multiple awards. Benbrahim received a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Communications and participated in the Exchange Program in Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She completed her MFA in Design and Visual Communications at the University of Florida. Benbrahim also taught design there as an Instructor of Record and was the 2020 recipient of the school’s Calvin A. VanderWerf Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is motivated to activate greatness in everyone she encounters.


Lisa Maione

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Kansas City Art Institute