Incentivizing Responsible Design: What Makes It Worth It?

New date: Wednesday March 28, 2018 1:00 pm Howard University LV Childers Hall (Fine Arts building) Recital Hall Room 3001 2455 6th Street, NW, Washington DC 20059 METRO: Shaw/Howard U […]

New date: Wednesday March 28, 2018

1:00 pm
Howard University LV Childers Hall (Fine Arts building)
Recital Hall Room 3001
2455 6th Street, NW, Washington DC 20059
METRO: Shaw/Howard U – Green/Yellow line




Incentivizing Responsible Design: What Makes It Worth It?

Have you ever seen an ad that portrays negative representation or seems to be promoting something harmful? Have you ever felt like maybe the ad industry is too entrenched in profiteering and consumerism? Do you think that in order to be in design or advertising you sometimes have to set aside personal value systems in order to have a steady paycheck? The responsible design movement aims to change the advertising and design industry to design for good and produce ethically-responsible creative work that contributes to positive, socially-conscious progress. Join us for a timely, conscientious panel discussion with some key players in the industry who are actively engaged in the #responsibledesign movement. We will discuss how we can make responsible design more attractive and lucrative for our design professionals. We welcome all to join!



José Fernández
Senior Digital Art Director, GMMB

José Fernández specializes in creative strategy and concept development – from research and ideation to execution – turning brief insights into visually compelling consumer-facing experiences across broadcast, digital and social. At GMMB, José has contributed his creative and visual sensibilities as leading Art Director on high-impact projects for clients, such as Save Lives California. He has over a decade of experience creating online and offline advertising campaigns for major brands like NPR and Toyota. Outside of GMMB, José speaks at various technical and creative workshops, and is a co-instructor of a multimedia course. Prior to joining the firm, José worked at BBDO and earned his MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design where his thesis work won the Award of Excellence.


Ambica Prakash
Education Director, AIGA DC

Ambica Prakash is the Principal of Eighty2degrees, an award-winning social impact design studio in Washington, DC. She brings more than 15 years of design experience from both academic and professional perspectives. For Ambica, design is about creating positive impact. She has worked with clients such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, United Nations Foundation, National Geographic, DC Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, Aspen Institute, and DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company to name a few. Prior to establishing Eighty2degrees, Ambica was a professor of graphic design at the University of Wisconsin and American University. She holds three degrees in design, including an MFA. Ambica is currently the Education Director of the DC chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). She is committed to collaboration between creatives and clients to encourage and implement socially-responsible design practices. Ambica also enjoys spending time with her family, running and hiking in Rock Creek Park, and experimenting with and sharing culinary delights in her kitchen with friends and family.


Jerome Harris
Teaching Fellow, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

Jerome W. Harris is an independent graphic designer and teaching fellow at Maryland Institute College of Art. He holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University, 2016, and a BA from Temple University, 2009. His practice is founded in both contemporary and responsible design, working with socially-conscious organizations, individuals, businesses, and institutions. Outside of his design practice, Jerome is a choreographer, gamer, and music enthusiast, all of which either directly or tangentially inform both his personal and professional work.



Miriam Ahmed
Lecturer, Department of Art, Howard University

Dr. Miriam Ahmed teaches graphic design at Howard University in Washington, DC. As a visual communicator, she has been the recipient of several design awards. Her portfolio includes a wide variety of print media ranging from corporate branding, publication design, to event branding and promotion, as well as website design and development. For over six years, Dr. Ahmed served as Webmaster and designer within the largest academic unit of a university implementing creative intelligence and best practices into innovative print and web solutions, and has worked as a designer with several other client organizations. She was previously an Assistant Professor of Visual Communication at the American University in Dubai, UAE. Dr. Ahmed received her BFA and MFA in Graphic Design at Howard University, Washington DC, and earned her doctorate in Mass Communications and Media Studies at Howard. Her research interests include typeface persona, responsible design, and visual communication in politics. Her dissertation investigated the use of Gotham in Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.



Alex McSwain
Assistant Professor, Department of Art, Howard University

Alexander McSwain received his BFA in Communication Design as well as a MFA in Environmental Design from Howard University. During that time he worked in the not for profit arena working with Shaw-Eco Village (tackling the issue of stormwater run-off in DC), DOEE formally the DDOE (educating youth about the importance of green collar work and environmental awareness and education), and MCSR (Men Can Stop Rape Organization teaching young men how to be strong without being violent). He was asked to become an executive board member for MCSR in 2015 and continues to serve as an active member. He has had the opportunity to work with several companies and clients ranging from Cushman and Wakefield to start up magazine companies. His portfolio contains works from various design disciplines; UXI design, web design, publication / marketing materials, brand development, packaging, 2D Animation, and apparel design. Currently he is taking on volunteer design projects to help not for project organization nationally in hopes to reconnect with his not for profit roots and allow his skills to help improve the lives of others.