Diverse Perspectives Series

Diverse Perspectives Series

Breaking the Peripheral Barrier as the Other Brown Designer

Archana Shekara, Professor of Graphic Design, Co-Director of Ethnic Studies Program, and Creative Director of Design Streak Studio at Illinois State University
Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 5:30 PM EST
via YouTube Live

Co-hosted by Associate Professor Clarissa Ceglio, and Digital Media & Design students Zoe Orie and Kailey Frieden

Archana Shekara’s presentation will address transnational identity and racial equity through a brown cultural lens.


About the Speaker:

Archana Shekara is a Professor of Graphic Design, Co-Director of Ethnic Studies Program, and Creative Director of Design Streak Studio, a research-based social innovation lab focusing on human-centered service design at Illinois State University. Shekara has 27 years of professional experience designing for diverse industry clients. She uses design to build cross-cultural understanding, acceptance, and respect. As a socio-cultural researcher, she investigates her transnational identity as an Indian American by understanding racial equity and decoloniality through a brown cultural lens and creates cultural awareness using ethnographic narratives. Her medium for creative expression takes on various forms, such as type design, curating immersive, participatory experiences, and interactive installations using mixed and various emerging digital media that evoke multi-sensory responses. 

Shekara’s scholarship in teaching includes design pedagogy related to cross-cultural awareness and identity, social justice, and community engagement. Her teaching and research have been featured in peer-reviewed national and international academic and professional publications and conferences including Association Typographique Internationale (AtypI), Virtual Design Education Forum (VDEF23), Typography Day, Digitally Engaged Learning (DEL), MODE Summit, Electronic Visualization and the Arts (EVA) London, Society of Experiential Design (SEGD), AIGA Design Educators Conference (DEC), AIGA National Conference, College Art Association (CAA), Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), and UCDA Design Educators Summit. She has also participated in DesignInquiry, an international peer-reviewed residency for experimental graphic design research. Shekara was featured in the national AIGA’s One Designer, One Work. Shekara is the founder and chair of the South Asian Design Educators Alliance (SADEA), which aims to promote and share South Asian design histories, pedagogies, and perspectives globally. She is a board member of the award-winning The Peoples Graphic Design Archive. Shekara received an MFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BFA in Painting from the State University of New York in New Paltz.  For more information about her work: The HER Project


This event is brought to you by UConn’s Department of Digital Media & Design in partnership with UConn’s Asian American Cultural Center.

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