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The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

Social Consciousness Pays Off

August 25, 2016

VCFA alum Brian Higgins recently accepted a position at Benedictine University in Mesa, Arizona. Benedictine is the newest University in the Phoenix metro area, and is a private Christian College. Since Benedictine was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1887, it has grown to include nine campuses around the USA. The Mesa campus is just now launching the first Graphic Design courses towards a new BFA degree in Graphic Design offered by the University. This gives Brian the unique position of contributing toward the education of what will be the first graduating class of graphic designers from Benedictine Mesa.

In Brian’s words, “I am so happy to be the first professor to engage this new endeavor for them and have a very good chance to help form what that degree would look like and how the department might expand.”

Brian will be teaching the History of Graphic Design class, as well as a studio-based Typography course. Brian’s take: “I will have the best of both worlds, a lecture class and a MAKING class, so I am excited and feel very well equipped to handle this task – thanks to the incredible education that I have received from VCFA and the unrelenting support. This is what I have always wanted to do.”

Apparently, the good news doesn’t stop there for Brian, as “It’s also just a 20 minute drive from my front door to school — I couldn’t ask for more!”

Beyond his new faculty appointment, Brian will be leading a full-day official AIGA lecture and workshop event called “Design for Social Change” in Phoenix on September 10th at Lane Terralever Agency in Phoenix Arizona. This is a seminar and workshop that falls under the ‘Design for Good’ initiative that AIGA Arizona is currently unfolding.

Brian describes his lecture as such: “I have formulated a 75 slide presentation which is a documentation of Graphic Designers from the 19th century to contemporary times who all had one thing in common — socially conscious design for the goal of the greater good — as the cornerstone or basis for their respective work. The presentation contains many works of my own that are used to give examples of graphic responses to social, political, environmental and economic issues and events to help jump-start the workshop part of the program which starts immediately after a lunch break. The breakout sessions involve groups of individuals who will work together to produce a new idea, entity, campaign, product or service with the express intent of engaging with our own communities and addressing needs, seeing and attempting to solve problems through graphic design and social interaction.”


Sat, Sep 10, 2016 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

725 West McDowell Road
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Good news galore from our erstwhile alum — congratulations, Brian! Go get ’em!