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Rebecca Tegtmeyer is a graphic design educator and practitioner. Through her active research, writing, making, and teaching agenda she investigates the role of a designer and the design process through a variety of forms—from static to dynamic, time-based to print. Working both individually and collaboratively she approaches design as catalyst in facilitating systems that preserve, protect, and provide—further extending the capabilities and responsibilities of a designer in today’s complex world.
Currently, Rebecca is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at Michigan State University. Prior to entering academics, she worked at Willoughby Design, a boutique design studio, followed by Kuhn & Wittenborn, an integrated marketing agency, before working at Hallmark Cards Inc. for seven years. At Hallmark she had various roles that primarily involved managing product development and designers in merchandising, marketing, and in-house communications.
At Michigan State University she teaches undergraduates and graduates in the areas of interaction design, motion design, typography, user experience and branding design—contributing to both the Graphic Design curriculum and the new Experience Architecture (XA) degree program. She is the Director of Visual Interaction Design at MATRIX, MSU’s Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences. In this role she creates dynamic interactive environments for searching large data collections. Projects include the Vietnam Archive, Slave Biographies, Foodborne Illness Tracker, and a Language Preservation Project for Cherokee and Ojibwa—all of these are at various levels in the grant funding process.
Rebecca has presented at several international and national conferences organized by the highest-ranking organizations in the design field such as: AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), UCDA (University and College Designers Association), Cumulus (International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media), and DRS (Design Research Society). participated in DesignInquiry, a non-profit educational organization devoted to researching design issues in intensive team-based gatherings. This experience lead to a DesignInquiry Design Cities: Detroit residency at MOCAD (The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit) as part of MOCAD’s Department of Education and Public Engagement’s Program. Currently, she is the
Through my research of learning communities, I uncovered a specific need for people to become experts in an area unfamiliar to them. The online environment offers affordances connecting people in these circumstances to information and others in similar situations; empowering them to control and participate in their learning process. The design of interaction in the online environment becomes critical in their quest for information. This led to my graduate thesis, Spatial Mapping and Navigation: physical and online environments, which investigated imageability, spatial relationships, and organization of information in online environments. I am interested in the interactions between online and physical environments, motivations for searching, and the use of cognitive structures to further frame information architecture systems.