Professor Publishes Book Promoting Collaboration in Design Education

Rebecca Tegtmeyer, Associate Professor of Graphic Design, recently published a book she co-wrote, titled Collaboration in Design Education, with Marty Maxwell Lane. The idea for the book came while Tegtmeyer was a student at North Carolina State where she met and began working with Lane as collaborators in the Graphic Design graduate program. Together, they worked on the book for five years before it was published in September 2020.

woman wearing a green top smiling at the camera
Rebecca Tegtmeyer, Associate Professor of Graphic Design

“We worked with about 43 people on this book (37 contributing project authors, 1 forward author, 4 undergraduate student research assistants, and 1 designer). It involved a lot of project management, communication, and revising,” said Tegtmeyer, who is now a faculty member in MSU’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design and in the Experienced Architecture Program. “We also authored in-depth chapter introductions together, which involved times of writing at the same time and taking turns going back and forth, continuously editing and revising. The entire process was truly collaborative and quite enjoyable.”

The book project launched in November 2015 with a call for submissions to gather research and potential case studies. It then took a full year to review the 80+ submissions and narrow them down to 18. From there, they drafted a table of contents, shared their proposal with publishers, worked on publisher proposals and responded to peer review feedback, all before completing the full manuscript. They also worked on the design of the publication with another graduate peer, Alberto Rigau. The book took longer than a usual publication to complete because of the collaborative processes and designing their own interior layout rather than selecting a pre-designed template from the publisher.

Through our book, we aim to make collaboration in academia more possible and enjoyable by sharing the successes and challenges met with collaborative approaches from a wide variety of perspectives.

Rebecca Tegtmeyer, Associate Professor of Graphic Design

“Through our book, we aim to make collaboration in academia more possible and enjoyable by sharing the successes and challenges met with collaborative approaches from a wide variety of perspectives,” Tegtmeyer said. “We’ve called attention to objectives, methods, tools, and resources that support a collaborative practice.”

The book is divided into six sections, five of which feature case studies that are grouped as follows: Community Collaborations with Students, Faculty Sharing Knowledge to Broaden Student Experience, Peer-to-Peer Learning Across Disciplines, Confronting Bias in Cultural Exchanges, and Intradisciplinary Faculty Collaboration. The case studies range from small scale charrettes of minimal complexity to moderately complex projects to highly complex semester-long investigations.

stack of while and orange books
Cover of Collaboration in Design Education book

“We selected a range of case studies to appeal to the various needs and obstacles that educators face in diverse contexts. You will see the scope of the case studies labeled in the table of contents,” Tegtmeyer said. “The remaining chapter features interviews with designers from professional practice and academics that have collaborated with students. We hope that readers will find this book useful in designing projects and curriculum that places value on a collaborative practice.”

The target audience for this book are design and art educators along with graduate students who will eventually go into teaching. However, even though the book is specifically geared toward design education, many of the ideas, methods, and processes can be applied to other disciplines.

Tegtmeyer hopes to write more books in the future and has been consulting other design educators on the publication process and encouraging them to pursue expanding their individual ideas through writing.

To learn more about her recently published book, visit the Collaboration in Design Education website.