The means by which we find our way; Observations on Design

03.11.08 |

248 pages, Ramp Press, Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology); First Edition edition (October 2, 2008)

Mid-year 2007, I was fortunate enough to begin working on an exhibition with my colleague David Gardener. What started off as a simple graphics exhibition in our local gallery, ended up a touring exhibition that was found its way into book form; The means by which we find our way; Observations on design.

The beauty of this project was in the design process. An exhibition that included a graphical response  gave us the opportunity to get designers to share personal moments of experienced design. Although design is both an experienced and communicative medium, rarely do designers have the opportunity to share their own experiences as users. The experience of users is something we hope to consider when responding to a design problem, but often we exclude ourselves from the pool of viewers, in an effort to not skew our efforts. The means by which we find our way; Observations on design provided this platform.

Divided into three sections, the book offers:
(examples) – reinterpreted local, Hamilton urban landscapes
(examples) – international design educators describing experiences that, due to an unfamiliar language, knowledge, format, timing or environment, led to a greater level of appreciation or understanding of visual communication
(examples) – essays responding to graphic design operating in a non-commercial function, designers as writers, collaborative graphic design projects and design functioning as research.

For more information about the project or information on how to host the exhibition, please visit the project website:

Jackie Malcolm / Teaching Fellow, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, Scotland


The book The means by which we find our way: Observations on design looks at how graphic designers and educators navigate both the visual and the printed landscape. By the varied responses to similar visual design problems, personal reflections on design experiences and the consequent included essays, this book intends to provide a platform for learning and be a source for new collaborations and initiatives within the field of both design and design education.

Including submissions from design educators from over twenty countries and representing over fifty institutions.
Lisa M. Abendroth, Guido Alvarez, Jason Bader, Helena Barbosa, Jeff Barlow, Eric Benson, Jim Bryant, Audra Buck-Coleman, Kate Carlyle, Scott Carnz, Elisabeth Charman, Zhang Chen, Saeri Cho, Halim Choueiry, Jan Conradi, Chris Corneal, Stephanie Cunningham Rich, Gerry Derksen, Oscar Fernandez, Scott Fisk, Kenneth FitzGerald, Mara Jevera Fulmer, Gaby Esser-Hall, Dana Ezzell Gay, David Gardener, Peter Gilderdale, Carole Goodman, Gary M. Gowans, Matt Greenwell, Deb Hall, Montse Hernandez i Sala, Adrienne Hooker, Deborah Huelsbergen, Dora Isleifsdottir, Daniel Jasper, Gunta Kaza, Don Kline, Jennifer Kopping, Assaf Krebs, Ida Kumoji, Ana Llorente-Thurik, Philip Long, Wade Lough, Joyce Walsh Macario, Jackie Malcolm, Sarah McCoy, Terri McManus, Jennifer McKnight, Isabel Meirelles, Dario M. Muhafara, Leila Musfy, Nazli Eda Noyan, Mette Ohlendorff, Ms. Mervi Pakaste, Mookesh Patel, Luciano Perondi, Massimo Pitis, Jessica Ring, Eddy Roberts, Kelly Salchow, Carrie Lee Schwartz, Emre Senan, Silvia Sfligiotti, Allen Sheets, Valerie Sloan, Kent D. Smith, Julie Spivey, Edwin Utermohlen, Iris Utikal, William van Giessen, John H. Walker, Joyce Walsh Macario, Will Wang, Andrea Wilkinson, Hyla Willis, Ric Wilson, Nancy Wynn, Robert Dennis, Bonne Zabolotney

The book can be purchased internationally from, nationally from or directly from

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