Designing for human connection and mutual respect are common threads in User Experience (UX) Designer Kelly Murdoch-Kitt’s projects. Moving beyond the user experience of the digital landscape, Murdoch-Kitt examines ways that UX can aid in inclusivity and empowerment and explores how to improve the ways people work together. Spanning many different disciplines, Murdoch-Kitt’s recent projects have included process design for the improved care of heart patients, an online platform that fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration in academia, and a long-running research project on improved human connection between remote collaborators from different cultural backgrounds. Murdoch-Kitt and her research partner, Associate Professor Denielle Emans, PhD, of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, have developed over 30 visual thinking activities dedicated to the task of initiating and sustaining collaborative intercultural work. Though the participants in their study have been design students based in the United States and Middle East, they define the term intercultural collaboration more broadly — involving teams working across national borders, but also across different fields of study, professions, cultures, and social differences. These visual thinking activities, alongside their framework for intercultural teamwork, are the focus of their new book, Intercultural Collaboration by Design: Drawing from Differences, Distances, and Disciplines through Visual Thinking, published by Routledge in 2020.
Murdoch-Kitt worked as a graphic designer in Raleigh, North Carolina before completing her Master’s in Graphic Design at North Carolina State University. Prior to joining faculty at the Stamps School of Art & Design, Murdoch-Kitt served as an Assistant Professor in the School of Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She also taught in the Graphic Design Programs at the University of San Francisco and California College of the Arts. Her excellence in teaching and contributions to service within the discipline have been recognized by the Design Incubation Communication Design Educator Awards. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Murdoch-Kitt believes that growing up at an intersection of social inequities led her to explore ways that design could bring people together equitably.
Note: Use this form to submit your question for Kelly Murdoch-Kitt about her talk, “Designing Beyond the Screen: Designing For Human Connection.” Murdoch-Kitt will respond to your questions on her research project Instagram account, The ORBIT Project (@theorbitproject).
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