Jean Brennan is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate MFA Communications Design Department at Pratt Institute with teaching appointments in Technology, Transformation Design, Emerging Practices, Seminar, Design Research, & Thesis. Jean sees her role as a facilitator and explores horizontal and cooperative structures within the classroom dynamic. Her intent is to empower students to discover and embody their own methodologies and to consider the impact of their design as a generative action that lives in the world.

Student Projects

Siona Balaji, Hsiao Wen Hu: She Persisted

Tina LePhan: Designers Toolkit

Tina LePhan: Research published on Medium

Kun-ju Ho: Storytag Project

Alejandro Torres Viera, Caroline Matthews, John Olson: Invisible in NYC 

Janice Rudan: Uncover Mannahatta

Amrithi Devarajan, Sai Hingne: Nine Months

Jen Mattei: Obedience Not Beauty

Pilsung Kang: Narrative Journal

Matt Martin: Cultural Probe

Kristen Myers: Subway Faux Pas Bingo
Fangan Xu: Cultural Probe


Kun-ju Ho Thesis PDF

Corwin Green Thesis PDF

Kristen Myers Thesis PDF

Emilia Aragon Thesis PDF 

John Olson Thesis PDF


Design For Mindful Interaction

Public Project — FB Page

Studio Descriptions

Emerging Practices Elective
Governance, design objects & visual language
Flags, currency, stamps are a kind of pattern language that mark a region, group, or set of relationships. Drawing from examples of adaptation or appropriation by artists and designers, students employ systems thinking to design a set of symbols and procedures for exchange, communication, or representation, applied across multiple platforms to represent a community, entity, body politic, etc. of their choosing considering intercultural contexts beyond the nation state. We will consider how designerly means can be used to construct a public.

Transformation Design Studio
This studio will focus on strategies to utilize design as a means for transformation. With an emphasis on a human-centered, holistic, and empathic approach, students will apply “design thinking” methodologies to problems and issues in an attempt to transform the behaviors of individuals in desirable and sustainable ways, while creating meaningful experiences and interactions for people with communications media, artifacts, environments, organizations, services, systems, and each other. The course will, through lectures and small group discussions, investigate experimental, research and ideation methodologies from numerous disciplines within both contemporary and historical contexts, and seek to identify the emerging responsibilities of design practitioners.

Design for Mindful Interaction Studio
This section will be a play lab, mixing methods and emerging technologies, while interrogating the idea of mindful interaction. We will look at how designers introduce self or group reflection into a design experience—either in the design process as a form of intention on the part of the designer, or between multiple users of a designed object, experience, or service. In the class, we consider function, and how to disrupt expectation or perception, and therefore behavior or interaction, in a social setting, placing agency in the hands of the user. Students will employ experimental and iterative design processes and methods to prototype networked objects, as well as physical forms—activated through ritual, performance or installation—considering the social/cultural implications of both remote and local site-based experiences.