Jean Brennan is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate MFA Communications Design Department at Pratt Institute with teaching appointments in Technology, Transformation Design, Emergent Practices, Seminar, Design Research, and 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

Tina LePhan: Toolkit
Tina LePhan: Research
Kun-ju Ho: Storytag
Invisible in NYC
Janice Rudan: Uncover Mannahatta
Amrithi Devarajan, Sai Hingne: Nine Months
Jen Mattei: Typeface
Pilsung Kang: Narrative Journal
Matt Martin: Research
Kristen Myers: Subway Faux Pas Bingo
Fangan Xu: Cultural Probe

Thesis

Kun-ju Ho
Corwin Green
Kristen Myers
Emilia Aragon
John Olson

Initiatives

Design For Mindful Interaction
Public Project


Studio descriptions


Governance, design objects & visual language (Emergent Practices)
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.

Design for mindful interaction
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. 

Transformation design
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.