2020 SEGD Educator Award Winner, Joell Angel-Chumbley

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2020 SEGD Educator Award | Joell Angel-Chumbley, Creative Director/Art Program Lead at Kolar Design

The SEGD Educator Award recognizes an individual for demonstrating innovation in the theory and practice of design education that not only integrates the needs of the industry but serves to advance the field. Recipients foster the development of the next generation of designers through a creative and innovative curriculum as well as through the promotion of forward-thinking research and scholarship in the field. Joell Angel-Chumbley is only the third honoree to ever receive this award.

A practicing professional sculptor and painter, Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA, also has extensive public and private sector experience specializing in the areas of experiential graphic design, branding, wayfinding, public art and placemaking working with Kolar Design (Cincinnati). Angel-Chumbley's passion for multidisciplinary collaboration and mentoring has led her to a career in teaching; She has taught at Mount St. Joseph University, the University of Cincinnati, DAAP, and Miami University. She has also actively served on the SEGD Academic Taskforce since 2011 and the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP Alumni Board since 2009.

We recently caught up with Angel-Chumbley and asked questions about herself and her career.

Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA

What led you to a career in design?

My passion for creativity developed at an early age, spending many summers taking art classes at the local recreation center and programs at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Throughout high school and pre/post-graduate studies, I was fortunate to have many inspirational faculty and industry professionals that were instrumental in mentoring and preparing me for my career ahead —
Ben Price, Beth Belknap Brann, Dr. Sharon Kesterson Bollen, Beverly Semmens, Patricia Renick, and Kelly Kolar. I went on to pursue
a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount St. Joseph University, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati’s Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).

During the first decade of my career, I joined the globally recognized Cincinnati firm, Kolar Design, where I was introduced to EGD and immediately fell in love with the multi-disciplinary complexity of the field. During the second decade, I joined the EGD team at the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Transportation and Engineering, Architecture and Urban Design, working under the leadership of Marcia Shortt and Laura Martin, gaining extensive public sector experience in civic branding, wayfinding, public art, and community engagement.

With extensive private and public sector experience under my belt, I returned to Kolar Design 7 years ago as Creative Director and Art Program Lead. I have had the honor to work under the fearless leadership of Kelly Kolar and with an amazingly talented team, leading the strategic creative vision and implementation of national healthcare, civic, and academic projects. As Art Program Lead, my role is to curate and facilitate Kolar’s multi-tiered artwork program and engagement workshops, utilizing artmaking as a vehicle for healing and positive community engagement. Recent clients include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Mercy Health, Oncology Hematology Care, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, City of Dublin, Washington University St. Louis, and Carnegie Mellon University.

My continued passion for collaboration and mentoring also led me to a distinguished career in teaching where I have served as adjunct faculty (1994-2020) and full-time faculty (2010-2013) at Mount St. Joseph University, adjunct faculty at the University
of Cincinnati Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (2013-2020), and adjunct faculty at Miami University, Oxford, OH (2000).
Additionally, I am a practicing professional sculptor and painter exhibiting work both regionally and nationally, an active member
of the SEGD Academic Taskforce collaboratively bridging the gap between design practice and education, and serve on the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP Alumni Board.

What courses and topics do you teach and why?

My teaching experience spans a wide spectrum from first-year foundations to advanced level thesis courses in the disciplines of Communication Design and Interior Architecture, blending technology, theory, and practice into each course.
I am currently teaching a fifth-year Design Systems 2 course in the Communication Design Department at the University of Cincinnati (DAAP) along with three other colleagues from our Kolar Design team, including 4 sections of 80+/- students. This course applies wayfinding principles and design thinking methodologies to derive strategies that lead to solutions for problems in physical or virtual information spaces.

Students analyze and collect data documenting existing conditions, user concerns, and information-seeking behaviors and needs.
These insights lead to the development of a problem statement and strategies for the execution of a successful project. Project sites are selected by each student including parks, bike trails, urban developments, business and historic districts, parking garages, and libraries to name a few. Due to the rigorous DAAP curriculum and globally renowned co-op program, the students come into this course very well prepared to tackle the interdisciplinary nature of this course.

The sudden impact of COVID 19 required our faculty team to quickly pivot and adapt our summer course to a remote learning platform two weeks prior to the start of classes. This experience has transformed the traditional hands-on studio model, pedagogical approach, and learning outcomes previously designed for this course. There have been many insights gained from this experience, specifically the opportunity to innovate new tools and learning platforms that better align with online and/or remote learning needs. As educators, we have to be prepared to adapt to a variety of unexpected scenarios moving forward. The students have adapted with an agile mindset and a true collaborative spirit. For this I am grateful!

What role has design education played in your life?

As a life-long learner, I have embraced every opportunity to expand my design expertise and surround myself with the best talent in the industry. I have done this in many ways throughout my career starting with a BFA in graphic design, adjunct teaching, and later pursuing an MFA to teach full-time at the university level. After teaching full-time for several years, I returned to the EGD industry in 2013. With this new opportunity at Kolar Design, I have continued to teach as an adjunct as well as mentor, guide, and lead in my role as Creative Director.

I would not be where I am in my career without the mentors that have been so generous to share their talents and expertise through the years. To keep the EGD industry thriving, we have to be willing to give back, to teach, to mentor, to bridge the gap between design practice and education. I don’t teach out of duty, rather I feel honored to have the opportunity to guide my students toward discovering their passions and honing the skills needed to thrive in this industry.

Since 2011 I have been a member of the SEGD Academic Taskforce, collaborating with an elite team of international faculty and industry leaders to advance SEGD’s education mission. Our role has included organizing and facilitating the annual Academic Summit, review submissions for papers and presentations, author academic workbooks, and evolve the SEGD core competencies for educators and designers emerging into professional practice. I also serve on the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP Alumni Board with the mission of connecting the global community through programmed initiatives that support DAAP student scholarships and faculty research.

What have been a few of your favorite student projects, and why?

Through the years I have enjoyed the interaction with students at all levels, however, the complexity of the Senior Degree Program courses and Advanced Design Systems 2 course have been among my favorite. In these courses students quickly learn that the success of a project is not just about aesthetics and developing a portfolio-worthy project. We teach them how to think with a researcher’s mindset using design thinking methodologies to better understand user concerns and needs.

Once they have collected this data, they can then develop the strategies to solve the design problem at the highest level of beauty and aesthetics. It is rewarding to see the students master the challenges of these complex interdisciplinary projects and work collaboratively as a team in the studio to support each other through the process.

 

SEGD

How did your relationship with SEGD or SEGD members begin?

I joined SEGD in 2000 before attending my first conference in Miami, Florida. I was so inspired to meet industry leaders that I had admired for so many years. The well-executed programming and insightful content encouraged me to get more involved. I have remained an active member for 20 years.

Since 2011 I have had the pleasure of filling a national leadership role on the SEGD Academic Taskforce, moderated Academic Summit panel sessions, and have presented at the Academic Summit and Young Designer’s Summit.
As Creative Director and faculty, I also utilize SEGD’s rich library of resources both in the studio and the classroom, as well as direct all my students to the website for learning and inspiration.

>>> More about Joell Angel-Chumbley.

Congratulations to the 2020 SEGD Achievement Award winners!

See past Achievement Award winners.

 

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PROJECT & PHOTO CREDITS:

1. City of Dublin: Comprehensive City Wayfinding and Bridge Park: Mixed-Use Development, Dublin, OH

Client: City of Dublin Ohio, Crawford Hoying Development
Design Team: Kolar Design, Moody Nolan, Burkart, MKSK
General Contractor: Continental Building Co.
Contractors: EMH&T, Prater Engineering Assoc., Shaefer, Geograph Industries
Photographer: Cory Klein Photography
Video: https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzG8zVZnX_g

Project Description:
Kolar has been working collaboratively with the City of Dublin, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dublin Arts Council, and Crawford Hoying Development to build a comprehensive civic brand visitor strategy transforming the city into a “Work of Art.” Kolar’s process for the “Highway2Hallway” Civic Branding began with understanding how the city was currently communicating about itself with existing physical, digital and print communication. The urban landscape was being transformed as a part of a $270 million highway improvement that provided an opportunity to re-think the visitor arrival experience. We have been working on several multidisciplinary teams to develop a new urban experience as well the brand strategy and positioning for new $500 million Bridge Street District and Bridge Park riverfront neighborhood. Kolar is integrating a wayfinding and parking strategy into a comprehensive public and private investment: Gateways, Streetscapes, Signage, Parks and Trails are part of transforming Bridge Park into a great community.

2. Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center: Main Arrival and Concourse Renovation, Cincinnati, OH

Client: Cincinnati Children’s
Design Team: Kolar Design, GBBN Architects, Human Nature, RCF Group, Fosdick & Hilmer
General Contractor: Messer Construction
Art Partner / Artist Team: Marta Hewett Gallery, Hawkins and Hawkins Custom
Photographer: Ryan Kurtz

Project Description:
At Cincinnati Children’s, the hospital concourse serves as the front door to the campus connecting together the exterior drop-off, underground parking garage and a series of clinical buildings. It is the central artery through which families travel within the building network. As the campus evolved over time, the concourse was no longer reflective of Cincinnati Children’s brand promise to provide state-of-the-art medicine and compassionate care, nor supportive of the needs of families who use the space on a daily basis. The multi-discipline design team collectively worked with Cincinnati Children’s to stay true to the brand promise and create a new visitor arrival experience that is easier, more welcoming, and friendly. The team reorganized the journey from parking garage to the concourse and to the final destination. The team established a consistent hierarchy of space using color, lighting, graphics, art and architecture, which is also mirrored within the underground garage. These carefully scripted cues support and reinforce each other, guiding what the eye sees, enabling families to intuitively find their way, and easing overall orientation of the arrival.

A series of whimsical animal sculptures welcome families along the concourse. Their color reinforces the building color coding, and the alliteration of their name reinforces the name of each building (A, B, C, D, etc.). Their presence creates delight for families while also creating a memorable moment that assists with navigation. The animal landmarks are reinforced within digital directories along the concourse and within website, mobile app and paper-based mapping tools, creating an all-encompassing, consistent brand message.

3. Mercy Health West Hospital: Digital Donor Wall, Cincinnati, OH

Client: Mercy Health Foundation
Design Team: Kolar Design, AEComm (Design Architect), Champlin Architecture (Architect of Record),
General Contractor: Turner Construction
Contractor: Adex International
Photographer: Joe Harrison (JH Photo)

Project Description:
Mercy Health healing environments communicate the compassionate care, advocacy, respect and the highest standard of service to the Community. The newly designed donor recognition media wall & sculpture is an extension of quality, legacy and excellence.  This program assists in shaping the Mercy Health brand strategy to communicate and connect with their donors. This living wall creates a first and lasting impression of the Mercy Health brand and philanthropic partners.  It captures who Mercy is at the heart and celebrates their 150 year history while carrying it into the future.

The glass sculpture is internally illuminated and “glows” with a halo effect surrounding the donor community.  Each fritted patterned panel reflects a progressive visual metamorphosis signaling the connection to the architecture and the progress at Mercy Health. A simple elegant typographic etched glass solution reflects the four levels of donor recognition.   The animations capture the healing environment, the patients, staff and legacy donor stories.  The wall is a living legacy that grows over time, creating a sense of place for all to enjoy.

4. Washington University St. Louis: Olin School of Business Donor Recognition, St. Louis, MO

Design Team: Kolar Design, Moore Rubel Yudell Architects and Planners (Architect of Record), Mackey Mitchell Architects (Associate Architect)
General Contractor: Tarlton
Contractors: The Andrusko Group, John Smith Masonry, Lager Monument
Photographer: Joe Harrison (JH Photo)

Project Description:
The Olin Business School at Washington University expanded to provide innovative facilities for graduate education. The tiered
level donor recognition program included building naming, seven classrooms, an auditorium, community Forum, faculty offices, a glass atrium and numerous lounges.  Lead gifts from two benefactors, Charles F. and Joanne Knight, and George and Carol Bauer— provided the capital foundation for building Olin’s second century of top-ranked business education. 

They are featured on the exterior facades and in the entry vestibules with their “story portraits”.   The personal quotes are "V"-carved by hand into the stone, representing how their whispering voices create an alumni legacy.  Floating glass framed portraits honor the University tradition but in a more contemporary fashion.  Additional donor names are hand carved and stained in teak wood, seamlessly integrated in transoms.  The naming allowed for the function of the classroom to be included which aids in wayfinding.

Each entry leads to the atrium providing connectivity.  The restraint of materials and simplicity of the carved stone and wood permanently connect the legacy of the donors to the building.  The donor community is represented in the main entry through carving and sand blasting. Size of type represents the level of gift.  As it is a collage approach, donors can be added easily over
the years. 

5. Ohio River Trail: Pedestrian & Cyclist Regional Signage System, Cincinnati, OH

Client: City of Cincinnati and Regional Partners
Design Team: Department of Transportation and Engineering, Architecture and Urban Design Office, Environmental Graphics Team
General Contractor: Prus Construction
Contractors: Holthaus Signs
Photographer: Laura Martin, City of Cincinnati

Project Description:
The Ohio River Trail is a bike and pedestrian trail that is part of a larger master plan of trail connections along the Cincinnati side of the Ohio River. The trail is designed to weave along the Ohio River and through adjacent neighborhoods and urban business districts as well as connect to the larger trail system in the region including Lunken Trail and Armleder Park Trail. The current trail spans more than 10 miles. Once completed, the Ohio River Trail will span 23 miles along the north bank of the river from Coney Island through Downtown to Sayler Park. It will complete the connection from Downtown to the Little––Miami Scenic Trail that will eventually extend to Lake Erie.

The system includes identification markers, trail directional, map kiosks, interpretive features, regulatory and route signage. The graphic brand system elements reflect the organic forms of the Ohio River and natural resources. The interpretive features tell the story of the Ohio River, Rail Industry, Pioneer Cemetery, and Aviation History as a way to enrich the trail experience and connect the user to Cincinnati’s heritage, natural resources, and urban core.

6. Camp Washington Neighborhood Gateway

Client: City of Cincinnati and Strategic Regional Partners
Design Team: Department of Transportation and Engineering, Office of Architecture and Urban Design, Environmental Graphics Team
Contractors: United-Maier Signs
Photographer: Laura Martin, City of Cincinnati

Project Description:
This project created a distinct gateway that welcomes visitors to Camp Washington and reflects the unique industrial and artistic history of the neighborhood. The large-scale sculptural forms are suggestive of the products made in the metal foundries that are common in the neighborhood; the significantly angled sculptures are made of the “weathering” steel panels and bolts providing a maintenance free, corrosion resistant surface. Gear shapes were translated into the plaza design with large recycled granite curbs and pervious pavers. A small rain garden was added to the corner of the plaza. Laser-cut letters are pin-mounted onto one of the panels, making the name of the community visible as you approach from the east. 

7. University of Cincinnati – Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP),Communication Design, Design Systems 2 Course (fifth year)

Faculty: Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA
Project Description: Student teams performing design thinking exercises and presenting project strategies to key client stakeholders.

8. University of Cincinnati – Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), Communication Design, Design Systems 2 Course (fifth year)

Faculty: Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA
Project Description: Examples of rapid prototyping using computer aided, hand drawn, and 3D printing to evaluate legibility, scale, and materials within their sign family features and tools.

9. University of Cincinnati – Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), Communication Design, Design Systems 2 Course (fifth year)

Faculty: Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA
Student Team: Caroline Atkinson, Tuscan Dutro, Haley Marshall, Darby Thonnings
Project Description: Freedom Square is a student team project that utilizes wayfinding principles and design thinking methodologies to derive strategies that lead to solutions for problems in physical or virtual information spaces. They first analyze and collect data documenting existing conditions, user concerns, and information seeking behaviors and needs. Then develop strategies and design solutions that create a best-in-class user experience for all identified audience types.

10. University of Cincinnati – Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), Communication Design, Design Systems 2 Course (fifth year)

Faculty: Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA
Student Team: Alexander Julian, Grace Hertlein, Kayla Stellwagen, Akshat Srivastava
Project Description: Sister Cities Park is a student team project that utilizes wayfinding principles and design thinking methodologies to derive strategies that lead to solutions for problems in physical or virtual information spaces. They first analyze and collect data documenting existing conditions, user concerns, and information seeking behaviors and needs. Then develop strategies and design solutions that create a best-in-class user experience for all identified audience types.

11. University of Cincinnati – Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), Communication Design, Design Systems 2 Course (fifth year)

Faculty: Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA
Student Team: Sara Cassidy, Meghan Eleniak, Mariah Baker, Amanda Jackson
Project Description: Northside is a student team project that utilizes wayfinding principles and design thinking methodologies to derive strategies that lead to solutions for problems in physical or virtual information spaces. They first analyze and collect data documenting existing conditions, user concerns, and information seeking behaviors and needs. Then develop strategies and design solutions that create a best-in-class user experience for all identified audience types.

12. University of Cincinnati – Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), Communication Design, Design Systems 2 Course (fifth year)

Faculty: Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA
Student Team: Rachael Rosa, Lauren Hennessy, Marc Rochotte, Drew Jeschke
Project Description: Burnet Woods is a student team project that utilizes wayfinding principles.

13. Mount St. Joseph University

Faculty: Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA
Project Description: Second year Typography 2 students presenting to campus stakeholders, and fourth-year Senior Thesis students celebrating the culmination of their degree projects and graduation. 

14. Mount St. Joseph University - Senior Thesis Exhibitions and Presentations (4th year)

Faculty: Joell Angel-Chumbley, MFA
Project Description: Fourth-year Senior Thesis exhibitions and presentations to first through third year students. Exhibitions highlight a semester degree project that focuses on the promotion and development of assets for an international event. Students utilize user-centered design research to derive strategies that lead to a culturally immersive installation including 2D, 3D, and virtual graphic elements and features.

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