Dr. Audra Buck-Coleman is a designer, educator, author, and social design researcher. She has directed, written, curated, designed, authored, and collaborated on numerous design projects including Sticks + Stones, an iterative, international multi-university project that connects stereotyping, bias and prejudice to current events. Her research and creative practice focus on social justice design, the ways art and design can create positive change in culture and society. She explores what design has done and can do in terms of closing the distance between our perceived identity differences and advocating with and for underrepresented groups.
She is the lead author of the forthcoming Hate on Campus: How Racism, Liberalism, and the Rise of White Supremacy Shape College Students’ Identities, one of the first books to examine how a cohort of Generation Z has been impacted by the rhetoric and actions spurred by the Trump Presidency, the resurgence of mainstream White Supremacy, and a proliferation of hate crimes and bias incidents.
Dr. Buck-Coleman’s degrees in journalism, design, and sociology frame her research into issues of culture, racial and social inequality, identity, social psychology, and social movements. She concentrates this work on the ways art and design perpetuate and can potentially undermine stereotypes, prejudice, and bias. Many of these projects manifest as exhibitions and experiential designs, co-designed with community stakeholders and framed for local audiences. Of the 18 collaborative projects she has led or co-led, nine have engaged off-campus partners, two have been conducted internationally, 11 have addressed issues of underrepresented groups, and 14 have resulted in exhibitions.
She has more than 15 years full-time teaching experience on two different campuses: University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of Maryland, College Park. She is a former associate professor and inaugural director of the graphic design program at the University of Maryland.