EGD Core Competencies



SEGD Academic Task Force


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The SEGD Academic Task Force has been developing a new set of guidelines designed to expand the baseline of skills, knowledge, and Core Competencies in Environmental Graphic Design for success in the expanded education area of Experiential Graphic Design. This guideline has been developed using the original SEGD EGD Core Competencies developed by the Education Steering committee as a starting point and expanded its scope specifically within the knowledge areas of technology, digital tools, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the necessity for educators and professionals to further grow and foster co-curricular relationships and activities. This work was undertaken to update the original Environmental Graphic Design competencies to meet the new expanded umbrella of Experiential Graphic Design. This document is meant to serve only as a starting point for this very exciting and growing field as it is still in its infancy. Special thanks to Rachel Fujita, (2014-15 Academic Task force member), for leading the development and finalization of the EGD Core Competencies during 2015.

In 2017 SEGD conducted a Skills survey, which did not define Core Competencies as "Design Core Competencies". The results provided some real insights. Firm leaders see "Core Competencies" as including the competences and skills required for professional practice!. In fact, they were increasingly the most important skills that need development for firm leaders as designers progressed through their careers and in terms of what they need to make their firms more effective and profitable. See Professional Practice Core Competencies for more information.

1. General Knowledge

> SEGD Podcasts that cover General Knowledge and History



> Learning Objectives and Outcomes related to General + Historical Knowledge


Knowledge of experiential graphic design fundamentals

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Design Process
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the different practice areas of Experiential Graphic Design(exhibition, placemaking, branded environments, public installation, strategy research planning and wayfinding) 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various industry verticalsand applications Experiential Graphic Design in the professional field, (corporate, education, exhibition, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, recreation, residential, retail, transportation, urban civic and workplace)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of design excellenceand developments in the field
  • Identify past and present industry leading Experiential Graphic Design firmsthat have impacted the field
  • Analyze various Experiential Graphic Design case studiesthat demonstrate the evolving history and emergent methodologies in specific areas of experiential graphic design
  • Develop an understanding of how Experiential Graphic Design relates to other design disciplines including interactive design, user experience design, motion design, technology systems and integration design


2. Research,Analysis, and Development of Design Concepts


> SEGD Workbooks that covers Research, Analysis, and Development of Design Concepts


> SEGD Podcasts that cover Research, Analysis, and Development of Design Concepts


> Learning Objectives and Outcomes related to the Development of Design Concepts


Verbal and written communication skills related to research, analysis and the development of design concepts

  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct and interpret research of an analytical, topical, and user centric/needs based nature and apply them in the design process
  • Ability to research design motifs and solutions and incorporate the ideas into a design
  • Ability to develop diagrams and written documents that communicate a design strategy
  • Articulate a design concept through sketching, writing, visual communication, and verbal presentation, which may include storytelling, narrative design, and information design
  • Demonstrate fluency in technology and media related terminology and concepts of design related to experiential graphic design—including content, elements, structure, style, and technology system—in response to project planning and implementation

Ability to develop design ideas from a formal analysis

  • Convey an understanding of how to translate conceptual design ideas into developed prototypes through simulation, visualizations, and rapid prototyping
  • Demonstrate an ability to research and apply appropriate applications of technologies best suited for the design problem, user experience, and outcomes
  • Demonstrate an ability to develop diagrams, written documents, presentations and prototyping that communicates a design strategy
  • Demonstrate an ability to make informed considerations about the spatial, temporal, and kinesthetic relationships among form, meaning, and behavior and apply them to the development of various types of EGD projects
  • Develop acquisition of research capabilities and skills such as using databases, asking questions, observing users, and conducting on-going usability studies

Ability to incorporate research into conceptual analysis

  • Demonstrate an ability to utilize background research on geography, cultural anthropology, demographics, environment, or architecture to develop a design concept

Professional Outreach

  • Establish an understanding that experience in applying Experiential Graphic Design knowledge and skills beyond the classroom is essential
  • Seek out opportunities for field research and experience, internships, collaborative programs with professional and industry groups, and international experiences are strongly recommended. Such opportunities to become oriented to the working profession should be supported through strong advising



3. Design Development and Prototyping

> SEGD Podcasts that cover Design Development and Prototyping



> Learning Objectives and Outcomes related to Design Development and Prototyping


Use and understanding of various types of media, tools, and platforms

  • Apply EGD principles, strategies and processes to address various types of contemporary design problems
  • Demonstrate an ability through research and prototyping to navigate between various media typologies, digital tools, protocols, and platforms necessary to create understanding and experiential connections between systems as necessary to create comprehensive engaging user experiences
  • Develop an understanding of design at different scales, ranging from static and/or dynamic components and systems in both physical and/or digital spaces
  • Develop the ability to exercise critical judgment about the designers own design and the design of others with regard to usefulness, usability, desirability, technological feasibility, economic viability, and sustainability in terms of long-term consequences
  • Develop behaviors and an understanding of how to continue learning about new technologies, and recognizing that technological change is constant

Human Factors

  • Articulate an understanding of how comprehensibility, legibility, usability, and accessibility are fundamental to the success and comprehension of user centric experiences
  • Demonstrate an ability to frame and conduct investigations in terms of people, activities, and their settings, including, but not limited to using appropriate methods for determining people’s wants, needs, and patterns of behavior, and developing design responses that respect the social and cultural differences among users of design in local and global contexts
  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct critical evaluations of different technologies in specific design problem contexts, including the placement of technical issues in the service of human-centered priorities and matching relationships between technologies and the people expected to use them

Media Centric Representation

  • Apply an understanding of a variety of tools and platforms to simulate, create, and represent stories and information
  • Demonstrate understanding of the foundations of time based media using image, typography, motion and algorithmic content in the contexts of specific design projects
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the protocols of various code based systems and how code can be used as a design tool to mediate various inputs and outputs
  • Develop an ability to produce mappings, diagrams, and wireframes that document a system, experience, or interface


4. Communication


> SEGD Workbooks that cover Communication



> SEGD Podcasts that cover Communication


> Learning Objectives and Outcomes related to Communication


Documentation and communication skills

  • Demonstrate an understanding of scale and how to document and create visual simulations at multiple scales
  • Develop an understanding of documentation methodologies including architectural plans, elevations, databases, models, and schedules, and diagrams
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how different documents and data fit together to provide a clear picture of a proposed user experience
  • Develop an understanding of how drawings and visuals are part of a larger communication process with collaborators, consultants, integrators, and engineers
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to describe materials, systems, media typologies and methodologies and how they are expected to perform and interact with one another
  • Develop an ability to support design decisions with quantitative and qualitative research findings at various stages of project development and presentation> Courses that cover Design Development and Prototyping


 5. Presentation

> SEGD Workbooks that covers Presentation


> SEGD Podcasts that cover Presentation


> Learning Objectives and Outcomes related to Presentation


Team collaboration and presentation skills

  • Demonstrate an ability to create formal presentations as part of a team
  • Demonstrate an ability to collaborate with other creative professionals with complementary skills in architecture, industrial and product design, interaction design and media, technology integration and engineering to solve complex problems

Process presentation skills

  • Develop an understanding of presentation approaches and methodologies for reviewing an EGD process from concept to implementation



6. Implementation

> SEGD Podcasts that cover Implementation



> Learning Objectives and Outcomes related to Implementation



  • Develop an understanding of the prototyping, development, engineering, and integration process including the relationship between the designers, consultants, suppliers, engineers, integrators, and owners


  • Develop an understanding of the qualities of different products, materials, systems, platforms, technologies and integrative methodologies
  • Demonstrate an ability to describe how and where products, materials, systems, platforms, and integrative methodologies, and technologies will be employed


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