School of Art, Media, and Technology

BFACD Faculty Highlight: Lynn Kiang

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Communication Design faculty, Lynn Kiang is co-founder of Dome, a multi-disciplinary design studio in experience design, graphic design and built environments based in Brooklyn. She previously led teams in experience design at SYPartners, collaborating with strategists and company leaders in transforming their brand. She was a Senior Designer at Local Projects, overseeing graphic, interaction, and media design for museums and cultural institutions. As an educator, Lynn has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of Visual Arts and is currently adjunct faculty at Parsons School of Design. She received her MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, Certificate of Collegiate Teaching from Brown University, and BS in Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles. Her work has received numerous awards and recognition including from Communications Arts, D&AD, Print Magazine, Type Directors Club, SEGD, ASLA, and AIGA.

ArtLens Beacon –  A dynamic film that invites visitors into the interactive art experiences at the museum. Using analog techniques and physical materials, the stop-motion animation incorporates live visitor-generated content from all digital platforms in the museum. Creative direction, design, and animation by Dome.

ArtLens Beacon Storyboard for Cleveland Museum of Art

How did you get into design? Was there a defining point in your career, and if so, how did it shape you as a designer?

Growing up, the pressure to get into a good college relegated my interest in art and design to a hobby. I never took an art class until after I finished undergrad following a wayward pursuit of medicine and cognitive psychology. My first job was as a studio manager for an urban design studio where I learned how to sketch with markers, draw architectural plans, and make pitch books. This led me to take my first design class, a typography class, at Art Center. I remember taking notes, not because I was going to be graded, but because I wanted to truly learn the material. It was a pivotal moment for me–education had always been a game of rules by which I had learned to play. It wasn’t until my first design class that I realized you could learn differently and be an active agent in your own education. I was ravenous for more and realized that I wanted to design for my career.

An annual sustainability report was a traditional printed catalog with limited distribution. Dome translated the printed report into an online web experience for JetBlue, partnering with their brand team to produce both writing and design for the final report. Creative direction, writing, and design by Dome.

JetBlue Sustainability Website

Outside of other design and illustration, what sorts of things inspire and influence your work?

As an experience designer, I often draw inspiration from architecture, stages, and interesting spaces. I spend my non-design time watching dance performances, going to installations and exhibitions, seeing concerts and live theater, cooking for friends, and singing in a small choir. Spending time outdoors in the city and watching people in parks and plazas keeps me connected to how people interact and relate to their surroundings.

An exhibition in Philadelphia ‘1917: How One Year Changed the World’ featuring two interactive films projected within the exhibit walls. Visitors were invited to reflect and respond to provocative questions that are as applicable to today as 100 years ago. Creative direction and media design by Dome.

1917: How One Year Changed the World for Cleveland Museum of Art

What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in design?

Don’t be afraid of being a beginner– I truly believe it’s never too late to start. I recently took up ballet for the first time in my 30’s, feeling like an elephant while I taught my muscles to move in new ways. It’s humbling to be starting off, but you also get permission to make mistakes and to make ugly work as you figure things out. Embrace the uncomfortable–it means you’re growing. Throw yourself into what interests you, take the unknown path, be hungry to learn.

A series of 15 protest posters designed for all participants of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington to download and print for free. Over 9,000 signs were downloaded with over 70,000 site views within a week of project launch. Creative direction, design, and development by Dome.

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