Art Professors Rachel Merrill-Schwaller and Dr. Cyndi Wiley Invited to Present in San Francisco

September 5, 2018

Art Professors Rachel Merrill-Schwaller and Dr. Cyndi Wiley were invited to present their ground-breaking approach to co-teaching at the Course Hero headquarters in San Francisco.

A colloquial term in the United States for women who are very close friends is “BFF.” BFF is an acronym meaning “best friends forever,” and is characterized typically by teenage girls and young women in junior and senior high school relationships. As the term BFF has been appropriated into popular culture and is now used by varying ages and genders, Professors Wiley and Schwaller further appropriate the term to alter conventional art and design pedagogy. This pedagogical framework provides an innovative melding of traditional disciplines encouraging experimentation by students from constant and consistent exposure to differing viewpoints and critical lenses within the classroom dichotomy.

This collaborative approach provides interdisciplinarity between art and design that segues contemporary art and design practices. The pedagogical framework provides divergent ideological basis for design and art faculty to work together throughout a student’s full course of undergraduate study by team teaching, sharing technological resources, jointly critiquing, and collectively evaluating student outcomes. This type of interdisciplinary approach is unique within art and design, as they are often conflated, but segregated into separate courses as a reality after the first year foundations curriculum.

This research and approach was originally presented at the 2016 Popular Culture Association conference in Seattle, Washington. The Course Hero lecture is an example of a typical classroom lecture found in the Grand View University course "Arts 104: Principles of Design II." Students in the course are majors in Studio Arts, Graphic Design, Game Design, Art Education, Photography and Graphic Journalism. 

Watch the lecture on YouTube: Punky Swizz Shizzle: Basic Design for Creating Effective Visual Communication