Letter from the Director

Monday, September 6, 2021

We’re back! Sort of. But we’re back!

Here we are, two weeks into our new semester. The department and the university are doing great. We are over 98% vaccinated on our campus (the tiny percentage that are not vaccinated are being regularly tested).  We’ve had 0 transmissions on campus. People are wearing their masks, even outside. The department has plenty of PPE on hand. Classes are running.

33% of the entire campus is back in person. Design has about 40% of our classes with some in-person component. I know students were nervous about this, but we are doing it right on our campus. We have a scientist, Dr. Michael Scott, in charge of our return. Other campuses have contacted us asking how we got our vaccination verification up so quickly and so well, etc etc. The answer is simple. We have a scientist in charge.

Just before classes started I met with a student on Zoom who was worried about her two hybrid classes. I convinced her to face her anxieties and come in and try.

A few days ago, I bumped into her in the hall. She ran up to me and thanked me for encouraging her to come in. She told me she loved her in-person classes and even wished she had more.

Working together is what designers do. And education, real education, is that lovely, sloppy communication that occurs between people who are meeting and working together in person. There’s an energy of hope and an excitement on campus. Come and check it out.

And, in the meantime, check out a beautiful book: "Electronic Landscapes: Music, Space and Resistance in Detroit" by Isaac Diggs and Edward Hillel, designed by Wax Studios (I have a copy in my office, stop in and check it out):