Mary Scott

PHIL_MARY_AAU

ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY

After eighteen years as Director of the Academy of Art University’s School of Graphic Design, Mary Scott recently became Director Emeritus in order to devote herself to teaching her comprehensive portfolio class full time. Mary has also taught at Art Center College of Design. Her work for Maddocks and Company has been published in CA, Graphis, How and Step. She has served as AIGA Chapter President, the AIGA National Board and is an AIGA Fellow of the San Francisco chapter. In May 2013, Mary was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the Academy of Art University.

HOW AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE EDUCATION A MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR CAREER?
I was invited to teach at Art Center College of Design in 1981 and fell in love with educating young designers. Since then, teaching has always been an integral part of my life and have found that teaching is the best way to learn. Sharing your experiences and knowledge with students and then watching them go out into the world and become successful is certainly addictive.

IS THERE A SPECIAL CHALLENGE TO EDUCATING STUDENTS IN 2017 IN LIGHT OF TODAY’S POLITICS OR ECONOMICS OR TECHNOLOGY OR CULTURE OF THIS MOMENT?
These times are particularly complex since many of our students come from other countries. Not only do they have to learn a new language they must also learn the language of design. The domestic students as well must adapt to it’s language in order to become media savvy, conceptually ready and must achieve the formal skills to bring it all together. Critical thinking about any topic must be mastered and the ability to make it into something that creates awareness and changes thought is at foundation of communication. Todays’ students are sometimes lacking in historical context and the encouragement of learning must always be nurtured and revered.

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