New exhibition at Penn State highlights the impact of design on society

“Cor-a,” a social justice and community-engaged design project serving female sexual assault survivors that will be featured in the "Design for Life" exhibit and publication, was designed by 2020 Stuckeman School graphic design alumna Madison Urich as part of a capstone studio.  Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Work from Stuckeman School faculty and students that exemplifies the influence design has on a wide range of social issues will be featured in a new “Design for Life” exhibition that will run Nov. 10 to Jan. 26 in Art Alley, located in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park.

The exhibition is one-half of the overall Design for Life initiative introduced by Patricia Kucker, interim director of the Stuckeman School, in the fall of 2020. A publication that highlights the expanse of innovative, socially responsive and community-engaged design work developed within Stuckeman “as a testament to [the school’s] creative practice, research and expertise,” will be published later this fall.

“Although those of us within the school know that our faculty and students produce this impactful design work, we have no record of it, no way of advocating for and showcasing our expertise, and no way of promoting our identity in this area,” said Kucker. “As a result, across the University and when we meet new partners, people do not know our rich history of accomplishments in social design.”

Taylor Shipton, assistant teaching professor in the school’s Department of Graphic Design, is curating the exhibit and designing the publication.

“'Design for Life' allows all of us in the school to see how we are designing to help those around us, regardless of discipline or department,” Shipton said. “It's inspirational to be a part of an initiative that highlights the meaningful, impactful work of our faculty and students.”

According to Kucker, “Design for Life” recognizes the Stuckeman School as a resource for design innovation and development at all scales of work that has a direct impact on such issues as social justice, affordable housing, community engagement, health and well-being, sustainability, climate change and more.

Twenty-two projects will be featured in the exhibition, spanning work that was done from January 2018 through December 2020. Works within the exhibit also will be available to view online once the show opens via Issuu.   

A reception celebrating the opening of the show will be held from 6-7:30 p.m on Nov. 10 in Art Alley. All HUB-Robeson Galleries exhibitions and programs are free and open to all visitors. Visitors are required to wear a mask at all times in University buildings. Art Alley is open 24/7 but is closed during University breaks.

For more information on this exhibition, contact the HUB-Robeson Galleries at 814-865-2563 or visit

Last Updated November 05, 2021