• Home
  • Fall 2020 Planning: Message from Department of Design chair, Jeremy Shellhorn

Fall 2020 Planning: Message from Department of Design chair, Jeremy Shellhorn

Hello Design Undergraduate and Graduate Students!

We’re excited to welcome you back in August! In my update to you on May 28, I emphasized the importance of protecting the health of those in our community while also committing to provide high-quality education for every student. Those values continue to guide our faculty, staff, and administration as we prepare for our fall semester.

For my second update to you, I am able to share somewhat more detailed information. Please note the following about the fall semester:

  • Many aspects of coursework will occur primarily in an online format. Expect lecture-based courses such as Hallmark Symposium (ADS 320), Fundamentals of UI/UX (ADS 300) etc. to meet entirely through Zoom meetings in the fall semester. We discovered that this Zoom-based format can work exceptionally well for these type courses, since they allow students to interact directly with their instructor (or professional and/or alumni guest speaker) in ways that could be difficult to replicate in a larger lecture space.
  • Many studio courses will deliver instruction in a hybrid format. While most instruction will occur online via Zoom meetings, faculty may utilize studio spaces during class time for small group meetings and one-on-one meetings if it is safe to do so. Faculty will use a variety of tools and platforms designed to ensure highly engaging experiences for everyone. Our buildings, maker spaces, labs, libraries, and shops will remain open to students and faculty throughout the semester if it is safe to do so. Students may use studio spaces to work in community with their peers (within occupancy guidelines) and those programs that have dedicated work spaces will continue to offer those spaces to students currently enrolled in those relevant studio courses. Everyone will need to abide by university and school policies when using our facilities, which should be announced in the coming weeks. 
  • Graduate Design seminars (e.g. Interaction Design and Design Management) will be carried live via Zoom to students individually at home or office. Project-based team work will continue to be supported, as needed, by shared MURAL rooms and Google Docs. When public health conditions allow, Graduate Design courses will return to small, instructor-led class sessions at Edwards and Lawrence campuses via Zoom-connected room systems. 
  • Design Instructors will not penalize students who are unable or unwilling to come to campus during the fall semester. To do so would be unfair to those in our community who are facing a wide range of challenges including health concerns, travel restrictions, and more. If you will need to complete any courses entirely online, you should contact the relevant instructor(s) at your earliest convenience to let them know.
  • Students who had lockers for the 2019-2020 academic year may keep their locker for the 2020-2021 academic year if they want. No students will be required to clean out their locker this summer, though students have the option to do so. Lockers with students’ names and/or locks on them will not be cleaned out, and lockers without both a name and lock on them at the start of the fall semester will only be cleaned out if demand for lockers exceed the supply of otherwise unused lockers. Students who do not already have a locker for the 2020-2021 academic year will have the opportunity to claim one during the first week of classes. Please see the attached email from Zac Shields for more information about this.
  • Changes to the fall 2020 class schedule will start to appear in Enroll & Pay in late July. During that process, some class meeting times may be adjusted, as well as class format (online, in-person, and otherwise). Some courses will also be cancelled, and will be replaced in many cases by other courses. You’ll receive communications from the Registrar’s Office as these changes are implemented. Zac Shields will remain available to answer questions, assist with enrollment, and otherwise problem-solve if needed!

Please continue to check your KU email over the summer, check the School’s Covid-19 Updates Page and follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already: @kansas_design

Thanks for staying connected to KU Design and please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or your faculty and/or Program Directors about specific questions about your courses.

Industrial Design — Betsy Barnhart — betsybarnhart@ku.edu

Illustration & Animation — Barry Fitzgerald —  bfitz@ku.edu

Photography — Elise Kirk — elisekirk@ku.edu

Visual Communication Design — Andrea Herstowski — herstow@ku.edu

Graduate Design Programs — Michael Eckersley — mde@ku.edu

Be well, stay safe and when in public spaces please wear a mask to protect yourself and those around you.



Jeremy Shellhorn

Chair, Design Department

School of Architecture & Design

University of Kansas

Connect with us on Twitter

Marvin Hall, Room 200
1465 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045