graphic of number 40 built out of gradients

Design Symposium Lecture Series

For 40 years, the KU Design Symposium Lecture Series (formerly Hallmark Symposium) has enriched educational experiences by introducing KU students to designers and artists working in a wide range of disciplines and professional fields.

See past Symposium speakers


Fall 2023 Schedule

Lectures begin at 6:00pm and are free and open to the public in Budig Hall, 130 

Kris Kuksi Lecture | August 24

Kris Kuksi is an American artist working in sculptural mixed media assemblage techniques, resonating influences from the Baroque movement fused with a modern edge. His works have been featured by many art and culture magazine publications such as Hi Fructose, Juxtapoz, Wild, and many others. 

Kris Kuksi Workshop: "Designing for a New World Habitat" Aug. 25 & Sept. 1, from 12pm - 3pm

Explore unexpected connections and possibilities using a dense source of scrap materials from Kuksi’s own collection and creating unique scale miniatures including residential concepts, industrial architectural structures, eccentric vehicle designs, or anything deemed as “Miscellaneous Ornamentation”.

John Hendrix | September 7

John Hendrix is a New York Times Bestselling illustrator and award-winning children’s book author. He has created illustrations for magazines, book covers, and global brand campaigns. In 2018, his book, The Faithful Spy, won a Gold Medal from Society of Illustrators and was listed on NPR’s Best Books of 2018. His work has appeared in National Geographic, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, and on book covers for Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and others.

April Starr | September 21

April Starr is a practitioner, leader, and educator in human-centered design. With a current focus on public health and safety, she works with start-ups, academia, and public safety agencies to help bring a human-centered approach to problem solving. Starr’s expertise encompasses government, consumer electronics, automotive, telecommunications, financial services, retail, industrial products, consumer packaged goods, education, and healthcare.

Ashley Teamer | October 5

Ashley Teamer is an artist from New Orleans, LA. Her collages explore the relationships between the body, nature, space, and time. She uses painting, sculpture, photography, and sound to creatively intervene with indoor and outdoor architecture revealing the malleability of our built environment. Through layering images, Teamer charts invented landscapes where dialogues between divergent moments and relationships are bridged. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2014) and the Joan Mitchell Center (2018). Teamer received a BFA from Boston University in 2013 and an MFA from Yale University in 2022

Rob Saunders | October 19

Rob Saunders is founder, executive director and curator of Letterform Archive, a nonprofit center for inspiration, education, and community in San Francisco. Prior to founding Letterform, he was a creative and marketing consultant, and founded a multifaceted publishing enterprise which was acquired by Simon & Schuster.

Stephanie Anh | November 2

Stephanie Ahn is a user experience designer with 10+ years of various experiences in managing end-to-end user experience design processes. Working with some of the world’s largest brands, she has developed and overseen all phases of the user experience design process with a focus on optimizing digital interactions that serve both business and user needs.

Jason Decker | November 30

Jason Decker is an industrial design manager at Textron Aviation. A graduate of the KU Industrial Design program, he entered the aviation design field with extensive experience in graphic and illustration work and then quickly developed into a leading designer in the industry. A recipient of a 2022 Business Aviation Top 40 Under 40 Award for Innovation, Decker now leads multidisciplinary teams of design specialists for the global aviation company.