At the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, the graduate graphic design students recently created GR&D LAB (Graphic Research and Development Laboratory). This studio model places a significant emphasis on graphic design research through trans-disciplinary collaboration and participatory methods.
At GR&D LAB we see the value of collaboration in graphic design as a new model for how graphic design can be practiced in both industry and education. We feel this is true at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Additionally, at the graduate graphic design level of education, collaboration gives the designer the opportunity to become co-author, and knowledgeable of an entire field as a complete partner. By pairing with practitioners outside of the field of graphic design, both the designer and the partnering co-author produce work that is beyond the scope of either.
The designers in GR&D LAB are removing boundaries and notions of graphic designer as service provider, and stepping into the territory of designer as researcher, initiator, collaborator.