Designer-in-Resident: Laurie Makela at Roski MFA Design Campus

Laurie Makela


Roski MFA Design

Renowned graphic designer Laurie Makela is now serving as the first Designer-in-Residence as part of USC Roski's new MFA Design program. Makela is offering Speechless and other Multisensory Stories, a three-week workshop exploring multi-sensory design through personal narrative. This book project encourages each student to create a personal, true story where the senses — hearing, smelling, touching, seeing, tasting — are heightened or dormant. Students will explore the various ways we communication feelings, information and ideas beyond words. In addition to working one-on-one with Makela, students will have the opportunity to work with master storyteller David Crabb; visit 21 Collections: Every Object has a Story exhibition at the LA Public Library: and mix scents at The Institute for Art and Olfaction.


Laurie Makela has been a recognized voice of experimental, transdisciplinary graphic design practice and education for over thirty years. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Makela began teaching typography and designing books for arts institutions. After earning her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art, she became the Design Director at the Walker Art Center. In the mid-90’s, she co-directed the 2D design department at Cranbrook Academy of Art with P. Scott Makela. Their studio produced print and media for clients such as Nike, MTV and Apple, and as well as independent music and a book, Where Is Here.  In 2000, the Makela’s earned the American Institute of Graphic Arts’ highest award for innovative design. Laurie went on to lead programs at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, Konstfack University of Art and Design in Stockholm, and ZKM/HFG, Germany. She currently teaches online at Acadamy of Art University and is designing a book on multisensory design for the Dallas Museum of Art. Makela currently lives in Carson City, Nevada.