Jessica Barness is a design scholar-practitioner whose work has been published and exhibited internationally. Her research centers on critical practices, participatory projects, and the design of scholarship, and how these relate to issues of power and representation. She is also a designer of visual, interactive, and sound-based things. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University, and also serves as the Director of Research Initiatives for Design Incubation.

Barness has published articles in peer-reviewed journals such as The Design Journal, Design and Culture, MATLIT: Materialidades da Literatura, and Dialectic. She has presented work at venues hosted by organizations such as AIGA, Design History Society, FILE Electronic Language Festival, HASTAC, and ICDHS. Her creative endeavors have garnered awards from entities such as the College Book Art Association and the STA 100. She is a recipient (with collaborator Amy Papaelias) of the Design Incubation Educators Communication Design Award in the category of Scholarship: Published Research.

She has an MFA in Design with a graduate minor in Writing Studies from the University of Minnesota, and a BA and MA in Studio Art from the University of Northern Iowa. Previously, she was a designer and researcher with Conway+Schulte Architects in Minneapolis, MN, and practiced professionally as a senior product designer and design development manager in Chicago, IL.

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Invited to give a public lecture on my work, “Design/ing Discourse and Critical Practice,” for the Department of Visual Arts and Art History at Florida Atlantic University as part of their spring 2021 lecture series. April 2021.

My article Inquiries on the Everyday Online Conversations of Design: Typologies, Comments, and Threads is published in The Design Journal (January 2021; online first Nov 2020).

Two co-authored white papers focused on peer review are published on Design Incubation (December 2020): Basics of Peer Review for Design Scholarship and Advice to Authors Navigating Peer Review.

Video project GROUND is selected for the Detour exhibition, Emery Community Arts Center, Farmington, ME, June–July 2020. It was also screened at the First Annual Small File Media Festival, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, August 2020.

Panel co-chair with Amy Papaelias at CAA 2020, Designing Scholarship: Communication Design and Academic Journal Publishing Practices featuring panelists Ela Przybylo, Artemis Alexiou, Michael Gibson, and Rebecca Ross. February 2020.

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© Jessica Barness