d4d lab
maria rogal    

Current Associate Professor of Graphic Design, University of Florida
Research interests design theory, semiotics, ethnography, typography, intercultural design
About Maria Rogal spent her formative years living in the US and internationally – traveling widely in southeast Asia, Latin America, and west Africa – living in Laos, Peru, and Liberia. Her trans-cultural perspective influences her work, which focuses on the relationship between culture and design and how we can leverage the potential of design, broadly defined, to positively shape the human experience.

Rogal was awarded a Fulbright-García Robles Scholar grant (2006–2007) and a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad grant (2007) to conduct research in the Yucatán region of Mexico and teach in the Social Communication program at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (www.uady.mx). During this time she led the development of the identity, information design projects, and comprehensive website for the department of immigration for INDEMAYA (Instituto para el Desarrollo de la Cultura Maya) for Yucatán state. It was through these projects that she began to focus on apply design for socio-economic development and began building relationships with people in rural communities in the Yucatán peninsula.

After her extended research period in Mexico, she returned to UF in spring 2008 energized by opportunities that exist and have yet to be developed – for collaboration, exchange, partnerships, design, and innovation. At this writing, the majority of her research is situated in Mexico, where she explores and analyzes the visual representation of indigenous cultures; works on entrepreneurial projects with indigenous cooperatives; and develops design materials and products with indigenous constituencies that aid in demystifying and breaking down stereotypes. Her projects continue to become more interdisciplinary and she uses design as a conduit to work in areas of intercultural communication, cultural anthropology, environmental ecology, technology, globalization, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. In addition to working with scholars, students, and government officials, she works with members of organizations in rural communities to support social and economic development.

Her writing includes “Mexico: My, Your, Our Fantasy: The Problem of Flatness in Intercultural Representations of Mexicanidad” (International Journal of Intercultural Communication), “Cultural Hybridization in the Visual Vernacular” (European Academy of Design), and “South of the Border…Down Mexico Way” (Visible Language). Her creative design work has appeared in several national and international juried exhibitions in the UK, Hungary, Cuba, and the US. In 2003 she was the recipient of a Fulbright Hays Fellowship to México and Costa Rica.

Rogal received her MFA in Design and Visual Communication from Virginia Commonwealth University (1995) where her research focused on design, popular culture, and social responsibility. She received a BA in Political Science and History from Villanova University (1988). Before returning to study design at the University of Maryland, she worked at the Inter-American Foundation, She has worked as a senior designer for Sapient (Atlanta) on the design of large-scale websites for international clients, including the Dutch bank ING. Prior to coming to the University of Florida in 1997, she taught at the University of North Texas.

Education MFA, Design + Visual Communication, Virginia Commonwealth University (1995);
BA, Political Science + History, Villanova University (1988)
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