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Teaching at Temple University Japan

Ian Lynam is faculty at Temple University’s NASAD-accredited Japan Campus where he works as an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the Tyler School of Art's BA Art program, teaching a wide array of classes spanning Art, Graphic Design, Sociology, Motion Graphics, Typography, Asian Studies, Communications and Graphic Design History.

I am excited to teach in multiple programs at Temple University Japan, from Art to Asian Studies to Sociology, as it has taught me to connect my design-based education with my interest in assorted cultures in ways that most design educators are not permitted to.

A look at some of the classes that I teach at TUJ:

Japanese Graphic Design History is the first survey course devoted to the topic of the emergence of Japanese Graphic Design from 1870 to the present day. Every summer semester, I teach this intensive class exploring the development of Japanese Commercial Art and Graphic Design, working with students to research Design in Japan from ukiyo-e to the contemporary moment. Topics covered include the development of movable typography in Japan, the explosion of shōgyō bijutsu, early ethnographic design research in Japan, the effects of disaster on Modernism, the slippage of the pre-established Western Design History canon, all alongside a thorough examination of the lineage of notable Japanese graphic designers. Students learn to research and present their findings through active biographic research in archives and through meeting contemporary Japanese graphic designers.

Arts in Cultural Context is a class dedicated to exploring the cross-section of Japanese cultural artifacts, modes of production, and methods of research while juxtaposing these perspectives with contemporary and historical notions of nostalgia, propaganda, public relations, authenticity, ornamentation, fashion and commercial art. This class uses a mix of culture studies, design theory, design history, political economy and Asian Studies to root out why Japan looks like it does today, why technology and design globally are indebted to Japan, and looks at the emergence of the cosmopolitan Japanese woman.

Art Photo Moving Image is a comprehensive Studio class that investigates Motion Graphics by teaching students twelve fundamental approaches to graphic design in motion through a mix of exploring storyboarding, visual perception, nesting, parallax, hybridity, editing to music, typography and creating dynamic new visual form. Using Adobe AfterEffects combined with film, video, photography and adjacent software, students research filmic approaches to graphic design and develop a professional showreel of Motion Graphics.

Computer Imaging is a series of classes that explore the nexus of typography, image making, form making, design theory, design research, expanded practice and discursive exploration. Taught in five concurrent modules, these classes help students stabilize their typographic skills, explore the boundaries of visual composition, apply conceptual and thematic thinking, expand their design and art-related vocabularies in both English and Japanese, and synthesize their work into portfolio-ready form.

Youth Cultures is an examination of contemporary and historical manifestations of cultural expression from delinquent subcultures to consumer lifestyles. Co-taught with Professor Kyle Cleveland, we explore aspects of social deviance, youth surveillance, fashion, race, gender, orientation and class using a mix of approaches including Sociology, Culture Studies, Design Theory and Political Economy. This class features heavy guest lecture programming, inviting the heaviest of hitters working in the exploration of contemporary and historical forms of culture-making.

Outside of classes that I teach at TUJ, I curate the Supplement: Tokyo series of events devoted to Tokyo-specific discourse on the arts, am liaison to Comic Art Tokyo, serve on TUJ’s Faculty Senate, teach independent study classes, work with Research Assistants, and serve on a variety of committees.

I also teach Typography and Business Identity Design workshops in TUJ’s Continuing Education department, serving adult learners from all walks of life, as I have done for the past decade, as well as teaching in TUJ’s High School Study Programs, introducing potential students to the beauty of design and to the wonders of Tokyo.

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I am proud to teach at Temple, a historically working class university alongside some of the most rigorous educators I have encountered globally. My teaching means something here, as I serve a student populace that comes from all over the world and comprises a singularly unique institution in Tokyo, a singularly unique city and a design capital.

Join us! http://tuj.ac.jp