VCFA MFA in Graphic Design
Ian Lynam is Co-Chair of the MFA in Graphic Design Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
I am currently Co-Chair of the MFA Program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts, as well as a faculty member. Our department is the United States’ first low-residency programs in graphic design that is built around a student’s individual interests and goals.
The MFA in Graphic Design is an immersive two-year graduate program that synthesizes five intense, one-week residencies with four six-month semesters of independent study with a range of faculty mentors. We educate students towards the broader context of design in order to investigate and reveal relationships. We see Graphic Design as a social tool and design education as a process of social transformation.
Initiatives I have undertaken at VCFA include helping to build out a world-class graphic design library, establishing an unsurpassed electronic library of graphic design essays spanning history, curating the department’s blog Perpetual Beta, and most of the program’s social media initiatives.
I currently co-plan VCFA’s MFA in Graphic Design residencies with Program Director Jennifer Renko and Co-Chair Dave Peacock and we spearhead our Guest Designer/Critic programming, as well. We have also jointly created a three-year track MFA at VCFA.
Visit VCFA online here, or feel free to get in touch should you want to visit one of our residencies.
To put it bluntly, my faculty colleagues at VCFA are some of the best design educators working today. You will be hard-pressed to find a more intellectual, fun, and diverse group of design educators at other postgraduate institutions.
Additionally, we are all friends—something I have never witnessed at other schools. Imagine that: learning from people who genuinely like each other and have your best interest as their goal.
Design at its very best should not be a mere mirror of culture—design should challenge society—to be better in an insightful, mindful and ultimately generative way. Our goal is to do this outside of stylistic or conceptual constraints and to inspire students to develop their own paths—means and methods as mindful as they are meaningful.
Working side-by-side with faculty and visiting designers, graphic design education can be both a force of social and personal change—something transformative to both culture and the individual.