Joanna Choukeir – MA Graphic Design
Joanna Choukeir is a social design practitioner, researcher, speaker and lecturer with a decade of experience in the UK and Lebanon.
She is the Design and Innovation Director at Uscreates, a London-based strategic consultancy pioneering innovative work to help organisations maximise their social value.
Joanna is currently in the process of completing a PhD at the University of the Arts London (UAL). The research is developing communication design methods to enhance social integration in post-conflict communities, taking youth in Lebanon as a case study. Alongside research and practice, she is an Associate Lecturer at UAL and Kingston University, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA).
She completed a first-class BA in Graphic Design at Notre Dame University Lebanon, in 2003, and a first-class MA in Graphic Design at LCC in 2008.
Where are you from in the world?
Why did you complete your MA?
I wanted to explore new opportunities and practices within socio-political design. The MA gave me the protected time and discipline to do so, and facilitated my entry into this sector of design industry.
What are your fondest memories of LCC?
New friendships on the course with people from every corner of the world.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Social design interventions to tackle social challenges mostly faced by public sector organisations in the UK (e.g. health, wellbeing, education, employment, housing, etc.)
If you could collaborate with anybody in the world who would it be?
The United Nations to help them use design and innovation on their change programmes globally.
What drives you to succeed?
Passion to use my skills to make a positive social change. Also identifying who values design, has the same change agenda, has access to funding, and is therefore willing to invest in my work.
Where do you see progress and/or decline in the practice of graphic design?
I see progress among designers keeping an open mind, questioning their approaches, diverging across other disciplines and seeing what value their practice can bring to these disciplines and vice versa. Designers are becoming more curious about how the world works, asking difficult questions, and seeing themselves as a problem solvers first and designers next.
I am seeing a decline in graphic design where the practice converges without diverging, where designers routinely replicate approaches without themselves why or how they could be doing things better, and where they disconnect themselves from the purpose of design and what it is trying to achieve.
What three words would you use to best describe LCC?
Self-directed learning, diverse, inspirational
What piece of advice would you give to new students?
Think about your goal and where you want to be before you join a course, then use your time on the course to help get you there.