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The professor’s room: Shawn Meek

An occasional series that gets within the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting rooms.

By Cory Phare

January 24, 2018

Shawn Meek in his office.

Shawn Meek loves nostalgia. More than anachronistic aesthetic, however, it’s about the impact that design choices had on culture at the time – and how we continue to understand this today.

That makes sense, given the experiential inquiry students adopt in his user experience and web design classes. A self-described “antique hoarder,” the assistant professor of communication design has curated a collection of artifacts that would feel equally at home along Route 66 as they do in his Central Classroom office. 

  1. This bus seat is a great antique store find. On the back of it is scrawled a Bible verse, Romans 10:10 – I love that someone thought to write it on there.

  2. I collect old board games, like this copy of Clue from the 1950s. The illustrations, like the weapon cards, are just great – back then, that was someone’s job. It’s a connection back to the roots of craft you don’t always see anymore.

  3. This tiny book is an autobiography of Irma Boom, a Dutch graphic designer. During my graduate study I traveled abroad to Amsterdam and Berlin; my friend picked this up for me and it reminds me of that time of my life.

  4. My favorite designer is the late Hillman Curtis, who was hugely influential in interactive design and the grandfather of Flash; he always prioritized being a designer first, with the technical elements secondarily. My wife got me this autographed copy of his short films for my birthday.

  5. I’m from South Texas originally, where there’s a lot of older decaying structures. The door desk was part of an idea I had to create a design location as bare bones as possible inspired by this. I finally found a door that worked for it in an antique store; my wife actually built the base for it—I give her the credit—I only art directed.

  6. In my User Interface class, we talk about mobile design. I joke with my students that over the weekend I picked up this awesome new device—the classic Viewmaster.

Calling all faculty and staff members…
Do you have an interesting office – and would you like to feature it in our series? Just email Cory Phare.

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