Design’s Kyuha Shim Joining the Korea National University of Arts


Q working as Designer-in-Residence at Meta Open Arts (previously Facebook Analog Research Lab) located in Meta HQ (Menlo Park, CA) in 2019. His work, De+Composition (2019) was permanently installed in building MPK 20.

Kyuha “Q” Shim, after an incredible 7 year career at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design as an Associate Professor and Director of Computational Creativity Lab, will be leaving CMU to join the Korea National University of Arts as a Professor of Convergence Design. 

Q’s primary research area has been computational/generative design in visual communication/interaction. Over time, Q expanded the scope and perspectives of his research-led practice, from largely aesthetic and technological, into the cultural and social dimensions. It has allowed him to identify new design opportunities in broader and more diverse contexts.

Before joining the School of Design, Q worked as a research fellow at MIT’s SENSEable City Laboratory (2012–2013) in Cambridge, MA, and as a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie (2013–2014) in Maastricht, Netherlands. He has been awarded residencies and fellowships at Frans Masereel Centrum (2017) in Kasterlee, Belgium, Facebook's Analog Research Lab (2019) in Menlo Park, CA, Design Incubation: Research in Communication Design (2021), and AIGA (2022). He also worked as a designer at LUST (2011) in The Hague, Netherlands, and Vinyl (2009–2010) in Seoul, Korea. He conducted doctoral research in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, holds an MFA with honors in Digital+Media from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in Digital Media Design from Hongik University.

“The best part of my tenure here in the School of Design has always been the relationships I built with my students,” said Q. “It has been a privilege to have met and worked with many students who have shown rigor, curiosity, commitment, and care. They have been a continuous source of motivation and inspiration to me, and I hope to continuously provide guidance, advice and friendship to those who would like to stay in touch.” 

Looking back on the courses he has taught, Q finds it difficult to name a favorite. “I have come to truly enjoy and love each course for different reasons, from First-year Design Lab, Junior Communications Studio IV, Information and Space, Computational Design Thinking, to MPS/MDes Studio 1: Designing for Interactions,” said Q. Some of Q’s favorite projects during his time in the School of Design include, “Speculating Museum Futures through Interactions,” “Designing Personalities for Intelligent User Interfaces”, and “Designing Participatory Experiences using AIGA Design Census.”

Other fond memories Q mentions are those from co-teaching, with Mark Baskinger, Dan Boyarski, Wayne Chung, Dina El-Zanfaly, Daphne Peters, and Andrew Twigg. “I am grateful for the patience, support, and friendship they have graciously offered, and will carry the lessons and experiences with me always.” 

Outside the School of Design, Q also greatly enjoyed his collaboration with Golan Levin in the School of Art. “It was an honor to take part in the NEA funded research for Code as Creative Medium (Brain & Levin, 2021), the first book published by The MIT Press and designed computationally,” said Q. “The project was particularly meaningful, as it demonstrated the application of computational design to a print medium, and introduced the design methodology to a wider and global audience.”

The Making of Code as Creative Medium, Kyuha Shim, 2021. 

Q found his time at CMU as not only special to him but also to his family as well. “My wife, Taery, did a postdoctoral Visiting Scholarship at CMU’s Center for Arts in Society and, also, earned a Master of Arts in Design from the School of Design,” said Q. “Our son, Royce, was born in Pittsburgh and we spent many weekends taking walks and playing catch on CMU’s campus. We will always remember and miss Pittsburgh for many memorable experiences and times.” 

Q is currently leading AIGA Design Educators Survey, a national-scale survey project to investigate the current landscape of design education from various perspectives (including the academic, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological dimensions of design education today). This summer, a number of SoD students will work with Q to build a custom survey website for the project, which Q will present the results during the educator session of AIGA National Design Conference in Seattle this October.

Q is also developing, What’s Your Type, a project that he developed in collaboration with his research assistants at the Computational Creativity Lab. Funded by the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, the project explores the correlation between people’s perception of fonts, their locations and languages.  

Q also has several publications on the horizon. He recently finished an essay that introduces Artificial Intelligence (AI) in design classrooms for Beyond the Bauhaus (Sales, TBD), a book which will be published by The Princeton Architectural Press. The essay will include his perspective learned from Computational Design Thinking, one of the courses that he developed and taught at CMU.

Computational Design Practices (2022–), a new series that Q developed in continuation of GRAPHIC #37: Introduction to Computation (ed. Shim, 2016). The series explores the areas, concepts, skills, and perspectives of computational design, through his conversations with design practitioners and educators. It aims to define and demystify code-driven and data-driven approaches in design, and discuss new opportunities and challenges to using computation as a creative medium in the context of design practice and education.

The Art of Selection, Kyuha Shim, 2016. Invited work created for Beauty–Cooper Hewitt National Design Triennial (2016), and also exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Art (2016-2017). The screen printed version of the work is in the permanent collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

For those of us still at the School of Design, Q will be deeply missed for his contributions to the craft and the absolute pleasure it was to work with him.

“When Q was a candidate for hire here, we really saw something unique about him, and his work; something that could bring a real difference to what we do, adding a bold component of computation to communication design,” said Bruce Hanington, Head of the School of Design. “Q's contributions to the School proved to be a strong inspiration to our students in particular, not only through his teaching but through his own work that exemplified a blend of graphic expertise with daring experimentation.

“We will miss Q and the role he played in our programs and research profile of the School of Design,” added Hanington. “We wish him and his family all the very best in this next exciting chapter of their lives.” 

“In the School of Design, we nurture our students to become systems thinkers and critical makers so that they are equipped to tackle complex situations and wicked problems in the real world,” said Q. “Encouraging novel ways of thinking, we help our students acquire strong fundamentals and principles in materializing their ideas. 

“Being a part of the School of Design and working with many people who I respect have been most gratifying and rewarding,” continued Q. “I am grateful to all the members in our community, and will miss them greatly.” 

The School of Design wants to express our deepest well wishes to Q and his family and our profound jealousy to the institutions that get to work with him on a daily basis from this day on.

Date Published: 
Friday, May 27, 2022
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