Associate Professor and Communication Design Program Chair
Stacie Rohrbach is an Associate Professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and the Area Head for the Communication Design program. She has played a significant role in the design and implementation of the School’s new curriculum, which spans all of its degree programs and guides the direction of the Communication Design curriculum. Stacie teaches studio- and seminar-based communication design courses at all levels of the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral curriculum and regularly advises thesis projects. Her research, which stems from the study of communication and information design, perception, and cognition, focuses on design for learning.
More specifically, Stacie's research investigates ways of translating complex, abstract information into concrete, experiential forms, and explores the integration of design pedagogy into professional and general education contexts. She designs educational tools that aim to engage people in meaningful learning experiences where concepts are often difficult to grasp via traditional learning approaches. Her recent notable projects include a focus on teaching fundamental communication skills, financial well-being, and middle school math and science concepts. In each instance, Rohrbach collaborates with colleagues across campus on projects that are situated in physical and digital contexts. Currently, Stacie's discoveries are informing an investigation of student motivation as a critical facet in the design of effective learning experiences. Continuing the work she has conducted over the past decade, Stacie is also applying her findings to the design and development of interactive assessment tools that enable students and instructors to comment on, and track, performance over time. Her recent research projects have been supported by National Science Foundation, Qatar National Research Foundation, Fine Foundation, Institute of Education Science, PNC Bank, and Carnegie Mellon University ProSEED grants.
Stacie presents her work that focuses on design for learning at national and international design and education conferences, conducts curriculum design and implementation workshops with educators and administrators across the country, and integrates her inquiry and discoveries into her courses—some of which are client-sponsored. In addition to teaching core undergraduate and graduate design studio courses, Stacie has developed three courses for the School of Design that speak directly to her strength in design for learning, which include ‘Information, Interaction, and Perception’, ‘Learner Experience Design’, and a doctoral-level course, ‘Teaching Design II’.
Prior to her current academic appointment that begain in 2003, Stacie worked professionally in both print and digital media, developing identity systems, corporate standards manuals, interactive websites and product packaging since 1996. She earned a BFA in graphic design from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Graphic Design from North Carolina State University. Stacie was a member of the AIGA Design Educators Community steering committee from 2007 to 2011 and served as its vice-chair for three years. She was also a board member for the Adobe Design Achievement Awards from 2011-2014. Currently, Stacie serves as an editorial board member for the AIGA Design Educators Community publications ‘Dialectic’ and ‘Dialog’. In additional to her national contributions to the field, Stacie applies her strengths in course planning and implementation to the design of rubrics and syllabi that serve as models for the School and university.