Design industry expert joins College of Fine Arts faculty

Emma Acosta

The College of Fine Arts has appointed a new faculty member to help integrate design studies into colleges across the Forty Acres.

Doreen Lorenzo will help oversee the new initiative in collaboration with the College of Fine Arts, McCombs School of Business, School of Information, Cockrell School of Engineering, School of Architecture and the College of Natural Sciences. Lorenzo’s appointment is part of a larger transition in the College of Fine Arts toward studying design from new perspectives. The Department of Art and Art History revamped its design division in recent years and hired new faculty and staff members. 

“Design is ubiquitous in our lives,” said Lorenzo in an email. “It creates the emotional connection you have with products
and services.”

Lorenzo is currently collaborating with colleagues to develop the interdisciplinary curriculum. Though it is still in its beginning stages, the curriculum will hopefully create a way for students to work together and develop their skills for the real world, Lorenzo said. 

“Together we will be able to prepare our students for how organizations are operating,” Lorenzo said. “They are operating in an interdisciplinary way and this integration of design studies across different departments mirrors working in that kind of environment.”   

According to the College of Fine Arts, Lorenzo was also recently appointed as director of the Center for Integrated Design. As an industry leader with 16 years of experience, Lorenzo has previously served as president of design firms Frog and Quirky. 

“She has enormous depth of experience and current knowledge in the commercial world of design,” said Douglas Dempster, dean of the College of Fine Arts in an email. “She brings into the academy the ‘outsider’ perspective of a design professional who can help UT build design programs that are responsive to industry trends in ways that make our graduates
more employable, more entrepreneurial and
more influential.”

Math senior Chris Ramos said he could see the benefits of this type of interdisciplinary curriculum in his own major.

“I’m going for data analysis so there’s definitely going to be an element of design when it comes to actually being able to convey ideas from the data, like to actually be able to come up with the visualizations,” Ramos said. “There’s a huge element of design included.”

The Design Division will release the revised Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in design curriculum next fall.