Heather Corcoran

Director, College & Graduate School of Art, Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman, Jr. Professor of Art

Heather Corcoran is director of the College and Graduate School of Art and the Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman, Jr. Professor of Art at Washington University in St. Louis. She also holds a courtesy joint appointment in the Brown School of Social Work for 2016-17. She is a graphic designer whose work explores relationships of information and expression, spanning collaborative projects for social impact and self-generated projects for exhibition. She works on questions of informational density, clarity, and audience understanding, while also addressing how elements such as image, text, and graphic form create voice, and how data can provoke an emotional response.

Corcoran writes and presents about design, design education and learning, design process, and leadership at conferences and other venues around the world, including the American Alliance of Museums and the AIGA, the professional association for design. She also conducts commercial projects in identity and information design; her clients have included Yale University Press, the Saint Louis Zoo, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City), and the Princeton Architectural Press. Her work has been recognized by the International Institute for Information Design, Communication Arts, Printmagazine’s Regional Design Awards, and AIGA St. Louis.

Along with Todd Decker, Heather oversees a new initiative called CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS FOR BIG PROJECTS.  It exists to connect fellow student collaborators and faculty mentors. The programincludes competitive grants to support creative work, opportunities for input and critique by faculty from across the university on works-in-progress, and a opportunities to have work featured on the web where finished projects will inspire future WashU students.