We believe that “design education is now the only area of graphic design in which one can be truly innovative.” :- /

FREE is our proof of concept.
It is a workshop that explores the radical potential of the artifacts and platforms of design education (tools, projects, presentations, prompts, resource lists and the like) as spaces for new forms of critical writing, making, and discourse. It invites design educators to imagine, debate, test drive and flesh-out the impractical, the impossible and the extreme in a space that is free from the constraints of the institution, expectation and convention. Part working group and part think tank, teams will work fast and furiously in articulating a vision/mission statement/manifesto and generating responses in the form of a collection of pedagogical artifacts, platforms and other unforeseen outcomes that will be posted to an ongoing archive of online resources for graphic design educators and students. Finally, teams will present, debate, discuss their outcomes, beliefs, values, and interests in an informal public presentation.


This workshop and the outcomes we make are meant to articulate and respond to an ideological position about an urgent issue in design education. This summer will be a battle royale that troubles an old dichotomy:

Post-formalism vs. Hyper-formalism in design education?!?!

Participants will choose a side and join a team. There is no middle position. Teams will adopt a rhetorical position advocating either post-formalism or hyper-formalism as a key tenet of contemporary design education. In response to this position, teams will build a collection of pedagogical artifacts, tools and other unforeseen outcomes to be distributed via an online archive that is freely available to design educators and students worldwide.


Workshop Project is the pedagogical design practice of Yasmin Khan and Jessica Wexler. It is a platform for investigating and proposing new forms and modalities of design education inside, outside and beyond the institution. We make the artifacts of academia (i.e. applications, symposia, curricula, lectures, presentations, workshops) as forms of critical writing that articulate our ideas about the future-present of design education and practice. Workshop Project also organizes symposia, workshops and other collaborations with colleagues and educational institutions.

Yasmin Khan and Jessica Wexler are design educators and practitioners with over two decades of combined experience teaching, designing curricula and coordinating faculty within diverse public, private and for-profit institutions. Currently, Yasmin is a visiting senior lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and visiting faculty at California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California. Formerly, an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Graphic Design department at Purchase College, State University of New York, Jessica is the incoming Chair of Undergraduate Communications Design at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.

Anja Groten is an independent designer and researcher based in Amsterdam. Anja works on (self-)commissions and also tutors at the Design Department of the Sandberg Instituut, and the Willem de Kooning Academy. In 2013 Anja started co-running the project space De Punt and co-founded the initiative Hackers & Designers, attempting to break down the barriers between the two fields by enforcing a common vocabulary through education, hacks and collaboration.

Hackers & Designers (H&D) has been experimenting, researching and developing new and controversial technology and learning processes with artists, designers, (software) developers and hackers in Amsterdam and abroad. By researching, breaking apart and exploring technology, H&D seeks to investigate larger societal questions about our reliance on dominant forms of technology, the value of understanding the systems that we are embedded in, and the ability to open up and appropriate technology.