Opinions / February 24, 2024

Eileen Moore on What We Can Learn From Our Students

Back To Insights
Headshot of Eileen Moore.

There's Something to Be Learned

I’ve recently had the opportunity to teach post-secondary students at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and I’m struck by how enriching the experience has been. For those of us who are more advanced in our careers, teaching can be a constant source of new design inspiration by emerging talent and an opportunity to develop as a leader.

I’m teaching Spatial Branding in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program. Junior and senior students learn to create work in three-dimensional and architectural space, and they are challenged to imagine, develop, and execute branding-specific design work on a large scale. The class revolves around conceptualizing and telling a compelling visual and narrative story and focusing on diverse audiences, always keeping the people who inhabit the spaces at the forefront. Assignments include a scaled exhibition space with elevations and floor plans, a signage and wayfinding program, and an experiential branded environment.

Student work showing an exhibit title wall for the Luna Moth.
Prepare to Be Inspired

For practicing designers inured to the rigor and responsibility of client work, the classroom can be inspiring because the creative process is free of the usual constraints dictated by clients’ parameters and budget constraints. Students get the opportunity to incubate a wide range of ideas – and their work has been surprising and provocative!

Student work showing a hand drawn font for the Luna Moth exhibit.
Student work showing ticket design for a Luna Moth exhibit.
Most things can be learned but what cannot be taught is an innate sense of joy and discovery in the design process.
Student work showing a 3D rendering of a wayfinding graphic alongside an accurate elevation with the graphic.
It's All About the 3D Renderings

I marvel at how students embrace different technologies so readily. For example, they use an array of rendering tools to build models for 3D projects. They experiment enthusiastically with fly-throughs, animations, and fantastical environments to which they apply their graphics. They have an amazing capacity to adapt and learn and create great work. Our job is to teach students to create an accurate rendering, based on elevations with real measurements derived with an old-school measuring tape!

Hand drawn font by student
Student work showing a family of signage for an airport

The Art of Constructive Critique

Another reward seasoned professionals can gain is that of providing mentorship and feedback, which has helped me to become a more patient and compassionate leader. Our suggestions need to be sensitive enough to help students move forward without feeling overwhelmed. I like to focus on students who seem discouraged and start out taking a back seat.


Maybe they’ve had challenges in other classes and feel they can’t compete. It’s important to draw these students out and make them feel safe and confident enough to show their cards.

Each student’s skills and strengths vary, and our job is to find value in each student’s work every week; to meet each designer where they’re at. Identify their strongest element and encourage them to focus on that. I’ve also found that a sense of humor doesn’t hurt. It’s been wonderful to watch their weekly progress, which can be either subtle or dramatic.

Creating a Community

The class had an amazing experience at the Entro New York studio with Jonathan Posnett, Partner, Kevin Spencer, Creative Director and Radnyee Joshi, Senior Designer presenting their career paths and project work including the Perelman Center and Powerhouse Arts. Other professional design speakers, and a tour of MoMA signage and wayfinding rounded out the classroom experience.


Eileen Moore is a Principal Creative Director at Entro.

Share article