Zachary Kaiser

I am an artist, educator, scholar, and music producer. I’m currently an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Experience Architecture in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design at Michigan State University.

Herbert Simon, a pioneer of the design methods movement, suggested that to "design" is to devise "courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones." Much of my work is spent in the pursuit of interrogating the preferred situations manifest in the designed world in which we live, asking for whom (or what) these situations are preferred and why. I seek to offer my students and others the opportunity to question the hegemony of the preferred situations created for them, to problematize the designed systems and artifacts that privilege a certain worldview, and to propose alternative visions.

I earned my MFA from the Dynamic Media Institute at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2013. My graduate thesis advocated for a methodology of learning based on the process of DJing as a way to illuminate relationships in order to surface hidden ideologies and power structures in students’ lives, which are increasingly mediated by complex computational systems.

Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan State, I co-founded Skeptic, a Boston-based research and design collective, and served as a visiting lecturer in various design programs in Boston.

I regularly exhibit and lecture in the US and internationally.


You can read my graduate thesis in full on Scribd.

Get in touch: zacharykaiser [at] gmail [dot] com.