Exploring How Visual Narratives Influence Culture
Omari Souza is a first-generation American of Jamaican descent, raised in the Bronx NY. Before working at Texas State University, Omari gained work experience with companies such as VIBE magazine, the Buffalo News, CBS Radio, and Case Western Reserve University. He received his BFA in Digital Media from Cleveland Institute of Art and his MFA in Design from Kent State University. Omari's research explores the idea of perceptions, and how visual narratives influence culture, how we view ourselves and others around us.
Design for Social Innovation
As an educator, my primary goal is to aid my students' development in the realms of design thinking and conceptual development. The ability to think critically is imperative to all aspects of design, from 2D design to design for social innovation. My challenge is to assist future designers in their mastery of the problem-solving process, thus preparing the next generation of designers who will think beyond artifact creation. My classes take a process-oriented approach, which focuses both on design principles and research methods. I task students with providing thumbnail sketches of their proposed ideas, followed by written explanations that detail the investigation conducted to reach their presented solutions. This method encourages students to see beyond creating brochures, logotypes, and marketing collateral. It encourages students to research and explore authentic design solutions that go beyond mere aesthetics. All teaching opportunities should be founded on the idea of individual inquiry by the student. This principle makes education a learner-centered process, not one that is teacher-centered. My interest in responsible design crosses over into the classroom. I ask students to find a reason to express themselves through visual communication by challenging my students to visually answer social, emotional, physical, economic, and cultural questions and problems.
University, Professional, and Community
✓ Member, Diversity Committee.
✓ Member, Design Research Committee.
✓ Board Member, The International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA).