- M.F.A., Graphic Design, Yale University School of Art
- B.A., Studio Art, Dartmouth College
Audrey Bennett studies cross-cultural and trans-disciplinary communication which make use of images that permeate global culture and impact the way we think and behave. In her recent book, Engendering Interaction with Images, Bennett argues that engendering user interaction with images actually improves their communicative effectiveness by enabling them to convey meanings effectively across cultures.
“No longer passive spectators of images, these days we are more likely to be active participants in their production, distribution, and consumption,” said Bennett. “This raises important questions about the consequences widespread user interaction may have on meaning, communicative effectiveness and society at large.”
Her current research includes the development of a theory of interactive aesthetics that aims to democratize control of images in society. Interactive aesthetics explains the use of technology to place communication designers in virtual collaboration with lay users, where technology makes it easier for remote participants in various stages of the design process to work together. Bennett currently conducts fieldwork globally to investigate the use of interactive aesthetics to effect social change--like the prevention of new HIV infections in Kenya and Ghana (funded by the NSF) and the ethnic diversification of computer science (funded by Google).
Her papers are published in the Journal of Design Research, Visible Language, Design Issues, The Journal of Graphic Design and various international design research conference proceedings.
Bennett has won numerous awards for her graphic art including a College Art Association Professional Development Fellowship and the CoDesign 2000 Best Poster Paper award. In 2007 she received an NSF Career Campaign Award and a grant from the AIGA, the professional association for design to create GLIDE, a biennial virtual conference that disseminates communication design research findings on the role of images in global society.
She is on the Advisory Board for Iridescent, the International Council of Communication Design's Journal of Design Research. She also directs baohouse.org, a virtual design studio for user-centered research on global images.