If you want to chat, try these:

650.TXT.RYAN
ryan@jryangarner.com
Social Media Handle: jryangarner

If you want to see my design work or collaborate on something, go here:

www.studiogarner.com

If you want to chat, try these:

650.TXT.RYAN
ryan@jryangarner.com
Social Media Handle: jryangarner

If you want to see my design work or collaborate on something, go here:

www.studiogarner.com

Questions

My work straddles the line between creative and academic disciplines and that fact usually prompts questions. Here are some of the most common ones I hear.

What is your PhD in again?

Rhetoric, Communication, and Information Design. In simplest terms, I study the nature of creative communication. I want to know how people make things on digital surfaces. I am especially interested in how that creativity can breathe life into all communities (not just those with money).

What is information design?

“Informing” should mean more than transferring content from one person to another. It means shaping both the content of that communication and the people involved. It means creating ideas as much as organizing them. The best way to see this to observe the term itself. Informing describes a process of “going into" and that movement changes something or someone. My specific research focuses on the digital aspects of that change. I think of myself as a kind of information architect.

Why “information architect”?

Information architecture is actually an outdated term. It has given way to the much more popular “user-experience design.” I retrieve the old term because it accurately describes the kind of thinking involved in design. Namely, surveying the material landscape and projecting, drawing out, and crafting arrangements that might enable new forms of life and experience. Architecture is defined by this kind of synthesis. After all, this is what “tectonic” means.

Why all the “theory”?

Many designers only commit to technical tools and rarely approach conceptual issues. I want to supplement my skills with critical reflection. Theory is not mere "head stuff." It is a way of seeing things. I spend time thinking through lines, shapes, and letters in hopes of seeing new routes for informational construction. In other words, theory opens new questions and guides technical decisions.

Why Appalachia?

I love the mountains. My ancestry begins just a few miles from where I live now. I grew up in the foothills of the Smokies and have always admired their permanence and age. These hills have fostered diverse creativity in jam, poetry, banjos, and clogging. At some point, creativity receded in the face of fabrication. Those crafts and heirlooms became punchlines in the industrial era. And, while Appalachia has deep problems and painful memories for many, I identify those issues with the loss of creativity. So, I try to recover it in this the digital age..

Where are all the pictures?

I like drawing but I am not to keen on photos. Sure, I appreciate the complexity of the craft but the drawn line, typographic symbols, and shape language drive my design sensibility.

What else do you dabble in?

Everyone loves playing with their kids. I watch sports but mostly to bicker and complain about logical inconsistencies. I goof around on the guitar. I am a glutton for conversation. Critically, I only drink Tennessee whiskeys (bourbon = Kentucky...which means: no thanks).