sean.redmond@ac4d.com

Student

Sean Redmond

Sean is a writer, editor, and designer living in Austin, Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature with a focus on nonfiction writing from the University of Chicago. His writing has appeared in Pitchfork, Newcity, The Hypocrite Reader, and elsewhere.

Sean spent three years teaching English in the city of Ogaki, Japan, before moving to Austin in 2012. Shortly thereafter he founded fields magazine. fields was a nationally acclaimed and internationally distributed arts journal produced biannually from 2013 to 2018. In 2019, fields transitioned to online publication.

As the editor in chief of fields, Sean has hosted many cultural events, including readings, concerts, and art exhibitions. He has served as a panelist at the Writers’ League of Texas’ annual conference and moderated a nonfiction panel at the Texas Book Festival. He was invited to curate the ICOSA collective’s debut show at their Canopy gallery, and he recently curated a show of outsider artist Mark Renner’s work at Big Medium’s Creative Standard gallery.

A self-taught graphic designer, Sean was responsible for the print design of fields and many of its flyers and posters. Working with designers to create the journal’s website taught him the importance of interaction design. Sean took two interaction design courses via The University of Texas at Austin and IBM before applying to AC4D.

Sean currently works as an Assistant Director of Development at The University of Texas at Austin, where he serves as a grant writer for STEM programs on campus, the Wildflower Center, the College of Fine Arts, and the School of Nursing. He plays music with the band Distant Future and enjoys swimming, biking, hiking, and the arts.

Recent blog posts

Insights into the City of Austin’s Small Business Program

This is part of an ongoing research project that aims to understand how people navigate the City of Austin’s Small Business Program services and how they get value from the system. Our research began with PeopleFund, a community lender, and expanded in its scope as we learned more about the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Preliminary themes from…

Creating Inclusive Design

Last week, I facilitated a 30-minute discussion on inclusive vs. exclusive design. Our conversation was largely influenced by this talk by Kat Holmes, Director of UX Design at Google. Holmes discusses how we should move beyond thinking of designing for the majority of people, and instead focus on creating design that reaches everyone. By focusing on…

Exploring Gray Patterns: How can we tell if design is truly good?

Our class at AC4D has spent the past few weeks studying ethical quandaries in design. I’ve become particularly interested in dark patterns, which can be defined as tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn’t mean to, like buying or signing up for something (courtesy darkpatterns.org). There are many types of dark patterns: straightforward…

Researching Makers’ Financial Attitudes and Behaviors: Part One

Kyle, Lauren, and I are working on a new project, partnering with local nonprofit JUST to learn more about financial attitudes and behaviors. JUST helps female, Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs build confidence and community via financial education and loans, and they are looking into how they can help other unique populations build confidence and financial security. Our Project Our immediate interest…

Service Slices: A Look at the City of Austin’s Small Business Program

This is part of an ongoing research project that aims to understand how people navigate the City of Austin’s Small Business Program services and how they get value from the system. Our research began with PeopleFund, a community lender, and expanded in its scope as we learned more about the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Preliminary themes…

Design Thinking: Next-Level Design or Nonsense?

We at AC4D spend a lot of time talking about who designers are and what they do. This is inevitable, given the ambiguity of the field. What is design, anyway? I’m not going to answer that question, but will instead point to a quote from Richard Buchanan: Buchanan is well-known in the design world for conceptualizing the fourth…

Themes from Exploring Austin’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

  Austin has one of the most vibrant tech industries in the country, but there’s more to the city than start-ups and Big Tech. Austin is invested in diversifying its industry, as outlined in its current five-year strategy plan, Strategic Direction 2023. For our research, we decided to explore how the City of Austin is fostering its non-tech entrepreneurs, who often do not have…

Designing for Good: The Path to Saving Our Future

Design is a powerful tool that can be used to reshape society for the better. But how do we do it? We may share a common ideal, but designers have very different strategies on effecting societal change. Some theorists, like Roger L. Martin and Sally Osberg, believe that social entrepreneurship is the way to improve society.…

Stories from the Field: PeopleFund

For the past three weeks, my classmates Zina, Vickie, and I have been working with a nonprofit called PeopleFund. PeopleFund is a nonprofit that creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people by providing access to capital, education and resources to build healthy small businesses. Inspired by their mission statement, we wanted to learn more about…

What Does a Designer Do? A Rumination on Magic

Ask what a designer does, and you’ll get a million different answers. This is apparent every time someone asks me what I’m studying here at AC4D. Is it like graphic design, or UX? What are we designing, and for whom? I tell them I perform research into human behavior and provide insights into how to improve…

What is the designer’s responsibility to society?

At AC4D, students are taught to design for social good. The ethics of designing in practice, however, can be complicated. To learn more about ethics, we read the work of five theorists. Not all practiced in the field of “design,” but all expound design principles and their impact on society. Edward Bernays wrote about manipulation…

AC4D Orientation: Complete

Today marks the last day of AC4D Orientation. I entered the week thinking things would start off nice and slow—we’d get to know each other, talk about the courses we’d study, some overview of topics, maybe a brief introduction to the skills and techniques we’d be learning. We did do all of that, but it wasn’t…

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