Director of Design and Innovation Programs and Clinical Assistant Professor


Jessica serves as the Director of the Master of Arts in Design and Innovation (MADI) program. She is a Colorado native who has called Dallas her home since 2008. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design from the Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Master of Fine Arts in Design Research and Innovation from the University of North Texas. After working in publishing for four years, the spark of working with students began to grow and so started her path into the unexpected yet fully captivating world of Design Research. Through her thesis project that looked at transitioning from Communication Design to Designed Communication she fostered a love for local small-business and community engagement. Before coming to SMU, Jessica served as the Executive Director of the Deep Ellum Foundation, a non-profit that manages the Public Improvement District that Deep Ellum is in. She lives in Richardson with her husband, Joel, and their sons Spencer and Lewis.



Adjunct Faculty


Rickey Crum is a freelance designer/fabricator, and adjunct faculty member at Southern Methodist University. Previously, he was the Lab Manager for the Deason Innovation Gym, within the Lyle school of Engineering at SMU. The DIG is a multi-disciplinary makerspace / prototyping lab open to all students at the university, and houses many tools with a focus on digital fabrication. He is also a founding member of the Offset Collective.

Rickey’s educational background is in Aerospace Engineering and Architecture, and he graduated with his Masters in Architecture from The University of Texas in 2009. Before joining the SMU team, he worked as a senior architectural designer for CallisonRTKL, a large global architecture firm, where he focused on both domestic and international commercial retail and entertainment projects. Rickey was also the Operations Coordinator for Billings Productions, tasked with the design and fabrication of life-sized animatronic dinosaurs exhibited at zoos and museums all over the world! Rickey values both old and new technologies, and pushes to integrate both in his work.  He has a passion for parametric design and digital fabrication, but you may also find him flint knapping stone tools in his spare time.



Adjunct Faculty

Designer in Residence Fall 2016

Justin Childress is a graphic designer, writer, and design educator. He is a Creative Director and partner at Switch, a friendly branding and interactive design studio in Dallas, where he works with a wide variety of clients ranging from individuals and non-profits to startups and national brands. He received his BFA in Communication Design from TCU and his MFA in Visual Communication from Texas A&M University-Commerce, where his thesis work explored how interactive tools can influence hazard projection and route planning by cyclists who depend on bike-specific roadways. His design work has been recognized by AIGA, Print Magazine, and DSVC among others, and he is a regular speaker on the future of curiosity-driven design in a disillusioned visual culture. 







Adjunct Faculty

Designer in Residence Fall 2017

A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, Michael Friebele has channeled his professional and personal experiences as a critical medium throughout his work in architectural design, involvement in the community, and experience in journalism. After receiving his Master in Architecture from Kansas State University, Michael located to Dallas where he has spent seven years working in markets across the globe. Currently a Project Designer with Perkins+Will, Michael’s work focuses on connections, from physical to historical, as a means of informing performance driven and client centered design. In addition to his work in architecture, Michael is a self-taught writer, having contributed to such publications as Texas Architect, The Architects Newspaper, and D Magazine. Within the community, Michael currently serves on the Board of Directors for AIA Dallas, is a member of the Texas Architect Publications Committee, and has volunteered with the Dallas Festival of Ideas, Design Future Dallas, and Life in Deep Ellum. Michael, and his work, has been recognized both with the 2017 Associate Award from the American Institute of Architects and the 2016 Associate of the Year from AIA Dallas.

john hicks.jpg


Designer in Residence, Fall 2018


John is a designer, researcher, and educator living in Houston, Texas. In a past life, he spent 15+ years moonlighting as an art director, designing for brands such as Mars foods, Dr. Pepper, Pizza Inn, Metro PCS, Samsung and more. During that time, John served brief stints at Collin College and the University of North Texas where he taught undergraduate communication design.

Since 2011, his professional efforts have been focused on design research. Following designer and educator Victor Papanek’s lead, John believes in taking a human-centered approach to design in order to champion the needs of users in order to create meaningful experiences for them. In his current role, he is a Sr. UX researcher for Monotype where he fights the good fight to bring exceptional experiences to the MyFonts digital commerce platform.

Suzanne Larkin

Adjunct Faculty


Suzanne Larkin is an Associate Creative Director, Art Director, Designer, and Educator, who brings over 30 years of professional experience from various creative environments. She has created campaigns for clients at J. Walter Thompson-San Francisco, DDB Needham-Dallas, Hawkeye-Dallas, and a collection of others within the financial, manufacturing, specialty gift, telecommunications, and interactive arenas. Suzanne has served the MADI program as an adjunct faculty since the program's inception.



Kate Canales co-founded the MADI program in 2015. She has a background in mechanical engineering, product design, and design research. Kate has worked as a designer and design researcher at IDEO and as a Creative Director at frog design, both internationally recognized leaders in the field of design and innovation, and currently serves as the Chair of Design at UT Austin. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Her writing on human-centered design has appeared in GOOD magazine, The Atlantic, and The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.



Gray Garmon co-founded the MADI program in 2015. He has a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and has worked for architects Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland. Gray served in the Peace Corps in Ghana from 2007-2009 where he worked on various projects, including teaching English, leading discussions on HIV/AIDS, empowering women, and building concrete latrines. After the Peace Corps, he started a social venture called the Global Latrine Project to develop prefabricated composting latrines for the developing world. Gray is an American Institute of Architects Henry Adams Medal Winner, and a University of Pennsylvania Social Impact Fellow.