Series Banner- Design at ATEC Conversations With Inspiring Minds

The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) at The University of Texas at Dallas is pleased to announce a special lecture series featuring luminary thinkers in the fields of design. Through lectures, colloquia, and Artist-in-Residence visits in the fields of art, science, engineering, and design, ATEC expands the educational experience by bringing influential thinkers to campus to encourage thought-provoking conversations, collaborations, and the spreading of powerful ideas.

Fridays, October 25 – November 22, 2019

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

All talks are free and open to the public.

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Richard Gray Design at ATEC

Richard Gray

 The Gaming Industry and
the Days of Yore

Friday, October 25 | Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building – ATC 2.602

Richard Gray is a world-renowned figure in the game industry. He is a level designer and former co-owner of Ritual Entertainment.  He entered the game industry in 1995 following the publication of four amateur DOOM levels.  Gray worked on Duke Nuke 3D, Quake, Heavy Metal, Alice, Counter Strike, Star Trek Elite Force II, and Blackhawk Down. He is best known for creating the first suspended platform (“void”) death match level called HIPDM1 (Quake), which later became a staple for all death match games. Gray also created the first miniaturized player death match level (SPRY for SiN) which became a popular addition to later death match games.  Known as “Levelord” to many gamers, Gray leaves hidden messages (Easter eggs) that required players to “cheat” to find them, “You’re not supposed to be here! – Levelord” in Duke Nukem 3D. Gray retired 2008, but he still dabbles on projects such as Becky Brogan’s Adventures and Duke Nukem 3D -20thAnniversary World Tour.

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Norm Cox Design at ATEC

Norm Cox

 The Power of Empathy in
Design and Innovation

Friday, November 1 | Engineering and Computer Science South Building – ECSS 2.415

Most noted for the graphical menu design used across smartphones today, Norm Cox is co-founder and principal of Cox&Hall LLC, a user experience design and visual communication consultancy. Cox began his design career at Xerox’s famed Palo Alto Research Center in the late ‘70s as the visual designer for the Xerox Star, the first commercially produced computer with a graphic user interface. He left Xerox in 1982 and began a consulting career in the emerging field of computer-human interaction and visual communication design. For the past 33 years, he has consulted to scores of international clients and on projects spanning diverse industries and products. For 10 years, he was retained as IBM’s corporate design consultant for UI and UX design. He is named as inventor on 29 patents related to user interface design for Xerox, Sun Microsystems, IBM, and Samsung. To learn more about Norm Cox go to Cox&

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TyRuben Ellingson Design at ATEC

TyRuben Ellingson

 From Art School to Avatar:
Intention and Strategies

Friday, November 8 | Engineering and Computer Science South Building – ECSS 2.415

TyRuben Ellingson grew up in his father’s art studio, engaged in drawing, painting, and constructing cardboard “machines”. He earned his MA in 1982 and completed his MFA in 1987. In 1989, Ellingson was hired as a Visual Effects Art Director at the George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic where he worked on films Jurassic Park, Star Wars: A New Hope, and Disclosure. In 1995, Ellingson accepted an invitation by Director Guillermo Del Toro to serve as principal designer of the signature creature for Mimic. He again designed for Del Toro on Blade 2 and the Hellboy films. In 2006, Ellingson joined the team at Lightstorm to serve as lead vehicle designer for Director James Cameron’s science-fiction epic, Avatar. Other films to which he has lent his creative talents include Blade Trinity, Signs, Eagle Eye, Surrogates, Priest (2011) and Battle: Los Angeles (2011). To learn more about TyRuben Ellingson go to

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Hugh Dubberly Design at ATEC

Hugh Dubberly

 The Third Era of Design

Friday, November 15 | Engineering and Computer Science South Building – ECSS 2.415

Hugh Dubberly is a design planner and teacher. At Apple Computer in the late 80s and early 90s, Hugh managed cross-functional design teams and later managed creative services for the entire company. While at Apple, he co-created a technology-forecast film called “Knowledge Navigator,” that presaged the appearance of the Internet in a portable digital device. While at Apple, he served at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena as the first and founding Chairman of the computer graphics department. Intrigued by what the publishing industry would look like on the Internet, he next became Director of Interface Design for Times Mirror. This led him to Netscape where he became Vice President of Design and managed groups responsible for the design, engineering, and production of Netscape’s Web portal. Hugh graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in graphic design and earned an MFA in graphic design from Yale. To learn more about Hugh Dubberly go to

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Bethany Johns Design at ATEC

Bethany Johns

 Questioning the Past

Friday, November 22 | Engineering and Computer Science South Building – ECSS 2.415

Bethany Johns is a professor and graphic design graduate program director at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. She designs books and publications for art museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the International Center of Photography, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Dia Center for the Arts, and for various publishers, foundations, galleries, and individual artists. Her research and teaching center on graphic design inquiry as an agent of knowledge production, using archives, collections, images, texts, and data as the elements for constructing visual narratives across media. Her work investigates the relations and effects of recursive, looping, and episodic histories—feminist, economic, institutional, and political—that engage the past, present, and speculative future(s). To learn more about Bethany Johns go to

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