November Professional Spotlight: Beckham Dossett

Beckham Dossett

Name: Beckham Dossett
Place of Employment: University of Houston

How long have you been an AIGA member and what do you get out of being a member?
I’ve been a member of AIGA since 1999. AIGA is a great organization. I value the role it plays in promoting design as a profession and for fostering a sense of community at both the national and local levels. AIGA also provides the students I teach at the University of Houston with an introduction to the Houston design community—both its members and the issues that concern them as designers.

What is your take on the creative industry in Houston? How do you think we can make it different?
The creative community in Houston is diverse and, from what I’ve seen at recent AIGA events, well networked. I enjoy seeing multiple organizations hosting events together.

What inspired you to become a designer?
I decided to pursue an education in design after enrolling in a design class as a prerequisite for another major. At the time I had a degree in painting and was back in school to begin a new course of study. Midway through the design class, I realized I’d found the thing I wanted to do. Up until that point, I didn’t fully appreciate design. I had heard about it, but out of ignorance never considered it career option. Bottom line, I had no idea how rule based I was!

What other creative/art events do you attend?
I try and go to museums as much as possible. Breaking my routine and seeing art energizes me.

When you aren’t working, what are you doing?
During the school year I don’t stop working. Summer is the time I slow down. I catch up on reading, spend as much time as possible in Central Texas at a place I own on Hog Creek, and try to travel to locations where I can do some hiking and rock climbing.

What is your greatest accomplishment to date as a design professional?
My greatest accomplishment as a design professional is teaching. I’d like to think I’ve positively influenced a few design students, though the majority of those I’ve taught might say I’ve been more effective at scaring the daylights out them. Like I said, I like rules.

Who are your design heroes or mentors?
I try not to have heroes. Something about worshipping others has always turned me off. I do admire and respect the work of certain designers and design thinkers, however. Two that I find interesting are Bruce Mau and John Maeda. My mentors are the teachers who taught me as a design undergraduate and graduate student.

Where can we find you?

About Beckham Dossett:
Beckham Dossett teaches design at the University of Houston and owns Small Project Office, a studio focused on working with educational and arts organizations.

By Randy Nicholson
Published November 22, 2010
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