Bree McMahon attended Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin where she received both a BA in Art History and a BA in Graphic Design. Curious about the intersection between design, history, and culture, she began her career in journalism. Her time working at a newspaper facilitated an interest in designing for community engagement. Consequently, she began working with start-ups, small businesses, and non-profits, primarily focused on designing strategies that connect brands with their communities.
She earned her Masters of Graphic Design from North Carolina State University’s College of Design. There, she established a research agenda that explores designing conditions for collaborative conversations within professional and student studio settings. She is driven by the discovery of accessible and innovative pedagogical methods that foster connections amongst design students. Concerned with how design can be used to both solve and discover problems, Bree has presented, participated and had work featured at conferences (nationally and abroad) and in various publications pertaining to design research.
At the University of Arkansas, Bree teaches classes in graphic design as well as Foundations studios with BFA applicants. She developed a new History of Graphic Design that was incorporated into curriculum during the Spring 2019 semester.
Currently, Bree is collaborating with a number of fellow designers and educators, to explore methods for disrupting traditional approaches to design pedagogy. She is primarily focused on facilitating and developing workshops for design students that examine complex topics through dialogical prompts while incorporating opportunities for conversations that encourage critical perspective.