Elpitha Tsoutsounakis portrait
  • Assistant Professor, Design
  • Assistant Professor, Multi-disciplinary Design Division

Research Statement

I am exploring methods of design in relation with the more-than-human as an alternative to design research and practices that serve infinite production and capitalist culture. Ochre is not only mineral pigment, but terrestrial beings that have an ancient relationship with human culture. I enlist these geological interlocutors in creative work and printmaking to make drawings, maps, books, and digital artifacts that extend beyond the colonial record. Ochre not only makes color material, it activates its own agency in world-making. It realizes the desert as more than the colonial narrative of barren, criminal wasteland or public commodity.

Research Keywords

  • Seafood
  • Food Manufacturing

Creative Research

  • Unknown Prospect is an assemblage and collaboration with Ochre that responds to extractive industry. I am exploring methods of design in relation with the more-than-human as an alternative to design research and practices that serve infinite production and capitalist culture. Ochre is not only mineral pigment, but terrestrial beings that have an ancient relationship with human culture. I enlist these geological interlocutors in creative work and printmaking to make drawings, maps, and books that extend beyond the colonial record. Ochre not only makes color material, it activates its own agency in world-making. It realizes the desert as more than the colonial narrative of barren, criminal wasteland or public commodity. Ochre confronts the misconception of land left over as recreational ‘play-ground’ where humans can have ‘no impact’ and take no account for the erasure and enslavement of indigenous women and children. The desert is more than an abundant ecosystem with a staggering number of endemic species and access to millions of years of geological time — it is the ancestral territory of sovereign indigenous tribes. This film reveals one view of the pluriverse, as seen from the desert, as told by ochre. Prepared for the 2021 Pivot Conference of the Design Research Society Curatorial/Production, completed 2021.
    https://youtu.be/5m8I6iumjy8
  • Moby Dick Tracts 200 years after the birth of Herman Melville, the Bodleian Bibliographical Press at Oxford University seeks a collaboration with printers everywhere to honour the author by printing parts of 'The Whale,' (London, October 1851), or, as it is best known, 'Moby-Dick; or, The Whale' (New York, November 1851) Exhibition, in progress 2019.
  • Dark Sky Journal Creative direction, design and production of the inaugural volume and web platform for the newly established Journal for Dark Sky Studies. Other, in progress 2019.
  • Train Tracts 2019 Train Tracts is a traveling literary journal and an experiment in connection. The journal is made up of twelve chapters, each a collaboration between an artist and a writer. The small edition chapters are each unique works of art created by printmakers from around the country. The stories are of travel, transformation, and connecting with strangers. Tracts will be on display at the Rio Gallery. Exhibition, completed 2019.
  • Design Field Studio is an exploration of the role of design in our collective ecological consciousness and the experience of public lands Other, in progress 2018.
    http://www.designfield.studio
  • Dark Sky Exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah Exhibition, completed 2018.

Research Equipment and Testing Expertise

  • SEM/EDAX. Contact: Utah Nanolab .

Presentations

  • Panel discussion at the inaugural Pigments Revealed Symposium 2021. , Presented, 2021.
    https://www.pigmentsrevealed.com/pigments-revealed...
  • Tanner Human Values Conversation with Maya Lin. , Presented, 2019.
  • Keynote Speaker, Bliss Celebration of Life, University of Utah, College of Architecture + Planning. , Presented, 2019.
  • Adobe XD Webinar: Elevate Your User Experience Design Courses. , Presented, 2019.
    https://edex.adobe.com/en/resource/v9e4e2a26
  • Design and Creative Process The products of design are all around us, but often the process of design is not well known or understood. Somewhere between art and invention, every designer has their own creative process. Join in a discussion exploring that process from multiple disciplines including common ideas that all designers share. , Presented, 2018.
    https://nhmu.utah.edu/events/science-invention-fes...
  • Pecha Kucha Salt Lake Vol. 14. , Presented, 2015.
  • Presentation at the Pivot 2021 conference of the Design Research Society. , Presented, 2021.
    https://pivot2021conference.com
  • "The Future of Play: A Framework for Design Studio Curriculum' Presentation at the International Design Principles and Practice Conference. , Presented, 2015.
  • Moderator and Session Topic at the AIGA Design Educators Conference: New Venures: Intersections in Design Education. , Accepted, 2014.
  • 'Design Thinking: A Model for Introducing Design to University Students Across Disciplines' Presented at the International Conference for Design Principles and Practice. , Presented, 2014.
  • 'Birds of a Feather' group show Sponsored by The Mandate Press. Other, Accepted, 2015.
  • 'Words of Wisdom' Group show sponsored by The Mandate Press. Other, Accepted, 2014.
  • 'Nothing Goes According to Plan' group show sponsored by The Mandate Press. Other, Accepted, 2014.
  • 2012 Counterform Exhibition - University of Utah Book Arts, juried exhibit of artist's books and broadsides. Other, Accepted, 2012.
  • 'Camp Studio: Explorations in Outdoor Product Development' Paper presentation at the IDSA International Conference Education Symposium. Co-authored with James Agutter. , Presented, 2014.
  • 'Design Process / Design Thinking: Alternative Methods in the Classroom' Presented at the National Conference for the Beginning Design Student. Co-Authored with James Agutter. , Presented, 2014.
  • Making Manifest: The Importance of the Actual in the Digital Design Process; National Conference for the Beginning Design Student Co-authored with Erin Carraher. , Presented, 2013.

Languages

  • Modern Greek (1453-), Fluent.
  • English, Fluent.

Publications

  • Elpitha Tsoutsounakis (date unknown). Tools for an Unknown Prospect. Design Research Society. Accepted, .
  • Elpitha Tsoutsounakis (date unknown). Ground Maps for an Unknown Prospect. Refract Journal. Vol. 4, 6. Accepted, .