The Design & Teaching Portfolio of


My work connects diverse collaborative teams through design & visual thinking.

Hello! I’m Kelly M. Murdoch-Kitt, an Assistant Professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan. As a design researcher, educator, author, and scholar, I focus on using design to improve interpersonal interactions, and specifically collaborative work.

In my research and teaching, human connection drives the creation of socially responsible concepts. I co-authored the book Intercultural Collaboration by Design: Drawing from Differences, Distances, and Disciplines through Visual Thinking (Routledge 2020) with Denielle Emans, which introduces over 30 of our visual thinking activities to support collaborative online intercultural learning (COIL). We are currently working together on The ORBIT Project: Online Resource for Building Intercultural Teams.

To learn more about my recent work, please watch my tenure talk, “The People Beyond the Screen: Designing for Human Connection,” presented as part of the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series. 

Read my full bio on the Stamps website.

Creative Resilience Update!

Our new book, Creative Resilience: Lessons from artists and designers for an uncertain future (working title) will be a published collection of edited case studies, project ideas, exercises, short essays, and visual narratives. As editors, Dr. Denielle Emans and I will weave together accepted contributions with our own analysis and discussion.

Because so many people have interesting insights to share about this topic, we are currently reviewing submissions for this project from art and design educators, graduate students, and recent graduates across the globe.

We are currently looking for people with interesting perspectives on resilience to contribute interviews to the book. If you or someone you know fits this description, please contact us with your proposal or to nominate someone.

Recent activities

My team and I love leading workshops, webinars, and discussions to help all kinds of groups and communities to improve creative engagement and collaboration skills. Please contact us to schedule a remote event for your group or organization at

“From Engagement to Collaboration: Creative Approaches to Support Joyful Social-Emotional Learning.” Natomas Charter School, Leading Edge Academy, October 2020.

“Understanding the Role of Visual Thinking in Task Design.” Virtual Exchange Community, University of Michigan, August 2020.

“Using Visual Thinking to Connect & Collaborate Remotely.” CultureSource, May 2020.

© Kelly M. Murdoch-Kitt 2020