Visiting Assistant Professor
Ian Besler (they/them/theirs) is an artist, educator, and writer whose creative work is situated across interfaces, material surfaces, sharing platforms, and the built environment. They are based in Lenapehoking/New Jersey.
Ian is Co-Founder and Creative Director at Besler & Daughter design studio, a creative office founded in Los Angeles in 2014 with Erin Besler. Besler & Daughter design books, buildings, websites, objects, exhibitions, and interfaces that expand the definition of design through active participation with amateur creators, fabrication trades, and production softwares. They work to create new audiences and opportunities for social engagement.
They were an Artist-in-Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco in 2023. They were named United States Artists Fellows in Architecture & Design in 2019. They were finalists for MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program, the Flatiron Public Plaza Design Competition, and participants in the Chicago Architecture Biennial and the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture/Urbanism.
Alongside their practice, they pursue design research through teaching and writing, with publications in journals including e-Flux, Log, Perspecta, Future Anterior, Project, San Rocco, and Pidgin. A book of their writing and images, titled Best Practices, was published by Applied Research and Design Publishing in September, 2021.
Ian has taught courses in graphic design, interaction design, and user experience design at Pratt Institute, the University of Southern California, ArtCenter College of Design, and Santa Monica College. Ian holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Media Design Practices program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, where they were awarded the Milken Family Foundation Design Fellowship, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the College of Media at the University of Illinois.
Trained as a journalist and media designer, Ian’s multidisciplinary creative practice applies tools of writing, reporting, and visual communication, such as interviews, site visits, and collaborative workshops, to interrogate and reimagine the role of digital tools and interfaces in how we create and experience the physical and digital spaces across which we increasingly live.
Ian’s creative research and writing on art and design has been published in Medium, Gizmodo, Archpaper, and the LA Forum Newsletter. Ian’s essay “Super Models, or: Some (Scale) Models That I’d Like to Know” received a Core77 Design Award for Writing & Commentary.
Besler & Daughter design studio has been profiled and their work featured in The New York Times T Magazine, Dezeen, Wallpaper*, Architect Magazine, Domino Magazine, The Architect’s Newspaper, and Archinect. They have participated in more than forty-five public installations and exhibitions internationally.