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Ian Besler

Visiting Assistant Professor


Ian Besler (he/him/his) is a designer, educator, and writer whose work is situated at the edges between interfaces, media, software, and cities. His practice is especially interested in the vernaculars, defaults, incidentals, and workarounds of visual communication and digital interactions. He was raised in Chicago. He is currently based in New Jersey.

Trained as a journalist and media designer, his 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 tools and interfaces in how we create and experience the physical and digital spaces across which we increasingly live.

He works at Besler & Sons, LLC, a design studio that he co-founded in 2014 with Erin Besler, an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Princeton University School of Architecture. They design buildings, objects, videos, interfaces, and exhibitions to expand the definition of architecture through active participation with amateur creators, construction trades, and design software. They work to create new audiences and opportunities for social engagement.

Besler & Sons have participated in more than forty-five public installations and exhibitions internationally. They are 2019 United States Artists Fellows in Architecture & Design. They were finalists for MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program, 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 Log, Pidgin, Future Anterior, Project, San Rocco, and Perspecta.

Besler & Sons have been profiled and their work featured in The New York Times T Magazine, Dezeen, Wallpaper*, Architect Magazine, Domino Magazine, The Architect’s Newspaper, It’s Nice That, and Archinect.

Ian has taught courses in graphic design, interaction design, and user experience design at Pratt Institute, Santa Monica College, the University of Southern California, and ArtCenter College of Design. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Media Design Practices program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, where he was 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.

His writing has been published in Medium, Gizmodo, Archpaper, and the LA Forum Newsletter. His essay “Super Models, or: Some (Scale) Models That I’d Like to Know” received a Core77 Design Award for Writing & Commentary. A book of his images, titled Best Pracitces, will be published in 2020 by No Style Press.