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Tania Allen

Associate Professor of Media Arts, Design and Technology, Director of Graduate Programs in Media, Arts, Design and Technology


Tania has a BA in History with a minor in fine arts / graphic design from Washington University in St. Louis and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Visual Communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her Master of Graphic Design from North Carolina State University in 2010.

Tania has worked in large and small design studies in Chicago and Boston, developing branding and communications systems for such clients at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Accenture, MIT and Harvard University. Through her practice, Tania has specifically focused on design as a catalyst for community engagement, using it as a participatory and co-creative process that helps community members take ownership of core social issues, and work to make change from the ground up.

Along with Sara Queen, Tania is the co-director of the design research group co-lab, which focuses on critical mapping as a participatory design research tool. Currently, co-lab’s focus is on developing a methodology for critical mapping that simultaneously embraces cartography as a powerful analytic and synthetic research tool, while also challenging the assumptions that the mapping and visualization process embeds within it. Recent publications have included “Beyond the Map: Unpacking Critical Cartography in the Digital Humanities” in Visible Language (Fall 2015), co-authored with Sara Queen.


Sampled Works



B.A. in History Minors in Fine Arts/Graphic Design Washington University

Certificate in Visual Communication School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Master of Graphic Design NC State University