Pamela Napier is both a design educator and practitioner of Design Thinking and Design Research with about a decade of experience in the field. As cofounding partner of Collabo Creative—a people-centered service design company based in Indianapolis, Indiana—she manages design research and strategy projects for a diverse range of organizations including non-profits, start-ups and fortune 500 companies. As an assistant professor in the Visual Communication Design Department at Indiana University Herron School of Art and Design—with over 7 years experience teaching across graduate and undergraduate curricula—Pamela has been invited to give presentations, facilitate workshops, and co-design events both nationally and internationally. Her research focuses on developing methods, frameworks and curriculum for People-Centered Design, skills and processes for Design Facilitation, and the integration of sustainable values into the design process.

Pamela is a member of the UCDA Education Advisory Committee, and is currently the Education Director for the AIGA Indy chapter. Most recently, her team was awarded the highly competitive AIGA Design Faculty Research Grant for their ongoing work developing tools and curriculum around People-Centered Design.

She holds an M.F.A. focused on Design Thinking and Design Leadership, and a B.F.A. in Visual Communication Design from Indiana University Herron School of Art and Design.

Recent publications:

  • Designing with, by, and for people (An Interview with Pamela Napier)—Onward Radio (
  • Co-designing for Healthcare: visual designers as researchers and facilitators—Visible Language (
  • “Designing Design Thinking Curriculum: A framework for shaping a participatory, human-centered design course,” Presenter/ Co-Author: DRS/CUMULUS/Design-ed 2015—LearnxDesign. (Conference Proceedings) June 2015.
  • “Design Facilitation: Training the Designer of Today,” Presenter/Co-Author: CUMULUS Milano 2015—The Virtuous Circle; (Conference Proceedings) July 2015.
  • Benson, E. and Napier, P. (2012) “Connecting Values: Teaching Sustainability to Communication Designers.” Design and Culture, vol. 4, no. 2: 195-214.