2022 Savageau Award Winner
Trace Manuel was awarded the 2022 Savageau Award for a Master of Fine Arts design student at the opening celebration of the annual Arts and Humanities Graduate Exhibition at UC Davis. As a designer, researcher, and educator with a many-pronged background in graphics, audio, photography, and video, Trace has always been fascinated with how documentation bends reality. Previously, her multimedia practice has explored how patients articulate their lives and stories within the healthcare system. Recently, she’s been studying what happens when designers turn their own multimedia practices on themselves. Through her recent work on Deshonesty, Trace has received recognition for her heartfelt teaching, her original research, and her bespectacled Barbie that bears an uncanny resemblance to her.
Deshonesty is a multimedia celebration of process documentation and self-reflection as creative rituals that infuse design work with new perspectives and fresh potentials. Through experiments with pedagogy (via Documentation for Designers, an undergraduate course in media-based self-reflection) and prototyping (via DARB, a cheerful reflective writing chatbot assistant), Deshonesty encourages designers to slow down and consider how their work connects to their histories, futures, and larger social structures. As an invitation to examine how everyday creative acts weave into larger disciplinary narratives, Deshonesty challenges designers to look at how they look at design — encouraging them to explore how the world shapes their work and their work shapes the world in continuous exchange.
Established in 2019, the Savageau Award is aimed at furthering the career of a graduating M.F.A. design student and to encourage, recognize and celebrate creative and original contributions to the discipline of design. It is named for Ann Savageau, a professor in the UC Davis Department of Design from 2007 to 2014.