At the Table

Scribbles & Stories on Teaching Design

Luke M. Anspach
table exhibit

“At the Table: Scribbles & Stories on Teaching Design,” is an autoethnographic thesis exploring the pedagogical plate I bring to the table as a designer and educator. 

The exhibit features a table that references a similar table in my thesis, inviting viewers to sit and join in an experiential exploration of their own pedagogies and design practices. 

The purpose of this experience is to cultivate a space for the discovery and exchange of the ingredients informing each participant’s teaching practice. 

table with scrabble pieces

Included on the table are “plates,” menus, question cards, and thinking tools. The plates represent each participant’s pedagogy and is initially empty, inferring that the ingredients are brought via personality, experiences, values, and other areas outlined in the menu.


The menus outline the experience, categories of the question cards, and process in which the experience is conducted.

menu cover
semi open menu
fully open menu
question cards on table
Question Cards

The question cards are used to drive focused reflection around five categories of pedagogical influences: Self, Experiences, Values, Context, and Tools.

cards facing up on table
Thinking Tools

The thinking tools are playful objects chosen to offer structure to each participant’s reflection. They include LEGO® bricks, Scrabble® pieces, moldable clay, meme cards, emoji cards, and crayons. 

bowls on table
memes and crayons

The items range from visual to tactile and from constructive to mark-making, appropriating playfulness into the reflective experience. Playfulness can invite imagination and ease the mind to be able to encounter new perspectives and insight. Participants reflect on each question by thinking with the interaction of each tool. 

emoji cards
scrabble pieces

Reflections are shared around the table, allowing for greater insight into one’s own thoughts through expression and comparison.

table with chairs
The Invitation

This video presentation outlines the overall thesis and serves as an introduction to the experience, inviting all to join at the table.

book cover
back cover book
leather cover
leather cover on table
Luke M. Anspach

Designer & Professor

Marion, Indiana

Luke Anspach is a community identity strategist, creative director, designer, professor, and certified life coach. He has worked on national and international award-winning projects involving tourism, economic development, and community-based entities. Luke is currently an Instructor of Design at Indiana Wesleyan University teaching both graphic and digital design. He has been a part of starting multiple grass roots organizations such as The Guild, an organization based in Redlands, California, that builds community between creatives, and Marion Design Co., a joint academic learning experience and social design studio for college students, in Marion, Indiana. When not designing with pixels or pigments, he’s designing with LEGO® bricks for The Brickwork Project, recreating local historic buildings out of LEGO®.


Flashback to when you were 10. What did you want to be when you grew up?  

Caricature artist at an amusement park.


Name one publication, periodical or web site you read other than related to design.  

Un-related: any book by Oliver Jeffers. Related:


Who is someone you admire, and why? 

Playful professionals such as Oliver Jeffers, Christoph Niemann, and Pablo Stanley, because they have given me the freedom for me to be myself in my work.


Describe your overall experience of the graphic design MFA program at VCFA.  

The graphic design program at VCFA has curated an experience for me to synthesize my “doing” with my “being,” allowing me to become much more connected to my work and myself.