Patricia Murphey

Professor, Northern Arizona University

Patricia Murphey, a designer and educator with 25+ years of experience is a Professor of Visual Communication, founder of the VisualDESIGNLab and President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Northern Arizona University. Her focus is on collaborative, interdisciplinary teaching. Her passion is to inspire design students to be responsible professionals that positively impact society.

Get to know Patricia

Tell us about a project or accomplishments from the past 10 years that had a major impact on your life or career. 

  • Receiving the President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow Award: for the people I met and had the pleasure of working with, the funds to travel and experience new things.
  • Publishing a book: for the beauty of the collaboration
  • Promotion to Professor: for the hard work I put into it!

What is your favorite color, and why?
At the moment: Pantone 14-4810 Canal Blue.

What keeps you going when you’re focused on a project? Is there a particular saying or song that gets you moving?
I need deadlines, that is how I organize my professional life and my life as a mother. Song: “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…” – REM

What’s your superpower, or one you wish you had?
I think I am like elastic woman! Balancing work and motherhood.

What design or career advice would you give to your younger self?
Breathe; multi-tasking only creates stress.

If you were given the opportunity to see into the future, what would you want to know?
How and if we solved our planet’s social and environmental issues.

How do you think design impacts your everyday life? The community?
If we look at design holistically as problem solving, we can help with everything.

If you hadn’t ended up in the career you are in, what do you think you’d be doing?
I would be a chef.

Attend Patricia’s breakout presentation “See, Hear, Feel” on Sunday, October 13 at the PHXDW Evolve Design Conference.