Aggie Toppins is an associate professor and chair of undergraduate design. Before joining the faculty at WashU, Aggie taught for eight years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she served for two years as the first female department head in art. Before her academic career, Toppins spent a decade in the industry working at agencies in Cincinnati and Chicago.
Toppins works at the intersections of studio practice and critical writing to explore the ways that visual communication bears on social realities. She is interested in the appraisal of history, the negotiability of meaning-making, and in using these critical orientations to decouple design from universalist narratives of capital. Her recent writing has been published by AIGA Eye on Design, Slanted, and in Briar Levit’s forthcoming book Baseline Shift: Untold Stories of Women in Graphic Design History. Aggie holds a BS in Design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning and an MFA in Graphic Design from MICA.