Meaghan Barry, partner and creative director and Unsold Studio and associate professor of graphic design at Oakland University, has been selected as a Crain’s Detroit Business’ 2020 Notable Woman in Design.
Barry appears along with 28 other nominees who were selected by a team of Crain’s Detroit Business editors based on their career accomplishments, track record of success in the field, contributions to their community, and mentorship of others.
“I’ve admired the design work of the other women on the list throughout my career,” Barry said. “They’re a talented and diverse group, so to be included amongst them is a great honor.
” Barry co-founded Unsold Studio in 2013 with her partner, Lilian Crum, who was also selected as one of this year’s Notable Women in Design by Crain’s Detroit Business.
“Unsold Studio has come a long way since 2013, and both of us winning the award has given us an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate that,” Barry said. “We also are happy we were both recognized, as we both bring something different to the design studio. We truly are partners — where one struggles, the other succeeds, and vice versa.”
Barry joined the faculty at Oakland University in August 2013 as an assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History. She was promoted to associate professor in August 2019.
During her time at OU, Barry helped develop a free laptop rental program which provides industry standard hardware and software, including MacBooks with Adobe Creative Cloud, to graphic design majors in the Department of Art and Art History.
“We were noticing a trend where some students who were financially able were purchasing their own hardware, other students were coming in with out-of-date, hand-me-down equipment, and others were trying to work around the limited open time in our labs,” Barry said. “Many other universities have laptop programs for their students, and we were determined to make one for our OU students.”
With support from Associate Professor Dick Goody, Barry worked with Assistant Professor Kimmie Parker and Media Lab Technician David Lambert to develop a program that would meet the needs of students, faculty and staff.
“The approved program piloted in fall 2019, and is now in its third active semester,” Barry said. “We currently have 80 laptops for rent, and hope to continue to add more and replace old equipment every year as our budget allows. With the program, we’ve provided more equity, as well as a better learning environment, as students are using industry-standard tools.
“I’m extremely grateful to my committee members, and the support of the university on the program, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added. “With students now working remotely, this program is proving to be even more important than we ever imagined.”
To view the full list of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 2020 Notable Women in Design, visit www.crainsdetroit.com/awards/notable-women-design.