Art Academy of Latvia
Lecturer, Thesis Supervisor
Department of Functional Design
Kris established and continues to teach an undergraduate and graduate course on Brand Design at the Art Academy of Latvia, where he is a staff member at the department of Functional Design.
Challenge
Kris was invited to teach at the department of Functional Design as part of a larger effort to prepare students for the unique challenges they would face as graphic designers entering the modern marketplace.
How to prepare designers for the unique challenges of brand design?
The largest challenge, Kris recognised, is the need for graphic designers to evolve into brand designers, i.e. multi-faceted professionals who can use their creative abilities to solve real problems.
Urban Narnia — part of student work for the Riga Botanical Garden
Methodology
Kris guides students through real client work, where they identify their brand’s main challenge, come up with creative solutions, and translate them into comprehensive brand designs. The class consists of three modules:
01 Strategy
Students learn how to carry out research, identify human insights, and ultimately define the main challenge for their brand
02 Creative Direction
Given their brand strategy, students learn how to devise creative solutions that are both unique and effective
03 Graphic Design
Once they have come up with ideas, students learn how to translate them into a comprehensive design ecosystem
Because the class is designed around real client work, students get a hands-on Brand Design experience working with different kinds of businesses and institutions, from experimental hairdressers to botanical gardens and everything in between.
The Final Show
The final show, which has become a sort of annual design happening in itself, provides a chance for students to meet with experts and industry leaders from fields such as Design, Branding, Publishing, and many more. 
It is unlikely for students to walk away without a handful of offers
After all is said and done, it is unlikely for students to walk away without at least a handful of internship and job offers.
Next Steps
Since its inception, the class has grown both in size and scope. Guest experts from Strategy, Creative Direction, and Design have been doing workshops, and Evija Kristopane has joined Kris as Assistant Lecturer in 2017. Interested in applying to the Latvian Arts Academy? Drop Kris a line at krisjanis.mazurs@gmail.com
Date: 2015-2018
Institution: Art Academy of Latvia
Department: Department of Functional Design
Role: Lecturer, Thesis Supervisor
Assistant: Evija Kristopane