This site is an archive of creative activity by me, Killeen Hanson.
Killeen Hanson works, teaches, and writes about radical listening, the commons, and the relationship between education, publication, and civic engagement.
It's also a way of tracking where my mind has been and what questions I’ve been asking.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with degrees in English and French and earned a dual MFA in Applied Craft + Design from Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft.
As an English major with a concentration in “The Book as an Object,” I was (AM) entranced by the breadth of possible physical containers for stories.
From 2012-2014, Killeen served as Managing Editor of PNCA's UNTITLED Magazine, an online publication about art, craft, and lives of creative practice. Later, as Director of Strategic Partnerships at Pacific Northwest College of Art, she worked with artists, academics, technologists, historians, economists, and scientists to develop collaborations that leveraged the strengths of each field into truly astonishing research that reimagined the future of art and design education. She was previously the Managing Producer for the Stanford Storytelling Project, where she coordinated production of weekly radio documentaries that deepened our understanding of single, common human experiences; a Camp Helper at Vogelsang High Sierra Camp in Yosemite National Park; and a coach for aspiring documentary filmmakers and radio interviewers.
For a while, I worked as an amateur cartographer, which utterly transformed my understanding of space, place, perspective, and visual communication.
She also managed research efforts for Shaping The West, a spatial history project investigating how the expansion of the transcontinental railroad changed perceptions of space and time in the American West. Historian Richard White built this research into Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, a “myth-shattering book that shows how reckless but influential railroad corporations in the late 19th century often profited by failure as well as success.” It was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in History.
I remain far more interested in what art does than what art is. I hope my students consider craft and design as tools for profound inquiry and engagement with the world.
Killeen currently teaches design research within the School of Design Strategies at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, helping students develop methods and habits for a lifetime of sustained and rigorous curiosity. Before moving to New York, she was an Assistant Professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she taught a graduate seminar in the MFA in Applied Craft + Design program, a dual degree program offered jointly with Oregon College of Art & Craft. She’s currently developing a graduate seminar investigating the material and environmental potential of utopias.
More than anything, I love thinking alongside curious people.
Today, Killeen works with curators, artists, and faculty researchers to develop funding and operational plans for cross-disciplinary partnerships between the arts and sciences. She also freelances as a thought partner and design strategist with individuals and organizations pushing the boundaries of what is and what can be.
I'm currently most excited about my ongoing publication series: THE SOBREMESA READING CLUB.
In her personal practice, Killeen is developing the Sobremesa Reading Club, an ongoing event and publication series framed around an evolving library of articles, media, and art that includes everything from antiquity to internet memes. The project makes spaces for critical discussion, civic dialogue, and productive disagreement.
Let's talk soon!
You can contact Killeen via email at killeen [dot] hanson [at] gmail [dot] com.