Lisa Elzey Mercer (she/her) is an assistant professor in graphic design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests are in developing and executing design interventions that responsibly fuel and sustain responsible design for social impact. Her work has been integrated into academic, industry, and community settings. The developed frameworks and tools are meant to create a space for conversation and knowledge exchange where participants can actively collaborate in the creation of new ideas and solutions. This type of methodology is evident in all of her major projects, which are titled Racism Untaught and Operation Compass.
Racism Untaught, in which she co-coordinates a pedagogical framework focused on revealing and unlearning forms of racialized design, or design that perpetuates elements of racism, through a design research framework. Operation Compass, an ethnographic research study concerned with developing design-led interventions to combat the complex social issue of human trafficking.
Mercer has been published and invited as a keynote speaker internationally. She has also been featured on several media outlets, including the Dallas affiliate for NBC and the National Public Radio (NPR) shows Texas Standard, Illinois News Rooms, All Things Considered, and Sirius Radio She received her BFA in Visual Communications and Design from Purdue University and her MFA in Design Research from the University of North Texas.