DIA’s purpose is to identify, archive and make freely available resources for the study and practice of design and design research in multiple disciplines and formats to enhance the practical, aesthetic and socially responsible goals of design in society and to advance design awareness.


The Design Information Alliance was formed in 2007 as a goal to be pursued by a small group of designers who recognized the urgent need for an interdisciplinary approach to the practice and study of design. It encompasses all aspects of:

  • architectural design
  • advertising design
  • fashion design
  • communication design
  • industrial design
  • interior design
  • jewelry design
  • media design
  • system design
  • . . .and more


As the importance of design becomes recognized as a crucial part of our economy and human society, the need for design resource material is growing rapidly. Almost every institution of higher education in the United States now offers design programs. In addition, there are hundreds of private technical academies of design. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, designers held about 532,000 jobs in 2002. Stanford University recently received $35million for their new Design School. Business Week devotes entire issues to covering the impact of design on business.

Board of Directors:

Johan Severtson

Along with Susan Severtson, Johan is a Co-Director of DIA. He has directed the Design program at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. for  twenty years, and is currently Professor. He has taught design (environmental, publication and identity design) for thirty years. He has an MFA from Yale University in Graphic Design. He was instrumental in the creation of the Graphic Design Educators Association, and has been active in AIGA and other professional organizations over the years. His work with the Corcoran has included curatorial work with Design exhibitions.

Susan Severtson

Along with Johan, Susan is a Co-Director of DIA and is trained as a librarian and archivist (University of Chicago). She has thirty years of information publishing experience, spent 8 years as President of Chadwyck-Healey academic publishers, and has compiled over 30 major academic collections and databases. Her experience in administration, sales, marketing, and editorial activities in the electronic publishing business provides her with an insight to the technical challenges of curatorial work in the design field as well as a good grasp of its importance to the world of design information dissemination.

Kem Knapp Sawyer

Kem is an educator, author of several books and former Coordinator, Graphic Design Department, Corcoran College of Art + Design.

Mark Walker

Mark is a textile consultant and costume designer, graduate of Virginia Tech Theatre Department.