Professor May Tveit, MID

School of Architecture & Design - Design
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Chalmers Hall, 357
University of Kansas
1467 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045


Teaching Interests

  • Design Thinking
  • Design innovation
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Brainstorming
  • Material exploration
  • Pushing boundaries
  • Blurring boundaries

"Design is the art that meets us in everyday life." "I'm interested in unearthing the art of design and the artist within the designer by applying rigorous analytical and conceptual thinking processes."

"The most important artists of our time are visionary in that they continue to challenge us to see the world differently. They represent our culture in enlightened and at times, beautiful ways. Artists (and designers) prepare the mind and spirit for new ideas-new ways of seeing"

May Tveit is an American born contemporary artist and educator who works in the disciplines of installation art, large-scale sculpture & public art. Her sculptural and experiential environments are meticulously detail-oriented, materially driven by concept, often are site-specific and are inspired by issues related to: the life & death of the American factory; suburban development; capitalism and consumption; and corporate globalization. May Tveit is an artist dedicated to creating art experiences that are thought provoking, experientially powerful and critically relevant to our times.

Tveit graduated in 1989 from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Industrial Design and in 1991 with a MID from the Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. It was in Milan where she began her hybrid art and design career in 1991 working as a freelance designer and fabricator with renowned architect-designer- theoreticians Andrea Branzi, Enzo Mari, Alessandro Mendini and Denis Santachiara.

In 1995, she became an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design "giving back everything she didn't get" as a student and eventually moved to Kansas City, Missouri, taking a teaching position at the Kansas City Art Institute (1996-1999) and the University of Kansas (1999-present) where she is currently a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Fine Arts, Design Department.

May Tveit is an artist who lives and works in Kansas City. Her work has received national critical reviews in Art in America and Art Papers in addition to much regional coverage in The Kansas City Star, Lawrence Journal World, Review, The Pitch and NPR's KCUR in Kansas City. Her work is represented in the corporate art collections of Hallmark Cards, Barkley, and Fishnet Securities and numerous private collections. Her work has been exhibited in one person and group shows at The Spencer Museum of Art, Review Studios Exhibition Space Inner Package 2007, Belger Art Center United Divided 2004, Gallery Village Shalom Retail Therapy 2002, H&R Block Artspace Big and Beautiful 2002, Avenue of the Arts Curtain Wall 2001. She recently was awarded an American Institute of Architects Allied Arts & Craftsmanship Award for her permanent site-specific artworks at the National Center for Drug Free Sport. She was a 2002 Charlotte Street Foundation Award recipient, and is currently a Review Studio Artist-in-Residence.