Who’s Who at VCU Business: Berwyn Hung
Written by: Megan Nash
Meet Berwyn Hung, the curious philosopher and Professor of Creative Practice at VCU Brandcenter. While his teaching style may lead you down the path less traveled, his classes drive innovative thinking by encouraging students to explore solutions from diverse perspectives. With a background spanning prestigious museum collections and teaching at The Creative Circus, Berwyn’s passion for inspiring creativity extends beyond the classroom engaging in learning new skills and exploring emerging trends.
So, Berwyn, we know you’re doing great things at the Brandcenter, but where did you go to school, what did you major in?
I went to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia where I earned my Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Prior to that, I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from the University of Georgia.
Are there any key accomplishments or milestones in your academic career that you’re particularly proud of?
I’ve been overseeing the teams for the Design & Art Direction (D&AD) Awards, which is a global competition for design and advertising, for the past four years. In 2022, we won three awards, in 2023, we won five. I’ve mentored more winners than any other school in the world. I think I have that claim for 2023.
Being able to mentor so many winning teams was a huge deal and one where I can share in the pride of my students.
Can you share a memorable experience from your teaching career that had a significant impact on your approach to education?
The first few times teaching the Innovation class, I realized what the class was designed to do and the structure of it did not fit. In essence, the class itself was not innovative. So, in thinking of ‘How do we create the best problem solvers?’ I decided to change the entire format where different prompts are given and students have to build their own teams to solve whatever problem they choose within the prompts.
Projects move at a pace of about a month and they are required to do two projects but most do three or four, some have done more. This has allowed a much more varied number of responses in the types of projects they can do in their last semester and have pushed what their solution types can be based on their problem and team make up.
That’s excellent! You completely uprooted the course and reimagined the entire learning experience. How about we flip sides with some fun questions?
If you could time-travel to any historical period for a day, which era would you choose any why?
The beginning of time so I can see how it all started and maybe figure out ‘why’ if there is one.
What would you say your secret sauce is as an educator?
Never having an expectation of what the solve to the problem is going to be. Keeping my mind open to the possibilities they present and using my knowledge and flexibility to help the student through their journey.
Overheard at VCU Business
Berwyn is a great leader and mentor at the Brandcenter. He is respected and loved by his students for good reason: he genuinely cares about all of them and guides them to create work that perhaps they did not think possible. It’s professors like Berwyn Hung that make the Brandcenter a special place.Scott Witthaus, Professor – Visual Storytelling, VCU Brandcenter