Bio

“The cost of a thing is the amount of ... life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ~Henry David Thoreau; "Time is Valuable. Days are expensive!"~Jim Rohn

Photo ©Branda: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau
photo ©Branda (courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau)

Short Bio:
De Angela L. Duff
is an Associate Vice Provost at New York University and Industry Professor in Integrated Design & Media (IDM) at NYU Tandon. She also curates polished solid music symposia, speaks about music, design, and technology at numerous conferences, radio, and podcasts, internationally, leads workshops on time and project management, writes about music, and produces, co-hosts, and edits a Prince & Prince-related podcast. You can view her past and present work at http://polishedsolid.com or subscribe to her newsletter at https://polishedsolid.substack.com.


Medium Bio (Prince):
De Angela L. Duff is an Associate Vice Provost at New York University and Industry Professor in Integrated Design & Media (IDM) at NYU Tandon. She also curates polished solid music symposia including Prince #1plus1plus1is3 Virtual Symposium (2021) and the upcoming, Prince #TripleThreat40 Hybrid Symposium (2022) and Prince #SexyMF30 Virtual Symposium (2022), speaks about music, design, and technology at numerous conferences internationally including the Pop Conference 2021, Prince 78-88: An Interdisciplinary Conference (2021) and 2nd Dayton Funk Symposium (2021), writes about music most recently in the edited volume Prince and Popular Music: Critical Perspectives on an Interdisciplinary Life (2020, Bloomsbury), has spoken on WNYC, BBC Manchester, and Minnesota Public Radio, and produces, co-hosts, and edits the Prince & Prince-related podcasts on Grown Folks Music’s podcast network. You can view her past and present work at http://polishedsolid.com or subscribe to her newsletter at https://polishedsolid.substack.com.


Medium Bio (Associate Vice Provost):
De Angela L. Duff is an Associate Vice Provost at New York University and Industry Professor in Integrated Design & Media (IDM) at NYU Tandon. In her role as Associate Vice Provost, De Angela works closely with Vice Provosts Clay Shirky and Charlton McIlwain. She serves a leadership role in setting and executing the strategic vision for the Faculty Resource Network (FRN) in collaboration with the Vice Provosts’ team, Center for Faculty Advancement operations team, and FRN member institution liaisons. She aides and reviews work on technology-enhanced education with a particular focus on schools developing or managing online undergraduate courses or degree programs. She also assists with other leadership or teaching & learning initiatives, managed by the Provost’s Office. She holds an MFA in Studio Art (Photography) from MiCA, a BFA in Graphic Design from Georgia State University, and a BS in Textiles from Georgia Tech.


Medium Bio (Industry Professor):
De Angela L. Duff is an Associate Vice Provost at New York University and Industry Professor in Integrated Design & Media (IDM) at NYU Tandon. She also produces and curates polished solid music & academic symposia, most recently Learning To Teach Creative Technologies Remotely UnSymposium (2021), speaks about music, design, and technology at numerous conferences, radio, and podcasts, internationally, leads workshops on time and project management,
is one of the featured, educator interviews in the book, Code as Creative Medium: A Handbook for Computational Art and Design (2021, MIT Press), and has judged Eyebeam’s Trust Residency, Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund, and HOW’s Interactive Design Competition. You can view her past and present work at http://polishedsolid.com or subscribe to her newsletter at https://polishedsolid.substack.com.


Long Bio:
De Angela L. Duff
is currently an Associate Vice Provost at New York University (NYU) and an Industry Professor in Integrated Design & Media at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

In her role as Associate Vice Provost, De Angela works closely with Vice Provosts Clay Shirky and Charlton McIlwain. She also assists Associate Vice Provost for Strategy Karen Nercessian on select projects. She serves a leadership role in setting and executing the strategic vision for the Faculty Resource Network (FRN) in collaboration with the Vice Provosts’ team, Center for Faculty Advancement operations team, and FRN member institution liaisons. She aides and reviews work on technology-enhanced education with a particular focus on schools developing or managing online undergraduate courses or degree programs. She assists with improvements in communication, coordination, and outcomes of the teaching and learning centers, managed by the Provost’s Office. She is also overseeing the development of an NYU Academic Leadership Development Academy in collaboration with a Vice Provost working group. Occasionally, she also works with the Work/Life Office, sponsored by the Provost’s Office, on select event programming. 

Teaching in higher education since 1999, she is very passionate about educating students at the intersection of design, art, and technology. She was acknowledged for this passion by being awarded the NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award. Over the last 15 years (and counting), one of her other passions is creating, developing, and evaluating higher education curriculum in the emerging media and technology space, first at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and subsequently at Spelman College and New York University. She has also been in higher education administration since 2009. De Angela has a lot of academic and industry experience at the intersection of design, art, and technology.

Prior to returning to NYU in 2019, she was the Co-Director of Spelman’s Innovation Lab from 2018-2019, and, prior to joining Spelman, the Co-Director of the undergraduate and graduate programs in Integrated Digital Media (IDM) and an Industry Associate Professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn from 2013-2018. Prior to joining NYU Tandon, De Angela was the Program Director and an Associate Professor of Design, Art & Technology (formerly Multimedia) and Web Development & Interaction Design within the College of Art, Media & Design, as well as an Interim Co-Director of the School of Design at The University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia, PA.

De Angela’s mission is to share her passion for music, photography, design, technology, creativity & productivity with others. She organizes polished solid music and academic symposia, including the upcoming, Prince #TripleThreat40 Hybrid (2022), celebrating 40 yrs of Vanity 6’s debut, The Time’s What Time Is It?, and Prince’s 1999, and Prince #SexyMF30 Virtual (2022), celebrating 30 years of the o(+> album. She organized the Learning To Teach Creative Technologies Remotely UnSymposium (2021) with her IDM colleagues. Her past, curated, music symposia include Prince #1plus1plus1is3 Virtual (2021), Prince #DM40GB30 Virtual (2020), Prince #Batdance30ATL (2019) at Spelman College, and Prince #Lovesexy30BK (2018) & Betty Davis–They Say I’m Different (2018) both at NYU Tandon. She also produced #W2AVC: Welcome 2 America Virtual Celebration (2021), #SOTTSDC: Peach + Black 2: Sign ‘O’ The Times Super Deluxe Virtual Celebration (2020) and co-produced PRN Alumni 5-Year Anniversary Virtual Event and Peach + Black (#SOTT30BK) for the 30th anniversary of Prince’s Sign ‘O’ The Times (2017), also at NYU Tandon. She also produces, co-hosts, and edits the Prince & Prince-related podcasts for Grown Folks Music. Since 2011, she has been conducting Time Warrior workshops on time & project management. From 2004 -2017, she also hosted No Turn Unstoned, an online, radio show of curated mixes.

Her words have been published in Prince and Popular Music: Critical Perspectives on an Interdisciplinary Life (2020, Bloomsbury) & the Black Magnolias Literary Journal’s Special Issue on Prince (2020). Her creative work has been featured in publications such as HOWPrint magazines, and the books, Now Loadingwww.animation: Animation Design for the World Wide Web. She is, also, one of the featured, educator interviews in the book, Code as Creative Medium: A Handbook for Computational Art and Design (2021, MIT Press).

She has spoken on WNYC, BBC Manchester, and Minnesota Public Radio, and has judged Eyebeam’s Trust Residency, Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund, and HOW’s Interactive Design Competition.

De Angela also speaks at numerous conferences internationally. She has spoken at at the 2nd Dayton Funk Symposium (Dayton, Ohio), Pop Conference 2021(Virtual), Prince 78-88: An Interdisciplinary Conference (Virtual), Black Portraiture[s] V (NYU), IV (Harvard), III (South Africa), II (Florence, Italy) & II: Revisited (NYU), the Prince from MPLS symposium (University of Minnesota), Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince (University of Salford in Manchester, England), EYEO (Minneapolis, MN), NYC’s Creative Tech Week & Raising The Bar, AIGA’s Social Studies: Educating Designers in a Connected World (MiCA in Baltimore, Maryland), AIGA’s Massaging Media 2: Graphic Design Education in the Age of Dynamic Media (Boston, MA), and HOW’s Annual Design Conference.

How did she get to where she is today? As a child growing up in Eutaw, Alabama, drawing wasn’t something De Angela decided to do on occasion. Drawing was something she did every single day, just like breathing, eating, and sleeping. By the time she was a teenager, her love of drawing had to make way for the power of typography, photography, and music. By 1996 while working for Georgia Tech’s College of Computing, she started fiddling around with the WWW by reverse engineering HTML on Mosaic, the first public web browser. By 1997, she moved to NYC to fulfill her dreams of becoming a world-class designer. By 1998, she wanted to inspire and help shape others, as others had for her, so she started sharing her love of design, art, and technology through teaching at The University of The Arts (UArts) in Philly. Currently, she continues to share this passion with students at New York University.

She holds an MFA in Studio Art (Photography) from MiCA, a BFA in Graphic Design from Georgia State University, and a BS in Textiles from Georgia Tech.

Presently, she lives, works, and plays in New York City and its surrounding areas. You can view her past and present work at http://polishedsolid.com or subscribe to her newsletter at https://polishedsolid.substack.com.


What’s with her and Prince (music)?:
What gets De Angela out of bed every morning is music! Music has been the constant thread throughout De Angela’s life and (creative) work. At a very early age, her uncles exposed her to a wide range of music. On any given day, they would play anything from Edgar Winter to Yes to Parliament / Funkadelic to Slave to Lynyrd Skynyrd. She is grateful to her uncles for exposing her to the one thing that continues to give her so much joy and fuel for living even when the world doesn’t make any sense and her gas tank is low: music.

At age 10, she would listen to Prince’s Dirty Mind in its entirety for the very first time at her Aunt Net’s house in North Carolina while sitting on the living room floor. Little would she know that this one album would totally change her life forever. This is when she split: the artist (she used to draw daily like she had to breathe) in her now had to make way for, not only, her instant, full-blown music collecting obsession, but also her growing interest in design (Everything I learned about design I learned from Prince albums). She often wonders who she would be if there was no Prince. Possibly, saner 🙂 

On 19 December 1982, she was able to see Prince for the first time in Birmingham, AL, for the 1999 “Triple Threat” Tour that also featured the Time and Vanity 6. Witnessing Prince perform live cemented the transformative power of music in her life. Ever since, she has integrated music and/or Prince into her life and work by any means necessary. Music is how she has gotten through this thing called life. Her true friends are all Prince (and, therefore, music) heads!

Her very first job as a teenager was as a “wrecka stow” clerk (a Prince reference from his film and De Angela’s favorite, Under The Cherry Moon) for Camelot Records at Southwest DeKalb Mall in Decatur, GA, in 1987. She would go on to create flyers and the first several website iterations for FunkJazz Kafé, an arts, music, and cultural institution spearheaded by her dear friend, Jason Orr, from 1995–2016. She would, also, realize a lifelong dream of designing record covers for LaFace Records in Atlanta, GA, from 1996–1997. Projects included CD single packaging for Mary J. Blige, Donell Jones, and K.C. Hailey, as well as postcards and buttons.

After moving to NYC, she would secure a dream job with Nettmedia, an NYC interactive design firm from 1998–2003. Beginning as a senior designer and ending as the Art Director, she would design and develop user interfaces for hundreds of websites, CD-ROMs, and DVDs, primarily in the entertainment, sports, and arts industries. She art directed up to 40 designers at one time. Notable projects included art direction & lead design of BowieNet 2.0, davidbowie.com, where she got to meet David Bowie IN PERSON (a dream come true!), Sarah McLachlan’s Mirrorball DVD, websites/ecards for Avril Lavigne, Alicia Keys, Jimi Hendrix, The Roots, Dixie Chicks, and Doyle Bramhall II, Sum 41, and so many others.

Once she switched to academia full-time, integrating music into her creative practice was paramount. From 2005–2017, she genre-hopped on her online radio show, No Turn Unstoned, as DJ Polished Solid. From 2016 until now, sporadically, she produces, engineers, and co-hosts, the Prince & Prince-related podcasts for the Grown Folks Music podcast network. However, curating the aforementioned Prince symposia has engulfed her radio show and podcast endeavors. She has put No Turn Unstoned on the backburner to concentrate on her current love of organizing music symposia and/or writing, presenting, or speaking about Prince. She hopes to jumpstart both someday, maybe.

“Ever Since I Was A Kid It Seemed I Collected Something” – Fink

De Angela is an avid music collector. In fact, it is an obsession. She’s been collecting music since she was 10 years old. As a college student in the late eighties, her passion was catapulted by weekly visits to Wax ’N Facts, Fantasyland, and later Criminal Records in Atlanta, Georgia. The first time she came to Minneapolis was for EYEO in 2012 and, within an hour of landing, the first place she visited was Electric Fetus. She even began an online radio show in 2004 in order to justify her music buying habits. And yes, she still buys vinyl and CDs! Why? Because music still matters! Music is a powerful medium that elicits emotions and memories, brings people together, and ultimately changes lives. Of course, it makes little to no sense to physically own a music collection in this day and age of streaming and digital downloads. However, in this ignite talk, she may convince you that not only does music still matter, but that the physicality of the experience of music is paramount.

This talk is not very representative of her standard delivery as this was super stressful. The ignite (aka Pecha Kucha) talk format advances the slides automatically: 20 slides, 15 seconds each. She tried to make sure she said everything she wanted to say before she ran out of time. She’s much calmer and measured when giving “normal” talks, unless she gets excited!

On April 21, 2016, the music died. For six months, De Angela did not listen to ANY music after Prince’s passing. She would feel empty and joyless without music in her life. When she was able to listen again, De Angela recognized how as an adult she had relegated music as a thing to “do” rather than deeply “experience,” as she did as a child and teenager. So, now, whenever she can, she takes time out to truly listen to music again on vinyl WITHOUT doing anything else–no multitasking. Music should be in the foreground more often than not. She can not live without it!