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Rafael Fajardo Papers

Identifier: M501


Rafael Fajardo teaches at the University of Denver in the Emergent Digital Practices program (a re-imagining of the Electronic Media Art and Design, and Digital Media Studies programs). He is part of an emerging group of artists and designers who are exploring the potential of digital video games to express serious and complex subject matter. Through his collaborative, SWEAT, Fajardo has published two video games that comment on the game-like nature of (il)legal human traffic at the US/Mexico border. These games have been exhibited in Holland, Turkey, Canada, Australia and the US. (

Fajardo's archival collection currently includes student projects and reference material used in academic classes.


  • Other: 1998 - 2021

Biographical / Historical

Before coming to Colorado, Fajardo spent six years living, teaching, and working on the US/Mexico border. There, he challenged the canons of design education and attempted to locate a visual expression that was “of the region” and not imposed from outside. His students created ideosyncratic works that have been recognized for their excellence by Milia, the leading global forum for the interactive industries; Walt Disney Imagineering; and, MexicArte, a nationally reknown cultural space in Austin, Texas.

For many years Fajardo has been investigating cultural identity and cultural representation through his visual and intellectual work. His early explorations, completed while receiving his MFA from RISD, garnered recognition from the American Center for Design. More recently, his critical practice has earned him recognition by I.D., The International Magazine of Design as one of the fifty top designers in the US.

In 2005, the Colorado Council for the Arts awarded him a grant to support scholarships for under-represented populations to a game camp he is organizing with the department of computer science at the University of Denver. (

Fajardo received an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1993, a BFA and a BA in Studio Art with a concentration in Design from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a Michener Fellow in Publishing at the University of Texas Press in 1991. Rafael’s research areas include design methods, design education, design pedagogy, ludology, meaningful play, and semiotics. (


2 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

The scope and contents of this collection includes work done by Rafael Fajardo, personal papers, and instruction materials.


This collection is arranged in two series: 1)Student Works and 2)Reference Materials

Related Materials

Fajardo is also the donor of the University of Denver's collection of Emigre Magazine, and the additional archival collection of Emigre catalogs and posters. These materials are used in classroom instruction and personal reference, and can be found as M503, Emigre Inc Catalog and Posters Collection.

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428