Lisa Elzey Mercer (she/her) is a designer, educator, and researcher. Her interests are in developing and executing design interventions that fuel and sustain responsible design for social impact. The developed frameworks and tools are intended to create a space for participants to co-design and collaborate on innovative solutions.

Elzey Mercer is an Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design, College of Fine and Applied Arts (FAA), at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has been an active contributor to both the BFA in Graphic Design and MFA in Design for Responsible Innovation. The College of Fine and Applied Arts awarded Elzey Mercer with the Excellence in Research for the 2021 academic year.

She holds a BFA in Visual Communication and Design from Purdue University and a Master of Design Research from the University of North Texas. She worked in the industry for 15 years and was the owner of Mercer Studio. Her roles included project management, interaction design, mobile application development, and design research. 

Download current CV.

Racism Untaught, The MIT Press

Elzey Mercer co-wrote, with Terresa Moses at the University of Minnesota, the book Racism Untaught, published by The MIT Press in October 2023. The book is focused on the generative research conducted to develop the Racism Untaught framework. 

Listed by Metropolis as, 10 Architecture and Design Books Worth Adding to Your Reading List:

“This groundbreaking book dives deep into the hidden biases embedded within design practices and offers a transformative approach to dismantling systemic racism. Taking readers on a journey through the history of design, Mercer and Moses showcase how racialized design perpetuates inequality and exclusion in our society and challenges readers to confront their own biases and actively engage in unlearning these harmful design patterns. Racism Untaught includes practical strategies that aim to empower individuals and communities to create a more inclusive and equitable future. It is a must-read for designers, activists, and anyone committed to dismantling racism in design.”


To view additional publications, please download my curriculum vitae in the About section.

2023 © Lisa Elzey Mercer