Al Gowan was in Harold Cohen's first class as he began the design program at Southern Illinois University in 1955 and in 1959 the day Buckminster Fuller walked into the lights. A practicing graphic designer and writer, he taught at Indiana University, Purdue University, Boston University, and is a professor emeritus of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
His articles on design have appeared in PRINT and ID, and he is the author of two books on design topics: Nuts & Bolts: A Public Design Casebook and T.J. Lyons, A Biography and Critical Essay. He has also written articles and fiction that have appeared in Yankee and Ploughshares. Gowan has published two novels, Santiago Rag and Zamora's Tattoo, and his collection of short stories, Fort Momma.