Alice Twemlow is chair of the design criticism MFA Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York and an M-Phil/PhD candidate in the design history program at the V&A Museum and the Royal College of Art in London.


Alice Twemlow is the co-founder and chair of a two-year graduate program in Design Criticism at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is also a PhD candidate in the History of Design department at the Royal College of Art, London; her research examines the changing relationship of design criticism to its publics in the UK and the US since the 1950s.

Twemlow has written about design for publications including Eye, Design Issues, Design & Culture, I.D., Print, New York Magazine, and Architect’s Newspaper. She is the author of What is Graphic Design For? (Rotovision, 2006) and her essays are included in books such as 60: Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future (Thames and Hudson, 2010,) The Barnbrook Bible (Booth Clibborn, 2007,) Looking Closer 5 (Allworth Press, 2007,) Graphic Design Words/Worlds (La Triennale Design Museum, 2011,) Design Icons, (Berg, 2013,) The Aspen Complex, (Sternberg Press, 2012), and Popular Design & Entertainment, (Manchester University Press, 2009.)

Twemlow often serves on design and architecture juries and editorial boards, and moderates conferences such as the "Tasmeem Doha Conference" at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and "Abstract: The Future of Design in Media Conference" in Portland Maine. She has recently lectured at the ICOGRADA Congress, AIGA National Conference, AIGA Chicago, and MoMA.

Alice Twemlow
Alice Twemlow on Home

Alice Twemlow
Remembering Richard Hamilton as Design Critic

Alice Twemlow remembers Richard Hamilton, artist and design writer.

Alice Twemlow
Massimo Vignelli’s Desk

Vignelli Celebration: Alice Twemlow snoops around Massimo Vignelli's desk.

Alice Twemlow
Howling at the Moon: The Poetics of Amateur Product Reviews

Amazon reviews can be seen as an example of a democratizing impulse in design criticism.

Alice Twemlow
A Look Back at Aspen, 1970

The 1970 International Design Conference at Aspen provided the setting for a collision between two very different conceptions of design. The IDCA board members who organized the conference and a number of art and environmental action groups, many of which where from Berkeley, California and had made the 1,000-odd mile journey to Colorado in chartered buses.

Alice Twemlow
Graphic Design at the Museum

The work of Graphic Thought Facility, a London-based graphic design consultancy, is on exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago until August 17. It’s the first time the Art Institute has staged a show solely on contemporary design...

Alice Twemlow
Some Questions about an Inquiry

“Critical design” is design that, through its form, can question and challenge industrial agendas; embody alternative social, cultural, technical or economic values; and act as a prop to stimulate debate and discussion amongst the public, designers and industry. As critical design gathers momentum, where is graphic design?

Alice Twemlow
A New Graphic Design History?

The fog that Stephen Eskilson attributes to contemporary practice permeates this new history of graphic design published by Yale University Press.

Alice Twemlow
Design Criticism's Winding Road

To what extent does design criticism inspire a reaction; to whom is criticism addressed and what happens as a result of it being read? This article discusses the way in which an excerpt from a review of a 1955 Buick unexpectedly inspired a painting by one of the world's best-known Pop artists, Richard Hamilton.

Alice Twemlow
When Did Posters Become Such Wallflowers?

What was odd about many of the posters Alice Twemlow judged in a recent competition was that they didn't promote an idea, event or product; their only purpose seemed to be entering numerous annual poster competitions.

Alice Twemlow
The Bandwidth of Books

Publishers are publishing artists' work and the research and ideas generated from thinking about art. They are passionate about their missions, mostly locally focused and non-commercial in attitude. The quality of their work is often very high; their books well conceived and produced, and innovatively designed. But the question is, who is reading them?

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