Virginia Shou
Thesis Book Story: Virginia Shou


Sheena Calvert
Thesis Book Story: Sheena Calvert

A Visual Skeleton Key to Finnegan’s Wake

Debbie Millman
Steven Heller

On this episode of Design Matters, Debbie Millman talks to Steven Heller about his new book Graphic Style Lab.

Jessica Helfand
License to Risk: The Square Revisited

Jessica Helfand shares her MFA thesis

Rob Walker
Assignments for Yourself
Mark Yoes
Elinor Evans : Some Truths from the Master
Kenneth FitzGerald
Yourselves: Declaring Ourselves

Exploring the interests of the AIGA Design Educators Community

Alex Knowlton
Miami Nice
David Morris
The Public Library

“The public library is a singularly American invention.” An excerpt from the new book The Public Library: A Photographic Essay.

2014 Porto Summer Editorial Design Course

Typolitic is a new website that presents some of the best typographic student work from undergraduate design courses around the world.

John Thackara
Summer Xskool in Sweden

This year’s Doors of Perception Summer Xskool explores what it can mean in practice to move from a ‘do less harm’ approach to sustainability to a practice of leave things better.

Porto Design Summer School

Porto is an undiscovered gem for designers everywhere: an astonishingly affordable, visually extraordinary European oasis right on the coast of Portugal, where typography reigns supreme. It's also a summer destination for two weeks of intense study with Hamish Muir, Andrew Howard and Jessica Helfand.

Alexandra Lange
Playing With Design: Fredun Shapur
Chris Pullman
Remembering Alvin Eisenman

Alvin Eisenman received the AIGA Medal in October, 1991. Chris Pullman, a student in Eisenman's class of 1966 — and a member of the faculty ever since — gave these remarks at the event.

Wheat Paste Graffiti in Detroit
Alexandra Lange
Learning New Tricks

Harvard doesn't have any design courses, but I've found new friends in "material culture." What it's like for a critic to go back to school.

The Greatest Syllabus of all Time?

Rob Walker thinks "it’s safe to say that this scored video-form syllabus for a music analysis and repertoryclass is the greatest syllabus of all time."

Andrew Howard
A Manifesto for Higher Learning

Andrew Howard, MA course director in Communication Design at ESAD — Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Matosinhos, Portugal — shares this with his incoming graduate students each year.

Alexandra Lange
Nevermind the Masterpiece
Destination: NYC
Alexandra Lange
An ABC of the ABCs
John Thackara
Green Tourism: Why It Failed And How It Can Succeed

At a conference with 300 travel industry professionals, John Thackara ponders the successes, failures and potential in the Green Tourism industry.

Editorial Design. Summer. Portugal.

Taught by leading design professionals and educators from Europe and the US, the Porto Design Summer School Editorial Course is a unique opportunity to study graphic design within the setting of one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful cities.

Educate Girls and Change the World

Girl Rising — a new documentary from Oscar nominated filmmaker Richard E. Robbins — consists of nine different girl’s stories of how education factored into her life circumstances.

Call for Student Submissions

:output is the biggest international competition for students in design and architecture.

John Thackara
An Open Design School for India
Rick Poynor
Herbert Spencer and The Book of Numbers
Debbie Millman
Christopher Simmons

Christopher Simmons discusses his lastest book, Just Design: Socially Conscious Design for Critical Causes, and reflects on why designers should be continually redefining their profession.

Rob Walker
Lulz and Pedagogy

On using funny videos to start serious classroom discussions

Michael Bierut
Style: An Inventory
Alexandra Lange
Having Fun at the Museum

Blocks, rocket ships, playgrounds and balls: the hidden meaning of playthings at the Museum of Modern Art.

Scott Boylston
Designing Design into Society

A report on the Design Ethos 2012 DO-ference.

Rick Poynor
What Does Critical Writing Look Like?
Rob Walker
Assignment Creativity

A chaotic and entertaining collection addresses "the art of the art assignment."

Constantin Boym
Extra National Journey

What happens when a Russian-born American professor takes a group of his Arab students to a workshop in Amsterdam to work with a designer who has a Canadian passport but lives in Berlin?

Rick Poynor
The Closed Shop of Design Academia

Shouldn’t it be part of a design academic’s brief to communicate more widely with the design profession and public?

John Thackara
Navy Yard, GradComD, Brown Bag, Hard Hat

Talks and encounters in the US next week. I hope to see some of you there.

The Editors
Designing an Educational Breakthrough

A new initiative recruits young adults to create ways to promote adolescent literacy

John Cary
Architecture's Internship Requirement Needs a Redesign

An argument for rethinking architecture's internship requirement

William Drenttel
Winterhouse First Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Program Description

This symposium, sponsored by the Winterhouse Institute, was held October 17-19 2010 in Falls Village, Connecticut. This was the initial information shared with participants.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse Second Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Participants

The Winterhouse Second Symposium on Design Education and Social Change, was held August 14-16, 2011 in Falls Village, Connecticut.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse Second Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Program Description

The original program description for the Winterhouse Institute symposium at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, August 2011 on social design in education.

William Drenttel, and Julie Lasky
Winterhouse Second Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Final Report

The final report from a symposium held in Connecticut, August 2011, where 28 participants from a variety of design and education programs discussed the challenges of social change initiatives within their schools, museums and programs.

Julie Lasky
Media Design Matters

Art Center offers a new graduate track in social design that combines communications and technologies strategies with field work.

Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: The Metallization of a Dream

The best designed book about the artist Eduardo Paolozzi was compiled in 1963 by a student at the Royal College of Art.

John Thackara
Ten Ways to Redesign Design Competitions

How to improve design competitions aimed at social good.

Helen Walters
Design and Business Education: The System Is Not Good Enough

In the past few years, there have been interesting attempts from within both business and design schools to elevate the potential of design and creative thinking as drivers of differentiated value.

By Alexia
My Studio H Experience

Adventures in design crits: A high school junior recounts her Studio H year working with onerous classmates and power tools.

John Thackara
From Participatory Mapping to Coastal Livelihoods
Maria Popova
Educating for a Future Within Our Sight

Interview with Rita J. King about reimagining the future of education and work.

Helen Walters
The Rotman Design Challenge: A Review

In recent years, calls for a more creative or innovative approach to, well, pretty much everything.

Jonathan Schultz
Just Keep Truckin'

David Rockwell-designed truck for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

Andy Chen
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Cub

Is design strictly a set of rules?

Meena Kadri

Yoza stories are directed to African youth who are book-poor yet mobile-rich.

John Thackara
Africa: Where Events Are King

John Thackara interviews Mugendi M’Rithaa.

Michael Bierut
Five Years of 100 Days

Five years of a 100 day workshop taught by Michael Bierut at the Yale School of Art.

Michael Bierut
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mentor, Or, Why Modernist Designers Are Superior
Edited by Julie Lasky
Social Design in Three Dimensions: Four Examples

A business-school case study inspires MFA design students.

Julie Lasky
Index Names Design Challenge Finalists

Among the seven projects dedicated to schoolchildren are educational games, classroom furniture and products that support comfort and hygiene.

Julie Lasky
MSC Greenhouse Project

On learning about science, nutrition and politics at the Manhattan School for Children.

Maria Popova
Helping People Help Their Narratives

Interview with Andrew McGregor, founder of The Tiziano Project

Constantin Boym
Out of Sight: Qatari Workers' Housing

Constantin Boym reports on efforts to improve the living conditions of Qatar's migrant workers.

Edited by Julie Lasky
New Contexts/New Practices: Six Views of the AIGA Design Educators Conference

Perspectives on the 2010 AIGA Design Educators' Conference, "New Contexts/New Practices."

Julie Lasky
Bigshot Camera Update

Reporting the status of an innovative children's camera in development

William Drenttel, and Julie Lasky
Winterhouse First Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Final Report

The final report from a symposium held in Connecticut, October 17–19, 2010, where 13 educators from a variety of design and business programs discussed the challenges and objectives of social-change initiatives within their schools and universities.

John Thackara
Design Steps to Heaven

I recently visted Luzern, in Switzerland, for a workshop at the oldest art and design school in Switzerland, Hochschule Luzern. My host, Andy Polaine had asked me to set students in the first semester of the MA Design, a challenge.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse First Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Participant Case Studies

Participants of Winterhouse Symposium on Design Education and Social Change, October 17-19, 2010, each contributed case studies of a class, project or program that bridges design and social innovation.

William Drenttel
Winterhouse First Symposium on Design Education and Social Change: Participants

This outlines the participants of the Winterhouse Symposium on Design Education and Social Change, which was held October 17-19 2011, in Falls Village CT.

James Lapides
Graphic Intervention

A slideshow containing images from Graphic Intervention: 25 Years of International AIDS Awareness Posters 1985–2010, now on view at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

The Editors
Lella and Massimo Vignelli: A Celebration

Vignelli Celebration: The opening and dedication of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, set to open September 16, 2010 at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Ernest Beck
The World as Our Studio

Report on Worldstudio's hybrid business model for collaborating with for-profit and not-for-profit clients (while supporting a foundation).

Constantin Boym
Teaching in a Time of Uncertainty

Meditation on the doubt creeping into today's design practice.

Vera Sacchetti
"But Teacher! That’s Not Design!"

Interview with Portuguese communication designer Barbara Alves about teaching in Mozambique.

Ernest Beck
Teach For All

Report on Teach For All, an $8.6 million program to expand educational opportunities throughout the world created by Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America, and Brett Wigdortz, founder of Teach First in the U.K.

Dominique Browning
Loose Canon

Review of "Why Design Now?" Cooper-Hewitt National Design Triennial, New York. Through January 9, 2011.

Kate Andrews
Dori Gíslason

Interview with design educator Halldór Gíslason about his work in Mozambique.

William Drenttel
Design for Change Contest

Kiran Bir Sethi is a designer, teacher, principal, advocate and social entrepreneur. Now her “Design for Change Contest,” a recent initiative that swept India in 2009, is expanding globally.

Alexandra Lange
Category Error

My son is now at the age when he wants to put things in categories, and I struggle to define the categories of automobiles that extend beyond SUV or sedan.

Alexandra Lange
What I Learned @dcritconference

D-Crit Conference is just a memory, so as a tribute to the afternoon presentations I saw, I offer a set of tangents.
Elliott Earls
The Sentient and the Bag of Meat

In most cases, design education takes place within the larger context of this thing called “art school.” Students can be grouped into one of two categories: the Sentient and the Bag of Meat.

Kaomi Goetz
Austin Center for Design

Interactive designer Jon Kolko launches a school to help designers build economically viable careers working for social betterment.

Alexandra Lange
Junior Critics

One of the pleasures of teaching is when your students actually surprise you.

Ernest Beck
Es Tiempo

Report on Es Tiempo, a campaign designed to encourage Hispanic women in Southern California to seek annual screenings for cervical cancer.

Andy Chen
The Lines That Divide

The debate continues over who will be the new Head of Department for the Communication Art & Design course at London's Royal College of Art.

Julie Lasky
Sweating the Small Stuff

Review of TED 2010 conference, "What the World Needs Now," Long Beach, California, February 9–13.

Meredith Davis
Who Owns Student Work?

The prevailing opinion at many design schools is that faculty and the university have some “ownership rights” in the output of any class. In other words, students don't own their own work. An opposing viewpoint.

Jane Margolies
St. Augustine School Chicken Project

Report on the sustainability program at St. Augustine parochial school in the South Bronx.

Julie Lasky
Bigshot Camera

Report on a camera that children assemble to learn about science and engineering principles.

Jennifer Ehrenberg
Chicago Welcomes You

On designing a resettlement process for Burmese immigrants in Chicago.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit Report: UNICEF and Early Childhood Development

At the Aspen Design Summit November 11–14, 2009, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute, the UNICEF Early Childhood Development Project proposed a new approach to emergency kits that would be more precisely tuned to young children’s intellectual and emotional needs, as well as outlined a basis for the next AIGA/INDEX: Aspen Design Challenge.

Aspen Editors
Aspen Design Summit: Initial Report

Initial report on the 2009 Aspen Design Summit, sponsored by AIGA and Winterhouse Institute.

Jonathan Schultz

Report on the Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability project's latest home at New York's New School.

Jonathan Schultz

AIDS education mixes with soccer in plans for a new Lesotho stadium.

Julie Lasky
Pizza Farm

Report on Project M at Winterhouse's Pizza Farm event in rural Connecticut in August 2009.

Allison Arieff

Emergence, a new massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) fosters diplomatic skills.

Juliette LaMontagne
Please Turn on Your Cell Phone

In response to the New York City Department of Education's ban on cell phones in schools, an educator argues for their continued use — as mini computers that help students learn.

Julia Galef
Question Box

The Question Box project puts the developing-world poor just a phone call away from an internet search.

Jessica Helfand
Open Letter to Design Students Everywhere

John Thackara
Make Sense, Not Stuff

John Thackara presents a three-step plan to connect design schools to the green economy.

Debbie Millman
Natalia Ilyin

Natalia Ilyin is a design critic and educator and ithe author of two books — Blonde Like Me, and Chasing the Perfect: Thoughts on Modernist Design in Our Time.

Debbie Millman
Steve Heller + Lita Talerico

Debbie Millman interviews Lita Talarico and Steven Heller, co-founders of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts.

Chris Pullman
What I've Learned

After 35 years working for the same company, WGBH in Boston, legendary design director Chris Pullman reveals the ten things he learned.

Julie Lasky
Cranbrook Commencement Address

"I come to you, like all commencement speakers, as an emissary from the future." The commencement address delivered by Julie Lasky at the Cranbrook Academy of Art on May 9, 2008.

KT Meaney
Greening the Grocery Store

It turns out that the "recycling symbol" at the bottom of my yogurt container had nothing to do with its recyclability. So why was it there? My curiosity led to findings around which I built a design class.

Debbie Millman
Michael Hodgson

Michael Hodgson is a DJ and a designer and is co-founder of the design firm Ph.D.

Jessica Helfand
Viewer Discretion Advised

One of the great ironies of contemporary culture is the degree to which pro-forma warnings read as largely invisible. “Viewer Discretion Advised” tells us we’ve been warned...

Debbie Millman
Petrula Vrontikis

Petrula Vrontikis is a graphic designer and educator at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.

Debbie Millman
Eric Kandel

Nobel prize winner Eric Kandel is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist and professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Columbia University.

Steven Kroeter
Design Thinking, Muddled Thinking

What does it mean when Harvard Business School makes a list of top design schools? Two words: muddled thinking.

Andrew Blauvelt
Modernism in the Fly-Over Zone

The story of Peter Seitz provides one example, and we can rest assured that there are many more stories just like his in cities across the country — modernism in the fly-over zone, if you will — which add a critical human dimension to design's rich cultural heritage.

Jessica Helfand
Type Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry

Designers make choices about the appropriateness of type based on any number of criteria, and "liking it" is indeed one of them. But is that enough?

Nichelle Narcisi
Except You

Nichelle Narcisi, winner of last month's Command X competition at the AIGA Next Conference in Denver, presents "Except You," her proposed campaign to raise the voter participation rate for 18 to 24 year olds.

Jessica Helfand
Science and Design: The Next Wave

Scientists probe and manipulate and channel and divide; they split and fuse and spike and engineer; but most of all, they look. As a designer, to spend any time with scientists is to become at once profoundly aware of our similarities and devastated by that which divides us.

Michael Bierut
May I Show You My Portfolio?

My art school portfolio has sat in a box, largely untouched, in the closets and basements of the three places I've lived in the last 27 years, sort of like a slowly decaying design time capsule. A few weeks ago, I opened it up for the first time in a long time.

Meredith Davis
The Cult of ASAP

Before long, many designers burn out by promising unrealistic turnaround on projects, working at levels that don't accommodate a balanced life, and closing down any time for reflection on the work they're doing and on the world around them. I believe as educators, we need to consider how we introduce students to reflective practice, how we actually slow down and pace the physical execution of work in order to design smart.

Jessica Helfand
Back To School

Yet once Graphic Design is introduced in the classroom, how do educational offerings differ? Herewith — and in the spirit of "la rentrée" — is an extremely random sampling.

Steven Heller
Leon Friend: One Teacher, Many Apostles

Leon Friend (born in Warsaw in 1902) was a career art teacher at the Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York, with a special passion for what he called graphic design. This is his story and his influence.

Steven Heller
Silas H. Rhodes, Founder of SVA

Silas H. Rhodes, chairman of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, died last Thursday at 91. He was a progressive educator who established a uniquely collaborative learning environment that delicately balanced creative independence with academic rigor.

Debbie Millman
Alice Twemlow

British-born Alice Twemlow is a design critic and the author of What Is Graphic Design For? She also chairs the Design Criticism department at the School of Visual Arts in New York.



Michael Bierut
Good at Art

Growing up in the sixties, I couldn't throw or catch a baseball with authority, punch someone in the face, or shoplift. But I had something I could call my very own. I was good at art.

Jessica Helfand
The Illusion of Certainty

Artist Allan McCollum aspires to an unprecedented scale with this "Shapes" project: his goal is to make enough shapes, assuming a population of approximately 9.1 billion by the year 2050, so that everyone on the planet can have one. Shapes aside, what's truly fascinating is the idea of the system: what is it about them that we hate to love and love to hate?

Debbie Millman
Elliott Earls

On this episode, Debbie interviews designer and performance artist Elliott Earls, designer-in residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Jessica Helfand
The Not-So-Golden Age of Zero Tolerance

When I was a student, the assignments and their expected outcomes were intentionally conceived as chore-like, specific and frankly, narrow. This was the age of zero tolerance: deviation from a designated format was neither an approved approach nor an acceptable method. Today, the opposite is more likely to be true: a student who does not expand his or her approach to a project is strongly encouraged to do so.

Jessica Helfand
What Makes A Good Poster?

From Nineteenth Century broadsides to Paula Scher's posters for The Public Theatre, the history of the poster is the history of modern civilization. So why are academics so hell-bent on poster board and bad typography? Why don't they ask us for help?

Michael Bierut
What's That Crashing Sound, Or, Eisenman in Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture and Art, DAA, DAAP, Ivory Soap, Proctor & Gamble, P&G, Clifton, Louis Kahn, Crosley Tower, Pruitt-Igoe, le Corbusier, Paul Rudolph, TaB, Jay Chatterjee, George Hargreaves and Associates, Michael Graves, Harry Cobb, Henry Cobb, Pei Cobb Fried, College Conservatory of Music, Frank Gehry, Vontz Center for Molecular Studies, Thom Mayne, Peter Eisenman, The Aronoff Center for Design and Art,School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, Wexner Center, New York Times, Paul Goldberger, Monacelli Press, Esther Bridavsky, Asya Palatova, Sarah Whiting, Kurt Forster, Silvia Kolbowski, Jeffrey Kipnis, Frank Gehry

Dmitri Siegel
Please CARE

CARE is a four-step process for learning design. Building a strong process is the best way to prepare students for the complex, collaborative work of the designer.

Debbie Millman
John Maeda

A disussion with former MIT Media Lab Director John Maeda, who is currently the 16th President of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Jessica Helfand
Annals of Academia: The New Exoticism

Michael Bierut
Eight-and-a-Half by Eleven

An installation of over 10,000 tiled pieces 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper redeems what has often been dismissed as a banal graphic format.

Jessica Helfand
Cease and Design

Where graphic design education is concerned, more doing and less asking is necessary.

Jessica Helfand
Greer Allen: In Memoriam

Designer, critic, pundit and historian, Greer Allen was Senior Critic in Graphic Design at Yale School of Art. He designed publications for The Houghton Library at Harvard, the Beinecke Library at Yale, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and a number of other distinguished cultural institutions around the country. Greer Allen died last week after a short illness. He was 83.

Debbie Millman
Steven Heller

Debbie Millman interviews Steven Heller — art director, educator and the author of more than 100 books on design, design history and contemporary culture.

Michael Bierut
Designing Under the Influence

The similarity of a young designer's work to that of the artist Barbara Kruger provides the starting point for a discussion of the role of influence in design, and whether it is possible for someone to "own" a specific style.

Michael Bierut
What We Talk About When We Talk About Architecture

Architectural critiques, such as those conducted at Yale University and documented in its student publication Retrospecta, can have the same drama as good theatre; like the public radio show "Car Talk" the subject at hand is merely a springboard for diverting digression.

Jessica Helfand
An Instrument of Sufficiently Lucid Cogitation

The legendary French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died on Tuesday at his home in the South of France, always carried a sketchbook with him. Today's obituary in The New York Times alleges that he described drawing as meditative, while photography was intuitive: though certainly both activities might have been informed by a relentless need to observe and in a sense, preserve the world around him.

William Drenttel
Penmanship: The Voice of A Future Designer

Jessica Helfand
Annals of Academia, Part I: What I Didn't Learn In Graduate School

Rick Poynor
Critics and Their Purpose

Pulling a 1960s art magazine from the shelf, I opened it at random to find a long list of thoughts about art criticism assembled in 1966 by students at the Royal College of Art in London. Many of these ideas apply to design.

Michael Bierut
Michael McDonough’s Top Ten Things They Never Taught Me in Design School

Architect Michael McDonough delineates the difference between educational theory and professional practice with “The Top 10 Things They Never Taught Me in Design School.”

William Drenttel
Defamiliarization: A Personal History

Jessica Helfand
The Crisis of Intent

Jessica Helfand
You're Going to Hollywood, Baby

Jessica Helfand
Sign Language: Endangered Species or Utopian Uprising?

At turns provocative and peculiar, photographs of a new building in Birmingham, England, hint at a utopian uprising: No angles. No signs. In other words: no branding?

Michael Bierut
Graphic Design and the New Certainties

Graphic designers claim to want total freedom, but even in this intuitive, arbitrary, "creative" profession, many of us secretly crave limitations, standards, certainties. And certainties are a hard thing to come by these days.

Rick Poynor
Those Inward-looking Europeans

Three American design teachers visit London and the Netherlands. European designers, they say, are not paying attention to design history. Maybe the visitors are missing local factors and broader global issues.

Creative Opportunities
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