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Alexandra Lange | Essays

Please Join Us

Elroy Webber, Kuzon House, Longmeadow, MA; Ezra Stoller/ESTO

I went to Gary Hustwit’s lecture last night at D-Crit (next Tuesday: David Barringer) and he teased the third film in his design trilogy (after Helvetica, Objectified). Topic TBA next week, one assumes via Twitter.

Being at D-Crit, and seeing all the second-year students reminded me that I have yet to highlight the upcoming D-Crit Conference on April 30. All 15 future holders of an MFA in Design Criticism will present short thesis talks. Kurt Andersen will moderate. John Thackara and Peter Hall will keynote. But I am more excited to hear the students, as I have been privy to glimpses of their research over the past year plus, and it is all quirky and topical and fascinating.

I can’t pick favorites, but there are a few topics that are near and dear to my heart, as will be obvious if you have been reading this blog. Sarah Froelich has uncovered the unwritten history of Dansk, an American company with a Danish designer, concocted to capitalize on the vogue for Scandinavian modern in the 1950s. My grandmother still makes her scalloped potatoes in a large blue Kobenstyle banquet server, and I have started my own collection. Closer to home, Emily Leibin discovered Connecticut modern architect Elroy Webber, whose mid-century houses combine indoor-outdoor living with some very zippy stripes (see above). Angela Riechers has curated a collection of personal memorial objects, ranging from hair brooches to portrait tattoos, widows weeds to diamonds made of a beloved’s ashes. It is creepy and spooky, and makes you think about forever. Katie Henderson has done the critique of Wes Anderson the New Yorker failed to do, writing about Anderson’s production design and the family dynamic. If the film critics fail to notice the decor, that’s where design critics step in.

And there’s lots more: car-sharing, Brazilian contemporary design, movie theaters, Godard… Please come.

Posted in: Education , Theory + Criticism

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