Education

Ellen McGirt
It’s Time to Find Your People
Announcing Equity Observer, Design Observer’s new editorial vertical and newsletter focused on the people and ideas redesigning the world for good.


The Editors
Education
Educators are among our most cherished cultural ambassadors, sage deputies charged with cultivating curiosity, bestowing counsel, constructing networks, broadening horizons, and expanding capacities for us all.


Dana Arnett, Kevin Bethune
S10E11: Dori Tunstall
Dr. Elizabeth “Dori” Tunstall is the Dean of the Faculty of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design.


Dana Arnett, Kevin Bethune
S10E7: Marcia Lausen
Marcia Lausen is Director of the UIC School of Design and founder of the Chicago office of Studio/lab.


The Editors
Ritesh Gupta + Useful School
Useful School is the world’s first pay-what-you-can online product design school for people of color.


Kathleen Meaney
100 Years of Land Grant Universities in 100 Points
What is the Land Grant Act and why does it affect design education?


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S9E11: Avery Willis Hoffman
Avery Willis Hoffman is a writer, director, producer, and curator. Hoffman recently joined Brown University as the inaugural artistic director of the Brown Arts Initiative.


Connect 4
Min Lew and Zaiah Sampson: Finding Your Creative Voice
Feeling confident in yourself and your work—especially when you’re still a student—can be a challenge.


Connect 4
Kojo Boateng and Brian Jean: Making Decisions, Making Your Mark
Brian Jean and Koto Boateng talk about decision-making as a creative, about being a Black designer, today and in the past—and why now is a great time to enter the design world.


Connect 4
Victor Newman and Ana Amaro: Becoming an Animator
In this episode, hear student Ana Amaro and her mentor, creative director Victor Newman talk about how they each found their calling and first encountered their animated favorites.


Connect 4
Natasha Jen and Adnan Bishtawi: How Do You Survive as a Designer?
How can you stay inspired, make great work, take care of yourself—and still pay the bills?


Connect 4
Forest Young and Sakinah Bell: Follow Your Curiosity, Find Your Inspiration
Finding joy, purpose, and personal evolution through creation.


Connect 4
Eddie Opara and Tyriq Moore: How Do You Build Knowledge as a Designer?
How learning and discovering new things is at the heart of being a good designer.


Connect 4
Man-Wai Cheung and Angel Blanco: “Mom, Dad, I Want to Be a Designer”
Man-Wai Cheung, founder and creative director of Adolescent and design student Angel Blanco, talk about choosing a creative career as first generation immigrants—and how they each explained that choice to their parents.


Connect 4
Jonathan Jackson and Avalon Garrick: Time for Change
Jonathan Jackson, Creative Director at We Should Do It All, and design student Avalon Garrick talk about the joys and challenges of finding their footing as creatives.


Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt
S8E10: Rosanne Somerson
Rosanne Somerson is president of the Rhode Island School of Design.


Jessica Helfand + Lee Moreau
Episode 132: Back to School?
With Lee Moreau: How to teach during the pandemic, robust design, jigsaw puzzles, The New York Times Spelling Bee



Steven Heller
Crowd Sourcing Graphic Design History
The People’s Graphic Design Archive: preserving cultural artifacts and digital history of our profession.



Steven Heller
Social Distance Learning: The Remote Generation
Distance learning is meant to convey knowledge and teach skills that will allow students and aspiring professionals to make marks that communicate messages, ideas and impressions . . . to others.


Brian LaRossa
Why it Matters to Me if Designers Read and Write
Literacy means being an engaged and responsible citizen. It means building sympathy and empathy. It means being radically curious and pursuing meaning with a sense of purpose.


Lily Hansen
Illustrator Ella Paton Thinks We Should Ditch Expectations and Show Our Mistakes
My new philosophy is, Sod it. Just do it. And stop saying “sorry.”


Lilly Smith
Chain Letters: Zachary Lieberman
“Tools and jobs will always change but the fundamentals stay the same.”


Lilly Smith
Chain Letters: Paul Pangaro
In my experience, an understanding of the processes of design and the means for expanding techniques and capabilities are a matter of practice and critique, tightly coupled.


Lilly Smith
On the Edge of Me
As the recipients of this year’s AIGA Worldstudio scholarship are announced, friends and fellow scholarship jurors, designer Dian Holton and illustrator Marcos Chin, reflect on professional growth, mentorship as personal mission, and why liminal spaces—spaces between the end of one point and the beginning of something new—are really where you want to exist.


Lilly Smith
Chain Letters: Dori Tunstall
“Designing is not about a job. Design is one of many pathways for doing meaningful work in the world.”


Rick Poynor
Herbert Spencer and The Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers by Herbert and Mafalda Spencer was aimed at children, but its intriguing visual approach is more “photobook” than “schoolbook.”


Michael Bierut
What’s That Crashing Sound, Or, Eisenman in Cincinnati
I had chosen to spend five years in a place that many considered the ugliest college campus in America.


Brian LaRossa
De-specializing Design Education
Certification represents an assurance of quality, but also implies exclusivity. What about design?


Debbie Millman
Design Matters from the Archive: Lynda Weinman
Debbie talks to lynda.com’s Lynda Weinman about how the internet is challenging the traditional classroom model.


Brian LaRossa
Design as a Third Area of General Education
Graphic designers are insecure. This is understandable; design lacks defensible boundaries.


Doug Powell
The Future of Design (Education)
Doug Powell sat down on the porch of Austin Center for Design with it’s founder, Jon Kolko to talk about design education, design for good, and how job titles are poor definitions.


Kenneth FitzGerald
Learn by Numbers: Eleven Lessons Taught Only in Design School
With two decades of design education experience behind me (and a reader of the popular design press for even longer), I’ve picked through the bulging bin of designers’ opinions about school to compile my own list of advice.


Steven Heller
The Commencement Address I Never Gave
There are few greater honors than to be the one who launches graduates into the world.


Kathleen Meaney
Co-Teaching with Eustace Tilley
What the New Yorker can teach us about understanding images


The AIGA Design Educators Community
Required Reading
AIGA’s Design Educators Community list their must-have books for design inspiration for 2017


Steven Heller
The Specious Thesis
Dear Student: your email interview questions are general, uninspiring, and painful to answer.


Mariana Amatullo
People to People ­­: Fresh Eyes on a Changing Cuba
The power of visual metaphor and design’s aesthetic dimension as a way forward for cultural rapprochement and social transformation.


Michael Bierut
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mentor, Or, Why Modernist Designers Are Superior
Does a strict upbringing make you a better designer?


Kathleen 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.


Véronique Vienne
Of Grids and Galleys: Designing The Real Thing
A tribute to Dada on its 100th year at a design school in France


Rick Poynor
Exposure: Operating Room by Augustine H. Folsom
Early surgery as public theater


Virginia Shou
Thesis Book Story: Virginia Shou
MISCOMMUNICATION


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
A designer's book of self-assignments prompts us to learn by going "beyond what is asked" in our workaday professional lives.


Mark Yoes
Elinor Evans : Some Truths from the Master
The artist, educator, and architecture guru Elinor Evans turns 100.


Kenneth FitzGerald
Yourselves: Declaring Ourselves
Exploring the interests of the AIGA Design Educators Community


Alex Knowlton
Miami Nice
Alex Knowlton reviews this year's ADC Festival of Art + Craft in Advertising and Design in Miami Beach.


David Morris
The Public Library
The public library is a singularly American invention whose prime directive has been to protect access to information.


Observed
2014 Porto Summer Editorial Design Course
Herewith, why you should seriously consider the  2014 Porto Summer Editorial Design Course.



Observed
Typolitic
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.



Observed
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
Add Fredun Shapur to the pantheon of modern designers making winning and sculptural objects for children.



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.


Observed
Wheat Paste Graffiti in Detroit
Graphic Design students of Dan Sinclair at Eastern Michigan University wheat pasted their posters in a sanctioned area of 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.



Observed
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
What's your "Masterpiece of Everyday New York"? A broken umbrella? A shirtwaist? Discarded gum?


Observed
Destination: NYC
Destination: NYC, is a collection of 200 New York-designed products for sale at MoMA Design Stores. The collection’s visual identity is the handiwork of students graduating from the MPS Branding Department at SVA.


Alexandra Lange
An ABC of the ABCs
Were you a child? Did you read books? Then the NYPL's "ABC of It" serves as a portal back in time.


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.



Observed
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.






Observed
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.



Observed
Call for Student Submissions
:output is the biggest international competition for students in design and architecture.


John Thackara
An Open Design School for India
Plans in India for for a nationwide network of 20 Design Innovation Centres, an Open Design School, and a National Design Innovation Network.



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
Style: An Inventory by Michael Bierut


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?
A report on work by the first graduates from the Royal College of Art’s Critical Writing in Art & Design MA.


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
The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, finalist presentations are taking place in New York City on Wednesday June 8, 6-8pm.



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
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.



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



Jonathan Schultz
Kick4Life
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
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.



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?



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
Reading handwriting is an old art: graphology is one of the more articulated forms of divination, and handwriting analysis has long had the trappings of a science with its history and court experts.






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.



Observed


Everything you ever wanted to know about the origins of Dutch design (but were afraid to ask).

A meditation on the history of design—and the rise of strategy—from Jarrett Fuller.

A meditation on analog beauty—and vernacular signage—from Elizabeth Goodspeed.

Richard Stengel makes a compelling case that journalism should be free to save democracy. “According to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, more than 75% of America’s leading newspapers, magazines, and journals are behind online paywalls. And how do American news consumers react to that?” (Subscription required.) 

Please, please, pleaseget some sleep.

The Supreme Court allows Idaho to ban transgender health care for minors. For now.

Historically, we’ve invested huge resources to keep cities and nature separate. But we now know that the health of the soil and the health of people are the same story. So, what does this have to do with design? Join the unstoppable John Thackara and Milan Politecnico professor Ezio Manzini today at 11 am ET as they discuss this critical—and surprisingly overlooked—environmental issue.

Conducted through audio interviews, Ana Miljački's I Would Prefer Not To is an oral history project on the topic of the most important kind of refusal in architects’ toolboxes: refusal of the architectural commission. (Miljački, an architectural historian and theorist, is also Director of the Critical Broadcasting Lab at MIT.) Produced in conjunction with the Architectural League of New York, this podcast features conversations with a number of fascinating practitioners including Diller + Scofidio's Elizabeth Diller, WXY partner Claire Weisz (who we interviewed in Season Three of The Design of Business | The Business of Design) and Nina Cooke John (a Season Nine guest).

This past winter, a diverse cohort of students from the MADE Program at Brown + RISD and Harvard immersed themselves in a wealth of data provided by the City of Boston with the mission of uncovering novel, meaningful, and joyful perspectives on navigating and understanding the urban environment. Their resulting projects—a series of interactive exhibits ranging from envisioning the evolving contours of the coastline to revealing the secret lives of the city’s trees—will be on view this week at the Boston Museum of Science.

Designers are leaving corporate life in droves, re-designed out of their own jobs. “The strategic design gold rush is over,” reports Robert Fabricant.  So, where are they going? “[A} new class of platforms and networks have emerged, including NeolDesign Executive CouncilChief Design Officer School, Design Leadership Job Board, and Design Leaders.” This isn’t a bad thing, he says. “These platforms specifically target ‘fractional’ design leaders who are looking to support one another, collaborate on projects, better communicate their value, and source new income-generating opportunities, both individually and collectively.” 

A new project designed to amplify Indigenous-owned businesses on Google Maps and Google Search gets high marks from Huitzilli Oronia, a Chicana designer from Denver, Colorado, and the creative production agency Hook.  Oronia contributed Google’s Indigenous-owned attribute icon and associated launch materials to the initiative. “This wasn’t just another campaign; it represented an opportunity to help Indigenous business owners share their heritage and foster deeper connections between the businesses and their consumers,” she says.

Yet another social app built around talk, not text! 

Faith Ringgold, the multimedia artist whose soaring work documented race, class, family, community, justice, and the African American experience in the U.S., has died. She was 93. Her work included painting, sculpture, mask- and doll-making, textiles, performance art, and children’s literature. “Few artists have kept as many balls in the air as long as Faith Ringgold,” the New York Times art critic Roberta Smith wrote in 2013. “She has spent more than five decades juggling message and form, high and low, art and craft, inspirational narrative and quiet or not so quiet fury about racial and sexual inequality.”

Nike is under fire for its “needlessly revealing and sexist” Team USA women’s track and field kit. “Wait, my hoo haa is gonna be out.”

AI is rewriting the internet. Here’s what to expect from Microsoft’s Copilot, Google’s Gemini, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4. “These AI tools are vast autocomplete systems, trained to predict which word follows the next in any given sentence. As such, they have no hard-coded database of ‘facts’ to draw on — just the ability to write plausible-sounding statements. This means they have a tendency to present false information as truth since whether a given sentence sounds plausible does not guarantee its factuality,” says reporter James Vincent. Yay! The future sounds…?

The National Governors Association has launched a new Health Equity Learning Network to support policy solutions and share strategies to reduce health inequities in the U.S.

Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist who became known for his groundbreaking work in bias, heuristics, and how people make decisions, has died at 90. Kahneman became widely known for his 2011 book Thinking, Fast and Slow, which aimed to “improve the ability to identify and understand errors of judgment and choice, in others and eventually ourselves, by providing a richer and more precise language to discuss them.”

Maqroo means readable: Leo Burnett Dubai agency has partnered with Omantel telecom network to create a new dyslexia-friendly Arabic font. “Arabic is one of the oldest and most beautiful languages in the world. With 12 million words it is also the most complex, making it even harder for those with dyslexia to learn it,” says Leo Burnett Dubai art director Abdo Mohamed. (It’s also beautiful.)

Wicked looks good.

The much anticipated Humane AI Pin has arrived, an expensive, subscription-based wearable chatbot — or “second brain” — that nobody seems to like very much. Yet, I guess.

Who will represent working-class life?documentary about the UK-based photographer Tish Murtha is asking important questions about which stories are told visually — and supported by the art establishment — and why. “She showed the reality of poverty and deprivation in communities where the misery of unemployment had been allowed to settle by the Westminster political classes who considered it a price worth other people paying for the boon of undermining trade union power,” writes Peter Bradshaw. “But in capturing the faces, particularly the faces of children, Murtha showed her subjects’ humour, optimism and refusal to be cowed.”

An employee who worked as an art installer secretly hung one of his own paintings in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, and we’re not that mad about it. “He was carrying tools; that’s why he went totally unnoticed,” said Tine Nehler, a museum spokesperson. “As a technician, he was able to move around all areas of the building outside of opening hours.”

Marian Bantjes critiques the design and logic (and design logic) of the food pyramid (and pyramids in general).

Lesly Pierre Paul’s New Vision Art School turns to the arts as a way to continue local traditions and keep neighborhood children out of gangs. 

Tahnee Ahtone joins the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City as Curator, Native American Art. She was previously the Director and Curator at the Kiowa Tribal Museum in Carnegie, Oklahoma.

News we love: founded in 2002 by Nínive Calegari, a teacher, and McSweeney's founder (and author) Dave Eggers, 826 Valencia receives a $1 million donation from Yield Giving, a massive philanthropy effort by Amazon co-founder MacKenzie Scott.

Next week, Case Western will host design anthropologist Christina Wasson, who will deliver the 2024 Applying Anthropology to Real World Problems Lecture. Entitled The Participatory Design of Indigenous Heritage Archives, Wasson will describe how she has adapted participatory design methods to develop archives that preserve indigenous languages. (Thursday, April 18, at 4 p.m. in Mather Memorial Building, Room 201.)

Margerete Jahny belonged to a rare demographic of industrial designer: she was East German—and female—and according to design historian Günter Höhne, she was the first East German industrial designer, of any gender, with a university education.

New “networks” and “platforms” targeting “fractional” design leaders who are looking to support one another, collaborate on projects, better communicate their value, and source new income-generating opportunities, both individually and collectively. More on the reinvention design leaders are facing, by Robert Fabricant.

Democratic state lawmakers in Colorado are ending the practice of anonymous surveys to determine which bills should live or die. The change to make all parts of the survey public comes months after a judge ordered lawmakers to stop using their previous secret ballot system to prioritize legislation because it violated Colorado’s open meetings law, reports the Longmont Leader.



Jobs | April 18