SVA MFA Design Criticism Lecture Series - Fall 2012

SVA MFA Design Criticism Lecture Series: Fall 2012

SVA MFA Design Criticism Lecture Series, held on Tuesday evenings at D-Crit, presents lectures by the most thoughtful and provocative writers, editors, designers, and curators practicing today in the interrelated fields of design, architecture and urban planning.

All lectures are free and open to the public. You do need to register to reserve your space.

September 25

Zoe Coombes, "Dirt from Glass Cages"
Zoe Coombes will speak about her experiences working in the world of contemporary furniture design. Reflecting on both the rate of change within digitized production, and the all-too-contemporary question of how best to learn from the past, Zoe's talk will pose questions about the future of work and desire in a robotized age.

Zoe Coombes is the co-founder of Cmmnwlth, the studio name under which she and her partner David Boira produce furniture, art and that which lies between. Zoe received her Masters degree in Architecture from Columbia University and shortly thereafter began working at the smaller, more detailed scale of furniture. Dedicated to an investigation of contemporary tools and their intersection with craft-based processes of production, the studio has been commissioned by culture-driven clients such as Issey Miyake, Warp Records and the Museum of Modern Art, and currently designs for the American furniture label, MatterMade.

October 2

Pedro Gadanho, "Is Curating the New Criticism?"
Curator Pedro Gadanho will speak about the impact of working in a large institutional setting such as MoMA, reflecting in particular on the organization of his first collection rotation show "9+1 Ways of Being Political." He will also talk about his past experience as a freelance curator, and ideas he has been developing on the role and relevance of curating as a new expressive medium for architecture.

Pedro Gadanho is the Curator for Contemporary Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York. Previously, he divided his activity between architecture, teaching, writing and curating. With an MA in Art and Architecture and a PhD in Architecture and Mass Media, Pedro is the author of Arquitetura em P├║blico and Interiores 01-010. He is also the former editor of BEYOND bookazine, and maintains the ShrapnelContemporary blog. He was a chief curator of ExperimentaDesign between 2001 and 2003, curated Metaflux at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale and exhibitions such as "Post.Rotterdam," "Space Invaders," and "Pancho Guedes, An Alternative Modernist."

October 9

Lucy Collins, "From the Ivory Tower to the Tents: Thinking Critically about Fashion"
What is fashion criticism? As the field of fashion studies continues to grow, it's essential to develop and understand the conceptual distinctions between fashion theory, fashion criticism, fashion journalism, and costume history. Lucy Collins will look at these interrelated yet distinct kinds of fashion writing, while arguing for the need for a deeper understanding of theory in each.

Lucy Collins has been witness to every part of the fashion industry. She has written on fashion for publications such as Fashion Theory, Fashion Projects, The Philosopher's Magazine, and The New City Reader, as well as the forthcoming Greenwood Encyclopedia of National Dress. She has contributed to the blog Worn Through, worked for designers, and written for fashion forecasters. She is currently an instructor at Parsons The New School for Design and LIM College, where she teaches courses in fashion theory, aesthetics, and ethics. Last year, Lucy received a PhD in Philosophy from Temple University and her current research focuses on the subject of fashion and consumerism.

October 16

Project Projects, "As of 10.15.12"
Adam Michaels, Prem Krishnamurthy, and Rob Giampietro will speak about their multidisciplinary practice at design studio Project Projects. With a conceptual and critical approach to visual form, the studio engages in varied modes of production across a wide range of media and scales. Each of the three principals will discuss a sampling of current projects, preoccupations, and passions-synthesizing design and editorial work in a self-initiated paperback book series; new modes and venues for curation; and tracing the critical implications of technology on the practice of writing.

Project Projects is a design studio focusing on print, identity, exhibition, and interactive work with clients in art and architecture. The studio was founded in 2004 by Prem Krishnamurthy and Adam Michaels; Rob Giampietro joined as a principal in 2010. The studio has been a Finalist twice in the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards (2009 & 2011) and has received numerous distinctions, including the ADC Bronze Medal, TDC Communication Design Award, I.D. magazine's 2007 Design Distinction Award, the Art Directors Club Young Guns 5 Award, and several Society of Publication Designers merit awards.

October 23

Karrie Jacobs, "The City Beautiful All Over Again"
The City Beautiful movement and disciples of the Ecole des Beaux Arts seeded our cities with examples of monumental splendor. Now, after a century-long hiatus, American cities are embracing beauty again though not through a monolithic, top-down strategy. Rather, cities are being made more beautiful incrementally, in exactly the unmethodical way that earlier generations would have decried as inharmonious. A language of urban beauty that is distinctively American has begun to emerge.

Karrie Jacobs has written one-and-a-half books: The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home (Viking, 2006) and Angry Graphics, written with Steven Heller (Gibbs Smith, 1992). She's a contributing editor at Metropolis magazine where she writes a monthly column, "America," about how ideas and strategies in architecture and design play out on the landscape. She's also a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. Karrie was the founding editor-in-chief of Dwell and prior to that she was the architecture critic of New York Magazine, and, in the early 1990s, the founding executive editor of Benetton's Colors Magazine. She's also a founding faculty member of SVA MFA Design Criticism where she sends students out onto the streets of New York City so they can learn for themselves the differences between a good building and a bad building.

October 30

Emilie Baltz, "Why Foreplay Makes the Food (AKA: There's more to a steak than beef)"
Taking the premise that food is our most fundamental form of consumption, Emilie Baltz will discuss the dimensions in which food design stimulates both the heads and hearts of consumers and creators alike. Using highlights from her two (diametrically opposed) books Junk Foodie: 51 Delicious Recipes for the Lowbrow Gourmand, and her forthcoming publication L.O.V.E FOODBOOK: Le Libertinage Gourmand, Emilie will reveal the salaciously multisensory choreography implicit in food design.

Emilie Baltz is a creative omnivore. Working at the intersection of food, sex and design, she creates work that provokes our relationship to eating, drinking and f*cking through imagery, products, books and experiences. Her clients include Ebay, The Museum of Sex, Droog Design, The New York Parks Department, The Vitra Design Museum and GOOD magazine. She serves as faculty in SVA MFA Products of Design and is a visiting lecturer at l'ESAD in Reims, France.

November 6

Roman Mars, "Now You See It: Telling Stories about the Built World"
Awareness of design is at an all-time high. People are now encouraged to hold strong opinions about the font on a movie poster, or the feel of a smart phone, or the intuitiveness of an email program. Tapping into this awareness helps set the stage for telling stories about design. Someone made a decision about every little detail in the built environment. When these decisions are highlighted, the audience suddenly becomes aware that every corner, every seam, and every joint has its story.

Roman Mars is the creator of "99% Invisible," a radio show about design and architecture. With more than four million downloads, the "99% Invisible podcast recently reached number two in the iTunes ranking for all podcasts. The fund-raising campaign for season three is currently the highest-funded journalism project in Kickstarter history. Roman is also the host and program director of "Public Radio Remix" from PRX, a 24-hour, innovative public radio story stream broadcast on XM 123 and public radio stations across the country.

November 27

Steve Almond, "How to Make the Reader See It: The Book as a Visual Artifact"
Steve Almond will discuss the natural affinity between visual and literary artists, and specifically delve into his collaboration with the visual designer Brian Stauffer, with whom he has made three DIY books.

Steve Almond is the author of ten books of fiction and non-fiction, three of which he published himself. His memoir Candyfreak was a New York Times Bestseller. His short stories have appeared in the Best American and Pushcart anthologies. Steve's most recent collection, God Bless America, was short-listed for The Story Prize. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.

December 4

Murray Moss, "Apples to Oranges: Dialogues between Art and Design in Commerce and Culture"
The ghettoization of Art and Design that permeates our cultural institutions, commercial galleries and auction houses, eliminates the possibility of a tertium quid (third thing) which might be greater than the sum of its individual parts. Through Moss and now through Moss Bureau, design retailer and gallerist Murray Moss has dedicated his career to blurring distinctions between genres in an attempt to dismantle such departmental thinking. In conversation with Alice Twemlow, Murray will expound on his "apples to oranges" approach to curation through which, by pairing certain disparate works, he asks his audience to search, with fresh eyes, for new conclusions.

Murray Moss is the founder of the internationally renowned Moss design gallery, a museum-like store, located in New York's SoHo district, that displayed and sold cutting-edge products and furniture between 1994 and 2012. During that time, Murray conceived and curated over 100 highly influential exhibitions at Moss as well as other venues. In February of 2012, Murray and his partner Franklin Getchell closed their Greene Street store, and inaugurated Moss Bureau, a design consultancy providing a multiplicity of services to manufacturers, design studios, and architectural firms, as well as offering curatorial and interior design services.

School of Visual Arts