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Education


04.08.14: 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.
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01.14.14: Alexandra Lange

Playing With Design: Fredun Shapur
Add Fredun Shapur to the pantheon of modern designers making winning and sculptural objects for children.
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10.24.13: 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.
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09.24.13: 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.
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08.19.13: 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.
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07.23.13: Alexandra Lange

Nevermind the Masterpiece
What's your "Masterpiece of Everyday New York"? A broken umbrella? A shirtwaist? Discarded gum?
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07.01.13: 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.
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01.29.13: 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.
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01.26.13: 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.”
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11.13.12: Rob Walker

Lulz and Pedagogy
On using funny videos to start serious classroom discussions
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10.29.12: Michael Bierut

Style: An Inventory
Style: An Inventory by Michael Bierut
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10.08.12: Alexandra Lange

Having Fun at the Museum
Blocks, rocket ships, playgrounds and balls: the hidden meaning of playthings at the Museum of Modern Art.
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06.28.12: 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.
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05.05.12: Rob Walker

Assignment Creativity
A chaotic and entertaining collection addresses "the art of the art assignment."
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04.17.12: 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?
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04.13.12: 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?
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01.20.12: 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.
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08.25.11: 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.
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05.31.11: 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.
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05.26.11: 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.
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03.31.11: Helen Walters

The Rotman Design Challenge: A Review
In recent years, calls for a more creative or innovative approach to, well, pretty much everything.
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03.10.11: Andy Chen

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Cub
Is design strictly a set of rules?
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02.10.11: Michael Bierut

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

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mentor, Or, Why Modernist Designers Are Superior
Does a strict upbringing make you a better designer?
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01.07.11: 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.

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12.02.10: 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."
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11.05.10: 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.
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10.14.10: 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.
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09.12.10: 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.
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05.05.10: 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.
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05.02.10: 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.
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04.29.10: 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.
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04.22.10: Alexandra Lange

Junior Critics
One of the pleasures of teaching is when your students actually surprise you.
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04.14.10: Alexandra Lange

Please Join Us
I'm looking forward to the upcoming D-Crit Conference on April 30, 2010.
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03.22.10: Alexandra Lange

Times Op-Ed: Hole Earth Catalog
On the New York Times Op-Ed page today, my suggestion for an adopt-a-pothole program for New York City.
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03.15.10: 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.
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02.10.10: Alexandra Lange

Beyond Bodoni & Corb
In college, it was all about Le Corbusier, though by senior year, if I had to hear “Garches” one more time I might have screamed.
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01.26.10: 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.
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11.23.08: 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.
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05.28.08: 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.
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05.24.08: 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.
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03.21.08: 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...
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11.30.07: 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.
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11.15.07: 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.
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11.07.07: 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?
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11.04.07: 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.
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10.16.07: 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.
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09.21.07: 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.
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09.15.07: 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.
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09.08.07: 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.
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07.21.07: 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.
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07.02.07: 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.
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03.19.07: 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.
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02.19.07: 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?
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12.15.06: 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.
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11.08.06: 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?
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10.12.06: 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
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07.23.06: 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.
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05.19.06: 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.
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12.01.05: Jessica Helfand

Cease and Design
Where graphic design education is concerned, more doing and less asking is necessary.
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04.28.05: 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.
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02.26.05: 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.
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10.21.04: 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.
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08.05.04: 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.
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04.23.04: 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.
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03.24.04: 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."
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02.24.04: Jessica Helfand

The Crisis of Intent

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02.03.04: Jessica Helfand

You're Going to Hollywood, Baby

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12.05.03: 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?
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11.10.03: 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.
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11.09.03: 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.
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