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Eventually Everything: The 2012 D-Crit Conference

MFA Design Criticism, School of Visual Arts, http://dcrit.sva.edu

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 from 12:30 PM to 7:00 PM (EDT)

Eventually Everything: The 2012 D-Crit Conference

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Eventually Everything: The 2012 D-Crit Conference

Wednesday, May 2, 12:30–7:00 p.m.
Visual Arts Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street
No charge for admission; Registration required
Follow @dcritconference on Twitter

The 2012 D-Crit Conference, featuring graduating students of the SVA MFA in Design Criticism, and moderated by Change Observer co-editor Julie Lasky, will take place on May 2, 2012 at the Visual Arts Theatre in New York City. This year’s conference is comprised of four themed panels, each introduced by keynote speakers, including media historian Stuart Ewen; Pentagram partner Michael Bierut; 2×4 founding partner Michael Rock; cultural historian Jeffrey Schnapp; and Interboro partner Daniel D’Oca. Topics to be addressed include the absence of firearms in design collections, the persistence of an anti-ornament bias in architectural discourse, Main Street USA as rhetorical trope, and the need for designers to make repairable products.

Register today and join D-Crit faculty, students, and guest speakers for a richly programmed afternoon of provocation, insight, and inspiration.

Eventually Everything: The 2012 D-Crit Conference Schedule
Wednesday, May 2, 12:30–7:00 p.m.

Opening remarks: D-Crit Chair Alice Twemlow and Conference Moderator Julie Lasky

12:30  Registration, Desserts and Coffee

1:00  Opening Remarks: Alice Twemlow

1:15  Opening remarks: Julie Lasky 

Panel 1: Calculated Nostalgia

1:30  Featured panelist: Stuart Ewen

1:45  Anna Kealey: Unpacking the Pastoral Food Package: Myth-Making in Graphic Design

1:55  Ann Weiser: Main Street USA and the Power of Myth

2:05  Katya Mezhibovskaya: Collection/Recollection: On the Place and Meaning of Nostalgia in Home Merchandising and the Domestic Interior 

2:15  Discussion

2:35  BREAK

Panel 2: Working/Not Working

2:50  Featured panelist: Daniel D’Oca

3:05  Derrick Mead: Designing for Repair: Things Can Be Fixed

3:15  Erin Routson: Towers to Town Homes: Public Housing Policy and Design in the United States

3:25  Discussion

3:45  BREAK

Panel 3: Speaking Surfaces

4:00  Featured panelist: Michael Bierut

4:15  Featured panelist: Michael Rock

4:30  Cheryl Yau: Intrinsic Expressions: Uncovering the Performativity of Figurative Typography

4:40  Julia van den Hout: Patterns of Ornament: Technology and Theory in Contemporary Architectural Decoration

4:50  Discussion

5:10  BREAK

Panel 4: Man, Machine, Morality

5:25  Keynote panelist: Jeffrey Schnapp

5:40  Amna Siddiqui: Redefining Play: Exploring Technology-Enhanced Toy Design

5:50  Tara Gupta: Honed/Toned: A Critique of Fitness Culture

6:00  Barbara Eldredge: Loaded Object / Loaded Subject: Firearms in Design Collections

6:10  Discussion

6:45  Closing Remarks

7:30  Party

Last year’s conference featured a panel with Paola Antonelli, Linda Tischler, Olympia Kazi, Rob Walker, John Seabrook, and Bjarke Ingels. View videos of Present Tense: The 2011 D-Crit Conference here.


Julie Lasky is co-editor of Change Observer, a Web site devoted to design for social impact, supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in association with the Winterhouse Foundation. At D-Crit she teaches “Reporting on Design and Social Change” and will be a core faculty member of the SAVA Design Writing and Research Intensive, June 18–29.

Keynote speakers:

Michael Bierut is a partner in the international design consultancy Pentagram and a co-founder of the online design magazine Design Observer. A selection of his pithy essays has been collected under the title Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007). Michael has taught blogging at D-Crit and lectured on “Design, Writing, Teaching: Not my Real Job.”

Stuart Ewen is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Film & Media Studies at Hunter College, and in the Ph.D. Programs in History, Sociology and American Studies at The CUNY Graduate Center. He helped define the field of Media Studies with books such as PR! A Social History of Spin (1996), All Consuming Images: The Politics of Style in Contemporary Culture (1987; 1999), and Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture (1976).

Daniel D’Oca is Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Design School, Assistant Professor of Art History, Theory & Criticism at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Principal and co-founder of Interboro Partners, a New York-based architecture, planning, and research firm. Daniel, who specializes in the politics of the contemporary built environment in America, has been a guest critic in Karrie Jacobs’ “Urban Curation” class and, with the other principals of Interboro, has lectured on “Advocacy and Pluralism in Architecture.”

Michael Rock is a founding partner and Creative Director at 2×4, and Director of the Graphic Architecture Project at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Michael, whose expertise spans graphic design and architecture, has lectured at D-Crit on “Superficiality: Dematerialization and Branded Surfaces.”

Jeffrey Schnapp is the faculty director of metaLAB at Harvard, a research and teaching collaborative dedicated to exploring networked culture in the arts and humanities. His most recent books are Speed Limits and The Electric Information Age Book (Princeton Architectural Press). Also forthcoming in 2012 is Digital_Humanities (MIT Press), a book co-written with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, and Todd Presner.

Event Information

When: 2 May 2012, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Visual Arts Theatre, Visual Arts Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)
Price: Free and open to the public   

Have questions about Eventually Everything: The 2012 D-Crit Conference? Contact MFA Design Criticism, School of Visual Arts, http://dcrit.sva.edu
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When & Where

Visual Arts Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)

New York, NY 10011

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 from 12:30 PM to 7:00 PM (EDT)

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MFA Design Criticism, School of Visual Arts, http://dcrit.sva.edu

SVA MFA Design Criticism Department

136 West 21 Street, Second Floor (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues)
Subway: F, V at 23rd Street; 1 at 23rd Street

The SVA MFA in Design Criticism is a pioneering two-year graduate program that trains students to research, analyze, and evaluate design and its social and environmental implications. Students study with some of the best design writers and thinkers of our time, including MoMA’s senior curator of Architecture and Design Paola Antonelli, Design Observer blogger Alexandra Lange, and New York Times critic Phil Patton. They learn how to curate an exhibition, produce a radio segment, launch a blog, edit a publication, host a lecture series, and stage a major conference. 

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City is an established leader and innovator in the education of artists. From its inception in 1947, the faculty has been comprised of professionals working in the arts and art-related fields. SVA provides an environment that nurtures creativity, inventiveness and experimentation, enabling students to develop a strong sense of identity and a clear direction of purpose.

On Tuesday evenings at D-Crit we present lectures by the most thoughtful and provocative writers, editors, designers, and curators practicing today in the interrelated fields of design, architecture and urban planning. Selected to supplement our curriculum with their original methods and alternative viewpoints, these speakers inspire and challenge our students. Our students, in turn, through the discussion they lead, help illuminate the concerns and priorities of design criticism today. 

Please contact us for a tour and more information at dcrit@sva.edu. 

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Eventually Everything: The 2012 D-Crit Conference
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