The coming weeks will see plenty of student exhibitions as graduating classes the world over complete their degrees and enter (or re-enter) the professional world. SVA's Design Criticism is no exception, and in two short years, the annual conference has become a highlight of the ever-growing NYC design event calendar. At once a celebration of the MFA candidates' myriad interests and the culmination of two years of coursework and research, the 2012 Conference takes the theme of "Eventually Everything," moderated by Change Observer co-editor Julie Lasky.
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 Partners principal 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.
The full agenda is as follows; each panel consists of brief keynote and student presentations followed by a group discussion:
Eventually Everything: The 2012 D-Crit Conference
Wednesday, May 2, 12:30-7:00 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Register at dcrit.eventbrite.com
Panel 1: Calculated Nostalgia Keynote Panelist: Stuart Ewen Anna Kealey, Unpacking the Pastoral Food Package: Myth-Making in Graphic Design Ann Weiser, Main Street, USA and the Power of Myth Katya Mezhibovskaya, Collection/Recollection: On the Place and Meaning of Nostalgia in Home Merchandising and the Domestic Interior
Panel 2: Working/Not Working Keynote Panelist: Daniel D'Oca Derrick Mead, Designing for Repair: Things can be Fixed Erin Routson, Towers to Town Homes: Public Housing, Policy, and Design in the US
Panel 3: Speaking Surfaces Keynote Panelist: Michael Bierut Keynote Panelist: Michael Rock Cheryl Yau, Intrinsic Expressions: Uncovering the Performativity of Figurative Typography Julia van den Hout, Patterns of Ornament: Technology and Theory in Contemporary Architectural Decoration
Panel 4: Man, Machine, Morality Keynote Panelist: Jeffrey Schnapp Amna Siddiqui, Whiz Kids: Exploring New Definitions of Touch Through Intelligent Play Tara Gupta, Honed/Toned: A Critique of Fitness Culture Barbara Eldredge, Missing the Modern Gun: Object Ethics in Collections of Design
At least a couple of those names might be familiar to longtime readers: former Design Awards intern Barbara Eldredge covered the SHOT Show for us earlier this year and we're fans of Julia van den Hout & co.'s CLOG.
Check out videos from last year's conference, "Present Tense," here. Even if you're not going to make it to check out their super nifty website to find out more about the program and the next generation of design writers, critics and curators.
In the meantime, stay tuned for a short series of previews—we were glad to have the opportunity to hear from Molly Heintz, Avinash Rajagopal and Vera Sacchetti last year—and we'll be posting Q&As with some of this year's grads shortly.