The Architecture and Design department of the Museum of Modern Art is pleased to present the Talk to Me: A Symposium, a series of discussions and presentations by designers, thinkers and writers within and outside of the current exhibition.
...whether openly and actively or in subtle, subliminal ways, things talk to us, and whether tangible and intangible, and at all scales—from a spoon to the city, the government, and the Web, and from buildings to communities, social networks, systems, and artificial worlds—they communicate.
Aaron Straup Cope of Stamen Design. Prettymaps, Manhattan. 2010. Polymaps, Mapnik, and TileStache software. Photo Credit: Stamen Design, base map data. ©OpenStreetMap, CC-BY-SA
The event kicks off on the evening of Tuesday, October 18, with a keynote address by "our [Paola Antonelli & the Design Department's] idols, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich of WNYC's Radiolab, the famed radio show that celebrates curiosity and ingenuity, in complete and glorious disregard of prejudice and disciplinary boundaries."
Tweenbots by Kacie Kinzer
The following day sees a full itinerary of panel discussions, peppered with "Design Snippets" by some of the designers in the exhibition, starting with "Designing and Scriptwriting," an examination of "contemporary designers' need to move beyond the proverbial balance of form and function, beyond the infusion of meaning, and on to full-fledged scriptwriting. Since things communicate, designers have to learn to write the initial script that will let people develop and improvise the dialogue."
The Eyewriter by Zach Lieberman, James Powderly, Evan Roth, Chris Sugrue, TEMPT1 and Theo Watson
Next up, "Translating Worlds" explores the premise that "one of design's foremost directives is to bring technological breakthroughs [to a] understandable human scale and transform them into objects that we all can use. In other words... design [is] the interface of progress, the bridge between progress and humanity."
Invisible City by Wesley Grubbs and Mladen Balog
After lunch, "The Talkative City" takes on the role of communication in urban environments, specifically the designer's role in facilitating "clarity, civility and engagement."
Menstruation Machine by Sputniko!
The Symposium will culminate with "Xtreme Communication," a panel discussion with architect Bjarke Ingels, chef Marcus Samuelsson and design studio Sputniko! that will "celebrate the impulse and desire to transcend spoken or written words in order to connect with the world and with others at a deeper, more empathetic level."
The last talk, which will be moderated by curator Paola Antonelli herself, will be followed by a performance by Sputniko! and a closing reception in the MoMA Sculpture Garden.
See the full schedule—including links to more information on all of the esteemed speakers and moderators—here; tickets available here. We can't recommend the exhibition enough, so even if you can't make it to the symposium, try to make it to Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects at MoMA before it closes on November 7th!