articles »
photo gallery »
studio bullitts »
competitions »
discussions »
offsite »

calendar »
design jobs »
design firms »
design vendors »
design portfolios »
design schools »
software & tech »
materials »
design books »
how to »

contributors »
advertise »
newsletter »
contact us »


Copyright © 2004
Core77, Inc.

> archived articles      > write for core! be famous!

Core77 Discussion Board RoundTable
Moderator: Paola Antonelli

In some countries, like England, Japan, Italy, and Denmark, for instance, design is the subject of common dialogues and diatribes, discussed in mass publications and television and radio, and treated as a relevant subject of public interest.

In other countries, like the United States, however, the most cherished publications of record have on-staff critics for theater, cinema, architecture, advertising, and dance, but, heaven forbid, not a critic or a reporter covering industrial, graphic, or multimedia design regularly.

In some other countries still, all design that is not fashion or illustration is a big question mark in everybody's mind.

A truly unique and international panel of writers, designers, and editors is gathered here to discuss the role and position of design in the media, in an attempt to learn what we can all do to give our beloved field of action the stature that it deserves in popular culture.

Participants are:

Paola Antonelli (Moderator)
Kurt Andersen
Holly Brubach
Ralph Caplan
Beth Dickstein
Maria Helena Estrada
Lisa Gabor
Julie Lasky
Laurene Leon
Bruce Mau
John Seabrook
John Thackara
John Warwicker

While this month-long forum is for the invited participants only, your questions, comments, suggestions and complaints are appreciated. Please post them in the Articles Forum, or respond to

Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli is a Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design of The Museum of Modern Art. An architect by training, she has also worked as a writer (at Domus and Abitare, among others) and as an educator (UCLA School of Design, School of Visual Arts, and Harvard GSD). Her goal is to insistently promote design’s understanding, until its positive influence on the world is fully acknowledged. She is currently working on the exhibition Safe: Design Takes on Risk, scheduled for 2005, on a book about foods from all over the world as examples of outstanding design, and on trying to get a Boeing 747 into the collection of The Museum of Modern Art.

Kurt Andersen
Kurt Andersen, a novelist (Turn of the Century) and host of public radio's "Studio 360" program, was for eight years Time magazine's architecture and design critic, and later wrote a culture column for The New Yorker. He also co-founded Spy magazine, edited New York magazine, and is now overseeing the relaunch of Colors magazine.
Holly Brubach
Holly Brubach is an author, editor and design consultant based in New York and Milan.  Formerly the fashion critic for The New Yorker and Style Editor for The New York Times Magazine, she has also worked for Prada, the Ford Motor Company, Nike Europe, and Banana Republic, collaborating on product design and development and store design. She is currently Creative Director of Henry Birks & Sons in Canada and Mayors Jewelers in Florida, and a contributing writer at Architectural Digest
Ralph Caplan
A former editor of I.D., Ralph Caplan writes about design and other subjects for both professional and general publications. His books include By Design, Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors of the Hotel Louis IX and Other Object Lessons, to be published later this year in a revised edition by Fairchild Books, and Cracking the Whip, a collection of magazine essays. His column "Noah's Archives" runs irregularly in the AIGA's online journal VOICE.
Beth Dickstein
Beth Dickstein formed Beth Dickstein Enterprises, a New York marketing, media and strategic development firm, in 1996. Building upon her previous 10 years of experience as Executive Publisher of Metropolis—a leading and influential architecture, design and culture magazine—she has turned her inside knowledge of both design and media into an asset for her clients. Such clients have ranged from small, entrepreneurial firms to billion-dollar companies, and have included Nike, Birkenstock, Interface, The Terence Conran Shop, Kartell, Gensler, Carnegie, the Italian Trade Commission and George Little Management, the trade show management company that, among others, is responsible for the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. Ms. Dickstein lectured from 1992-1995 at the New York University graduate publishing program, and was previously a member of the board of trustees of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and The Fashion Group International. She is a frequent speaker on the subject of marketing design.
Maria Helena Estrada
Maria Helena Estrada has degrees in philosophy and journalism. A design critic, she publishes the Brazilian magazine ARC DESIGN, on design, architecture and culture.
More information can be found at
Lisa Gabor
Lisa Gabor has seen more than a few revolutions in her day. She started her career at Harper's Bazaar during the days when takeovers were king and Wall Street was a movie as well as a state of mind. After witnessing the collapse of three magazines that folded soon after the late 80s economic crash, she surfaced, along with capitalism, in Budapest, Hungary where she watched an organic kind of start-up fever push people into new ways of thinking about commerce. In New York in the early 90s as an editor at Mirabella and In Style, Gabor helped foment the celebrity style madness that made readers everywhere aware of everything from Gucci, Pucci and beyond. But while overseeing stories about Sharon Stone's wardrobe, Cindy Crawford's beauty tips and Versace's architectural excesses Gabor began to identify another revolution in the making. This one had to do with the changing culture of work—from the obsession with new business celebrities to the geeky glamour of the youthquake workplace. Among the tidal rush of new business magazines addressing the nuts, bolts and bytes of the New Economy, Gabor wondered where the style, emotion and humor was in tracking the mindset of this new revolution. The time was right for a magazine like fuse—until it wasn’t. Following the dotcom bust, Gabor returned to In Style where she is the editor of the magazine’s site,
Julie Lasky
Julie Lasky is editor-in-chief of I.D., the award-winning magazine of international design. Prior to that, she was editor-in-chief of Interiors magazine, which she led to several national honors. A widely published writer and critic, she has contributed to The New York Times, Metropolis, Dwell, Architecture, Slate, Surface, The National Scholar, and NPR, and she is the author of two books: Borrowed Design: Use and Abuse of Historical Form (written with Steven Heller) and Some People Can't Surf: The Graphic Design of Art Chantry. In 1995-96, she was a National Arts Journalism Program Fellow at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. In 1997, she won the Richard J. Margolis Award for nonfiction writing that demonstrates warmth, humor, and a concern for social issues. Lasky has lectured on design from Salt Lake City to Sarajevo. Since 2001, she has been an adjunct faculty member of the MFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts, where she teaches a magazine workshop.
Laurene Leon
Laurene Leon Boym was born in NYC. She earned a BFA from School of Visual Arts in 1984, and a MID from Pratt Institute in 1993. Prior to joining BOYM Partners Inc. she worked at Smart Design, Inc, and Carbone Smollan Associates. She was the Designer in Residence at Cooper Hewitt in 1993. In 1993, her work was included in the ground-breaking exhibition Mechanical Brides at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. She joined BOYM in 1994, bringing humor and fun to products and exhibitions. Laurene Leon Boym was a founder of Association of Women Industrial Designers (AWID) in 1992, co-curating Goddess In the Details in 1995 and running the organization between 1995/97. She has been a teacher of product design at Parsons School of Design since 1995, and is the mother of seven-year-old Bobby Boym.
Bruce Mau
Bruce Mau is one of the world’s foremost contemporary designers. Since founding the Toronto-based studio in 1985, Bruce Mau Design has gained international recognition for its expertise and innovation in identity articulation, research and conceptual programming, print design and production, environmental signage and wayfinding systems, and exhibition and product design. In recent years, studio output has extended to dance performances, video installations, and ventures into the fields of architecture, urban planning, landscape design and education.
John Seabrook
John Seabrook has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993. He is the author of Deeper: My Two-Year Odyssey in Cyberspace (Simon & Schuster, 1997) and Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing the Marketing of Culture (Knopf, 2000). His work has also appeared in Harper's, The Nation, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, and The Village Voice. He has taught narrative nonfiction writing at Princeton University and lives in New York City.
John Thackara
John Thackara is the Director of Doors of Perception (Doors) in Amsterdam. Founded as a conference in 1993, Doors connects together a worldwide network of visionary designers, thinkers, and grassroots innovators. They are inspired by a simple question: "we know what ICT and new technology can do, but what are they for?". To discuss this question, Doors organises scenarios, workshops and conferences in Europe and India ('DoorsEast'). Each event has a theme, such as 'speed', 'home', 'play', 'lighhtness' or 'flow'. A former journalist, John was the first Director (1993-1999) of the Netherlands Design Institute. He is a member of the Virtual Platform, a body which advises the Dutch government on cultural and innovation policy; he was on the start-up Steering Committee of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, in Italy (a new postgraduate graduate research centre sponsored by Telecom Italia and Olivetti); he is on the Scientific Committee of the Interactive Institute in Sweden; and he sits on expert groups advising the European Commission in its innovation policy. Among John's books are Design After Modernism (1987), Lost in space (1995) and Winners! How Successful Companies Innovate By Design (1997). His next one, In the bubble:designing in a complex world, will be published by MIT Press at the end of 2004.
John Warwicker
John Warwicker is co-founder of tomato, the multidisciplinary creative group based in London, with satellite operations in Kassel, New York, Stockholm, Sydney and Tokyo. Architectural design, book design, brand consultancy and design, drawing, electronic interactive media design and research, film and tv commercials direction and titles, graphic design, installations, photography, sound, strategy, talking, typography, writing. Tomato clients include; Adidas, Alberto Aspesi, Apollonaris, BBC, Canon,  Chanel, Channel 4, CNN, Coca-Cola, Dell, Federation Square, French Telecom, IBM, Intel, Kodak, Levi’s, L’Oreal, Microsoft, Miramax, Mitsubushi, Moderna Museet, MTV, Nescafe, Nike, NTT Data, Orange, Pacific Bell, Penguin Books, Pepsi-Cola, Philips, Reebok, Renault, Showtime, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Sony Viaonet, Telstra, Thomson Electronique, Toyota, VH-1, Vodaphone, Volkswagen, Wall Street Journal, Web MD.

> back to top

> back to core