8. Over the past 10-15 years we've seen the emergence of the "star" designer, creating one-off or conceptual products that have been sold in galleries and collected by museums while building their own names into a valuable brand in the process. Do you feel that these designers push design into unexplored territory or do you feel there are some negative side-effects for the profession at large to this elevation of the individual designer?
SK: Of course, I'm all for individual authorship. Design is now a fashion system. Young designers create couture contexts to get noticed. This has made the field much more interesting and created space for new kinds of authorship and new models of practice. The down side comes when design becomes a vulgar side show of young designers trying to out-spectacle each other with heavy-handed concepts. When branding eclipses actual design content, then It's dubious. Memphis predicted this. However, 'Design about Design' is here to stay and Cranbrook - being focused on authorship and making - should be a thought leader in this discussion. As an American school, we have to work harder than our Euro counterparts who have more advanced venues for young designers to show their work and get noticed.
9. As a curator and exhibition organizer, do you feel that the increased design awareness of the general public--through events such as Design Miami--has been a positive development for the design community?
SK: Design Miami has made design rarities collectible, like Art. Is awareness of Art a positive influence on the general public?
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.