Expand your understanding of design with the Insights Lecture Series, presenting leading designers from around the country. This year, hear Piotr Szyhalski discussing his powerful project created in response to the pandemic, design duo Morcos Key laying out their work with both companies and communities, Danielle Aubert on how her design practice influences her work as president of her local teacher’s union, and Tracy Ma on guiding the design of Frank Ocean’s luxury brand Homer. This year’s program takes advantage of our current digital reality with Zoom events and prerecorded videos. Copresented by the Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota.
Also, check out our archive of past Insights lectures.
Piotr Szyhalski / Labor Camp
Tue, Mar 1, 2022, 7 pm
“WE ARE WORKING ALL THE TIME.” This sentiment (which could be seen as a de facto motto for Piotr Szyhalski’s ongoing Labor Camp project) readily describes the breadth of his multidisciplinary practice. Focusing on issues of labor, communication, and the increasingly complex relationship between individuals and society, Szyhalski’s output ranges from poster design to decorative plates, multimedia sound installations to interactive web art, public actions to experimental music. His powerful project COVID-19: Labor Camp Report consists of 225 daily illustrations documenting his experience during the pandemic lockdown that also explore broader issues such as income inequality, voter suppression, and police violence. Szyhalski is a professor of design and media at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
This event will be held on YouTube Premier, streaming live from the Walker Cinema. The link to view will be available here the day of the presentation.
Tue, Mar 8, 2022, 7 pm
Morcos Key brings together two incredible perspectives—designers Jon Key and Wael Morcos—and represents a model for how a contemporary design studio can create vital work that gives visibility to underrepresented communities. The studio works with a variety of arts and cultural institutions, nonprofits, and companies in both North America and the Middle East, providing services as varied as brand strategy, Latin and Arabic type design, book design, and wayfinding, to name a few. Their clients include Nike, the Sharjah Triennial, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. In 2021, Morcos Key received the Black Design Visionaries Impact Grant, awarded by the Brooklyn Museum and Instagram to design businesses that offer “experimental expressions of Black culture and have a powerful vision for the future.”
This event will be held on Zoom; direct link to Zoom event will be available right here on March 8 at 6:30 pm
Mar 15, 2022, 7 pm
How can the craft of graphic design, often associated with beauty and style, help designers question the capitalist structures they inhabit? This is one of the questions posed by Danielle Aubert’s recent book The Detroit Printing Co-op: The Politics of the Joy of Printing. Focusing on design’s relationship to labor and the means of production, Aubert’s practice synthesizes research, writing, teaching, performance, and making. Her clients include Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Cranbrook Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. She is the president of the AAUP-AFT Local 6075 that represents the staff of Wayne State University, Detroit, where she is a professor of graphic design.
This event will be held on Zoom; direct link to Zoom event will be available right here on March 15 at 6:30 pm.
Tracy Ma / Homer
Mar 22, 2022, 7 pm
Tracy Ma’s trajectory has seen her at the epicenter of some of the most innovative publishing design initiatives of the past decade. During her time as the deputy creative director at Bloomberg Businessweek, she created graphically aggressive layouts that interpreted the written word with a surreal sense of humor. As assistant editor for the New York Times’ Styles section, she applied this sense of play to highly engaging digital content, working on a diverse range of projects such as an interactive guided-meditation article, a cyberspace gift guide, and the identity of an article series about Juneteenth. She is now heading up graphic design for Homer, pop-star Frank Ocean’s enigmatic luxury brand.
This event will be pre-recorded and presented on YouTube Premier, with a live comment/Q&A section. The link to view will be available here the day of the presentation.