Insights Design Lecture Series 2017
Tuesdays in March
Meme culture. Corporate structures. Typographic artistry. Local vernaculars. Post-truth politics. How do we navigate such disparate realities as designers? How do we create finite structures—small ecosystems—in which these ideas can sit side by side, both dependent on and independent of each other? The five designers featured in this year’s Insights lecture series lead practices that epitomize this challenge. We’ll take you inside the creative team of one of the world’s largest tech companies, through the looking glass with a color-blind illustrator, past the hand-painted signs of Manila, and behind the scenes at one of world’s most anarchic mainstream brands. The lineup features Google Design creative lead Rob Giampietro, illustrator Andy Rementer, social-practice design studio Office of Culture and Design/Hardworking Goodlooking, and editorial designer Richard Turley, currently at Wieden + Kennedy and formerly of Bloomberg Businessweek and MTV. Join us for five unique perspectives on the world through the lens of design. Copresented by the Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota.
If you can’t make it in person, please tune in to our live webcast on Facebook Live and participate through Twitter (#Insights2017). For educators, AIGA chapters, and anyone else who might want to throw their own viewing party, have a look at our Viewing Party Kit.
Rob Giampietro (Google Design)
March 7, 7 pm (tickets)
What can interaction designers learn from a stonecutter? How can design be understood as an act of translation? How might the Sapir Whorf hypothesis apply to content management systems? When must we learn to unbuild, instead of building? Designer and writer Rob Giampietro lives these questions, consistently drawing connections between disparate design fields over the course of his diverse career. In his current position as creative lead and design manager for Google Design (New York), Giampietro’s mission is to infuse an appreciation for design into Google’s culture, and by extension, the company’s billions of users. He and his team are responsible for communicating major Google design initiatives, such as Material Design (Google’s expansive interface program, inspired by tangible interactions with paper, light, layering, and movement) and Google Fonts (their open-source collection of digital typefaces).
Before joining Google, he spent much of his career inhabiting the art and culture sectors, designing for cultural institutions, and writing about design in both pragmatic and esoteric ways, often commissioned by independent visual culture journals such as Dot Dot Dot, Mousse Magazine, and Kaleidoscope. From 2010 through 2015, he was a principal partner at renowned New York design studio Project Projects, where he headed up many of the interactive initiatives; and between 2003 and 2008, he led his own firm, Giampietro+Smith, creating work for clients such as Knoll, Target, and others. For his Insights presentation, Giampietro will give us a glimpse into his idiosyncratic synthesis of design ideologies while offering a look into the evolving design culture at Google.
Andy Rementer (Illustrator)
March 14, 7 pm (tickets)
Andy Rementer is an illustrator and painter whose work has been featured in a number of high-profile brands and publications, from Apartamento magazine to the New York Times, Wired to Lacoste. Rementer honed his particular style while studying at Fabrica in Treviso, Italy. He has stated in interviews that his color-blindness inevitably brings him back to his frequently used bright hues, no matter how hard he tries to adopt a muted palette. This has become vital to his output—pastel and poppy color schemes camouflaging the prevalence of loneliness, isolation, and ambivalence in his work.
His projects often subvert or expand their intended format, whether a furniture catalogue masquerading as a comic book or a set of postage stamps that investigates the decidedly unepistolary phenomenon of online dating. Rementer will talk us through his practice and give us a glimpse into his collaborations with some of the world’s most celebrated brands.
Clara Balaguer & Kristian Henson (Office of Culture and Design/Hardworking Goodlooking)
March 21, 7 pm (tickets)
How can the act of publishing be democratized in developing countries? How can local vernaculars be celebrated in the face of globalized aesthetics? What is the cultural significance of EXTREME DROP SHADOWS? The Office of Culture and Design (OCD) is a studio based in Manila and led by artist Clara Balaguer. Running parallel to the OCD, Hardworking Goodlooking is a publishing and design practice she leads with designer Kristian Henson. Balaguer describes the OCD as “a social practice platform for artists, designers, writers and assorted projects in the developing world.” With their wide network of collaborators, Balaguer and Henson embrace contemporary art and design as necessary tools for progress with the hopes of affecting real change. This occurs by way of social innovation experiments, workshops, conferences, events, and feasts. Projects include product development initiatives designed to enhance the livelihoods of Filipino craftsmen as well as microgrants that they receive and redistribute. Frequently produced in cottage industry presses in the streets of Manila and utilizing the most DIY production values, Hardworking Goodlooking’s books embody the uncertain and insecure task that authors face when trying to self- publish critical content in the developing world.
They also lead book-making workshops in which they teach people how to edit, design, and print their own books in a week or less, using inexpensive and readily available tools. In their lecture, Balaguer and Henson will present case studies from their practice thus far, and discuss the fraught and fractured history of Filipino graphic design, which Balaguer recently wrote about in her essay titled “Tropico Vernacular” for Triple Canopy magazine.
Richard Turley (Wieden + Kennedy)
March 28, 7 pm (tickets)
Wherever Richard Turley goes, he finds a way to avoid playing by the rules. Best known as the art director who reimagined Bloomberg Businessweek magazine as an edgy, design-forward publication, Turley recently ended a stint as MTV’s first senior vice president of visual storytelling and deputy editorial director.
While at MTV Turley oversaw a horde of designers whose basic mission was to create “strategic anarchy,” personifying the corporation’s desire for self-critique and, in his words, “de-brand”-ing the network. The studio generated new TV idents and bumps on a daily basis, using whatever content they felt was appropriate as long as it was immediate and of the moment. Turley has described the approach as a form of social media, simply executed through the channel of a broadcast network. The segments range from abstract chaos to surreal mundanity, live social media conversations with viewers to bluntly worded statements directly responding to current events. In his new position as executive creative director of content and editorial design at Wieden + Kennedy, Turley will bring his unique talent for visualizing ideas to the world of branding.
Printing of the Insights 2017 poster courtesy the Avery Group at Shapco Printing, Minneapolis.