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MICA Hosts AIGA Conference

Friday, Oct. 17-Sunday, Oct. 19

Posted 09.24.08 by MICA Media Relations

Social Studies

Maryland Institute College of Art's (MICA) design programs will host Social Studies: Educating Designers in a Connected World, the national design educators conference of the AIGA, Friday, Oct. 17-Sunday, Oct. 19 in Leidy Atrium and Falvey Hall, Brown Center, 1301 Mount Royal Ave. This relaxed and stimulating weekend of hands-on workshops and lively discussions with award-winning designers and critics will address the social life of design: how design educators are preparing students for a lifetime of working with and for other people and how students are connecting to the world.

Distinguished experts will serve as keynote speakers for the prestigious conference. They include National Design Award winner Scott Stowell, proprietor of New York-based Open; Mieke Gerritzen, global Internet activist, media theorist, designer, author, and filmmaker; Stefan Bucher, owner of Dailymonster.com and 344 Design; and design critic Steven Heller, a Visuals columnist for The New York Times Book Review, co-founder and co-chair of School of Visual Arts' MFA Designer as Author Program, and co-founder of its MFA Design Criticism program.

The national design educators' conference of the AIGA, the professional association for design, is co-chaired by MICA's world-renowned faculty members: Ellen Lupton, director of the College's Graphic Design MFA (GDMFA) program, curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and author of numerous books, including Thinking with Type; Jennifer Cole Phillips, associate director of the GDMFA program, co-author of Graphic Design: The New Basics with Lupton, and principal of J. Cole Phillips Design; and Brockett Horne, co-chair of undergraduate graphic design at MICA and member of AIGA Design Educators community steering committee.

Lupton, a 2007 recipient of the AIGA Gold Medal, also directs MICA's Center for Design Thinking, for which faculty and students collaborate on publications that educate the broader community about design issues and practices. The Center's newest publication, Indie Publishing: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book, will be released this month by MICA and Princeton Architectural Press. It was written and designed by GDMFA students and faculty.

The public is invited to a free opening night reception and Stowell's keynote address, sponsored by AIGA Baltimore, Friday, October 17 at 6 p.m. Stowell's design studio has worked with the PBS documentary series, Art:21, Bravo, Good magazine, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The New York Times, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Planet Green.

The rest of the conference requires pre-registration. Fees apply.

One of the fun highlights of Social Studies will be Saturday night's Pecha Kucha event. Pecha Kucha, which is Japanese for "the sound of conversation," is a forum in which creative work can be easily and informally shown. Beginning at 5:15 p.m., seven different artists, including Denise Gonzales Crisp, John Jennings, and Christopher Vice, will each present 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds.

MICA's graduate design faculty and graduate students will lead hands-on workshops as well as presentations that focus on the following topics: Basics-what constitutes visual literacy today and what's new in foundation teaching; Typography; Collaboration; Activism-how designers engage in social change and what educators are doing to help their students engage the community and the world; Sustainability; Authorship and Entrepreneurship; Craft and Making; Time and Interaction; Social Media as a tool for promoting, documenting, and analyzing work; and Entering the Profession. In addition, graduate students from various schools will report on what is happening in their MFA programs.

For more information, call 410-225-2300 or visit the conference Web site


Online registration fees are $75 for student AIGA members, $175 for AIGA members, and $225 for non-members; mail or fax registration fees are $100 for student members, $200 for members, and $250 for non-members. Registrations will be accepted through Friday, October 10. To register online, visit the conference Web site.

To register by mail, write: AIGA Conference Registration, 164 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. To register by fax, dial 212-807-1799.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.