Tag Archives: design

Exhibition: “An American Style: Global Sources for New York Textile and Fashion Design 1915–1928″

On View September 27, 2013–February 2, 2014

At the Bard Graduate Center, New York, NY

Walter Mitschke for H. R. Mallinson & Co. Drawing for “Zuni Tribe,” ca. 1927. Pencil and gouache on paper. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Gift of Robert and Joan Brancale, 2008.1950.35.

Walter Mitschke for H. R. Mallinson & Co. Drawing for “Zuni Tribe,” ca. 1927. Pencil and gouache on paper. Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Gift of Robert and Joan Brancale, 2008.1950.35.

By Ann Marguerite Tartsinis, Curator of the Exhibition

An American Style: Global Sources for New York Textile and Fashion Design, 1915-1928 examines the efforts of the American Museum of Natural History to educate and inspire New York textile and fashion designers during and after World War I. This remarkable exhibition features rare textiles and garments ranging from a 1920’s hand-batiked caftan-style dress and mass-market hand-blocked silks to Native American and other indigenous dress. Never-before-seen photographs, objects, and design manuals will be on view.

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Is it time for a new wheelchair access icon?

At the BBC an article discussing the growing movement to re-evaluate the significance of the wheelchair access icon. Critics and activists are proposing a symbol that is more dynamic, than the passive sitting person in the old icon. The Accessible Icon Project:

provides supplies and services to transform the old International Symbol of Access into an active, engaged image. We think visual representation matters. People with disabilities have a long history of being spoken for, of being rendered passive in decisions about their lives. The old icon, while a milestone in ADA history, displays that passivity: its arms and legs are drawn like mechanical parts, its posture is unnaturally erect, and its entire look is one that make the chair, not the person, important and visible. As people with disabilities of all kinds—not just chair users—create greater rights and opportunities for social, political, and cultural participation, we think cities should evolve their images of accessibility too.

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Why do you like your beer in a glass?

So why do we prefer to have our beer in glasses rather than in plastic cups? After all, plastic cups are much more practical: they don’t break, they are easily disposable, and they can’t be used to attack people. Beer glasses, however, do tend to break, they cannot be easily disposed of, and are often used to attack people (in the UK, for example, more than 5,000 are attacked with glasses every year , costing the health service more than £2bn).

So why then, do we keep using glass to drink beer?

The answer to this mystery can be found in Mark Miodownik‘s upcoming book, Stuff Matters. The book is not out yet, but you can read a great excerpt published in The Guardian a few days ago here.

Shiny, happy households: Formica turns 100

Laminate fever ... an advertisement for Formica from the 1950s. Photograph: Picture Post/Getty.

Laminate fever … an advertisement for Formica from the 1950s. Photograph: Picture Post/Getty.

By  (forwarded by Fiona McDonald)

The Guardian

It has lined the interiors of everything from greasy spoon cafes to luxury cruise liners, from hospital wards to train cabins – bringing a fusion of wipe-clean practicality and sleek modern style. And now Formica is celebrating its 100th birthday. The brave new seamless surface of the future is officially an antique.

While it may now be synonymous with the retro glamour of 1950s compact kitchens and roadside diners, the origins of the miracle material are much more mundane. Invented in Cincinnati in 1913 by engineers Daniel O’Conor and Herbert Faber, Formica laminate was designed to be an electrical insulator, to serve as a replacement for the silicate mineral mica – hence “for mica”. (The fact that formica was a pre-existing Latin word for a type of ant seems to have hampered the brand little.)

Formica originally consisted of layers of fabric bound together with resin; later, it was made with thick pieces of paper laminated with melamine. This tougher substance could resist heat and abrasion, while the paper opened up a wealth of possibilities for printing colours and patterns, which proved key to its success.

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CFP: STS Southern California Winter Retreat

Deadline: 15 December 2012

Dates: Friday February 22, Saturday February 23, and Sunday February 24

Location: Borrego Springs, Anza-Borrego Desert (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anza-Borrego_Desert), exact location TBA

Doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty from across California are invited to the inaugural Southern California Winter STS retreat. This retreat is designed for a select group of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty advance their research projects in the field of STS, broadly defined, and in so doing to advance an emergent set of problematics and topical foci in STS itself. The emphasis will be on intellectual play. It is not intended to be a training workshop, and graduate students will be expected to participate in the same manner as other participants. Collectively, we will explore each others’ topics through a series of focused discussions as well as small-group engagements with the Anza-Borrego environment. It is not expected that participants necessarily be interested in the study of desert ecosystems, etc.; we will use the local context to stimulate new ways of thinking that we can apply to our own research projects.

STS is to be taken here as an umbrella rather than a fence: work in cognate disciplines (informatics, anthropology, design, etc.) that deploys and engages with STS work is considered part of the mix. We will bring together up to 30 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty for this three-day retreat. There will be two foci: (1) identifying and exploring common interests through two “spotlight” sessions; and (2) exploring these themes through teams exploring the local area. Accommodation for all will be covered; travel will be covered in exceptional circumstances for students. A registration fee of $100 is required. Since space is limited, there will be a selection process: please send a CV and a one-page statement of interest to steveslota@gmail.com by December 15, 2012. The statement of interest should briefly address the research in progress that you would like to further through participation in the workshop. Those selected to participate in the workshop will be notified by January 1. They will be expected to circulate a two-page description of a current or prospective project by February 1.

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CODE – A Media, Games and Art Conference

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, 21-23 November 2012

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Jussi Parikka – Reader, Winchester School of Art
Christian McCrea – Program Director for Games, RMIT University
Anna Munster – Associate Professor at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW

DESCRIPTION

Code can be defined in two distinct but related ways: as an underlying technological process, a set of rules and instructions governing, for instance, the permutations of all those 0s and 1s obscured behind user interfaces, but also as a cultural framework navigated and understood socially and performatively, as is the case with legal, social and behavioural codes. As an operative principle, code’s significance thus extends far deeper than its current digital manifestation. For this conference, we invite submissions of papers and creative works that consider the role of code as a simultaneously material and semiotic force that operates across the wider cultural, social and political field, with particular emphasis on media, games and art.

Code is the invisible force at the heart of contemporary media and games, routinely obscured by the gadget fetish of breathless tech marketing and scholarly focus on more visible social and technical interfaces. With the recent material turn in media studies and the refinement of new approaches including software studies and platform politics, which emphasise interrogating the formal characteristics and underlying technical architecture of contemporary media, the time has come to bring code out into the open.

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Experiments in (and out of) the studio: Art and Design Methods for Science and Technology Studies

Tuesday October 16th, 2012
10:30AM-5:30PM

Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen

The organizers invite participation in an interdisciplinary one-day hands-on workshop on emerging methods of critical practice in science and technology studies, in particular methods that engage with art and design as well as performance and exhibition. Ultimately, we aim to refine our understanding and also intervene in the way that objects can stimulate and embody critique in STS.

If you are interested in participating, please send a brief (3-5 sentences) expression of interest and a short 250-word bio or CV to Dehlia Hannah dh2058@columbia.edu by October 8th at 5pm EST. Please put ‘Pre-EASST Workshop’ in the subject heading.
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