On April 11th, Cameron Tonkinwise came to Products of Design to deliver his annual "closing" lecture to the MFA design students. In what has become a yearly ritual, Cameron brings an always-provocative and entertaining thesis—this time, in a critique of the holiest-of-holy design keystones—empathy. Cameron is the Director of Design Studies at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. Cameron has a background in philosophy; his dissertation concerned the educational philosophies of Martin Heidegger. Cameron continues to research what designers can learn from philosophies of making, material culture studies and sociologies of technology.
On May 6th, the third group of MFA Products of Design graduates presented their thesis projects at the SVA Theatre in New York City. Look for comprehensive project posts coming up, but for now please enjoy snapshots of the day!
As part of NYCxDesign, the students of the MFA in Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts present ACCESS LTD, a set of roving checkpoints that investigates the way access is granted and denied by design—based on where we’re from, what we look like, how we speak, and what we own. Embracing the international theme at the Wanted Design show, the students explore the way our national, cultural, and personal identities determine our opportunities—both locally and globally. Despite global common ground and interdependence, our differences continue to influence what rights and privileges we enjoy. Using the language and tropes of border control, the work invite guests visiting the Wanted Design exhibition to examine the role of design in granting or limiting an individual’s access to place, people, and prosperity.
Graduating students of SVA’s MFA in Products of Design present PARALLEL TIMES, an exhibition of artifacts developed through the varied lenses of extrapolated futures.
Guided by Sinclair Smith in the Product Futuring class, and employing the endangered vernacular of the newspaper, students constructed advertisements for a product accessory representing a utopian or dystopian future—envisioning a world to reach for or avoid. They then used the insights gleaned from these future accessories to refract backwards in time, designing critical products for the here-and-now within Raymond Loewy’s “most advanced, yet acceptable” framework.
Giorgia Lupi is an information designer. Her work in information visualization frequently crosses the divide between digital and print, exploring visual models and metaphors to represent rich data-driven stories. Her work challenges the impersonality that data might communicate, through engaging visual narratives able to connect numbers to what they stand for: knowledge, behaviors, people.
We invite you to attend the Masters Thesis showcase presentations of the 2016 graduating class of the MFA in Products of Design program. 20 graduating masters students will each present their year-long thesis work, comprised of research, artifacts, services, experiences, and platforms.
"During my first year at PoD, I've had the opportunity to be a part of the unofficial birthday committee, known simply as CMMTTEE. We try to do something special and personal for every member of the PoD family's birthdays—the scale of which can be anywhere between extravagant to intimate. This year, these parties have ranged from Escape Rooms to Historical Battle Reenactments, and it's been a rewarding experience to cater each experience to the individual, providing people with a little joy on their birthday."
WithU is a device-app pairing that helps encourage people to "keep working" by projecting a time-delayed live video image of them—"working"—on the wall in front of them. Designed by Ailun Sai, WithU grew out of a desire to increase her perseverance in completing her school work when working alone. Noticing that her motivation was greatly influenced by having others working around her, Ailun wanted to create a device to simulate this experience. The video feed that WithU projects acts as a kind of "mimic"—reminding you how hard you have been working and helping to build self-confidence.
MFA in Products of Design is proud to offer its Summer Desk Rental program. All proceeds go to supporting the program and its students. We are ideally located in the heart of Chelsea on 21st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, close to several subway stops. The location is a sun-drenched 7th floor, designed by andArchitects, and features great amenities.
Fear of public speaking is often cited as the most common phobia, outranking even the fear of death. As Jerry Seinfeld famously quipped, “That means that the average person at a funeral would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy!” At the same time, the ability to express oneself clearly and confidently in group settings is highly valued and admired. To confront this dilemma, designer Julia Lindpaintner created an application called Orator: karaoke for public speaking. Conceived as a way to make the art of oration accessible and entertaining, Orator gives people the opportunity to improve their own speaking by imitating great rhetoricians of the past and present.