Art Center College of Design plans to celebrate the new year with a continuation of its inquiry into the theme of “made up” worlds. The result will be a public exhibition and lecture series, curated and designed by Media Design Program faculty member Tim Durfee, scheduled to begin in January.
“In a world where media creates pervasive, multiple realities and where the fast pace of economic, environmental, and technological developments increasingly orient us toward an inherently unknowable future—a generation of designers and architects are turning to fiction for answers and inspiration,” said Tim Durfee, curator, designer and director of the MADE UP project. “The MADE UP exhibition is intended to serve as a window into the uses of fiction by contemporary practitioners of design.”
“The inspiration for MADE UP originated in work created in our program that pointed toward emerging trends in art, architecture, and design worldwide,” added Anne Burdick, chair of the Graduate Media Design Program. “Through a research residency, an eclectic exhibition, panel discussions, readings, screenings, and a publication, MADE UP considers the relevance of speculation, role-playing, idealism, skepticism, and simple lying as instruments or objects of design process.”
About the MADE UP Exhibition
“We are imagining worlds for technologies not yet available, in a present splintered by multiple realities, inspired by futures promised but unfulfilled” said Durfee.
The exhibition Durfee designed will be installed in the Wind Tunnel Gallery on Art Center's South Campus and divided into six sub-themes:
· “As If: Alternate Realities” explores the uses of role playing and fictional histories in design. Contributors to this section include: Noam Toran, a London-based conceptual designer who creates real props for imagined scenarios, and the Brooklyn-based design-office Commonwealth, whose projects include other-worldly head-pieces produced in collaboration with film director Timothy Saccenti.
· “Get Real: Projections and Scenarios” looks at productive and provocative modes of speculative practice, including corporate visioning videos from the promotional to the satirical.
· “Faking It: Larks and Lies” considers the use of design as a unique medium for humor and critique, and includes work by Maywa Denki, MOS, and writer/designer/artist alter-ego Dexter Sinister.
· “In Your Dreams: The Fantastic” looks at the influence and effect of dreams and fantasy in a diversity of work – from the cyber-baroque of Hernan Diaz Alonzo to the sunny mash-ups of graphic designer Juliette Bellocq.
· “Made Belief: Building Ideas” looks at objects, media, and spaces that exist as non-verbal embodiments of ideology, including visionary utopias and dystopias. Diverse examples of political design range from the work of Dutch designers Metahaven to that of visionary architect Lebbeus Woods.
· “Un-Unreal: The Incredible Everyday” returns the visitor to the here and now, but with new eyes for recognizing the remarkable, strange and fantastic in familiar daily life. Featured in this section are the fashion designers Rodarte, and recent Royal College of Art graduate Andrew Friend, who creates devices to enable unforgettable—if somewhat perilous—encounters with the real world, such as a portable lightning-rod that produces a tiny brand on the arm of the owner.
About the MADE UP Lecture Series
The MADE UP exhibition will be complemented by a provocative lecture series. The first, pre-exhibition panel discussions (announced separately) are scheduled to begin in fall 2010. In 2011, Art Center invites the public to its South Campus Wind Tunnel Gallery at 950 South Raymond Avenue for:
· MADE UP Exhibition Opening , Lectures, and Discussion
Saturday, January 29
Lectures and discussion, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Exhibition Opening Reception, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Two of today's most influential people to combine design and fiction, science fiction author and Wired contributor Bruce Sterling and Fiona Raby, a partner in the London-based design firm Dunne + Raby, will join MADE UP curator Tim Durfee to ponder the possible reasons we are turning to fiction to not only inspire but facilitate the design of the near future.
· “LIES: An evening of readings and screenings,” co-presented with THE BIG CITY FORUM
Saturday, February 19
Readings and screenings, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Doors open 6:00 p.m.
Co-curated by MADE UP organizer Tim Durfee and Big City Forum, this very special evening will feature a radically eclectic and esteemed group of designers, artists and writers for whom writing or other narrative forms operate in a critical dialogue with visual practice. Confirmed participants include Michael Meredith, who will screen “Notes for Those Beginning the Discipline of Architecture,” and Tom Marble, who will read from “After The City, This,” in addition to Keith Mitnick, Alexandra Grant, Michael Joyce, Denise Gonzales Crisp, Janet Sarbanes and Zoe Crosher.
· “GET REAL: Conjuring the Future”
Friday, March 11
Panel discussion, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Reception, 5:00-7:00 pm
This panel will consider how speculation and storytelling can be used to influence thinking within policy making, cultural criticism, and corporate futuring. The presentations will range from fantastical lifestyle videos to idiosyncratic props and probes used to prompt debate. The panel will include Jason Tester, research & design manager at the Institute for the Future and Ian Sands, Director of Envisioning for Microsoft Office Labs.
“It is the responsibility of graduate programs in design to push the field in new directions. Our goal with the MADE UP series, both the exhibitions and the lectures, is to bring the work of our students and faculty into direct dialogue with the most daring work that we can find from around the world. In so doing, we hope to pose new questions and, frankly, change the way that designers think,” said Burdick.
“It is becoming increasingly necessary for art and design colleges to engage in this kind of critical culture building—both for our students and for the region. At Art Center, we are participants in the world around us, whether we are volunteering within our community or offering new ideas to the creative fields. Our goal is to lead by example,” said Dr. Lorne Buchman, president of Art Center College of Design.
All MADE UP events are free and open to the public. Normal hours of operation for the Wind Tunnel Galley are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. or by appointment.
About the Graduate Media Design Program
Art Center’s graduate program in Media Design offers a two- or three-year Master of Fine Arts curriculum that helps ambitious designers from a variety of backgrounds become design leaders and researchers in emerging fields. Graduate Media Design prepares designers for a world in which virtually anything—from a new material to a global network—may be the next medium or platform of communication.
About Art Center College of Design
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, Art Center College of Design is a global leader in art and design education and the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Art Center offers bachelor’s degrees in advertising, entertainment design, environmental design, film, fine art, graphic design, illustration, photography and imaging, product design and transportation design. A graduate program of study can lead to a master’s degree in art, broadcast cinema, industrial design and media design. The college also offers a series of programs for the general public, including Art Center at Night, its continuing studies program; Saturday High for high school students; Art Center for Kids for children in the fourth through eighth grades; and the Design-Based Learning program for K-12 educators.