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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Lunenfeld’

Peter Lunenfeld’s Future Speak

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We raved about him during the Schools of Thoughts conference back in March. We often peruse the Mediawork series of publications he edits for MIT. And we’re only slightly terrified to share the stage with him this Wednesday. Our friends in the Think Tank wrote to let us know that Peter Lunenfeld has written a full-length piece based on his thought-provoking presentation on futurism and design education. “Bespoke Futures” reminds us that designers are not only responsible for designing the future, but also overcoming a “vision deficit”:

In the 21st century, though, it’s not that we’re not thinking about the future, just that the future we’re thinking about is relentlessly grim. And if designers, who are trained to visualize, aren’t being trained to visualize a future they actually want to live in, why not?

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UnBeige Editor to Poison Minds at Art Center

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You would have thought word of our incendiary propaganda campaign would have reached the West Coast by now, but apparently this is not the case, since the lovely folk at Art Center have enlisted our public speaking services for next week.

“Worth 1000 Words: Writing About Design,” will take place Wednesday, June 27 at 7:30pm in that funky black building perched high above Pasadena, California. Petrula Vrontikis will moderate, and joining us is STEP editor Tom Biederbeck (for the second time that week) and Schools of Thoughts crowdpleaser Peter Lunenfeld, Professor, Media Design Program and Editorial Director, MIT Mediawork Series. And this lucky UnBeige editor has to follow that. We’re already sweatin’ bullets.

This event is free and open to the public, no RSVP required. It will be held at Art Center’s Los Angeles Times Media Center and in case you don’t know, here’s how to get there.

Allan Chochinov and Peter Lunenfeld–From the Future!

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The post-lunch spot of the Schools of Thoughts conference was occupied by the “pragmatic utopians” as foccacia bread chicken sandwiches settled in our bellies. Same deal as the Jens Gehlhaar-Somi Kim lineup. Two speakers, one question: Where is the discipline heading and in what contexts will graphic designers be working?

Allan Chochinov, editor of Core77 started with a confession. He has an ambivalent relationship with product design and is afraid of the internet. We don’t know if that’s true; he seems obssessed–or at least highly amused–with viral phenoms like FRONT design furniture, Flickr Camera Toss, iPod toilets, Idealist, and how they get inserted into culture.

Opening with a eulogy to Jean Baudrillard, Peter Lunenfeld talked about “bespoke futures,” tracing the roots of futuristic design. But what he doesn’t want to see is design students just getting trained to work for big global brands (“transnatcorp des-edu” as he calls it). Actually, he says, take on the future as a client and create bespoke solutions–handcrafted, custom futures.

Chochinov and Lunenfeld are a perfect sci-fi pairing, and a real crowd pleaser. Whether it’s a “useful future” or not, points out Chochinov, this attitude is critical for design education. Although some audience members take issue with the word “bespoke” for its economic connotations, we’re gonna go with Lunenfeld’s lovable-nerd brilliance on this one. We want a book.

Update: Ryan Gallagher writes to tell us about the Camera Toss blog, including the all-important “How To” which could also be named “How Not To Smash Your Camera.”