Good Water/Bad Water

This week I decided to wrap up the conversation of design and protest by introducing you to the design advocacy program Divining LA, orchestrated by my dear friends Hadley and Peter Arnold, founders of the Arid Lands institute. As we speak they are gaining ground on a capital campaign for Divining LA (vote here!) and…

What is the Physical Manifestation of Protest?

This is a question I ask students in the spring of every year at SVA. Recently a number of things have come across my desk that point to objects that speak to this question. An article in the Guardian and the very hip design blog DEZEEN have featured the provocative V&A exhibition Disobediant Objects and…

What I Saw on My Way to Ai Wei Wei

This past week I set out to see the Ai Wei Wei exhibition that has recently closed at the Brooklyn Museum. I thought that reviewing the show would get me closer to the answer to a question, Is there an aesthetics of protest? Since the Occupy Movement I have been searching for a vibe or…

Prelude to the Aesthetics of Protest

Last spring, a student of mine came to me about a project proposal for her assignment to design a “polite protest”. The student was mildly disdainful of her peers’ more prosaic ideas for the projects and came to me to see if she could, politely, protest the other students’ protests. Quite frankly she, as a…

Archive: Building Protest

In my SVA class, I am asking students to design a protest.  In order to explain what I meant by “making” a protest, I asked young designer Lee Gibson to come and explain his vibrant and complex exhibition design for the SearchUnderOccupy# exhibit at Parsons, which has just closed. Lee explained his rapid fire process-he…