Daily Features

Reserve Your Seats for Designers & Books Festival: Onstage & Offstage, Saturday, November 12

Tickets for guaranteed seats at programs are now available for $10. Visit our bookstand, offering a wide variety of design books.

By Steve Kroeter and Stephanie Salomon October 21, 2016

Get set for Designers & Books Festival: Onstage & Offstage — a daylong series of programs, panels, and discussions that celebrate the special relationship that exists between the design and creative communities and books. Design books will be for sale, too!

WHEN: Saturday, November 12, 2016
Programs: 11:00 AM–6:30 PM
Bookstand: 10:30 AM–7:00 PM

WHERE: Fashion Institute of Technology
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
227 W. 27th St. (at Seventh Ave.)
New York, NY 10011

Programs are FREE and open to the public. Seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis; guarantee a seat for $10; clicking on the program title below will take you to to the ticket order form on EventBrite (for detailed descriptions, scroll down).

The onstage host for the day is Steven Heller, co-founder and co-chair, the School of Visual Arts Design/Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, and author or editor of more than 170 books. McNally Jackson is the official event bookseller; access to the McNally Jackson bookstand at the Festival is also free and open to the public.

“Onstage” refers to the formal programming (four panel discussions, described below). “Offstage” is an informal seating area near the McNally Jackson shop that offers an opportunity for people to meet and engage in conversations about design, authorship, and publishing —with books as the catalyst. At the conclusion of each “onstage” program, the moderators and panelists will gather with audience members to chat, and answer questions not covered in the Q&A sessions. 

McNally Jackson will be operating a bookstand located in the lower rear lobby space of the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre offering a wide range of curated design titles — many in the $20–$40 range.  It is open throughout the day, from 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM. Eventbrite (reserved) ticket holders and students are eligible to receive a 20% off coupon redeemable at the McNally Jackson store at 52 Prince St. after the Festival.

Special activities offstage at the bookstand include a chance to win a free tour of the Design Library in Wappinger’s Falls, conducted by Peter Koepke, owner and director of the library. Up to five of the winner’s friends may come on the tour, which must be scheduled directly with the Design Library. The winner and his/her friends are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Design Library (either by car or Metro North). To enter this drawing, purchase Peter Koepke’s Patterns: Inside the Design Library (Phaidon) at any time during the Fair.

In addition, Letterform’s Rob Saunders will personally show examples from his rare book collection of graphic design masterpieces, including a copy of the original 1927 Depero Futurista (known as The Bolted Book; funding for a new facsimile edition of this book is currently being raised on a Designers & Books Kickstarter).



11:00 AM: Opening introductions and panel

Exploring the World of Design Archives as Creative Inspiration
Archives hold materials that show process and also end result—and in this way, they are critical spaces for knowledge building and creative inspiration. This panel will discuss those important functions as well as what designers should know about preserving their materials.

Left to right: David Senior, Peter Koepke, Lauren Miller Walsh, Tamsen Young, Alexander Tochilovsky

 - Moderator
: David Senior: Senior bibliographer at the Museum of Modern Art Library
 - Participants

  • Peter Koepke: Owner/director of the Design Library; author of Patterns: Inside the Design Library
  • Lauren Miller Walsh: Art and design archivist, bibliographic expert, and manager, Glenn Horowitz Bookseller
  • Tamsen Young: Museum Digital Media and Strategic Initiatives Manager, The Museum at FIT
  • Alexander Tochilovsky: Associate professor, the Cooper Union; curator, Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography

David Senior is the Senior Bibliographer at the Museum of Modern Art Library, where he manages collection development, including the library’s artists’ books collection. He lectures often on the history of artists’ publications and contemporary art and design publishing. He has also curated exhibitions of MoMA Library materials, including: THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY (2016); Ray Johnson Designs (2014); Please Come to the Show (2013); Millennium Magazines (2012); and Access to Tools: Publications from the Whole Earth Catalog, 1968­74 (2011). His current show, Back in Time with Time-Based Works: Artists’ Books at Franklin Furnace, 1976­1980, is on view at MoMA until January 8, 2017.  Please Come to the Show, a book documenting Senior’s exhibition of artists’ invitations and show flyers from the MoMA Library, was published by Occasional Papers in 2014. He organizes a regular program of events for Printed Matter's New York Art Book Fair and the LA Art Book Fair called the Classroom. He is currently preparing an exhibition of the Foksal Gallery archive at the James Gallery at CUNY Graduate Center to celebrate the Warsaw-based gallery’s 50th anniversary. Senior serves on the board of directors of Primary Information and Yale Union.

Peter Koepke is Owner/Director of the Design Library. He joined the company in 1990 after 15 years as a collector and dealer of South American art. He created seminal art collections in the 1970s and 80s for museums, universities, corporations, and individuals throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Peter now travels extensively in search of coveted collections to expand the Design Library’s archives. His curatorial expertise and connoisseurship have helped to create a leading design establishment.

Lauren Miller Walsh is the art and design specialist at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in New York, where she represents a wide range of creative professionals‹artists, designers, architects, photographers, and authors‹in the sale of their archives to research institutions worldwide. She received her Master’s in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt, and for many years prior was a practicing graphic designer.

Tamsen Young is head of the Department of Museum Digital Media & Strategic Initiatives for The Museum at FIT where she manages web development, online collections, video production, in-gallery media, digital marketing, and social media engagement. In 2014, the online presence for the exhibition A Queer History of Fashion won an American Alliance of Museums Silver Muse Award in recognition of the highest standards of excellence in the use of media & technology for Digital Communities. Recently, Tamsen was keynote speaker at the Digital Fashion Futures conference organized at MoMU by Europeana Fashion and presented at the Museum Computer Network conference.

Alexander Tochilovsky is a graphic designer, typographer, curator, and educator. He graduated with a BFA from The Cooper Union, and holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is currently the Curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, an archive dedicated to preserving an extensive collection of graphic design ephemera. In 2009 he co-curated the exhibition Lubalin Now, and since 2010 he has curated six other exhibitions: Appetite (2010), Pharma (2011), Type@Cooper (2012), Image of the Studio (2013), Thirty (2015), and Swiss Style Now (2016). Since 2007 he has taught typography and design at the Cooper Union School of Art, and also teaches the history of typeface design at Type@Cooper, the postgraduate certificate program he co-founded in 2010.

1:00–2:30 PM: Panel
W.A. Dwiggins, A Life in Design: A Sneak Preview
The author and publisher discuss the forthcoming biography of the man who coined the term “graphic designer.” The book encompasses 1,200 illustrations; 480 pages; 40 years of collecting; 13 years of research.

Left to right: Steven Heller, Rob Saunders, Bruce Kennett

 - ModeratorSteven Heller: Co-founder and co-chair, the School of Visual Arts Design/Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program
 - Participants 

  • Rob Saunders: Founder of Letterform Archive and publisher of W.A. Dwiggins, A Life in Design
  • Bruce Kennett: Designer, photographer, and author of W.A. Dwiggins, A Life in Design

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Design / Designer as Author+ Entrepreneur program. He is the author or editor of more than 70 books on design and popular culture. His most recent  books are The Graphic Design Idea Book and The Typography Idea Book (Laurence King). Heller’s forthcoming book is Rants & Raves (Allworth Press) and he is currently co-authoring (with Greg D’Onofrio) The Moderns (Abrams).

Rob Saunders is a designer, teacher, publisher, and management consultant with a lifelong interest in the letter arts. He began his career teaching at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Tufts University, while serving freelance clients and agencies, before founding a book publishing enterprise that included Alphabet Press (graphic design), Picture Book Studio (children’s books), and Rabbit Ears Books (book/audio packages), which was eventually acquired by Simon & Schuster. Prior to founding Letterform Archive he served as a creative and marketing consultant with clients in the hospitality, technology, and financial industries. Rob is currently the Curator & Publisher of Letterform Archive.

Book designer, photographer, and teacher Bruce Kennett is based in New England. He has collected the work of W. A. Dwiggins since 1972, and has been writing and lecturing about him since 1980; his articles about Dwiggins have appeared in Parenthesis and Alphabet. Kennett studied calligraphy and book design in Austria with Friedrich Neugebauer and later translated Neugebauer’s The Mystic Art of Written Forms. During the 1980s, he was the managing director of Maine’s renowned Anthoensen Press, and since then has maintained his own studio with clients that have ranged from the Folger Shakespeare Library, Boston College Law School, and the Grolier Club to L.L. Bean and the Mount Washington Observatory. His projects include the design of illustrated books and exhibition graphics and large-scale murals of his photographs. Kennett is a member of Boston’s Society of Printers, the Typophiles, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Although he has co-edited several books, this is his first major work as author. His studio is located in two rural settings, one in New Hampshire and the other in Vermont, where he lives with his partner, Sylvia Davatz, an organic gardener and seedsaver.

3:00–4:30 PM: Panel
Back from the Dead: The New Popularity of Facsimiles of Out-of-Print Books

Recently there have been several facsimiles of design books from the past that have received major attention; more are on the way. This panel looks at the increasing popularity and importance of facsimile editions of high-profile, out-of-print design books.

Left to right: Julie Lasky, Paul Wagner, Steven Heller, Jeffrey Ladd, Esther K Smith

 - ModeratorJulie Lasky: Design journalist, editor, and critic
 - Participants 

  • Paul Wagner: Design director at Princeton Architectural Press
  • Steven Heller: Co-founder and co-chair, the School of Visual Arts Design/Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program
  • Jeffrey Ladd: A founder of Errata Editions
  • Esther K Smith: Artistic director of Purgatory Pie Press; author, book designer

Julie Lasky is a journalist, editor and critic best known for her writings on design and culture. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and many other publications From 2012 to 2015, she was the deputy editor of the New York Times’ weekly “Home” section, for which she wrote a monthly column on new design called “The Details.” Prior to that, she was editor of Change Observer, a Rockefeller Foundation-funded channel of the critically acclaimed website Design Observer that focused on design and social innovation. From 2002 to 2009, she was editor-in-chief of I.D., the magazine of international product design. From 1998 to 2001, she edited Interiors magazine. She began her journalism career at Print, the graphic arts bimonthly.

Paul Wagner is the Design Director at Princeton Architectural Press, New York, a world leader in art, architecture, and design publishing. The company specializes in books and stationery products that in subject matter and design defy easy categorization. In addition to his position at PAPress, Paul works as a freelance graphic designer on books, catalogues, and identities within the arts and cultural sector.

Steven Heller: (see bio under 1:00 PM).

Jeffrey Ladd is an American photographer born in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania in 1968. His photographs have been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, Oklahoma City Musuem of Art, International Center of Photography, Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute, Museum of the City of New York among others. He splits his time between photographing and writing about photography. Ladd is one of the founders of Errata Editions, an independent publishing company whose Books on Books series is widely recognized for its scholarship into rare and out-of-print photobooks. He is currently based in Köln, Germany.

Esther K Smith, author of How to Make Books and other book-arts books, is artistic director at Purgatory Pie Press where she makes limited editions and artists’ books with founder Dikko Faust who hand-sets wood and metal type. They also collaborate with other artists and writers. Their works are in museum collections all over the world, including MoMA, Cooper Hewitt, Newberry Library, and London's Tate Modern. Exhibitions include The Metropolitan Museum and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Esther K. Smith first saw Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders &c. in Chicago at the Newberry Library and brought it to Rizzoli. She is editor & book designer of a reprint of the book (by Rizzoli, spring 2017), which is the first time this 1874 book has been available to the public.

5:00–6:30 PM: Panel
The Next Generation: The New Designers Who Are Creating & Publishing Books

This program will explore the increasingly important trend of designers being involved in and actively taking control of the design-book publication process.

Left to right: Molly Heintz, Kyle May,  Adam Michaels, Jason Long, Brad Smith

 - Moderator, Molly Heintz: Chair of the graduate program in Design Research, Writing & Criticism at the School of Visual Arts
 - Participants 

  • Kyle May: Architect, Editor in Chief of CLOG
  • Adam Michaels: Co-founder of Project Projects and founder of Inventory Press
  • Jason Long: Partner at OMA/AMO
  • Brad Smith: Founder and CEO of Wayward Wild

Molly Fulghum Heintz the chair of the graduate program in Design Research, Writing & Criticism at the School of Visual Arts and the co-founder of the editorial consultancy Superscript. As Superscript’s managing director, she has collaborated on strategy, research, and writing projects for a range of design organizations and institutions, including Pentagram, the Museum of Modern Art, and frog design, in addition to producing programming for the Museum of Arts and Design, 2014 Venice Architectural Biennale, and the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale. Prior to Superscript, Heintz led communications departments at the architecture firms Gensler and Rockwell Group and was a fellow at the Philip Johnson Glass House, where she helped launch the interactive site “Glass House Conversations.” She holds BAs in Classics and Archaeology from Duke University, an MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts, and an MA in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, where her PhD research focuses on narratives attached design objects. Heintz has edited multiple books and magazines and served as op-ed editor for Co.Design/Fast Company magazine and as managing editor for The Architect’s Newspaper, where she remains a contributing editor. Her writing has also appeared in Design Observer, The Art Newspaper, AIGA Voice, and Studies in the Decorative Arts, among other publications.

Kyle May is a practicing registered architect and critic in New York City. His practice is based on a methodology of generative criticism ­ finding opportunities within under-studied conventions. He has taught, lectured, and been a visiting critic at numerous national and international universities, such as Harvard, MIT, Yale, and Princeton. He co-founded CLOG in 2011, where he is the Editor-in-Chief. Alongside the fourteen CLOG issues published thus far, Kyle has organized events and lectures in New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago, and Venice. He recently co-curated the traveling exhibition 5x5:Participatory Provocations in Illinois, Ohio, and Rhode Island, and co-curated New Views: The Rendered Image in Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago. With Julia van den Hout, he is a 2014 Graham Foundation grant recipient for their research on the modernist architect Wallace Harrison.

Adam Michaels is co-founder of design studio Project Projects and founder of Inventory Press. As a designer, editor, and publisher, his work spans and synthesizes form and content, with a focus on book design and typography. Among numerous accolades, Project Projects received the 2016 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Communication Design. Inventory Press publishes books on topics in art, architecture, design, and music, with an emphasis on subcultures, minor histories, and the sociopolitical aspects of material culture. Michaels is co-author of The Electric Information Age Book: McLuhan/Agel/Fiore and the Experimental Paperback.

Jason Long is a partner at OMA, based out of the New York Office. Since joining the firm in 2003, Jason has been involved in OMA’s architecture and urbanism practice and its think tank, AMO. He has contributed to numerous AMO publications that analyzed OMA’s architectural work within their larger political and cultural contexts, including Post-Occupancy (Domus, 2006) and Content (Taschen, 2004) for which he served as associate editor. In addition to these publications, Jason contributed to branding, identity, and strategy systems for clients including the European Union, the 2010 Shanghai Expo, and the Beijing Planning Bureau. 

Jason has brought a research-driven, interdisciplinary approach to a wide range of OMA’s projects internationally. From concept design to completion, Jason served as the project manager for a new national museum in Quebec City and the Faena Forum, a multi-purpose venue in Miami, as well as the concept design of the Marina Abramovic Institute in upstate New York and the Miami Beach Convention Center District. He has also worked on a range of workplace buildings including New Court Rothschild Bank in London, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Headquarters in China, and Milstein Hall, an extension to the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. Currently, he is leading three distinct urban planning projects in Washington DC that provide an innovative approach to recreation, public health and equitable development at varying scales: the 11th Street Bridge Park, an elevated public park; a sport and recreation masterplan for the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus; and a streetscape design for Events DC, the city’s official convention and sports authority. His regional expertise also extends to California, where he is engaged with a high-rise tower in San Francisco’s Transbay district, a mixed-used development in Santa Monica, and a new programmed park for Downtown Los Angeles.

Brad Smith is an entrepreneur, brand expert, and professional daydreamer who works and plays on the island of Manhattan, NYC. Brad is the Founder & CEO of Wayward Wild, a publishing studio and content incubator redefining what’s possible for independent brands. He is also publisher of Wayward Wild’s flagship, The Great Discontent. Once upon a time, he was the co-founder and CEO of Virb (2007–2013), a DIY website builder for creatives which was acquired by GoDaddy in late 2013. He was also the founder of Neubix Studios (2001–2006), a design and branding studio which he thinks about often. Brad is survived by a pair of running shoes, a novel he never published, and more Post-it™ pads than any human should ever own.

This event is a co-production of Designers & Books and the Fashion Institute of Technology. The event hosts are Steve Kroeter, editor in chief of Designers & Books; NJ Bradeen, FIT Library Director; and Patrick Knisley, PhD
Dean of Liberal Arts, FIT.

For further information, contact:

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