Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College

'Designer as Author' to be Malloy Lecture topic

April 11, 2010
Ellen Lupton

Graphic designer and author Ellen Lupton will deliver the annual Malloy Visiting Artist Lecture at Skidmore starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 22, in Gannett Auditorium. Her illustrated talk is titled "The Designer as Author."

Lupton, who has written more than a dozen books,is a passionate advocate of a "do-it-yourself" approach to both graphic design and authorship that has an earned her labels like "design zealot" and "communication designer extraordinaire." Her talk will explore aspects of her own work along withvarious models of authorship and what they can mean for designers working today. According to Lupton, she will also address "crimes against typography, the D.I.Y. revolution, how to publish your own book, how to make your own bed, and more."

"My big interest right now is the opening up of the design discourse to the broader public," Lupton has said. "We are seeing this everywhere. The Internet has given people access to more tools and more information. Over the past four years, blogging and other 'social media' have become especially powerful. At the same time, people are becoming more engaged with physical making - craft, knitting, D.I.Y. technologies. I am excited about bringing people - all kinds of people - into design."

Lupton divides her time between New York City, where she is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; and Baltimore, Md., where she is director of the master of fine arts program in graphic design at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Among the numerous exhibitions she has produced, along with their catalogues, are The Kitchen, the Bathroom, and the Aesthetics of Waste (1992 ; Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office (1993); and Skin: Surface, Substance + Design (2002). Her book Thinking with Type (2004) is a basic guide to typography directed at "everyone who works with words." D.I.Y. Kids (2007), co-authored with twin sister Julia Lupton, is a design book for children illustrated with kids' art. The twins' latest book is Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things (2009).

Lupton has also produced a series of books with her MICA graduate students, including D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (2006), Indie Publishing (2008), and Graphic Design: The New Basics. A contributor to various design magazines, including Print, Eye, I.D., and Metropolis, she is a 2007 recipient of the AIGA Gold Medal, one of the highest honors given to a graphic designer or design educator in the U.S. A frequent lecturer around the U.S. and the world, Lupton describes herself as someone who "will speak about design to anyone who will listen."

The Malloy Visiting Artist Lecture series annually brings to campus a distinguished contemporary artist of international stature. The series is endowed by artist Susan Rabinowitz Malloy, who earned a B.S. in art from Skidmore in 1945.

Related News

Skidmore News
“College campuses are one of the most significant defenders of the First Amendment in the United States today,” said Sigal R. Ben-Porath at the first in a series of events in the Community Dialogue Series at Skidmore College.
Sep 19 2018

Groups of faculty members and students will participate in storytelling workshops, culminating in a StorySLAM event on Sept. 30, which will be recorded for possible broadcast on a future episode of The Moth Radio Hour and The Moth Podcast.
Sep 17 2018

Even before stepping into classrooms on Sept. 5, members of Skidmore College’s Class of 2022 had already helped in Cambodian and Jamaican orphanages and worked on coral reef restoration.
Sep 11 2018