The Museum of Arts and Design will host a series of talks titled "The Home Front: New American Furniture" this Spring.
Guest curated by Surface magazine Editor in Chief Dan Rubenstein, the exhibition aims to give disparate voices—from architects and retailers to independent designers and educators—a chance to engage the public and shed light on the inner workings of an industry that often goes underappreciated.
Based on the notion that furniture reflects and influences popular culture and is a barometer of economic prosperity, the organizers point out that while other areas of American design culture remain competitive such as technology, architecture and fashion, the same is not true for contemporary furniture.
MAKING IT: Challenges Facing the American Designer takes place on Thursday, February 17. How do new designers overcome the odds, break into the industry, and stay there? How do they find studio space, someone local to produce their work, get noticed, and stay productive year after year? Journalist and author Jen Renzi will pen a series of columns for Fast Company’s design blog, Co.Design, profiling her heroes of American furniture design. Key talents from her coverage, including Alissia Melka-Teichroew, Jonah Takagi, and BDDW’s Tyler Hays, will join Renzi at MAD for a candid discussion of their success, half-starts, and even their poetic failures—and how others might learn from those experiences.
DRAFTED: The Evolving Role of Architects in Furniture Design takes place on Thursday, March 10. Like experienced chefs preferring their ingredients to come from local sources, architects would have the most to gain from a stronger American design scene. The Architect’s Newspaper’s Executive Editor Julie Iovine hosts a roundtable discussion and Q&A with top minds including Michael Graves, Calvin Tsao, Gisue Hariri and Jeffrey Bernett on their experiences, strategies and needs when it comes to making American design happen.
AFTER CLASS: The First Steps of the American Designer takes place on Thursday, March 24. Caught between a culture ambivalent on the values of design and a slowing economy, young designers face an enormous challenge post graduation. Moderated by Interior Design magazine editor Annie Block, designers Dror Benshetrit and Todd Bracher will join Pratt Institute Professor of Industrial Design Mark Goetz on how they navigated their own path to success. A portfolio review for students and alumni with the designers will follow.
American Design Club takes place on Thursday, April 21. The American Design Club (AmDC) is a loose collective of New York’s leading young design talent. In recent years, the group has executed self-financed events and exhibitions showcasing their highly creative and independent work. The AmDC will invite a group of their members to work in the museum’s open-to-the-public studios, highlighting their creative process by creating new work. An event in the auditorium will analyze the work created and displayed during this full-week period.
Talks will be held at the MAD Museum at 2 Columbus Circle in New York City. Admission is $12 ($10 for students and members). For more information, click here.