Walker Art Center

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Insights: Rob Giampietro, Google Design

Part of 2017 Insights Design Lecture Series

What can interaction designers learn from a stonecutter? How can design be understood as an act of translation? How might the Sapir Whorf hypothesis apply to content management systems? When must we learn to unbuild, instead of building? Designer and writer Rob Giampietro lives these questions, consistently drawing connections between disparate design fields over the course of his diverse career. In his current position as creative lead and design manager for Google Design (New York), Giampietro’s mission is to infuse an appreciation for design into Google’s culture, and by extension, the company’s billions of users. He and his team are responsible for communicating major Google design initiatives, such as Material Design (Google’s expansive interface program, inspired by tangible interactions with paper, light, layering, and movement) and Google Fonts (their open-source collection of digital typefaces).

Before joining Google, Giampietro spent much of his career inhabiting the art and culture sectors, designing for cultural institutions, and writing about design in both pragmatic and esoteric ways, often commissioned by independent visual culture journals such as Dot Dot Dot, Mousse Magazine, and Kaleidoscope. From 2010 through 2015, Rob was a Principal partner at renowned New York design studio Project Projects where he headed up many of their interactive initiatives; and between 2003 and 2008, he led his own firm, Giampietro+Smith, creating work for clients such as Knoll, Target, and others. For his Insights lecture, Giampietro will give us a glimpse into his idiosyncratic synthesis of design ideologies while offering a look into the evolving design culture at Google.

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