Walker Art Center

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Ellen Lupton, Baltimore



Ellen Lupton’s prolific career spans the realms of design practice, education, criticism, and curating, and is specifically aimed at bringing design awareness to a broader audience. She directs the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, where she also serves as director of the Center for Design Thinking. As curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum since 1992, Lupton has organized numerous exhibitions, including the National Design Triennial (2000, 2003, 2006), Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office (1993), Mixing Messages: Graphic Design and Contemporary Culture (1996), Letters from the Avant-Garde (1996), Graphic Design in the Mechanical Age (1999), and Skin: Surface, Substance + Design (2002). In addition to the robust catalogues that accompany these shows, she has written and co-authored the best-selling books Thinking with Type (2004), D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself (2006), D.I.Y. Kids (2007), and most recently Graphic Design: The New Basics (2008). With J. Abbott Miller, Lupton’s essays on design and culture were published in Design Writing Research (1996). Her writing has been featured in magazines such as Print, Eye, I.D., and Metropolis. She has a regular column, “The El Word,” in Readymade magazine and her editorial illustrations have been published in the New York Times. Lupton is a 2007 recipient of the AIGA Gold Medal, the profession’s highest honor.

Part of Avant la lettre: Insights 2009 Design Lecture Series.