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Press Releases Insights Design Lecture Series Returns to the Walker Art Center in March 2014

Featuring Lance Wyman, Sara De Bondt, Martine Syms, and Henrik Nygren

MINNEAPOLIS, MN January 20 2014—The Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota present the Insights 2014 Design Lecture Series at the Walker on consecutive Tuesday evenings, March 4–25, featuring design legend Lance Wyman (New York), cultural designer Sara de Bondt (London), “conceptual entrepreneur” Martine Syms (Los Angeles), and Sweden’s premier graphic designer, Henrik Nygren (Stockholm). The yearly series, co-presented by the two organizations since it began in 1986, brings leading designers from around the world to the Walker to share the thinking, methods, and processes behind their work. The Insights lectures will be webcast live and archived on the Walker Channel. Past lectures featuring speakers such as Daniel Eatock, Irma Boom, Aaron Draplin, Job Wouters, and Experimental Jetset, are also available for viewing on the Walker’s website.

Insights 2014 Design Lecture Series
Tuesdays, March 4–25, 7pm
$24 ($18 Walker/AIGA members; $10 students)
Series: $85 ($60 Walker/AIGA members; $40 students)
Walker Cinema

March 4

When combined, the art of branding and the science of way-finding design can profoundly transform a space. Lance Wyman is the humble master of this, designing massive systems for cities, airports, expos, transit systems, zoos, and museums over his more than 40-year career. In the process, Wyman helped to define the field of environmental graphics. His iconic identity for the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics—“’60s op-art kinetic typography,” as Wyman calls it—exists as a pinnacle of environmental and branding design and was credited with reintroducing Mexican visual culture back into the nation’s design vocabulary. Other projects include the Washington DC Metro map, the identity for the 1970 FIFA World Cup, the 1981 Minnesota Zoo identity (which was selected as one of the 10 best designs of the year by Time magazine), and projects for the Library of Congress, Jeddah International Airport, Chrysler World’s Fair, and the Aspen Design Conference. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world and is also in the collection of MoMA (New York). Wyman has taught corporate and way-finding design at the Pratt Institute since 1973. Don’t miss your chance to hear from this legendary designer.

March 11

Sara de Bondt is the epitome of a cultural designer, combining a love of contemporary typography with a deep investigation into the history of graphic design. Through her design practice, which consists of client-based work, designing and editing books, and curating conferences, she is consistently contributing to the critical discourse. Her playful aesthetic is always idea-based, typography-driven, and completely fresh. Her clients include the Wiels Centre for Contemporary Art in Brussels and Nottingham Contemporary as well as projects for the V&A, the Barbican, London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, Camden Arts Center, and MIT Press. Most recently she took over the art direction of Tate Etc. magazine. In 2008, de Bondt cofounded Occasional Papers, a nonprofit publishing house investigating the histories of architecture, art, design, film, and literature. In 2009, she curated the conference the Form of the Book, which explored the past, present, and future of book design. She received her MFA from Sint-Lukas, Brussels, and completed postgraduate research at the Jan van Eyck Academie. Prior to opening her own studio in 2004, de Bondt worked for Daniel Eatock’s Foundation 33 in London. She has taught design at the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and KASK School of Art.

March 18
MARTINE SYMS (Los Angeles)

LA-based Martine Syms is many things—a graphic designer, a “conceptual entrepreneur,” a net artist—but most importantly, a thinker who examines the assumptions of contemporary America and ways that identity and memory are transformed by the shifting boundaries of business and culture. Her work explores themes as varied as contemporary art practice, Afrofuturism, queer theory, the power of language, and the spiritual nature of the color purple. The topic of her SXSW presentation, “Black Vernacular: Reading New Media Art,” asked the question: “What does it mean for a black woman to make minimal, masculine net art? What about this piece is ‘not black’? Can my identity be expressed as an aesthetic quality?” From 2007 to 2011, Syms was codirector of the influential Golden Age project space in Chicago, where she organized dozens of cultural projects and initiated a publishing program of young, emerging artists. She has created work for Badlands Unlimited, collaborated with artist Theaster Gates, and created a branding and marketing strategy for nonprofit group Summer Forum for Inquiry + Exchange, among many other projects. Her work has been exhibited at venues such as the New Museum (New York), MCA Chicago, Capricious Space (Brooklyn), and the Soap Factory (Minneapolis). Syms is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Film, Video, and New Media.

March 25

There is an effortless simplicity to Henrik Nygren’s work, a Scandinavian modernism that stands in counterpoint to the excess of most visual communication today. As Sweden’s premier graphic designer, Nygren has helmed his own studio for more than 20 years, working in the fields of book design, identity and branding, packaging, and communications. His practice caters to cultural organizations such as the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Moderna Museet Malmö, the Hasselblad Center, and Phaidon books. Among many other awards, he was the recipient of the 2007 Platinum Egg and Berling Awards, and his work has been exhibited in Tokyo and Sweden. As an educator, he has had a profound impact on the Swedish design scene, teaching at Beckmans College of Design (Stockholm), Berghs School of Communication (Stockholm), the Swedish School of Arts, Crafts and Design (Gothenburg) and Forsbergs School of Design (Stockholm) since 1992.

To purchase tickets, call 612.375.7600 or visit walkerart.org/tickets. For online series orders, the discount will be applied when all four lectures are in your shopping basket.

After-Lecture Receptions
Directly following each lecture, meet the designer and chat with fellow design lovers in the Walker’s Garden Café lobby.

Walker Shop
ARTBOOK @ Walker, a new collaboration with the Walker Shop, will be hosting pop-up shops in conjunction with the Insights series. Browse the selection featuring a mix of monographs, survey, and reading books expressly curated for the Twin Cities design community and offered exclusively at this event.

Watch Anywhere: Insights Viewing Parties
Groups and individuals who can’t make it in person this year have the option of hosting an Insights Viewing Party and sending comments and questions for the speakers via Twitter using #Insights2014. An Insights Viewing Party kit to get started is available on the Walker website.


The Insights Design Lecture Series is co-presented by the Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota.

Henrik Nygren, identity for Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle

Martine Syms, film still produced for the cover of Most Days LP, 2014

Martine Syms, Title slide from Black Vernacular: Reading New Media

Sara De Bondt, title graphics for Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft, 2007

Sara De Bondt, Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art (Martian Encyclopaedia of Terrestrial Life), 2008

Lance Wyman, working on the graphics for the Chrysler Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair (while at George Nelson Design)

Lance Wyman, 1968 Olympics identity