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Design Migrations: Circuits of Graphic Exchange

Conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago, April 4-5, 2019


Organized jointly by the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Institute of Visual Communication at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst FHNW, this conference brings together designers and design historians to examine and reflect on the past, present, and future of design migrations between Switzerland, the US, and beyond.

The years after the Second World War witnessed the emergence of several distinct national design traditions that rose to global prominence. Within the broader contexts of the Cold War and the emerging global markets established by postwar reconstruction, such design traditions served to define discrete cultural identities for the nations that fostered them, including Italy and the Scandinavian countries as well as Switzerland, and reinforced the status of those nations as independent geo-political entities through the international dissemination of distinctive products and services. Since the end of the Cold War and the subsequent expansion of globalized systems, however, design practices themselves are increasingly transnational, a condition that simultaneously undercuts the significance previously accorded to national design traditions and contributes to the heightened stakes of current discussions of national identity. This conference aims to explore the historical emergence of this aspect of contemporary design culture with an eye toward developing a better understanding of the diverse roles that design plays in constituting and disseminating identities at the local, regional, national, and international scale.


Chiara Barbieri, Hochschule der Künste Bern
Amir Berbic, UIC School of Design
Sandra Bischler, Swiss Graphic Design and Typography Reconsidered
Philip Burton, UIC School of Design
Ted Davis, Institute of Visual Communication, HGK, FHNW
Michael Golec, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Art History, Theory and Criticism
Julia Meer, Humboldt University Bild Wissen Gestaltung Laboratory
Jonathan Mekinda, UIC School of Design
Piotr Michura, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Visual Communication Design
Sarah Owens, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste Visual Communication
Michael Renner, Institute of Visual Communication, HGK, FHNW

Find further informations about this conference here

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