The four-part ‘Visibly Invisible’ lecture series addresses the mash-up of history, design and technology
Four cultural provocateurs challenge us to look with fresh eyes at the possibilities all around in a free public lecture series at the University of the Arts presented by DesignPhiladelphia and the University’s Corzo Center for the Creative Economy.
When we stop seeing and experiencing what we live with and become blind to familiar things, systems and surroundings, design thinking can shift our vision, literally making what is right in front of us visible again. The “Visibly Invisible” speakers encourage us to look at the world from a refreshed angle.
The four speakers – who teach, write, invent and curate – are recognized intellects who share their passions in remarkably user-friendly ways.
“There’s a growing and palpable creative energy in Philadelphia,” says Christopher Sharrock, Dean of the College of Art, Media and Design at the University of the Arts. “Through programs like this, we want to foster discussions that bring together the University’s design community and the creative and business innovators throughout the region.”
Regina Lee Blaszczyk
“From Parlor to iPhone: Our Gadgets, Our Identities”
An award-winning design historian, Blaszczyk explores the hidden meanings of the things we use every day. Her whirlwind tour of 150 years of consumer culture highlights the invisible links between the Victorian parlor and the I-want-it-now culture of Apple, Facebook and Twitter. Our ancestors used “cultural hardware” like furniture and bric-a-brac to express themselves, while we use “cultural software” like eBooks, videogames and apps to create personal space. The technology is different, but the impulse to personalize one’s surroundings is the same.
“Hide and Seek”
Founder of Hidden City Philadelphia – festival, online magazine, tour company – Squire will address the yearning for history in pop culture: from the prison fantasies of Piranesi to Mayan expedition drawings, Indiana Jones, “National Treasure” and “Tomb Raider”; from the retro-chic of Restoration Hardware and Anthroplogie to online gaming and the emerging photo genre of “ruin porn.”
“Revealing the Obvious”
Mad App alchemist and internationally recognized designer and photographer, Marcolina is author of the critically acclaimed book and iPad series “iPhone Obsessed.” He will expose how the combination of picture choice and multiple app processing can transform everyday snapshots into remarkable statements. Images will be on display. Book signing follows the lecture.
Cynthia E. Smith
“Design With the Other 90%: Cities”
With her recent exhibitions at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the United Nations, Smith helped spark international dialogue on utilizing technology and design to help poorer communities “leapfrog” into the 21st century. As Cooper-Hewitt’s Curator of Socially Responsible Design, Smith combines experience as an industrial designer with graduate training at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Traditionally designers had focused on the 10 percent of the population that could afford their goods and services. Now, a new wave of designers, architects and engineers is working to solve the world’s most critical problems as urban populations in the developing world grow at unprecedented rates. Book signing follows the lecture.