Crossing the Line: The 2010 D-Crit Conference

The School of Visual Arts MFA Design Criticism Department presents “Crossing the Line: The 2010 D-Crit Conference,” organized by graduating D-Crit students. Moderated by D-Crit faculty member, award-winning author and “Studio 360” host Kurt Andersen, the inaugural event will feature thesis presentations by all 15 graduating students alongside professional critics and thinkers including design visionary and Doors of Perception founder John Thackara and author and educator Peter Hall. The fast-paced, daylong forum will be held at the SVA Theatre in New York City on Friday, April 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Event Information

When: 30 Apr 2010, 9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Where: Visual Arts Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)
Price: Free.

Videos and Photos

View videos of the conference here.

View photos of the event on our Flickr pool.
Event photography by John Messinger.


9:30 Registration and Coffee
10:00 Opening remarks by Alice Twemlow, Kurt Andersen
10:15 Keynote: Peter Hall, “The Uses of Failure”
The discourse of design is obsessed with success: design problems are “solved” and gorgeous publicity shots are released along with polished tales of brilliant ideas. Weaned on the new and the novel, we tend to reduce design to looks and discuss it in effervescent prose before anyone has a chance to use it. Yet in truth the practice of design is premised on failure, and a failed design is often one in which all the wrangling, hidden agendas and vested interests that preceded it are laid open for inspection. Peter will argue for a criticism that seeks out failure, because in failure lies the key to the inner workings of design.
11:00 Hala Abdul Malak
al-Kafiye: A Potent Symbol Uncovered—Design, Identity, Icon, Concept”
11:15 William Myers
“Bacteria Building for Sustainability: The Convergence of Design and Biology in the 21st Century”
11:30 Frederico Duarte
Alvorada: How Social Change Is Shaping Brazilian Design and Creating Brazil’s Own Design Model”
11:45 Coffee break
12:00 Jim Wegener
“Lived-In: User Experience in Architecture and Design Criticism”
12:15 Amelia Black, “Design Smells: Criticism in an Olfactory World”
12:30 Becky Quintal, “Import/Export: Delivering Architecture in a Public-Friendly Format”
12:45 Lunch break
1:45 Keynote 2: John Thackara, “The Revelation
What needs writing about? Where? And, how does one get paid for doing so? The first one is easy, says John: describe humanity’s new place in a catabolically challenged world— and use stories from the field to do so. Concerning where: do this in the bioregion of your choice—and consider speaking the words in a place rather than press “send.” For John’s revelations on the money question: see you in the SVA theatre at 1:45 p.m.
2:30 Sarah Froelich
“Mad about Dansk”
2:45 Emily Leibin
“Hidden Nature: Rediscovering Elroy Webber’s Modern Architecture”
3:00 Laura Forde
“Amateur/Auteur: Jean-Luc Godard’s Critical Appropriation of Graphic Design in the 1960s”
3:15 Coffee break
3:30 Angela Riechers
“Permanent Ephemera: Memory, Forgetting and Editorialized Recall”
3:45 Katie Henderson
“Two Decades of Failure, Betrayal & Disaster: The Production Design of Wes Anderson’s Films as it Relates to the Family Dynamic”
4:00 Alan Rapp
“The Shadow City”
4:15 Coffee break
4:30 Chappell Ellison
“Design in the Dark: Finding Meaning in the Multiplex”
4:45 John Cantwell
“Cars, Car Sharing and the Future Pragmatic”
5:00 Mike Neal
“Tabula Rubra: Critical Reflections on the Design of Mars”
5:15 Summary and closing remarks
6:00 Leave theatre

Press Information

For images, information or to reserve a space, please contact John Wyszniewski at 212.592.2209 or

Find a press release for the conference here.


The Formation of the…

Clement Edson Armi

Sometimes We Do It Right

Ada Louise Huxtable
agee - evans 3


James Agee

A Cautious Prometheus?

Bruno Latour

A New Page

Nicholson Baker

The Art of Donald McGill

George Orwell
Henry Ford-Model T

My Life and Work

Henry Ford

Against Interpretation

Susan Sontag
John Ruskin

Railway Stations

John Ruskin

The Lamp of Beauty

John Ruskin

The Long Goodbye

Raymond Chandler

Industrial Design and…

Reyner Banham

Clip Art

Nicholson Baker