Aileen Kwun is a design writer, consultant and researcher with a strong proclivity for visuals and all things pop culture. She holds a BA in English Literature and Composition (University of California, Berkeley ‘07) and a Certificate in Publishing (Columbia University, School of Journalism ‘07). Following a formative two-year stint as publicist for Princeton Architectural Press, she arrived at SVA’s MFA Design Criticism program (‘11) to further pursue her love of design, cultural studies, and the written word.
Aileen received the 2010 Winterhouse Award for Design Writing & Criticism in the Education category for “Lady Gaga is a Machine for Dancing,” an essay that playfully explored the boundaries of discourse in architecture and fashion through the example of the pop star’s exaggerated costume design. Her master’s thesis, “Mirror Image Maker: Looking at Music Videos of the Internet Age,” examined the emergence of interactive audiovisuals designed with Web-specific tools that include social media platforms, real-time data, customized APIs, and crowdsourced imagery.
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Since enrolling in D-Crit, Aileen has interned with Donald Albrecht, Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of the City of New York, and worked as a freelance design critic and researcher at Wert & Company, an executive recruitment firm specialized in multidisciplinary design fields. Her writing and commentary have appeared in Icon, Grafik, Disegno, the Huffington Post, Metropolis, the New Museum’s New City Reader, Design Bureau, and the Architect’s Newspaper. Working with faculty member Andrea Codrington-Lippke, she co-edited the second installment of the D-Crit chapbook series, Dress, a collection of essays dissecting the sartorial makeup of various public figures. She is currently studio manager of Project Projects and a founding partner of Superscript, an editorial consultancy formed by four of her colleagues from D-Crit.