Our spring course for the general public is a look a some key moments in the history of graphic design. Bard Graduate Center’s public education course, Highlights in the History of Graphic Design is a five-week course taught by our world-renowned faculty and alumni. Using hands on materials, this course allows participants to discover different histories of design and media production through sensory engagement.

Classes begin April 1
Mondays 7–9 pm

Week 1-5: $450 Adults; $375 Students and Educators; $350 BGC Members
Individual classes: $100 Adults; $85 Students and Educators; $75 BGC Members
Space is Limited.

Week 1 (April 1)
The Wiener Werkstätte
With Michelle Jackson-Beckett, Bard Graduate Center Doctoral Candidate and Professor of Industrial Design at Parsons.

Week 2 (April 8)
The Bauhaus
With Paul Stirton, Associate Professor of 19th and 20th century European Design and Architecture.

Week 3 (April 15)
American Corporations and Countercultures: Postwar Graphic Design
With Colin Fanning, Doctoral candidate at Bard Graduate Center and Project Assistant Curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

This session will explore the contradictions and complexities of American and European graphic design in the decades after World War II. While highly professionalized agencies like Unimark were producing sleek identities for institutions and consumer brands—building upon the visual language of modernism to signal a spirit of postwar corporate optimism—more informal, DIY graphics took root in a range of countercultural settings, expanding the vocabulary and aims of the design field. Examining these overlapping histories, the course will reveal how graphic design made visible some of the underlying cultural tensions of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s.

Colin Fanning
is a doctoral candidate at Bard Graduate Center, where his current research focuses on industrial and graphic design education in the late-twentieth-century United States. His other research interests include the material culture of childhood (especially architectural toys and video game design), postwar studio craft, and the visual culture of science. He has held positions at the Museum of Arts and Design and the American Federation of Arts, and has taught the history of modern design in the Westphal College of Arts and Design at Drexel University. Prior to returning to BGC as a doctoral student, he held a three-year appointment as Curatorial Fellow for European Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he curated design exhibitions including Channeling Nature by Design (2017) and Dieter Rams: Principled Design (2018–19).

Week 4 (April 22)
Politics and Culture in Latin American Graphic Design
With Christina De León, Doctoral Candidate at Bard Graduate Center and Associate Curator of U.S. Latino Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Week 5 (April 29)
Computer as Tool, Computer as Medium: Design after 1980
With Juliette Cezzar, Assistant Professor of Communication Design at The New School’s Parsons School of Design.

We are also pleased to extend complimentary need-based community tickets by request to all ticketed events. To learn more, please email [email protected].

Leading support for Public Programs at Bard Graduate Center comes from Gregory Soros and other generous donors.