External News

17 July 2018

In the past decades there has been a lot of discussion about the construction and impact of history. Historians claim to have overcome teleological narratives, moving away from grand narratives and challenging the white-male canon in order to decolonize and diversify. Histories, however, have not only been constructed from words but also designed in various media in different dimensions. What happens when the past is given a particular form? How do designers interpret historical information and, by doing so, shape our knowledge of the past and its impact on the future?

The symposium focuses on historiographic dimensions of design in both the creation and the reception of history. It aims at discussing how specific knowledge, methods and elements of design are used to create histories, how they differ from each other and from written and oral histories, and how they create different trajectories for the future (Dilnot 2015). Possible contributions will analyse the construction and dissemination of historical narratives in visualisations (such as timelines or genealogies), publications (such as history books), exhibitions (such as retrospectives), and software (such as history apps or digital timelines). How does their design affect our understanding of history (and thereby future and time in general)? Already a simple artefact, such as a timeline, communicates much more than historical data. By placing events on a single line, time is given a teleological notion, whereas detours, parallelisms, discontinuities, shifts and other aspects can hardly be visualised.

Invited Speakers (Selected)

  • Keynote: Clive Dilnot, Professor of Design Studies in the School of Art and Design History and Theory, The New School/Parsons
  • Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art
  • Jeremy Aynsley, Head of the Research Cluster Internationalising Design History, University of Brighton
  • Johanna Drucker, Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Daniel Rosenberg, Professor of History, University of Oregon
  • Teal Triggs, Associate Dean, School of Communication, Royal College of Art
  • Orit Halpern, Associate Professor of Interactive Design in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University, Montréal

Julia Meer (Humboldt University in Berlin, visiting researcher at the MIT) and Robert Lzicar (Bern University of the Arts HKB).

This event will be held on 5 September 2018 at MoMA in New York. Please visit the conference website for further information: http://itwasntwritten.org.


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