Course Spotlight – Issues in Graphic Design: Modernity, Identity and Meaning

Dr. Jeremy Aynsley leads a class session in the Drue Heinz Study Center, home to Cooper Hewitt’s Drawings, Prints and Graphic Design collection.

The MA program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies was proud to welcome renowned Graphic Design scholar and curator, Jeremy Aynsley, to teach a two-week intensive course aptly named Issues In Graphic Design: Modernity, Identity and Meaning.

The course began with an overview of the pedagogy of Graphic Design as a field and each day a different aspect of the field was addressed. Subjects such as gender, profession, and propaganda and agitation were explored through canonical text, rich discussion and hands-on object analysis. During the two week period, students visited several archives including the The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design & Typography at the Cooper Union which features a rich variety of mid-twentieth century corporate and editorial graphic design archive as well as  Interference Archive in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn showcasing a strong collection of graphic design centered around social and political activism.

Second-year student, Rachel Hunnicutt says of the class; “…the course allowed us to come to direct our own studies and (re)define our thinking about the visual landscape.” This was Jeremy Aynsley’s first time teaching with the program and there is no doubt that students experienced the impact of his thought-provoking teaching and rich knowledge of graphic design and its histories.




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