Not Just Another Book… Mapping Swiss Graphic Design History
Monday February 13th 2017, 6:00 pm8:00 pm

Robert Lzicar and Davide Fornari will be in the U.S. for a multi-stop tour to present their co-edited book, Mapping Graphic Design History in Switzerland. Lzicar and Fornari will do a short presentation on the book, followed by a panel discussion about the relationship between Swiss and American design. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.

Mapping Graphic Design History in Switzerland features eleven selected essays on the mediation and consumption of graphic design artifacts and processes by authors from the German, French, and Italian-speaking areas of Switzerland. Published by Triest Verlag.

Author Bios

Davide Fornari is associate professor at ECAL University of Art and Design in Lausanne, where he leads the research and development sector. He has previously been teacher and researcher at SUPSI University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland. He holds a PhD in Design Sciences from the School of Doctorate Studies, University Iuav of Venice. His PhD thesis “Il volto come interfaccia” (et al./edizioni, Milan 2012) was awarded a grant for publication from the Swiss National Science Foundation. He has published essays for Sellerio, Einaudi, Treccani, Springer, and for the magazines Domus, Alias, and Ottagono. He is a member of the permanent observatory of ADI (industrial design association) and co-editor of the magazine Progetto grafico. He was a member of the Swiss Institute in Rome for the academic year 2014 – 2015.

Robert Lzicar is a communication designer, professor and researcher. He is based at the Bern University of the Arts, where he directs the MA Communication Design course, researches at the Department of R+D Communication Design, and teaches design history. He earned a Master of Arts in Research on the Arts at the University of Bern, and is a PhD candidate at the Graduate School of the Arts, Bern. As an undergraduate he was trained as a visual designer at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd and at the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 2006 he is partner of the design studio STVG – Mahrer, Lzicar in Zurich. He organized the symposium “Mapping Graphic Design History in Switzerland” (2014), as well as co-coordinates the research project “Swiss Graphic Design and Typography Revisited,” funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Sinergia programme from October 2016.

Panelist Bios

Philip Burton, moderator, is professor and chair of the graphic design program in the School of Design in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Professor Burton has practiced and taught design for forty years, having held full-time faculty positions at the University of Houston, William Marsh Rice University and Yale University. He serves on the graduate faculty at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Basel, Switzerland, He is also a consultant to Chicago-based, Morningtar, Inc., a global financial investment research company. In 2003 he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and was awarded the Julius Adams Stratton Prize for Intercultural Achievement by the Friends of Switzerland/Boston in 2016.

Jonathan Mekinda is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a joint appointment in the Department of Art History and the School of Design. His research focuses on the history of architecture and design during the middle decades of the twentieth century, particularly in Italy and the United States. Prof. Mekinda has received grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Terra Foundation for American Art, among others, and his writing can be found in various publications, including the Journal of Architectural Education, Design Issues, and Revival: Memories, Identities, Utopias (Courtauld Books Online, 2015). Chicagoisms, which he co-edited with Alexander Eisenschmidt, was published by Park Books in 2013, and in 2014, they curated a related exhibition of the same name at the Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to several on-going projects related to Chicago, Prof. Mekinda is currently at work on his book, Building the “House of Man”: Design and the Modern Home in Milan, 1933-1957.

Victor Margolin is Professor Emeritus of Design History at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is a founding editor and now co-editor of the academic design journal Design Issues. Professor Margolin has published widely on diverse design topics including design history, social design, design for development, design education, and design theory. He has lectured at conferences, universities, and art schools in many parts of the world and has also taught studio seminars at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and the Politecnico de Milano, where he co-taught a seminar for service design students on The Good Society. Books that he has written, edited, or co-edited include The American Poster Renaissance; Propaganda: The Art of Persuasion, WW II; The Promise and the Product; The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1936, Design Discourse, Discovering Design, The Idea of Design, The Designed World; Images, Objects, Environments, The Politics of the Artificial: Essays on Design and Design Studies, Culture is Everywhere: The Museum of Corn-temporary Art and Design and the Risk of Change (in Portuguese). His books have also been translated into five languages. The first two volumes of his three-volume World History of Design were published in April 2015.