A clarion call that resounded more deeply than ever in 2020: the need for a new approach to design history education that goes beyond the usual, omissive Eurocentric narratives.
And now, Polymode is facilitating just that, in a series of vital classes that launch this week and run throughout the month—and are being recorded for on-demand viewing in the future.
When it comes to design education, there's no better person to be collaboratively organizing the series than Polymode founder Silas Munro, a CalArts MFA and RISD BFA grad who has lectured everywhere from his alma maters to RISD and the Yale School of Art. Moreover, Munro serves as an assistant professor in Communication Arts and MFA in Graphic Design at Otis College of Art and Design, and advisor and chair emeritus of the MFA Program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
The first installment in a larger series, Black Design in America “revisits and rewrites the course of design history in a way that centers previously marginalized designers, cultural figures—and particularly BIPOC and QTPOC people.”
As for how that takes shape, here is a brief overview of January’s offerings—individual sessions of which can be purchased for $5 to $30, on a sliding scale from students to professional designers—or from $30 to $250 for all the courses in a bundle.
Find out much more here.
(Curriculum design: Silas Munro, Pierre Bowins, Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton; instructional design: Brian Johnson, Silas Munro, Tanvi Sharma; course marketing and operations: Brian Johnson, Silas Munro, Tanvi Sharma; teaching assistant: Tanvi Sharma.)
Afrikan Alphabets & African Diasporic Design Lineage, with Saki Mafundikwa
Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. (ET)
Systems of Slavery and White Supremacy, with Kelly Walters
Jan. 9, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. (ET)
Designing Emancipation, with Pierre Bowins
Jan. 10, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. (ET)
Black Data: W.E.B. Du Bois and Data Visualization
Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. (ET)
Wounded Fire: The New Negro and the Harlem Renaissance, with Jon Key
Jan. 16, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. (ET)
The Great Migration: Harlem Artists Guild and the 306 Group, with Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton
Jan. 17, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. (ET)
Strikethrough: Typography Messages of Protest for Civil Rights (free)
Jan. 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), 2 p.m.–4 p.m. (ET)
Black Streamlining: Discrimination, the Autom
obile Revolution and Black Americans, with Omari Souza
Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. (ET)
Blues Modernism: Midcentury Black Design in Chicago and New York, with Chris Dingwall
Jan. 23, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. (ET)
Funk, Blaxploitation & Hip Hop Aesthetics, with Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton
Jan. 24, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. (ET)
Black Design 2.0: Black Futures and Post-Internet Black Design, with Lauren Williams
Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. (ET)
Radical Design Pedagogy: Towards an Autochthonic Black Aesthetic for Graphic Design Pedagogy, with Audrey G. Bennett
Jan. 31, 3 p.m.–5 p.m. (ET)
Images and captions: BIPOC Design History