Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 8

DESIGN NEWS

DESIGN STRENGTH
The Pratt Institute's first annual design symposium explored the growing importance
of design in the world.
-

Design is everywhere today, and has become a huge
part of our experience in virtually every area of our lives. On
Nov. 2, a large audience gathered at the Whitney Museum of
American Art's Hess Family Theater and Gallery in New York
to attend Pratt Institute's first annual design symposium, which
explored the theme, "Design is the New Currency."
The symposium brought together esteemed artists and designers from diverse fields to discuss how design has become
the "x-plus" factor in an ever-changing world in which consumers know they are buying design, and use it to underscore their
identities with a defining personal style. Award-winning luxury
and cosmetics packaging designer Marc Rosen, Pratt Institute
trustee emeritus and professor of packaging design, moderated
the panel discussion. The speakers were multidisciplinary artist
Michele Oka Doner; James Gager, senior vice president and
creative director of MAC Cosmetics; interior designer Juan
Montoya; and architect and designer David Rockwell.
"Whether we are creating bottles for perfume, designing a
building or an interior, or suggesting a lifestyle through fashion, all
designers are packaging, or marketing, an experience," Rosen said.
"Pratt is a mecca of design education where every kind of design
is taught. How appropriate for the Institute to bring together the
'Best of the Best' to participate in this first symposium."
Presenting examples of their work, the panelists offered insights on the ways in which design is the new currency. "We receive 174 newspapers' worth of information every day. Good
design is key for making sure that a good story gets noticed,"
Gager explained, using examples of campaigns for Caitlyn Jenner, VIVA Glam and other MAC collections. He talked about
design today as encompassing pop culture, social media, diversity, celebrity and luxury. As notions of taste have been democratized, successful design is about viewing the audience as
individuals and incorporating design into their lives, whether

it's customizing Coke packaging or taking a Nike sneaker that
consumers can make their own.
Doner focused on how the design of the present can draw
from the past. "Design is a way of living that has been with us
since the Egyptians," she explained. "Design gives us an anchor
in the natural world we came from and should give us a notion
of contemplation and refuge everyday."
Rockwell talked about being exposed to theater as a child,
from regional community theater to the public "theater" of outdoor markets in Mexico. He showed this influence in several
projects involving community, shared spaces and performance.
His presentation revealed ways in which design and experience
come together, from Chefs Club restaurant in Manhattan, with
its open kitchen and rotating chefs, to the Imagination Playground, which features flexible blocks and other elements that
offer opportunities for fantasy and cooperative play.
"Design as the new currency relates to the idea that what we
see is the package first," said Montoya, who spoke of how the
exterior can draw us in. Showing projects such as the Punta
Mita Resort in Mexico and Kips Bay Decorator Show House,
he discussed the role of elements such as symmetry, composition, scale, craftsmanship and an understanding of place in
creating that experience.
During the Q&A portion of the program, the panel was
asked how long a good design will last - or should last. Rockwell said that clients often come to designers seeking something timeless, but pointed out that "to get to timeless, you
have to be timely first." For the final question of the evening,
Doner was asked about the distinctive bracelet she was wearing, and responded that she had created it when she "needed
a bracelet" about 15 years ago. "It's timeless," she quipped.
The event was sponsored by the Marc Rosen Education Fund
with additional funding by Juliana Terian,The Terian Foundation. )



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017

Contents
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Cover1
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Cover2
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 1
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 2
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - 3
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Contents
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Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Cover3
Modern Home Builder - Winter 2017 - Cover4
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