JULY 27, 2021 — Register here!

First in a series of conversations with Robert Baxter, titled On/Toward Design Education. We will consider whether design needs to be defined in order to teach it, what teaching design looks like now and in the future, and what education outside the institution can look like.

Reading List (a series of excerpts, see: compiled PDF):

Design Dedication: Adaptive Mentalities In Design Education, Johanna Lewengard

The Cynical Educator, Ansgar Allen

“Scenes of Instruction, Scenes of Insurrection.” Eric Steinhoff

Teaching to Transgress Education as the Practice of Freedom, bell hooks

Deschooling Society, Ivan Illich

[Notes in preparation for becoming a first time instructor.] Robert Baxter

“A School Is a Building with a School in It.” Paul Elliman


JULY 13, 2021

We'll be talking with Kendall Henderson of Please Respect Our Neighbors about whether or not to look at the work of other creatives and simultaneously attempt to answer the question: What is Design Criticism? This conversation will be recorded, transcribed, and published as a freely available resource for our greater design community. Hope you can join us! 👋

Reading List:

Design Ideology, Experimental Jetset

What's My Motivation?, Shawn Wolfe [PDF, page 99]

Looking Closer, Massimo Vignelli [PDF]

APRIL 28, 2021—Transcript coming soon!

The Dynamics of Authorship and Ownership: a conversation with Ariel Fogden. We'll be talking about the relationship between authorship and ownership with one of our co-founders, Ariel Fogden! The conversation will be transcribed and included in a book published by us. :)

DECEMBER 17, 2020

Individual Responsibility (under capitalism): a conversation with Simon Boas. Simon is facilitating a conversation about individual responsibility, ethics, design, and tech. Happening on Zoom from 5:30–7:00 pm PST. Registration required but free and open to all!

Reading List:

The Only Way to Resist the Attention Economy

Three Years of Misery Inside Google, the Happiest Company in Tech

Ethics in the Age of Data Capitalism

Excerpt from Dataveillance and Countervailance (PDF)

OCTOBER 29, 2020

Design as a Tool for Building Community: a conversation with Jules Cordova. Happening on Zoom from 7:00–8:30 pm PST. Registration Required. Join our mailing list to stay in the loop!

Reading List:

Design After Capitalism

We Need to Talk About Social Practice

Emory Douglas: The Art of The Black Panthers (video)

*Intro to The Politics of Design by Ruben Pater *(PDF)

AUGUST 13, 2020—View the transcript (resource guide included!)

Perspectives on Sustainability: a conversation with Kristin Rogers Brown. This month we will be focusing on what sustainability means, who it impacts, and what it has to do with design. Happening on Zoom from 5:30–7:00 pm PST. Registration required. Join our mailing list to stay in the loop!

Reading list:

4 Climate Activists Explain Why the Climate-Justice Movement Needs Feminism

Formafantasma Interview on Sustainable Design

Quick Guide to Sustainable Design Strategies

Circular EDOnomy: Japan’s original circular economy model

JULY 9, 2020—View the transcript

Join us at 5:30 pm for a Zoom conversation on decolonizing design with Kim Sutherland. The conversation transcription will be published on our website and in our annual publication. Maximum of 10 participants. Free and open to all. Priority is given to current university students.

Reading list:

Decolonizing Means Many Things to Many People

Dori Tunstall: Decolonizing Design

MAY 6–14, 2020

This month’s DBC group discussed how designers can handle being tasked with work that contradicts their personal values, as well as the necessity (or lack thereof) of company rebrands. Designers may not want to create work that serves to uphold ideologies they don’t agree with. They can choose not to take on this sort of work, or they can accept it and work to change the outcome of that design to be more inclusive and in-line with their ethical values.

As a discipline, design tends to be very critical of corporate branding strategies. Aside from the debate about ethical consumption in a capitalist system, we pondered the validity of critiquing effective brand strategies. When is this critique important? When does this critique become problematic or self-serving? Design rebrands may be pretty inconsequential to the general public and some of us are troubled by the manufactured need of branding everything and everyone. 

—Harrison Krohne, participant

MARCH 3, 2020

Join us for a screening of Century of the Self (Episode 1) followed by a discussion.

6:30 pm, PNCA

Free. Open to all. Bring your own notebook and snacks.