Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Influencers -SVA MFA Lecture

Wednesday night I attended the School of Visual Art’s MFA lecture series, The Influencers. The four speakers Allegra Burnette - Creative Director Digital Media at Moma, Steven Heller - Design Author and Co-founder of MFA at SVA, (Mr.Heller has a long list of credits I’m sure you know about him if not look him up). Jason Santa Maria –web designer and consultant. Molly Wright Steenson – PhD student, Princeton University School of Architecture.

The point of this lecture was to discuss where each speakers influences come from - People, history, industry, or maybe even take a look into possible future trends.

Allegra Burnette discussed the redesign of Moma’s website, interactive displays and the creation of the Moma Flickr page. The driving force or influencer in this case is the visitor’s interaction with the museum (staff and budget was also listed as an influencer with these projects). Creating and easy to use website so that it gives the user the feel of the museum as well as creating a simple and sequential navigation throughout the site.

Steven Heller discussed the influence of Ladislav Sutnar whose influence can be felt even today. He was the pioneer of information design. He created his own systems or organization and information graphics, before there was such a thing.

Jason Santa Maria discussed the lack of influence of print on the web. In his discussion he juxtaposes a beautiful editorial designed article and then shows the webs “translation” of the same article, which is just a headline with a lot of type under it. He’s questioning the reasoning behind this, why does it have to be that way?

Molly Wright Steenson – discussed the influence of one man Christopher Alexander. In the end she stated, Love him or hate on you cannot deny his overall influence in architecture as well as computer science.

I felt that this was a very concise, informative lecture series that easily jump starts conversations and thoughts about the topics that were discussed. It was very good lecture, I will be attending more of them in the future. 

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