"The State of the Object: How Art Interacts with Body, Society and Life"

August 14: An evening of Design
Location: UC Berkeley Extensions San Francisco: Room 204, Art and Design Center, 95 Third St.
Room: see this page
Date: August 14, 2013
Time -- 7-830pm
Speakers -- Maria McVarish, Meredith Tromble, Piero Scaruffi, Stuart Kendall, Hunter Whitney
Video of the evening

One could argue that nothing has changed the life of ordinary people as much as Design. Science and technology give us new powerful tools, but Design turns them into everyday objects that merge with our living spaces and with our cognitive habits. We would like to explore the relationship among Design, Art and Industry; what makes something "design" and what "design" contributes to society (that, for example, "art" doesn't). This is particularly important in the era of mass markets and digital technology. We'll discuss the topic with four distinguished practitioners of Design who come from different schools of thought, perspectives and backgrounds. The event will feature individual presentations by the speakers and a panel, followed by Q/A with the audience.
The evening will be introduced and moderated by Piero Scaruffi, who has published books about Cognitive Science, Music, the Visual Arts and the History of Knowledge, and who has been organizing and chairing monthly and quarterly events on the interaction of art and science at both University of San Francisco and Stanford University.

The panelists (in no particular order):
  • Maria McVarish (California College of the Arts) is an architect, artist, and visual researcher practicing in San Francisco. She has lectured in architecture at UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design and, since 1996, teaches interdisciplinary studies, critical theory, and design at CCA. Recent and upcoming public lectures include "Hazard Figures: Heritage, Memorial and Wasting in Appalachia" at the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (April 2012); "Imaginary Spaces," at San Jose State University (November 2009); "in Visible Memory," at Syracuse University (October 2008); and "Design in the Unconscious" for the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California (June 2007). Her essays, drawings, and sculpture have been published in Memory Connection journal, Diacritics, Zyzzava, How(ever), and Architecture California, the journal of the American Institute of Architects. Her architectural work has been featured in California Home and Design, Southface journal and CNN's television series Earth-Wise.
  • Meredith Tromble is an artist and writer whose areas of interest include creative process and interdisciplinary research. She is the author of Art & Shadows, a series of essays on contemporary in light of contemporary research, funded by the Art Writers Grant Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation. In addition to her work as an Associate Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, she is currently collaborating with Dawn Sumner of the University of California, Davis on a virtual installation, Take Me Me To Your Dream (Dream Vortex).
  • Piero Scaruffi is a cultural historian, blogger, poet and cognitive scientist who has published several books on music, science and history. He organizes the Leonardo Art Science Evenings (LASERs) at USF and Stanford, and the SMMMASH at Stanford (Stanford Multidisciplinary Multimedia Meetings of the Arts, Sciences and Humanities) http://www.scaruffi.com
  • Stuart Kendall is the President of the Design Studies Forum, a College Art Association Affiliated Society, dedicated to the promotion of the academic study of the history, theory and practice of design. However, he thinks of himself primarily as a philosopher of culture. Toward these ends he works as a writer, editor and translator in both popular and scholarly venues. As an educator, he has taught courses in cultural history, philosophy, film and visual culture, He has lectured at colleges, universities, conferences, and colloquia around the United States. He coedited a special issue of "Boom: A Journal of California" on California Design, and his articles have also appeared on magazines such as Design and Culture, SubStance, Rain Taxi, Boston Review, Postmodern Culture, Hyperion, New Nietzsche Studies, Contemporary French Civilization, and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
  • Hunter Whitney Hunter Whitney is a User Experience (UX) Designer who has helped create useful and usable interface designs for clients in areas ranging from bioscience and medicine to information technology and marine biology. He is also the author of a recently published book about data visualization called, Data Insights: New Ways to Visualize and Make Sense of Data. In addition to his UX work, he has written numerous articles about a range of subjects for various online and print publications. His aim is to encourage conversations among people with diverse skills and perspectives about presenting data in ways that are more widely accessible and engaging. He received dual bachelor's degrees-one in English Literature from UCLA and the other in Biology from UCSC-and has completed post-graduate neuropsychology research at UCLA. The combination of these multidisciplinary studies reflects his longstanding interest in the intersection between the humanities and the sciences.