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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The History and Future of Product Design

In a new course being offered at the University of Minnesota this spring, "The History and Future of Product Design" (PDes 3170), students from diverse majors across the University will spend the semester examining the key movements, figures, philosophies and technologies that have advanced the field of industrial/product design, and investigating how this historical foundation continues to inform and inspire the designers of today and tomorrow.

mies_brno_chair_starck_alessi_drskud.jpg left: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich "Brno" chair (c. 1929-30) right: Philippe Starck for Alessi "Dr. Skud" fly swatter (1998)

Students will have opportunities throughout the semester to work hands-on with objects from the museum's collection and to explore firsthand the evolution of technology and the application of new materials and processes to everyday consumer goods. Students will then apply their understanding of these factors to forecast future trends and continuing developments in the fields of industrial and product design.

zeisel_tea_service.jpg Eva Zeisel for Castleton China "Museum White" tea service (1943)

Design graduate student Curt Lund, whose own research focus is on design history and collection, will be leading the class in activities that engage the meaning-making process of design history and underline the role of creativity, innovation, discovery, and expression across the discipline. "At the heart of this curriculum is a critical exploration of design and an understanding of what designed objects and environments can mean to consumers and their quality of life," Lund said. "The Goldstein is a perfect partner in this effort, as these ideas are also fundamental to the museum's own mission and vision."

Goldstein Museum AppJOUR 4991Spring2014.jpg

In the second semester of a year-long collaboration with the Goldstein Museum of Design, the "Goldstein Museum App" course (JOUR 4991/ ArtH 3940) will create content (text, video, photography, audio) for an iPad application that will allow the public to explore the museum's collection in a new and dynamic way. As students plan the app, they will focus on creating an intuitive user experience with multiple levels of interaction and engagement.

Taught by Camille LeFevre (arts journalist, college instructor, and editor of The Line), the course will allow students from departments across the University to collaborate. They will bring diverse skill sets including graphic design, video and audio shooting and production, art-historical research, writing and journalism, photography, UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) and interactive/immersive online/mobile environments, and app development to the process. Through feedback from the GMD staff throughout the semester, an app will be designed that will make the museum's collection accessible to a whole new audience.

Both courses are still open for registration. Sign up today!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Warm Welcome to our new Exhibitions Coordinator, Mary Alice Chaney


We are pleased to announce that Mary Alice Chaney joined the Goldstein Museum of Design staff this week. Although Mary Alice is new to her role as Exhibitions Coordinator (the position previously held by Jim Dozier, who retired this fall), she is no stranger to the museum. While working on her Masters degree at UMN, Mary Alice did exhibition installation in what is now Gallery 241 for two years. In the spring of 2010, when she was a PhD candidate in Apparel Studies (with a minor in Museum Studies), she served as the GMD Communications Assistant. She also completed an internship here at the museum where she studied the deaccessioning process. Her dissertation was on Hmong baby carriers in Minnesota, which grew out of her Master's work in Hmong textiles. She later wrote an article on world baby carriers for the Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion.

While she was completing her dissertation, Mary Alice had an internship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection. She then went on to a position at the Beverly Historical Society in Beverly, Massachusetts. There, she started work on a comprehensive inventory of their textile collection, including dresses from the early 1800s.

Mary Alice will be planning and installing exhibitions in both Gallery 241 in McNeal Hall and the HGA Gallery in Rapson Hall. She will also be working with the museum's collection. Please join us in welcoming her back!